NHL: For the Red Wings, it’s Win Or Go Home

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Detroit Red Wings Sport News


  • Detroit enters the last two games of the regular season needing at least three points to have any shot at making the playoffs.
  • The Red Wings are one of four teams with a shot, joining the Capitals, Flyers and Penguins. Entering Monday, the Capitals have the tiebreaker.
  • Detroit closes the regular season with back-to-back games against Montreal

Four teams, one spot. The chase for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference has been riveting. 

Entering the final days of the regular season (it ends on Wednesday), the Detroit Red Wings find themselves just barely on the outside looking to advance to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. That was a long time ago. 

Hockey is booming at Michigan online sportsbooks. PointsBet has markets on every game, the Wings are favored over the Canadiens Monday night by 1.5 goals, and DraftKings has markets on each of the remaining contenders to make the playoffs. Maybe it’s a good omen. The Wings are +130. The Capitals are +195 and the Penguins are +400. 

Let’s Talk Road To Playoffs 

It all comes down this. The Red Wings need at least three points in their next two games with Montreal, so either two wins, or a win and an OT loss. If they lose any game in regulation, they’re done.

Then it comes down to what the Capitals do. Wings fans need the Capitals to earn one less point in their last two games than the Wings, because the Caps hold the tiebreaker. The good news is the Capitals play the mighty Bruins, who are still trying to win their division, and the Flyers who are another team in the playoff chase.

The Flyers only have that one game left, so their max points is 89. The Penguins have two games left and can get to 90, but the Wings hold the tiebreaker with them. There are other complicated scenarios with three-way ties, and in a way, we should root for the Islanders, but…Just win Wings.

The Old Spoiler Role 

The Red Wings are coming off a dramatic overtime win over Toronto Saturday. Dylan Larkin redirecting a Patrick Kane shot for the game winner. It was clutch. The Wings need every point - obviously - and blew a 4-1 lead.

Now it’s the Canadiens. The Wings and Canadiens are long, long rivals. The two teams have split meetings earlier this year. Detroit lost to Montreal 3-2 in OT in November, and beat Montreal 5-4 in OT a month later.

Montreal hovered around .500 for a while, but lost 13 of 16 games during late February and March to fall out of the race. Nick Suzuki leads them with 33 goals. Montreal is in a weird role of spoiler, but also without much incentive other than that.

Wings Keep Scoring 

The Red Wings main problem all season has been defense. The Wings are ninth in the NHL in goals per game at 3.33 but 22nd in goals allowed at 3.31. The Wings are an amazing over bet, at 44-35 this season over/under.

Wings top goalie Ville Husso got injured, came back, and got injured again. He went 9-5-2 this season but with a 3.55 goals against average. The Wings have been patching things with Alex Lyon and James Reimer in net. Lyon will likely get the games against Montreal.

Offensively, the Wings are fun to watch. Lucas Raymond, Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat each over 60 points. They signed legend Patrick Kane to bolster to offense and he has averaged just under a point a game.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.