Wings vs Lighting VII - back to back against the defending champs
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Detroit so far - 17-26-9
4 games remaining
My prediction from January - 19 wins
Current place - 25th
First round pick without lottery win - between 7 and 9 *Seattle will have a pick, possibly in the top 3. This could push Detroit back one more spot
Detroit only managed 17 shots
on net against Carolina and lost 3-1. It was the 14th time in 15 games that Detroit had fewer than 30 shots on net. With only 4 games left in the season and having Larkin, Bertuzzi, Fabbri and Ryan out (Erne was out last game as well) there’s only so much this team can do. Playing Tampa Bay twice in 2 days isn’t likely to help the team improve.
There is a lot to look forward to going into next season. Having a healthy Tyler Bertuzzi makes a huge difference. Dylan Larkin is still the guy that stirs the drink for this team. Getting Seider and possibly Raymond could bring some more punch and stability. Seider’s physicality was a constant on the Swedish highlight reels. I honestly wouldn’t mind getting Merrill back for a season as well. Right now, Hronek is the best defender, and Staal is making better plays than the lot of them. That’s not a great sign. Cholowski is getting a chance (and skating better game by game) but the defense is a tough watch right now.
More than anything I wonder who the third player on the Larkin/Bertuzzi line will be. It certainly could be Zadina or Vrana. Although, I like those two skating together when possible. They need a more solid center. Things are still wide open. Veleno can skate, he’s having a little trouble making plays right now. Rasmussen has solidified himself into a bottom 6 center. Svechnikov is skating and making plays. Could he be getting a shot on Larkin’s wing next year? The pieces are starting to trickle in.
Tampa Bay has yielded 2 wins to Detroit in the series this year. With. Just 3 points separating Carolina, Florida and Tampa, I doubt they want to yield any more. This is time for playoff teams to fine tune for the post season. I expect a rough couple of contests. It would be nice to see the power play click, and Veleno get in the goal column. The goalies have more than done their part, and have probably been the biggest on ice improvement for Detroit. They may well see more rubber than Belle Tire during construction season this weekend.
What do you want to see in these two games? I expect that the final two against Columbus will be a bit easier to watch for the most part. The countdown to draft position is in full swing now. In just one week Detroit will close out the season and prepare for another significant shift in the roster.
Check out my previous blogs:
Detroit vs Carolina Post game
Detroit vs Carolina pre game
Detroit vs Columbus post game
Detroit vs Columbus pre game - Veleno debut
Shifting tides - Detroit’s stock on the rise