NHL: Losing Streak has Red Wings Playoff Hopes in Trouble

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Detroit Red Wings Sport News


  • Detroit has lost five games in a row entering Tuesday night’s game in Buffalo and now trails the New York Islanders for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Red Wings have been outscored 25-8 in their last five games and been shut out twice.
  • 10 of the Red Wings last 18 regular season games are on the road, but they do face the Islanders at Little Caesars Arena March 21.

Everything was going so well for the Red Wings, until suddenly they weren’t.

Powered by one of the best offenses in the NHL, the Wings looked like they were about to end an eight-year playoff drought, but after a long losing streak, are now on the outside looking in.

Detroit and the New York Islanders are tied with 72 points for the last playoff spot, but the Isles have the tiebreaker for the moment having played one fewer game than the Wings.

Michigan sportsbooks know all about win streaks and losing streaks. FanDuel and Caesars will have markets on each Red Wings regular season game, and odds on the NHL’s post-season awards and who will win the Stanley Cup.

What Happened to The Red Wings? 

Approximately 10 days ago, the Red Wings had flown to the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, slightly ahead of Tampa Bay and owned a big cushion on Washington and the Islanders.

That’s all gone.

The Islanders have won six games in a row for new coach Patrick Roy (Red Wings fans know him well) just as the Wings have fallen off. Red Wings leading scorer Dylan Larkin is out for another week with an injury and the Wings still don’t have top goalie Ville Husso, and no one is saying when Husso will be back.

The offense has sagged without Larkin. Superstar Patrick Kane is still good, but he’s -5 plus/minus as a Red Wing.

The Road Ahead 

The Red Wings regular season ends April 16 after back-to-back games against the Montreal Canadiens. That could be good for the Wings, as the Canadiens are not in the playoff picture, while the Wings may need every point they can get. 

Detroit welcomes the Islanders to Little Caesars Arena on March 21, in a game that is suddenly very important as it represents a possible four-point swing. Detroit also play the Capitals twice. Tampa Bay is currently the top wild card team with 74 points, two points up on the Red Wings and Isles, while Washington has 69 points. Basically, it’s four teams for two spots. 

What Do the Oddsmakers Say? 

No one felt like the Red Wings were Stanley Cup contenders this winter, but making the playoffs would show real growth for the franchise under Derek Lalonde.

FanDuel has the Wings -162 to make the playoffs, with the Islanders at -174. The Florida Panthers are the favorite at FanDuel to win the Stanley Cup at +650, followed by Colorado and Edmonton.

Caesars breaks it down differently, with a yes/no question on the Wings to make the playoffs. Yes is -160 and No is +130. The Islanders are now -205 to make the playoffs. Caesars has the Oilers as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup at +650, followed by the Panthers and Avalanche. Detroit is +6500.

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.