Red Wings grab 3 of 4 points in big week 27 and stay in the playoff race

Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Welcome to my 27th weekly regular season recap of the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings played only two games this week but went 1-0-1 and grabbed three of a possible four points as they stay in the playoff race.

Detroit started the week earning one point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers but rebounded with a massive 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


This week, the Red Wings proved they can play with the big boys of the Eastern Conference. Out of four possible points, they earned three against two of the better teams in the Conference and played like they will need to the next few weeks.

The schedule does not get easier and they will have to play every remaining game like they are in the playoffs, with minimal mistakes and grind-it-out hockey. The remaining games will be their playoffs and if they go into another slump their season is done.

The Red Wings showed that they have the potential to shut down some elite offensive teams this week against Florida and Tampa Bay as they allowed five goals over the two games this week. This is key as they are two of the premier teams in the league.

The Panthers and Lightning have tons of offensive talent and offensive firepower throughout the lineup and the Red Wings handled them quite well, despite their 1-0-1 record.

This is exactly the type of defense and goaltending the team needs to play down the stretch as they have missed this energy and focus in the past few weeks. Maybe this lights a spark under the whole team going into a critical part of the schedule.

Captain Dylan Larkin led the way offensively this week by racking up a goal and two assists for three points. Since coming back from a lower-body injury, Larkin has taken his game to a new level and has been a dominant force in all three zones.

He plays a calmer game despite the urgency for points, playing a controlled puck possession game, allowing space to open up in the offensive zone.

Regardless of who his linemates are, he is always in control of the situation, gets the puck to open teammates, and brings the offensive touch the team needs right now. His leadership and offensive skills are much needed during this final stretch.


The defensemen need to get rid of the puck quicker, plain and simple. Oftentimes, the defenseman hangs on to the puck behind the net too long and the opposing forwards quickly pressure the player with the puck, often leading to a turnover.

Other times, the defensemen hang on the puck too long while skating the puck out and do not have the time to push it to a teammate due to the length of time they hold the puck, making poor decisions with the puck or barely getting the puck out of the zone.

The playoffs are a different game so the Red Wings need to clear up this area sooner than later.

Forward Alex DeBrincat needs to figure out his offensive game if he wants this team to play in April. While he is tied for second place in team scoring, he is third in goals when the team expected him to be the leading goal scorer.

He has been streaky this season but when he scores goals he scores them in bunches. He has been primarily on the top line with Larkin and Patrick Kane so his totals should be a bit higher in goals.

He does have 40-goal potential so he is having a bit of an off year and could turn it around in the playoffs. However, if he does not find his game there will be no playoffs.

Detroit needs to take a slow approach to end the season. Over the past few weeks, the confidence is going away and the players are fighting it.

Detroit needs to go back to what made them successful early on, leading the league in goals scored. They have passed up golden opportunities because they are snake-bitten. They have passed up open nets, trying to slide the puck over to a teammate.

Passing up passing the puck to an open teammate on odd-man rushes because they have a "better look". This is what is costing them points, precious points, in the standings.

They are gripping their sticks too tight and overplaying the defensive zone, resulting in turnovers and opposing players being wide-open.

They are late in the season when these mistakes should long be corrected as these are preseason mistakes. Elite, playoff teams do not make these mistakes, a reason why Detroit may be on the outside looking in.

Weekly record: 1-0-1

Season record: 37-30-8, 82 points, 5th in the Atlantic Division.