Abel to Yzerman
by Paul on 02/25/14 at 02:56 PM ET
Sean McIndoe of Grantland on the Wings' chances to make the playoffs...
The Red Wings limped into the Olympic break clinging to the East’s final playoff spot by a single point. Now they’ve lost captain Henrik Zetterberg to back surgery, likely for the rest of the regular season. Pavel Datsyuk is still banged up and will have to shake off Team Russia’s disastrous showing. And with almost half the roster having been in Sochi, the Wings are hardly well rested.
All of which points to Detroit fading from the playoff race. That would be major news, since the Red Wings haven’t missed the postseason since 1990, a stunning feat in a 30-team league. That 23-year stretch has included four Stanley Cups and established the Wings as the closest thing to a dynasty the league has seen in the Bettman era. But every streak ends eventually, and with an aging, beaten-up roster, this seems like the year it will happen.
Then again, we’ve been ready to write them off before, including just last year, when they didn’t clinch a spot until the season’s final weekend. That team went on to upset the 2-seed Ducks before pushing the eventual champion Blackhawks to overtime of Game 7. That should serve as a lesson in not counting them out. But from here, their odds don’t look promising.
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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: email@example.com