The Detroit Red Wings face tough schedule in NHL's final weeks

The Detroit Red Wings will have a very tough schedule to end the 2023-24 NHL season with their playoff hopes still alive.
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The Detroit Red Wings are in the final stretch of critical games that will determine their playoff fate. While there are fewer games, the points remaining could not get any bigger. Who do they face in the final weeks and how have they done against those opponents?

Detroit has had moments this season where they looked unstoppable and could generate offense at will. However, there have also been times when they looked like a team that would finish in the bottom of the league standings.

One of the biggest problems with the Red Wings has been consistency and playing a full 60 minutes. Although it will take a miracle, they need to play flawless hockey the rest of the way to put themselves in a position for a wild card spot.

The offensive capabilities of this team have grown since Dylan Larkin returned from a lower-body injury. The forwards have a full, healthy group going with everyone returning from the injured list.

The Detroit Red Wings have a very tough schedule ahead of them

The defense still has issues in the defensive zone but need to work on this before it is too late as they have been inconsistent all season.

If goaltender Alex Lyon can get back to the way he played earlier in the season, Detroit has a legitimate chance of sneaking into the playoffs. He did this last season with the Florida Panthers on their way to the Stanley Cup Final.

The road to a possible playoff appearance this season will not be an easy one. The remaining schedule is against six teams with four already in the playoffs or just outside.

The New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens are the final group of opponents for the Red Wings.

Away games will be Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Montreal with the rest being at home. Buffalo and Montreal are winnable games and the home game against Washington could be the most crucial game left on the schedule as they are close in the standings.

Detroit's chances of making the playoffs are slim based on their recent slide but they still have a chance to do so. A lot has to be cleaned up on their end and teams ahead of them have to lose.

With everyone healthy again, the roster is primed to prove people wrong and make the playoffs. The odds are truly against them as they have been for the better part of the second half of the season but they are still in the race.

Can they pull it out and earn a playoff spot? Or did the losing streak prove costly and they are just playing out the schedule? They have less than a month to figure it out or they will be home sooner than later.