Changing of the Guard in Motown

The Detroit Red Wings extended their playoff series to an amazing 25 straight seasons in the 2015-16 NHL effort, but proceeded to bow from the first round into the Steven Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning.
Detroit’s offense was lackluster to say the least a year ago, as the team finished 23rd in the league in goals (211). Longtime franchise stalwart Pavel Datsyuk departed the group to go back to Russia, but promising young players like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin helps fill the emptiness and usher in the next generation of talent from the Motor City.
If priest Henrik Zetterberg can put together his 10th season of 50 points or more, the crime should be fine. There are bigger question marks in net, however, as Petr Mrazek is going to be forced to shoulder the load between the pipes. Mrazek signed a yearlong, $8-million deal with the Wings in the offseason and he is going to have to prove it after fading at the end of last year.
Here’s a look at the book’s chances for the Red Wings, courtesy of BetOnline:
Stanley Cup +2500
Oddsmakers are not expecting the Wings, normally a perennial Cup contender, to be in the championship conversation come June. Detroit gets the 14th-best odds to catch Lord Stanley’s holy grail, and that seems a bit low, in my opinion.
Much like the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, this team knows how to have it done when the stakes are at their highest. It’s a very long chance, but there are worse worth bets that can be made at this point.
Eastern Conference +1200
Since linking the Eastern Conference in the 2013-14 effort, the Wings have not scared the rest of the seminar as they used to do out West. Detroit hasn’t appeared in a Cup final since its final tournament in 2009, and the Wings will be in hard to get by heavy groups like Pittsburgh, Washington and Tampa Bay.
Atlantic Division +700
It has been quite some time because the Wings had the fourth-best chances to capture their particular branch, but that is where they locate themselves this year. Tampa Bay (+130), Florida (+400) and Boston (+650) all rank ahead of Detroit as it pertains to Atlantic Division chances.
Anything could happen in the NHL, although it won’t be easy for Jeff Blashill’s crew to leapfrog the above squads.
Point complete OVER/UNDER 89.5
The number of 89.5 will be fascinating for OVER bettors who think the Wings will not regress as much as sportsbooks do. Detroit hasn’t completed with over 90 points because the new point system has been implemented in 2005-06. A general rule of thumb is to never bet against the Red Wings in the regular season, so I’m taking the OVER here.
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