The Athletic’s Sean McIndoe, a.k.a. Down Goes Brown, attempts to hazard guesses as to whether 10 teams that are predicted to miss the playoffs by The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn could conceivably buck the pundits’ predictions and make a playoff push. DGB is not confident in the Wings’ chances thereof:
But hear me out … : Uh, Yzerman comes back and centers the first line?
OK, coming up with a scenario in which the Wings zoom to the top third of the standings is near impossible. They’re not good on paper, they’re not really focused on getting better in the short-term and unlike most of the other teams on the list, there’s not even a new coach or goaltender or NHL-ready first-round pick who could conceivably show up and change everything. Instead, we’d need to count on a major leap from Dylan Larkin, the team’s only legitimate star. We’ll also need Jimmy Howard or one of the backups to have one of those incomprehensible .930 seasons that veteran goalies occasionally have for no particular reason. And even then, we’d probably also need a few unexpected breakouts from guys in the Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi tier.
If all of those things happen, well, the Wings probably improve all the way up to 90 points and still miss the playoffs. But mix in some momentum from a hot start – which is possible, with seven of their first 11 games against teams who missed the playoffs – and some old-fashioned “nobody believes in us” swagger, and crazier things have happened. Not much crazier, though.
Continued (paywall), and I know that the Wings are highly, highly unlikely to make the playoffs, but it’s hard to read the, “The Wings are going to stink and stink badly” predictions be repeated over and over again.