You may have a deep-seeded hope that the Detroit Red Wings could put on a second-half charge to make the NHL playoffs. But the math is not on your side.
The biggest obstacle for the Red Wings is that Boston Bruins, currently holding the last Atlantic playoff position, own a .625 points percentage after 44 games. They have also played three fewer games than the Red Wings. Meanwhile, the Red Wings points percentage is at .489.
If the Bruins continue at that .625 pace for their next 38 games, they would finish with 103 points. For the Detroit Red Wings to register 104 points, they would have to earn 58 points in their last 35 games. They would require a record of 28-5-2. That’s an .828 points percentage. The Colorado Avalanche (32-8-4) currently own the NHL’s best percentage at .773. Only six NHL teams are above .700 .
The Bruins are a quality team. But what if they don’t go as well for the Bruins in the second half. For example, Brad Marchand faces the possibility of being suspended after he received a match penalty for attacking Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry. Maybe the Bruins only play .500 hockey over their last 38 games. Under that scenario, the Bruins finish with 93 points. To get to 94 points, the Red Wings would have to earn 48 points in their final 35 games. That would require a record of 22-9-4. That’s a .686 winning percentage. But it should be noted that the Bruins haven’t had a below .500 season in 14 years
The Eastern Conference standings seem set. Some other team could falter in the East. In terms of points, the team above the Bruins, in the first wild card position, is the Washington Capitals. They have a 13-point lead over the Red Wings, but they have played one more game. They own a .615 points percentage. If the Capitals only play .500 hockey the rest of the way, they would also end up with 93 points. Again, the Red Wings would need to post a 22-9-4 record (48 points, .686 winning percentage ) in the last 35 games to beat out the Capitals for a playoff spot.