The Detroit Red Wings carved out a 5-4 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, leaving them tied points-wise with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth playoff spot in the East as of tonight. The Red Wings fought back from a 2-0 deficit, showing that they’re not going to be an easy out even with injuries and other challenges serving as potential obstacles.
– Can Detroit hold off the handful of up-and-down East bubble teams and make it to the postseason? Considering the Red Wings’ injuries, would a healthy Detroit team be a potential playoff upset threat? (Obviously looking months ahead, mind you …)
– The Red Wings have now won just three of 10 shootouts and notched their eighth home win of the season. Despite those struggles, they’re in the mix.
– Inevitable question time: are the Red Wings better off with Jonas Gustavsson instead of Jimmy Howard, or is that more of a “small sample size” thing? What about the American Olympic team?
– The Red Wings are attempting to make the most of what could be a lucrative stretch of games scheduling-wise. They won two of three games in Detroit so far in a five-game homestand.
– Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are kicking off a challenging run after finishing up a home-heavy stretch. They play in Minnesota on Thursday, get one home game against Winnipeg and then the ‘Hawks finish off their pre-Olympic break schedule with six straight road contests. Then a huge chunk of their team flies to Sochi. Yikes.
– As evenly matched as this game was, Mike Babcock remarked to the Detroit Free Press before the contest that the Red Wings need to “hold up our end of the bargain,” to maintain the rivalry. How can the Red Wings return to their elite form of old?