For a quarter century, Hockeytown was the place to play. The Detroit Red Wings qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs every season between 1990-91 and 2015-16. The Wings won four Stanley Cups. They played in six Cup final series and eight conferences final series over that span of time. Quite simply, Detroit was the NHL’s model franchise, the team all other teams aspired to be just like.
But all good things must come to an end, and that included Detroit’s playoff run. The Wings missed the playoffs in 2016-17 and have been postseason outsiders in each of the two seasons since, the first time they’ve missed the playoffs for a stretch of that length since a five-year absence from 1978-79 through 1982-83.
The old guard that carried the Wings to greatness through the latter part of the first decade of the millennium is all but gone. Multiple Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired in 2012, slick center Pavel Datsyuk returned to Russia in 2016 and chronic back issues forced captain Henrik Zetterberg to step away from the game in 2018.
A new wave of young talent is seeking to lead Detroit back to prominence, led by center Dylan Larkin. Forwards Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou are also part of this core, while more recent top draft picks such as forwards Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen and defensemen Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski seek to establish themselves as NHL regulars.
Long-term Detroit fans have endured such a rebuild before, and can only hope that this one doesn’t take nearly as long to come to fruition. From 1966-67 to 1982-83, a period in Detroit known as the Dead Wings Era, The Red Wings played in the postseason just twice and won only one postseason series.
Betting on the Wings can be a challenge. They are equally bad at home and away and are prone to blowing late leads. Curiously, they are a better under team at home and a wiser over bet on the road.
For a unique method to wager on Wings games, check out the Betfair Exchange. Operated by the Betfair sportsbook, rather than betting with the sportsbook, you are placing competing wagers against another bettor.