Don’t look now, but the Detroit Red Wings are winners in nine of their last eleven games. This is the same team who couldn’t buy a win over the first few weeks of the season. To be more precise, the Red Wings lost their first seven games of the season, games that weren’t even close. By October 26th, they had 1 win, which came in overtime against the Florida Panthers, and 9 losses.
Since then they have lost just 2 games while winning 9 games, so it’s been a tale of two months for the Wings. It coincides with the return of Andreas Athanasiou to the lineup, but while Athanasiou is a good player, he isn’t good enough to take the Wings from a dumpster fire to a team that seemingly can’t lose now. Or maybe, Jimmy Howard has just been playing much better as well.
However, when we look at their wins closer, are they really that impressive? If it feels like all they are doing is winning in overtime is in your imagination, it’s not your imagination. Of the ten games they have won in 2018-19, a whopping six of them came in extra time, either a shootout or before the end of OT. Overtime in the NHL is like what a fast break fest in the NBA is with teams chucking up 3’s.
Long rebounds tend to turn into fast breaks in the other end, and that’s what is happening when a shot is missed when it’s 3-on-3 hockey. There is certainly skill and practice that comes with mastering backyard hockey, but often, it’s what goaltender really makes more clutch saves. In other words, has been there some luck to their recent success? A bit, but in the same token, they weren’t even competing in October. They head to Washington to attempt to gather even more momentum against the Capitals. Head below for our free Red Wings vs. Capitals pick.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Washington Capitals Pick
The Red Wings most recently defeated the Bruins in overtime, 3-2, on an Anthanasiou goal past Rask. It was the second consecutive game that the Wings won by a score of 3-2. Prior to their win over the Bruins, they downed the Devils by the same score in OT. Howard has been playing well in net for the Red Wings to aid them during this hot run. Trade bait? Despite this run that they’re on, the Wings are still in rebuilding mode.
Nothing has changed in that respect, so they might be tempted to look at a team who are desperate need of a goaltender and see what they can get for him. It’s important not to give up too much, because Howard is 36 and there will be some bad that comes with the good. Red Wings’ fans are all too familiar with what I mean.
The Capitals have been on a nice little run recently, with three wins in a row and four wins in their last five games. They haven’t looked like a team who just won a Stanley Cup in April, but a hangover happens to some teams. Also, losing Barry Trotz didn’t help anything. The Caps have been without the services of Oshie and Kuznetsov for the past few games, though it hasn’t seemed to matter much.
The most important thing for the Capitals is that Holtby has been playing considerable better. He’s allowed 2 or less goals in four of his last five appearances in the crease. Note that the Wings have gone 2-8 in their last ten trips to Washington and 2-6 overall in the last eight. The Red Wings run out of horseshoes on Friday afternoon and get sank by the Capitals at Capital One Arena.