With two games remaining and most of the Red Wings star power on the shelf already this season, there is only one thing left to determine in this 2021 season, Draft Lottery position. The Red Wings currently stand with only 45 points and 18 wins in regulation. That puts them at 28th overall tied with New Jersey in points. The Devils hold the tiebreaker as they have one more regulation win. The draft lottery has not been kind to the Red Wings in recent seasons, having fallen from the best chance at the number one pick to 4th in 2020. They also fell two spots back in 2019 from fourth to sixth. Yzerman ended up grabbing Moritz Seider with the 6th overall pick in 2019 and Lucas Raymond with the 4th overall pick in 2020. A late bright spot for the Red Wings has to be the play of Thomas Greiss playing some exceptional games against the Lightning and these incoming Blue Jackets.
The Red Wings are in a tough position with only two games remaining, those happen to be against the Columbus Blue Jackets. If Detroit wins both of these games it would push the Blue Jackets into a better lottery position than the Wings. Columbus only has 46 points themselves with 17 regulation wins.I have never been a fan of tanking and with Detroit’s previous two lottery drafts I would not expect this team to just lay down. John Tortrella the Head Coach of the Blue Jackets has always been a competitive coach, pushing his players to get the best out of them. Now most of his recent tactics have not seem to have paid off, however it will ensure a competitive two game series against Detroit.
Steve Yzerman will have his hands full this off-season with multiple contracts coming off the books, an expansion draft, Free Agency, and the Lottery Draft. He will be going into his third summer of General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings and so far he has not disappointed. The toughest decisions may come with who to protect in the upcoming expansion draft. A lot of names like Bertuzzi, Larkin, and Hronek are obvious choices. Where it becomes difficult is with players like Adam Erne and Evgeny Svechnikov. I will have an article in the near future to try and predict what Stevie “Y” intends to do.
Thomas Greiss has been one of the hottest goalies in the NHL lately, his last two starts he was able to record back to back shutouts against Tampa Bay and Columbus this previous week. Detroit ended up going to a shootout in both coming away 1-1. If you’re in your fantasy championship this week might be worth looking into with the upcoming series against the Blue Jackets. Greiss has played better lately, carrying a .969% save percentage in his last 5 games. He is sure to get at least one of the starts against Columbus.