Detroit News predictions: Where the Red Wings will finish

The Detroit News

Ted Kulfan, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict where the Red Wings will finish this season.

Tyler Bertuzzi

►Ted Kulfan: Even if this team is improved, it might be difficult to see in the standings. There are so many teams in the division – and conference – that are farther ahead than the Wings, victories will be difficult to come by. There’s not much depth on this roster, also, so a key injury would be especially debilitating. But, the Grand Rapids Griffins could be interesting. No playoffs for the Wings this season as the rebuild continues. Point total: 71

►John Niyo: I’m not sure where the secondary scoring comes from with this NHL roster. And unless the power-play unit is a top-10 group, that probably means a bunch more one-goal losses for the Wings this season. In a stacked Atlantic, they’re better than Ottawa, but that’s it. Time for some lottery luck. Seventh in the Atlantic, no playoffs. Point total: 77

►Bob Wojnowski: This is how the rebuilding game works, more pain than gain. The Wings have several good young players – Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou – but we're waiting for the next batch to identify themselves. Steve Yzerman isn't skipping any steps or handing out any jobs, and all five recent first-round picks will begin the season in Grand Rapids. Jeff Blashill has kept the dressing room in order and egos in check, but he has to show he can develop more youngsters. Unless Jimmy Howard stands on his head (hockey term) in goal, the Wings will be near the bottom of the East again. Point total: 76