A quick study of the NHL standings shows succinctly how things are beginning to slip away from the Detroit Red Wings. On Dec. 7, Detroit sat 10-8-3 and eighth overall in the East. The Wings were three points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and four in front of the Boston Bruins.
Since Dec. 7, the Red Wings are 5-8-3.
Just past the midway point of the season, 18-18-6 Detroit sits eight games behind the 24-13-2 Bruins for eighth, the final Eastern Conference Wild Card playoff position. The Bruins are holding three games in hand.
An optimist will be saying of the Wings’ playoffs chances, so there’s still a chance? A realist will look at the facts and note that while improvements are being made, now is not Detroit’s time.
Here’s five reasons why the Red Wings aren’t ready to be prime time players: