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The Daily: Red Wings Day-to-Day in Playoff Hunt; Sabres Keeping Middelstadt?



Patrick Kane, Red Wings

There is nothing more temporary than a permanent place in an NHL playoff race. The Detroit Red Wings were reminded of that fact by an 8-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

It was just one loss, but now the New Jersey Devils are only two points behind the Red Wings. The Tampa Bay Lightning have now moved three points ahead of Detroit for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings’ objective is to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, but their most optimistic goal would be to land in the top three in their division.

This is a team that is 10-3-2 in 2024. But qualifying for the playoffs is difficult.

But’s it’s clear the players believe that’s a realistic goal. If you segment the Red Wings, this is a key four-game road trip. How many points do they need to hold ground? Probably four, maybe five.

How many points to continue their surge? At least five, maybe six.

That’s how tight the Eastern Conference race is. The New York Islanders, with Patrick Roy behind the bench, are only three points behind Detroit.


Red Wings In Case You Missed It

  • Ville Husso‘s comeback didn’t last a full period. He was playing his first NHL game in eight weeks, but had to leave 8:48 into the game when he was hurt on a goal by Leon Draisaitl.
  • Defenseman Jack Phalen, a 2023 Red Wings draft pick, suffered a lower body injury over the weekend and will be sidelined for an undetermined number of games. He’s playing for Sioux Falls in the United States Hockey League.
  • Robby Fabbri stepped away from the Red Wings for personal reasons. His absence is expected to be short.

Red Wings Next Game

The Detroit squad will be in Vancouver Thursday for a 10 p.m. ET meeting with the Canucks. The Red Wings just downed the Canucks 4-3 Saturday at Little Caesars Arena. The Red Wings are expecting Robby Fabbri to be playing again after taking time away from the team for personal reasons.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: The assistant general managers of the Calgary Flames (Dave Nonis) and Columbus Blue Jackets (Basil McRae) were both scouting the Tampa Bay-Boston game. The Flames may be moving defensemen Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin, while the Blue Jackets have a few player to move.

Buffalo: Sabres say they are not shopping Casey Mittelstadt. That doesn’t mean that rival teams aren’t making pitches for him. Mittelstadt will be a restricted free agent this summer. Buffalo Sabres.

New Jersey: Here’s the story of how the Jacob Markstrom-to-New Jersey trade didn’t happen. New Jersey Devils. 

Pittsburgh: Evgeni Malkin gets honest about his performance level at age 37. Pittsburgh Penguins. 

San Jose: Prospect Will Smith’s agent told SHN that he has “zero issues” with San Jose Sharks. He will talk about Smith’s future at the end of the college season. San Jose Sharks.