2017-18 Detroit Red Wings Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
The most certain thing in sports for the last quarter century has been the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs. Before last year they had made it in 25 consecutive seasons. That's a truly remarkable feat when you consider how competitive the league is and that they managed to reload through a couple sets of superstar players in that time. They were the model of consistency. They also had some incredible coaching, as Scotty Bowman, the greatest coach in league history, won three Cups with them, and less than three years later Mike Babcock took over and won another Cup himself.
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Now, though, things have changed. Babcock moved on to Toronto, the team missed the playoffs last year, and a franchise that seemed like they would never look mortal suddenly feels like a big mess. They aren't handling the salary cap well, have deficiencies across the ice, and just don't feel like they will be even remotely competitive this year. It's sad. At least they will have a shiny new building to struggle in, though, as they have departed Joe Louis Arena for the very fancy new Little Caesars Arena. Kid Rock is opening the venue with a six-day run in mid-September. That has nothing to do with this preview, of course. I just find it bizarre and incredible that 130,000 people want to see Kid Rock in 2017.
Detroit Red Wings Offseason Moves
This was not only the most boring offseason had by any team this year but quite possibly the most boring offseason any team has had in any sport ever. They tied up Tomas Tatar for four years and $21.2 million, which was a fair deal and a no-brainer. And they overpaid defenseman Trevor Daley to leave Pittsburgh after winning two straight Cups there. Daley is fine, and he'll play top four minutes, but if he was any kind of real difference maker then Pittsburgh would have kept him.
What stands out most, though, is the deal that hasn't been made. Andreas
Athanasiou is coming off an 18-goal rookie season and has real upside, but
he and the team are far apart in contract talks - in part because Detroit
has brutally mismanaged their cap and has little to spend - and the player
is openly flirting with playing in the KHL. If he is not signed then it
will be a serious blow to a team that already doesn't have a surplus of
offense. The team has some nice young talent on the farm - they just won
their second AHL title since 2013 - but having a proven guy like Athanasiou
would be preferable to again hoping a youngster can break out.
Detroit Red Wings NHL Outlook
To win in the NHL isn't too tough in theory. You need to be able to score more than your opponent on a regular basis. Easier said than done for Detroit, though. Their goaltending was horrible for much of last year, yet they are going into this season with the same duo, hoping that things will turn out differently. Does that ever work out? They were defensively lousy last year. And while the addition of Daley helps a little, they are not suddenly transformed into a team you can't score against. And they haven't improved an offense that scored the third-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference last year and which still relies too much on 36-year-old captain Henrik Zetterberg, who isn't going to be able to carry the load forever. So, in short, Detroit does none of the things you need to do to win in the NHL particularly well. It could be a long season for them.
Detroit Red Wings Schedule
They get a shiny building then they barely get to use it. They play 12 of their first 17 on the road, with seven of eight on the road starting Oct. 24. That is a very tough way for a team with issues to get into a season, and it could lead to bad problems. Nothing like starting a season in a hole you can't escape a month in.
Detroit Red Wings NHL Futures Odds
has the Red Wings at +100000 to win the Cup, which has them tied with five
other really bad teams as the longest shots on the board.
they are tied with the Devils as the longest shots to win the East at
+5000, and they are far and away the longest shots to win the Atlantic
Division at +2500. The win total sits at 34.5, with the "under" strongly
favored. They won 33 games last year.
2017-18 Detroit Red Wings Predictions
I don't see how this team is any better than last year - not in a real way. They are relying on guys who are either too young or too old, and their backend is not at all good. It's going to be a bad year, and I expect them to go solidly under that win total. The good news, at least, is that the 2018 draft appears to go about five players deep with top talent, so struggles now could have a big impact soon.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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