If the playoffs began today the Detroit Red Wings would be playing golf instead of playoff hockey. How times have changed. The Wings, as my readers well know, went to the Stanley Cup Finals last year (for the second year in a row) and lost in seven games to the Penguins. In 2008 the Wings won their most recent Stanley Cup. Now they would not get in if the playoffs started today...crazy.
Free agency really hammered the Wings in the offseason with a lot of talent in the 2008 and 2009 teams not being resigned due to salary cap issues. Goaltending has also been a problem. Injuries have been a BIG problem throughout the season. Another issue is that the Chicago Blackhawks have really developed in a caliber hockey team and the Wings have to play the Blackhawks a lot due to being division rivals. So a lot of things are going on that impact where the Wings now find themselves.
However, all is not lost. The Wing are hanging on in the ninth spot in the Western Conference rankings (the top eight make the playoffs) so they need to win as many games as possible and hope that the Calgary Flames lose a couple themselves. The 4 - 2 loss to the Flames on March 9 was not what the Wings needed to do. There is still a lot of time left in the regular season to right the ship and slip into the playoffs in the eighth seed...and a dangerous eighth seed the Wings could be!
The last time the Red Wings didn't make the playoffs: the '89-'90 season when the Hat Trick was a senior in high school. That makes you think how good Wings fans have had it all these years.