The Detroit Red Wings were one of the most battered and bruised teams last season. They lost a number of key players to injuries and as a result, barely qualified for the players and were quickly ushered out by the Boston Bruins in just five games. But as the 2014-15 season approaches, a lot of bettors are wondering just how good they could be if everyone stayed healthy. Let’s take a look.
The Injuries Really Piled Up Last Year
When you start to do the math on the Red Wings losses last season, you realize that it was quite an accomplishment that they even made the playoffs. All across their roster – from superstar players to small roleplayers – the Red Wings had losses. Take a look at the games played by the following players:
|Daniel Alfredsson||68 games|
When you subtract that type of quality off the roster, it’s tough for any team to compete. Head coach Mike Babcock and company deserve credit for still being able to finish in the top eight but realistically, this team should be much better if they’re all healthy.
How Good Could The Red Wings Be?
Let’s do a little bit of simple math. The Red Wings finished the 2013-14 season 17th in goal differential. Considering they finished eighth in the conference, that number makes sense. Now Zetterberg averaged 1.07 points per game, Datsyuk averaged 0.82 per game. If you throw in Nyquist, who averaged 0.84 points per game, the Red Wings were missing out on 2.73 points per game at the minimum from three of their best players. That’s not even taking Franzen, Bertuzzi, Alfredsson and others into the equation.
So the Red Wings finished the season with a -0.05 goals differential bit with those three guys in the mix for an extra 25 games (roughly speaking), they could have picked up about 10 more points as a team.
The Red Wings finished with 93 points as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference but 10 more points means they would have been the third seed in the conference. See the difference?
Also, if Howard is healthy and playing like the No. 1 goaltender we know he’s capable of being, the results are different too. We’re talking about a team that would – in that situation be – a top two or three team in the conference.
How To Bet News
At the beginning of last season, the Red Wings were pegged as an Eastern Conference sleeper and were deemed to have potential to be one of the top teams. By they were extremely banged up last season and tumbled down the standings. As a result, bettors don’t have this team on the radar for the coming year – especially after they didn’t do much in free agency.
As the numbers show, injuries were the main the culprit. This team is a sleeper at 22/1 in a weak conference.