By Chris Zadorozny
The Detroit Red Wings started the most important week of the season on Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. For the first time in 22 years, the Red Wings might not make the playoffs, but don’t tell that to them after, especially after their dominating 4-0 win over the Coyotes on Monday night.
The Red Wings broke out of their funk on Monday, after only winning three of their previous nine games in April, and not having scored at least four goals since Friday, March 22, against the Anaheim Ducks.
Of the four goals scored on Monday, three were on the power play, and the only even strength goal came on an empty-netter.
Detroit has two games in hand over the Columbus Blue Jackets and one over the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild.
In a perfect world for the Red Wings, they can get as high as fourth place, but it’s unlikely. They need to win their final three games, against the Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, and Dallas Stars.
Both the Predators and Stars are fighting for their playoff lives right now along with the Red Wings.
Damien Brunner and Valterri Filppula both broke out of their scoring slumps against the Coyotes on Monday, and things are only looking up as they control their own destiny.
Todd Bertuzzi could return as early as Wednesday or Thursday, and if they win the rest of their games, they’re in the playoffs. It would be a huge accomplishment considering the young team, without the veteran presence of Nicklas Lidstrom on the blue line.
The Red Wings have the ability and talent to get into the playoffs, they just have to perform with outstanding defense and goaltending, but most importantly, they have to score.
As we saw last year, any team in any seed can win. Ask the Los Angeles Kings, who upset the Canucks in the first round as an eight seed and went on to win the Stanley Cup.
If the Red Wings make the playoffs, don’t be surprised if they make some noise. But first, they have to focus on the task at hand, and that’s actually getting in.
To read the original post that appeared online on Sports Radio Detroit, on April 24, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com.