All streaks eventually come to an end and this one could well be filled with melancholy. The Detroit Red Wings run of Stanley Cup playoff appearances is in serious jeopardy this season.
For most of you reading this that have been churning through the NHL odds from October to early June yearly, the last time Detroit was not in the playoffs was when a then 44-year old muscle man named Arnold Schwarzenegger, was starring in – Terminator 2, Judgment Day. This is correct, it has been 25 years since the Red Wings missed the playoffs. (Tied for third-longest streak)
Presently, they are tied for last in the Eastern Conference and would have surpass every other team to have a chance to extend streak. Can Detroit still rise up and make it 26 years in a row, of course they can, but according to Hockey-Reference.com’s playoff simulator, they have just a seven percent chance of doing so. (As of Feb. 10th)
What has made the Red Wings a ‘play against’ club for NHL picks? Without going into extreme detail, after years of having several of the top players on one team in any given season, Detroit simply no longer does. The skill of the front office is not the same and ability to bring in what became known as the “Russian Five”, altered the fortunes of the franchise.
Though Detroit has managed to stay at a high level even after several key players departed, the replacements in the past five years have not been close to as talented. The previous teams had a particular skill that made them unique, which in part became an analytical stat that carries a great deal of weight called the – Corsi Percentage. Without boring you with the details, which you can look up if you choose, the main part was puck possession and shots on goal, which Detroit dominated for years.
The Red Wings have slowly been drifting downward in this category and are lowly 26th in shots on goal this season and 18th in shots allowed.
Hopefully for Detroit fans the franchise does not return to the “Dead Wings” era (1967-82), however, backing this Red Wings squad the rest of the year would appear costly.
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com