The Detroit Red Wings are currently on the outside looking in on the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Their current place in the standings (9th) has put their nearly two decade long streak of playoff appearances at risk. The final week won’t make things any easier.
The Wings begin the week against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes are still fighting for a playoff berth themselves, though their postseason dreams are a little more far-fetched. Nonetheless, the Coyotes are a tough, physical team that needs to win out to secure a postseason spot. This will be a tough one for the Wings.
It doesn’t get any easier when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. While the Kings have a playoff spot pretty much all sewn up, there’s still a matter of seeding. The Kings are currently fighting for the fourth spot, which would give them home ice in the first round. They want that. Again, a tough task for the Red Wings.
The easiest tilt of the week probably won’t be that easy. The Nashville Predators are out of the running for a playoff spot, but if you think a gritty, Barry Trotz coached team is going to pass up the opportunity to play spoiler for a division rival, you’re mistaken.
Detroit’s final test of the week could end up having tremendous playoff implications. The Dallas Stars are in the hunt for that eight seed as well. Depending on how the rest of the week shakes out, this could determine who gets in and who goes golfing.
None of these four tilts this week are going to be any variation of simple for the Detroit Red Wings.