After the shoot out loss to Vancouver on Saturday night. The Detroit Red Wings are only 9th in the Western Conference standings but still in the NHL playoff hunt. They go into tonight’ s game down three points to the Columbus Blue Jackets who won on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. The Blue Jackets have two games in hand on the Wings so our Hockeytown Heros have a chance to make up some ground with a win tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes.
It seems like with every post I write about the Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff hunt I have to use the phrase “must win”. Unfortunately that old cliche applies here and especially now that the season is winding down. Right now the Wings control their own destiny but they need to get at least a point tonight to stay in control. With four games left the Winged Wheelers can earn a maximum of 8 points. The Blue Jackets can only earn 4. So long story short, if the Babcock and company win the reamining games they will make the play-offs.
There is another factor that works in the Red Wings favor. The Blue Jackets play the Dallas stars in Dallas on April 25th. This is a must win game for both teams if they want to stay in playoff race. If the Stars win that will set-up a showdown with Detroit in Dallas with the eighth Western Conference playoff spot at stake. If the Blue Jackets win that will most likely eliminate Dallas from Playoff contention.
Of course, all of this depends on the Detroit Red Wings running the table and their schedule is no walk in the park. The Wings face Phoenix, Los Angeles and Nashville at home and finish the season in Dallas. They will have to win at least three of these last four games to keep their 21 year playoff streak alive. Even though having a successful NHL playoff run means defeating the mighty Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, the Wings just want to get into the playoffs. After that anything can happen.