by PuckStopsHere on 03/19/09 at 03:46 AM ET
When I look at some of the Abel to Yzerman posts on this board sometimes we see some incredible worry and fear about the progress of the Red Wings. What is interesting is the disconnect between those feelings and reality.
Since the beginning of February, the Detroit Red Wings have the most points in the league. They have a 16-6 record (with two losses counted as regulation ties) to give them 34 points. No other team has more than 31 points in that time frame. I would use that as a strong argument that the Red Wings are in a very solid position for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Sure there are question marks. Some of the losses in this period have been big losses. It is unclear if the Red Wings have playoff quality goaltending, given how poorly Chris Osgood has played this season (his .884 saves percentage is second worst in the league) and how unproven Ty Conklin is in the playoffs (he has faced three shots in his career and one was a very bad goal). Nevertheless, the Detroit Red Wings are in as good shape as any team for the playoff run.
In this stretch since February started, Pavel Datsyuk leads the NHL in scoring with 29 points, so Detroit’s success comes from a logical place.
There is no way to guarantee a given team wins the Stanley Cup. Several teams are legitimate contenders in any given season. The team that plays the best down the stretch has to be considered a very good contender. This season, that team has been the Detroit Red Wings. They have done well in the standings in the past month and a half. They have moved into first overall in the league. If I was a diehard fan of that team I would be optimistic.
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