from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
With 35 games remaining, here are five questions the Red Wings face the rest of the season:
Will they make a playoff push?
No. They are only one spot out of the final wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, but they won’t catch Boston. The Bruins are nine points ahead and have four games in hand. If that isn’t a big enough hurdle to overcome, there’s this: The Red Wings have the most difficult remaining schedule in the NHL, based on opponents’ records, according to tankathon.com. Twenty-one of their 35 games are against teams currently in a playoff position, including 15 combined vs. Florida, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Carolina, the Rangers and Pittsburgh. The eight playoff spots in the East have been set for a while, highly unusual with so much of the season to play.
How much impact will Jakub Vrana have?
Vrana will certainly boost the offense and, they hope, the power play. The winger acquired from Washington in last year’s trade-deadline deal for Anthony Mantha has a mid-February appointment to see the surgeon who performed his shoulder surgery and perhaps get a more precise timeline for his return. He has been practicing for a couple of weeks and was cleared to shoot. He might return later this month. He certainly will slot into the top six. If Tyler Bertuzzi returns to the top line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond, Vrana likely would join Pius Suter and Robby Fabbri on the second line.
from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.