In previous years, much has been made of the fact that, for the most part, if a team isn’t in a playoff spot by Thanksgiving, they won’t be in one come the end of the season.
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and not only are the Red Wings sitting out of the playoffs, they’re dead last in the Atlantic Division and only one point up on the New York Islanders for the last spot in the Eastern Conference. A win over the Sabres would lift them past Buffalo tonight but, at 8-10-1 on the season, they’d still be under .500 at Thanksgiving.
If you’re looking for a positive out of that, the good news is that the Red Wings have been under “true” .500 (same number of wins and losses, whether or not they got a point in the loss) a quarter of the way through the season (or later) six times in their current 25-year playoff streak. In the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, they didn’t get “back” to .500 until the last game of the season. Last year it wasn’t until Game 78.
As for Wednesday’s game itself, the Red Wings are expected to bring Brendan Smith and Tyler Bertuzzi back into the lineup. Smith replaces the injured Alexey Marchenko while Bertuzzi takes Drew Miller‘s spot.
Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD+.