Red Wings still in wild card race earn 3 of 8 points in week 28

Mar 19, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Lucas Raymond celebrates the Red Wings win over the Columbus
Mar 19, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Lucas Raymond celebrates the Red Wings win over the Columbus / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to my 28th regular season weekly recap of the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings, desperately needing points, played four games this week and posted a 1-2-1 record, picking up three out of a possible eight points. They began the week with a 4-3 loss against the New York Rangers, won 3-1 against the Buffalo Sabres, lost a close 2-1 game against the Washington capitals, then closed out the week with a tough 6-5 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Red Wings remain close in tight wild card race


Detroit forward Lucas Raymond has been playing elite hockey over the past two months. He has taken this team and put them in a nice situation, despite the wins and losses. He has been the offense for the Red Wings for months now and can only do so much. This week, he had four goals and two assists for six points in four games. In his last five games, he has five goals and three assists for eight points, bringing his season totals to 29 goals and 39 assists for 68 points. He has done everything expected of him this season and more as he has elevated his overall game and is the top threat offensively, aside from captain Dylan Larkin. Raymond has been Detroit's best forward this season as his consistency is showing in the offensive zone.

While they are not picking up the two points every game they need, the Red Wings are keeping things close. They are not getting blown out, they are losing by one or two goals. This week, they were outscored by a total of 13-12 showing they still have some fight left and they are taking that fight down to the wire. If they do not occupy a wild card spot they are showing tremendous growth as they did not have this same fight last season in close games. This is still a team without an elite player but they have several key players that are doing their part in a critical time of the season.

Although they did have a 1-2-1 record this week, they are still firmly in this race. With a record of 38-32-9 for 85 points, Detroit is one point behind the leader for the second wild card, Pittsburgh Penguins. Both teams have three games remaining and the Red Wings still have hope and they have not been eliminated yet. It is a tall ask but they could finish the season with three straight wins and be right back in the race. Although, three striaght wins would be nice in this race to close the season, they still have to rely on the teams above them losing or gaining only a single point. This one is coming down to the wire and the Red Wings are hoping to make the most of it.


Detroit failed to gain any ground in the second wild card. This was a tough week, but a week they could have grabbed six of a possible eight points. The Red Wings are 3-4-3 in their last 10, which has not helped them either. The players may be thinking too much about the two points instead of playing disciplined hockey. This is a team game that may have gotten away from them in the process of concentrating too much on the offensive end. Goaltender Alex Lyon has to be better between the pipes and the defense, playing better, still has to tighten things up in their end.

The remaining schedule for the Penguins includes the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators in Pittsburgh then they close out the season on the road against the New York Islanders. Not exactly an easy schedule with all three either in the playoffs or just out of it. The remaining schedule for the Red Wings includes the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday, then a home and away series against the Montreal Canadians to close out the season. Detroit is 1-1 vs Toronto and 1-0-1 vs Montreal this season so this 3-0 streak to close it out is certainly obtainable.

The depth scoring needs to be huge the rest of the way. without Andrew Copp (broken cheek bone) and Michael Rasmussen out of the lineup, the bottom-six will need to be important. Joe Veleno, Christian Fischer, J.T. Compher, and Daniel Sprong need to come up with offense and defensive play to save the season for the Red Wings. They have all contributed this season in one way or another but now is the time to step up. Compher, Veleno, and Sprong are all capable of supplying offense, while Fischer has been solid all season and can play a two-way game. These players need to be four of the most important players this week or Detroit will see another opportunity for the playoffs go out the window.

Weekly record: 1-2-1

Season record: 38-32-9, 85 points, 5th in Atlantic Division