The Road To The Playoffs: Red Wings Style

USA TODAY Sports

Hold on boys, it's going to be a bumpy ride

Everyone knew that this season would be tough due to the losses of Lidstrom, Stuart, Holmstrom and Hudler. But I doubt that many of you thought it would turn out like it has.

With 9 games left on their schedule, the Wings sit in 8th place in the Western Conference. For most fans this position brings about a weird feeling, a feeling of potentially missing the playoffs for the first time in 21 seasons. I personally believe that they will make it. The veteran leadership and overall depth around the roster should be able to keep us in the playoffs. And that's not mentioning Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard, both of whom seem to be in a class of their own this season.

Nonetheless, here is how the fight for the playoffs is currently looking:

7th St. Louis Blues 11 GR 44 Pts 18 ROW 6-4-0
8th Detroit Red Wings 9 GR 43 Pts 17 ROW 5-5-0
9th Phoenix Coyotes 10 GR 40 Pts 14 ROW 4-4-2
10th Dallas Stars 10 GR 39 Pts 16 ROW 5-5-0
11th Edmonton Oilers 10 GR 39 Pts 14 ROW 5-4-1
12th Columbus Blue Jackets 9 GR 39 Pts 12 ROW

5-4-1

In case you are confused, GR stands for games remaining while ROW stands for regulation and overtime wins. The last column is the record of the teams last 10 games played.

After a quick glance a couple things jump out at me.

  1. Even if all of the teams behind us win their next game we are still ahead of them by at least a point. But, a point is by no means an acceptable gap.
  2. I doubt that St. Louis misses the playoffs, we can still pass them in the standings but the chances of them missing are small.
  3. Of the teams chasing us, no team really jumps out as a clear favorite to bypass us. Columbus has dropped off recently, the Oilers are always unpredictable, the Stars sold off half their team at the deadline and the Coyotes, well, their just the Coyotes.
With all of that in mind, here is the Wings remaining schedule:

April 11th, 2013 Detroit vs San Jose
April 12th, 2013 Detroit at Chicago
April 14th, 2013 Detroit at Nashville
April 17th, 2013 Detroit at Calgary
April 20th, 2013 Detroit at Vancouver
April 22nd, 2013 Detroit vs Phoenix
April 24th, 2013 Detroit vs Los Angeles
April 25th, 2013 Detroit vs Nashville
April 27th, 2013 Detroit at Dallas

If you zero in on the Wings remaining 9 games a couple things are important to note. 5 of their remaining games are on the road. This includes a 4-game road trip. In addition to that, the Wings play 4 teams currently in a playoff spot.

All of them are must wins. There is no game that we can "afford" to lose. There is no night that we can take off. Also, in the games against Phoenix and Dallas it will be important to win in regulation. We can not afford to be having 3 point games with them.

Ultimately, I believe we will make the playoffs. I think that we are too good of a team not to make it.

So what do you guys think? Are we in in or are we out? Let me know in the comments!


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