The Detroit Red Wings are coming into the second half of their 2023-24 schedule with high hopes. The schedule is relatively good for them to acquire some points.
The remaining games include 10 crucial games against the Atlantic Division, where they are one point behind the wild card leader in the Toronto Maple Leafs. To say these remaining games are huge is an understatement.
Currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, Detroit needs to find a way to make up ground from their earlier slump.
The Red Wings need to start taking two points from the teams above them in the Atlantic Division and not let the opposition gain a single point.
The Detroit Red Wings have a big second half coming up after the break
A single point could be the difference between a division spot, a wild card, or being at home at playoff time. Injuries have cost them a few points with players like captain Dylan Larkin and Ville Husso spending time on the injured list.
Husso could be a huge addition if he comes back and plays like he did in the early part of last season. His return could be the move that pushes Detroit above Toronto into a division spot. His return could also be huge in the fact that may make backup James Reimer expendable during the trade deadline.
Detroit does have one thing going for them entering the crucial second half. They have a record of 16-7-0-4 against the teams remaining on their schedule, including 18 road games and 15 home games. The Red Wings are 14-8-4 at home and 12-10-1 on the road.
The 10 games remaining against the Atlantic Division will be incredible. They have two games against the Florida Panthers, three games against the Buffalo Sabres, one game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, one game in at the Toronto Maple Leafs, and two games against the Montreal Canadians.
These are 20 massive points on the line and if Detroit does not get half or more then they could very well be at home during the start of the playoffs.
Several questions remain during this stretch of games. Will Alex Debrincat continue his scoring touch? Will Patrick Kane return and bring a fire to the offensive-loaded team? What will the goaltending duo look like?
The Detroit Red Wings do not need to be an elite team but they do have to play above what they did in the first half if they want to hang on.