NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman penned a lengthy column discussing the ways in which the 8 Eastern Conference teams that didn’t make the playoffs can do so this time around. Here’s what Kimelman has to say about the Red Wings:
Why they could get in: A rich crop of prospects, led by [Filip] Zadina and 6-foot-6, 221-pound center Michael Rasmussen, has the Red Wings feeling good about the future. But their present looks good as well, even if Zetterberg isn’t available. Forward Dylan Larkin is an elite playmaker, and forward Anthony Mantha scored a Red Wings-high 24 goals last season at age 23. Forward Gustav Nyquist is a three-time 20-goal scorer and Andreas Athanasiou, who could slide to center in Zetterberg’s absence, is among the fastest skaters in the NHL. Jimmy Howard was solid in goal and the addition of Jonathan Bernier further strengthens the position. The Red Wings play a smart style, can score, and could push for one of the wild card spots in the conference.