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Detroit so far - 18-27-9
2 games remaining
My prediction from January - 19 wins
Current place - 24th
First round pick without lottery win - between 8 and 10 *Seattle will have a pick, possibly in the top 3. This could push Detroit back one more spot
Filip Zadina’s goal was only the second goal that Detroit has scored in the past 4 games. 2 shutouts, a Vrana tally in a 3-1 loss, and today’s 2-1 loss. It’s also the 15th time in 16 games that Detroit had fewer than 30 shots. Bernier stopped 40 of 42 for a .952 sv%, but the run support just wasn’t there. The goalies have to be perfect at this point to keep the Red Wings in these games.
Zadina’s give and go one timer was a nice reward for the forward who has spent the entire season working hard on the defensive side of things. He’s figured out how to get his shot off much more quickly, and next season will probably show a decent boost in production. The team is basically a couple players who can play top 6 with a smattering of 3rd line, 4th line AHL players at forward. Defense is pretty much a top 3 d man with 3rd pairing spread over the three lines. For a team that is rebuilding, losing Larkin, Fabbri, Bertuzzi and even Ryan is a significant step backward.
Detroit’s final two games come after a much needed 4 day break. The Wings will close out the season against Columbus in back to back contests. The two teams are sharing the basement in the Central (and the league for that matter). To Detroit’s credit, they’ve worked their way up 7 spots (at this point) from where they finished up last year. Columbus, on the other hand, didn’t expect to be at the bottom of the heap. It’s been a tumultuous season that saw their top prospect at center, their captain, and one of their best defensive Dmen traded. CBJ sits at another crossroads. If Seth Jones won’t commit to signing, the “reload” could quickly become the rebuild. Werenski changed agents today, getting away from Brisson and moving to Bobby Orr’s agency. Brisson is still representing Seth Jones at this point, and it’s worth wondering if PB was trying to work something on behalf of both players at once. Players usually change agents if negotiations aren’t going well, if there’s a disagreement on market value, or if the new agency will take less in the way of fees (See Mitch Marner).
These final two games are for pride. Detroit knows, roughly, what they will look like this fall. Columbus could be on the verge of moving players for picks along with a coaching change. Internal budgeting is going to be a factor as CBJ has been hit hard with the lack of incoming revenue. The guys will all want a solid finish, and the two teams are fairly equally matched at this point. The final 2 games of the shortened season could be a lot of fun to watch.
Check out my previous blogs:
Wings vs Lightning Pregame
Detroit vs Carolina Post game
Detroit vs Carolina pre game
Detroit vs Columbus post game
Detroit vs Columbus pre game - Veleno debut