It still seems highly unlikely that the Detroit Red Wings wind up in the postseason after the end of the 2021-22 regular season, but there’s a shot for them to pull it off. As Jim Carey said in Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Indeed there is. The Detroit Red Wings might just be able to weasel their way into a wildcard berth and shock many. The chance is undoubtedly low, even if it may not entirely seem that way now. With the top three teams in each division being automatic bids for the playoffs, it leaves two more spots open.
Those two wildcard positions are where the Red Wings are likely going to find themselves if they do happen to luck into a playoff berth. It’s one of those things that does not seem like it’s going to happen, but it also would not shock me if it did.
Given that the Red Wings are clinging to fourth or fifth in the division, it’s hard to think they’re going to climb up above the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs of the Atlantic. Assuming they will be fighting for a wildcard spot seems like the more likely option.
The Detroit Red Wings may wind up with a playoff berth in 2021-22.
After a 26-year streak of making the playoffs ended following the Red Wings’ first-round exit in 2015-16, they have not been back to the postseason. However, after six years of a treacherous rebuild, they may just find their way back.
To pull this off, it’s going to take a few things to happen for the Red Wings. The team’s goaltending tandem is going to have to get hot at the right time. While Alex Nedeljkovic looks like a stud and Thomas Greiss has proven to be capable, they have not been perfect.
On top of that, they need to finish the second half of December strong to head into the 2022 calendar year in a good spot. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played, and two months from now, the Red Wings could be in the bottom of the Atlantic Division.
At the time of writing, the Red Wings are 13-12-3 with 29 points on the season. They’ve got 54 games left to go; it’s going to be a long road ahead of them, but saying the Red Wings could sneak into the postseason in a wildcard spot does not sound as crazy as it did if someone suggested this back in July before training camp started up.
It feels a bit like a pipe dream, or simply one that is just a smidge too far from the Red Wings reach. But, with 54 games left on the season, if things keep clicking for this team, some luck might just come into play.
If not, even then, the Red Wings are proving that they can compete. General Manager Steve Yzerman has done a great job building a competitor and a team that is going to be a perennial powerhouse once again as things keep falling into place.