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Changing of the Guard in Motown

Dylan Larkin Detroit Red Wings Preview

The Detroit Red Wings extended their playoff streak to an amazing 25 straight seasons in the 2015-16 NHL campaign, but proceeded to bow out of the first round to the Steven Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning.

Detroit’s offense was lackluster to say the least last year, as the club finished 23rd in the league in goals (211). Longtime franchise stalwart Pavel Datsyuk departed the team to go back to Russia, but promising young players like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin will help to fill the void and usher in the next generation of talent in the Motor City.

If captain Henrik Zetterberg can put together his 10th season of 50 points or more, the offense should be fine. There are bigger question marks in net, however, as Petr Mrazek will be forced to shoulder the load between the pipes. Mrazek signed a two-year, $8-million deal with the Wings in the offseason and he’s going to have to prove it after fading at the end of last season.

Here’s a look at the book’s odds for the Red Wings, courtesy of Bovada:

Stanley Cup +2500

Oddsmakers aren’t expecting the Wings, usually a perennial Cup contender, to be in the championship conversation come June. Detroit has the 14th-best odds to capture 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 get it done when the stakes are at their highest. It’s a long shot, but there are worse value bets you can make at this point.

Eastern Conference +1200

Since joining the Eastern Conference in the 2013-14 campaign, the Wings haven’t scared the rest of the conference like they used to do out West. Detroit hasn’t appeared in a Cup final since its last championship in 2009, and the Wings will be in tough to get by deep teams like Pittsburgh, Washington and Tampa Bay.

Atlantic Division +700

It’s been quite a while since the Wings had the fourth-best chances to capture their own division, but that’s where they find themselves this year. Tampa Bay (+130), Florida (+400) and Boston (+650) all rank ahead of Detroit when it comes to Atlantic Division odds.

Anything can happen in the NHL, although it won’t be easy for Jeff Blashill’s crew to leapfrog the aforementioned squads.

Point total OVER/UNDER 89.5

The number of 89.5 will be intriguing for OVER bettors who think the Wings won’t regress as much as sportsbooks do. Detroit hasn’t finished with fewer than 90 points since the new point system was 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.

2016-17 Detroit Red Wings Futures Odds
Stanley Cup+2500
Eastern Conference+1200
Point totals89.5

Odds as of October 4 at Bovada