The Detroit Red Wings have not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, and Michigan sports betting operators do not list them as favorites to reach the postseason now.
But perhaps they should.
The Red Wings lost their opener Oct. 12 at New Jersey but then won five in a row, their longest winning streak since February 2023. And they still got a point out of the game where that streak was snapped, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 24.
Detroit’s last game was a 4-3 overtime win over the Islanders in New York on Monday. The Red Wings have a plus-9 goal differential, third-best in the Eastern Conference, yet they’re slight +100 underdogs at Caesars Michigan Sportsbook for tonight’s home game (7 p.m. Eastern) against the Florida Panthers.
Detroit has 13 points through 10 games. The team is not quite lighting the league on fire but it’s a fine start. Going into Thursday the Wings are second in the Atlantic Division, four points behind the Boston Bruins. It’s too early to determine where they really stack up against perennial playoff teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs or Tampa Bay Lighting (each with 11 points through nine games) or the surprising Montreal Canadiens (12 points through nine games).
What Recent History Says About Wings
BetMichigan.com, which offers the best Michigan sportsbook promos, dug into what the Red Wings start means compared to the past several seasons. Specifically, we searched for teams that have had exactly 13 points through 10 games in the past seven seasons, even in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns which were shortened because of restrictions related to COVID-19.
We checked quanthockey.com, which has day-by-day standings dating to the 2016-17 season, to find each team that had the exact same start as the Red Wings do this year.
The results should be encouraging for fans and bettors in Hockeytown. Of the 15 teams that fit our criterion in the past seven seasons, 12 made the playoffs, or 80%. One of those teams, last season’s Dallas Stars, reached the conference final. Three teams reached the second round before being bounced from the playoffs, seven others went out in the first round and one went out in the qualifying round, which was a one-time only postseason stage in 2020.
DraftKings Michigan Sportsbook has Detroit with +125 odds to make the playoffs and -155 odds to miss, meaning that bettors who jump on now can make a profit if history holds true for this season’s Wings.
There’s more reason than just history to think that it could happen.
This Season’s Wings Primed For Jump
Second-year Wings head coach Derek Lalonde was an assistant coach under Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper when the Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021 and reached the final again in 2022. After that 2022 season, Lalonde was hired by the Red Wings for his first NHL head coaching job. He worked his way up through the ranks, as an assistant in college then a head coach in the USHL, ECHL and AHL.
Lalonde has Detroit, which has +7000 odds at FanDuel Michigan Sportsbook to win the Stanley Cup, off to their best start since 2014-15, when they collected 14 points through 10 games. That season, Detroit made the playoffs but lost in the first round to Tampa Bay.
And Detroit’s top players are all young. Captain Dylan Larkin, 27, leads the team with 15 points. It’s pretty early to extrapolate stats over a full season, but if he were to maintain that pace and play all 82 games, he’d have 123 points. That would be the most for a Red Wing since Hall of Famer (and current Wings general manager) Steve Yzerman had 137 in 1992-93.
Wing Alex DeBrincat has 13 points and leads the team with nine goals; he’s 26 years old. Defenseman Moritz Seider, just 22, has 10 points. No. 1 goaltender Ville Husso, 28, has a 3.28 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage while compiling a 4-2-1 record.
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