USA Today: Wings' playoff streak in peril

The Detroit News

Citing the five teams that made the Stanley Cup playoffs last season that hadn’t qualified in 2014-15, USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen gave his list of vulnerable teams in 2016-17, and the Detroit Red Wings were at the top of the list.

Wings' Petr Mrazek had an outstanding January but tailed off towards the end of the regular season.

It’s very difficult to read this team because it’s not clear what their young players will do, Allen wrote.

Is goalie Petr Mrazek on his way to stardom, or is he the goalie who struggled late last season? How many goals will Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar score? How will the Red Wings react to losing Pavel Datsyuk to the Kontinental Hockey League? Is their defensive unit strong enough?

Plenty of questions. If it all comes together, they will make the playoffs for the 26th consecutive season. But this is the most vulnerable the Red Wings have been since the playoff streak began.

The others on his list: the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues.