The Detroit Red Wings have had an injury-plagued start to the season, but that is not slowing down the Original Six squad.
In fact, the team might offer good Michigan sports betting value for one particular prop.
The franchise lost two cornerstone players, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana, to the injured reserve earlier this month. That led many insiders and oddsmakers to leave the Red Wings for dead, at least when it comes to their playoff outlook.
Red Wings Odds to Make NHL Playoffs
Oddsmakers at DraftKings Michigan Sportsbook, for instance, currently list Detroit at +550 to make it into the playoff field for the first time since 2016.
The Red Wings are listed behind two teams that they’re ahead of in the Eastern Conference standings, the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers, who are listed at +450 and -140, respectively.
Despite that, and the fact that Detroit’s six-year drought without a playoff bid is the franchise’s longest since the 1970s, the Red Wings enter Friday’s showdown against the Ottawa Senators a mere three points out of a playoff spot.
Detroit (14-11-7, 35 points) went into Thursday trailing the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals (who have 38 points apiece).
And the Red Wings, who defeated Tampa Bay 7-4 on Wednesday, have gotten into contention without two players who have combined to average just under 9 point shares over their past three seasons.
Bertuzzi (injured hand) has played nine of Detroit’s 32 games this season. Vrana (personal) has played just two games this season and has been out since October. Both are projected to return in January.
Eastern Conference Standings With Odds To Make Or Miss Playoffs
Are Red Wings a Good Bet to Make NHL Playoffs in 2023?
The Red Wings’ ability to stay afloat after losing Bertuzzi and Vrana speaks to their youthful roster that’s chock full of talent.
Center Dylan Larkin, who led the team in scoring last season, is doing so again in 2022-23 with 31 points (12 goals and 19 assists), while posting a +7 plus/minus rating this year.
Wings David Perron and Dominik Kubalik have been stellar as well for coach Derek Lalonde’s squad this season, with 26 points apiece.
Filip Hronek has anchored Detroit’s blue line this year, posting a team-high +15 rating, while fellow defenseman Jake Walman is at +14 in just 16 games. And Moritz Seider is +3000 to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman at Caesars Michigan Sportsbook; he is the Red Wing listed with the best odds to win an individual honor.
Perhaps the biggest boost to Detroit’s postseason ambitions has been the performance between the pipes by 27-year-old goalie Ville Husso — who is 12-6-5 this year with a .912 save percentage.
Husso ranks in a tie for first in the NHL with three shutouts this season and is on pace for his best year-end win total.
It’s safe to say that Detroit’s acquisition of the former St. Louis Blues goalie has paid dividends already, giving the Red Wings – and their backers on Michigan sportsbook apps – the hope that their seven-season playoff drought may be coming to an end in the new year.
What Getting Bertuzzi and Vrana Back Adds for Detroit
Having Bertuzzi and Vrana back in full health is paramount to Detroit’s newfound optimism, as their point shares alone are enough to make up the ground needed to qualify for the postseason.
Bertuzzi has been a top-notch wing for Detroit since entering the league in 2016, notching 192 points and anchoring the Red Wings’ offense.
The Ontario native had 6.4 point shares in 2021-22 and Vrana had 2.2 last season.
If you add those two together for even half a season each starting from mid January onward, you get about four point shares. And that’s how many points Detroit needs to make up to pass the Islanders and Capitals in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.
As we enter the new year, it appears that Red Wings fans have reason to believe that a playoff berth might be on the horizon, especially as two prodigal sons return to the Motor City in the coming weeks. If bettors believe it too, the Red Wings playoff prop could be good value, as are the Michigan sportsbook promos at BetMichigan.com.