The Detroit Red Wings put themselves in a prime position to clinch a playoff spot by beating the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday.
It’s not a sure thing yet, however. The Red Wings’ spot would be guaranteed tonight if the Dallas Stars beat the Columbus Blue Jackets (even in a shootout).
Detroit might want to keep the Stars from finding out what this win did to their chances, then. The Stars cannot leap over Detroit (54 points) or the Minnesota Wild (53 points), so they’ve been mathematically eliminated.
Teams that suddenly have “nothing but pride” to play for have been doing pretty well in the last couple days. Most prominently, the Phoenix Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Wednesday even though their postseason hopes officially faded.
Either way, the Red Wings (cliche alert) control their destiny. Even if the Blue Jackets win out, Detroit only needs one point against the Dallas Stars on Saturday to guarantee a spot.
In other words, the Red Wings’ can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet, but this was clearly a significant win.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.