By: Will Burchfield
Is this the year the Red Wings 25-year playoff streak finally comes to an end?
USA Today thinks so.
The newspaper released its point projections today for the upcoming NHL season, and the Wings were left out of the playoff picture.
Their projected record is 36-33-13, good for 85 points. In other words, USA Today believes the Red Wings will lose ten more games than they win. The New York Islanders are projected to claim the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 92 points.
Last season, Detroit (41-31-11) finished tied for third in the Atlantic Division with the Boston Bruins with 93 points. They won the tiebreaker and squeezed into the playoffs by virtue of owning one more non-shootout win.
USA Today believes the Wings are due for a rather steep regression this year, perhaps due in part to the loss of Pavel Datsyuk. The three-time All-Star and Detroit’s longtime assistant captain retired from the NHL after the 2015-16 season.
Earlier today, the team announced that Justin Abdelkader will take over the ‘A’ moving forward.