The 2014 Detroit Red Wings, Playoff Bound
Many said it couldn’t be done, and that the Detroit Red Wings’ consecutive playoff appearance streak was destined to end at 22…they were wrong. With Detroit’s gritty win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, they’ve all but sewn up a spot in the postseason. The Toronto Maple Leafs are out, leaving only the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils as the only remaining teams to still have a mathematical chance at stopping the Red Wings’ streak. In order to do that, the Caps or Devils would have to win all of their remaining games, while Detroit would have to lose their remaining 3 games during regulation. A single point in any of those contests will launch Detroit to a 23rd straight appearance in the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup! Washington is off tonight, then faces back to back games, playing Chicago on Friday night, which will be their 3rd game in 4 nights. The Devils face 3 games in four nights as well, with Ottawa on Thursday, Islanders on Friday, and capping the season off with a Sunday showdown against Boston.
2014’s Confusing New Playoff Seeding
Due to the new playoff seeding rules, the top 3 teams from each division are automatically in the playoffs, then the next two teams in the division with the best records take the wild card spots. If two teams are tied in points for the Wild Card position, the tie breaker is a fun new term, known as (ROW). ROW is the total number of regulation and overtime wins, so the total number of wins, minus the shootout wins. Funny how the league doesn’t want to count shootout wins in playoff seeding. Anyway, if New Jersey wins out and Detroit doesn’t win or tie in any of their final three, the Devils would overtake the Red Wings. While these are all possible NHL playoff scenarios, Detroit holds their own fate and will clinch a playoff berth.
2013-2014 A Year to Forget
The season began with high hopes, but those dreams quickly faded when the injury bug hit early and often. Stephen Weiss ended up being a dud, playing just 43 games over the past two seasons, and scoring a whopping 4 points in his 26 games with Detroit. Extended injuries to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were the major blows, as well as the untimely loss of Johan Franzen from the lineup. You can credit the 2014 playoff berth to the strongest farm system in the NHL. Half of the Grand Rapids Griffins team is playing with the Wings. The emergence of the likes of Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have given Detroit a second wind. I certainly look forward to seeing what a healthy Detroit squad can do in 2015!
You can order a personalized Detroit Red Wings jersey! You choose the name and number you want, and Fanatics will produce it for you! Use your own name, or choose your favorite Wing. Perhaps a Nyquist jersey? 😀
Throw the Records Away
When the Stanley Cup playoffs begin, anything can happen. All of the regular season records are wiped away, and all teams begin the playoffs with new life…and that’s when the cream rises to the top. I’m a realist, so I’m not going to go so far as to predict that Detroit will capture The Cup, but stranger things have happened. Remember the “Year of the Rat”? The 1996 Florida Panthers made an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup finals, only to fall to Colorado in 4 games. With some old time playoff hockey, and a little luck, 2014 could be the year of the octopus!
What do you think?
Will the Red Wings clinch a 23rd consecutive playoff berth?
Can they make some noise and get through the first round?