The Detroit Red Wings have missed the playoffs for three consecutive years, which would not seem like such a big deal for most rebuilding teams in the NHL. But the Red Wings are a proud franchise that had previously made the postseason in 25 straight seasons, so getting back on track with a return to the playoffs as soon as possible is viewed as a top priority in the Motor City.
Oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com believe it will still be a while before that happens though in setting Detroit’s point total OVER/UNDER at 75.5 for the 2019-20 season after the team finished with 74 a year ago.
The Red Wings are definitely moving in the right direction, as legendary center and former captain Steve Yzerman has become their executive vice president and general manager. Yzerman previously served in the same role with the Tampa Bay Lightning, helping build that team into one of the Stanley Cup favorites over the past few years even though they did not end up winning the championship over that stretch.
One of Yzerman’s first moves was to bring back veteran winger Valtteri Filppula, who played for the last of Detroit’s Stanley Cup title teams in 2008. Filppula also was signed by Yzerman with the Lightning before spending the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, totaling 31 points (17 goals and 14 assists) in 2018-19. His presence should help the younger players like Dylan Larkin take the next step. Larkin looks like a future star coming off a career-high 73 points (32 goals and 41 assists).
However, the biggest challenge for the Red Wings will be improving their defense, especially with an aging goaltender in Jimmy Howard. Jonathan Bernier was brought in last year as Howard’s potential replacement, but both of them really struggled and had goals-against averages above 3.00. The 30-year-old Bernier has played on four different teams the previous four years, and his play has gotten worse each of the past three, so that remains a big concern. Howard is 35 and played at his worst last season too, which means Detroit looks like a prime candidate for another UNDER campaign on the NHL betting lines in 2019-20.