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Wings need a win and a Caps loss to get back into wildcard position

April 11, 2024, 3:15 PM ET [13 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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With 4 games left Detroit and Pittsburgh sit outside of the playoffs both with 84 points. Washington has the final wild card spot with 85 points. A win for the caps could tie the team with the Isles if Patrick Roy’s squad doesn’t find a ‘W’ tonight. So Detroit and Pittsburgh face off, and either winner needs a little help to shift things around.

Detroit shot plenty of pucks at Washington’s next in their last contest, but found only 1 goal in the final 2 seconds and the Caps pulled away in their 2-1 win. Ovechkin is chasing history and got hot at the right time scoring 21 goals in his past 31 before that tilt. Pittsburgh (and the league) have a different reason for wanting to make it in.

With ownership changes in Ottawa and Pittsburgh, neither team had a great start to the season. In Pittsburgh, the team looked like they were loaded up for a run and the new owner was none to please just a few months ago. Things change,and they change quickly.

Detroit is playing for pride and a show of growth. If Washington or Pittsburgh ends up outside of the playoff picture, it’s going to be a completely different conversation than if Detroit ends up just outside. The Penguins, at some point, are going to lose the presence of Malkin and Crosby. The trading of Guentzel was a surprise as he seemed to be the incumbent to take the reins.

For Detroit, last summer saw almost half of the roster changed. If correctly done, moving out 8-9 players again (whether to make room for rookies, free agents or trades) would not necessarily be unwelcome, playoffs or no. Top 4 right side D, top 6 center. Those have to be on the Christmas in July list.

No guesses. Detroit needs to come out as fast paced as they did against Washington but need to beat the opposing goalie early. Stupid penalties should be met with more than just the time in the bin. This is the time of year stupidity can and should cost you minutes.

Both teams want and need this win, so the tensions will be high. Trying not to retaliate in that environment is immensely difficult but much needed. Let me know your thoughts as only 4 games remain in the season.
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