Monday, April 5, 2010

First Round Options

Now that the Red Wings are, without a doubt, IN the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, now comes the debate on who we should want to face and who we don't want to face.

  • Chicago: So the Wings can't do any better than 5th place, because of tiebreakers with Phoenix and all that happy jazz. They're a lower seed. No home ice advantage. With that in mind, I personally kind of want to see little brother Chicago in the first round. If you can't win home ice, make it. I have no doubt that a game in Chicago will have more than enough Red Wings fans in the crowd to make some noise. Also, the Wings would probably want to come out and say, "Yeah, you won the conference, but we're still the team to beat 'round these parts." This year's Wings club went 2-2-1 with one game to be played against Chicago. Those 2 losses being shut outs back when the Griffins were playing in the NHL and the Wings were in the press boxes with suits on.
  • San Jose: The Sharks' playoff inabilities are well known. Does that make them a pushover team? Not at all. The team is still scary in a 7 game series. Any team with noted Wings-killer Joe Thornton is not a good sight to see across the ice in a playoff game. The Sharks have been consistently good for the regular season, setting up base camp at the top of the conference year after year. However, this year the Red Wings went 3-0-1 against them, making them a pretty good match up for the first round.
  • Phoenix: The Hamilton Coyotes are surprising everyone this year, not letting the 17,034 off-ice issues the past few years hamper them. Sitting pretty in a top-seed playoff position, they're one of the less favorable pairings possible for the Red Wings. A lot of people are calling them one of the scariest looking teams right now. They've got goaltending. They've got goal scorers getting hot. They've figured out what to do on the ice a lot more than they've figure it out off the ice. This year, the Wings went 2-0-2, which isn't bad, but let's not forget the debacle in late January where the Wings gave up a 2 goal lead with 1:30 left in the game to lose in OT.
  •  Vancouver: I don't know what it is, but Vancouver always scares me. But then I remember THIS and everything's okay again. Luongo's not the goalie he was in Florida anymore, when the Wings would waltz in like they owned the place and get their asses handed to them on 40 different platters, one for every riconculous save he'd come up with. The Sedins are still there, as well as goal scorer extraordinaire Mikael Samuelsson. They have talent, but they just don't seem to come with it all the time. The Wings went 3-1-0 this year, with that one loss being the 6-3 loss right after the Olympic break.

No matter who the Wings end up seeing in the first round, Detroit's going to have to come out with a fire that hasn't been there in ages. When was the last time that they started the playoffs outside of JLA? They also need to make a statement early, letting the people who wrote them off earlier in the season know just how wrong they were and maybe they should stick to a sport like billiards, because they clearly don't know shit about hockey. And they need to outlast those bitches in black in white from the LEastern Conference, the Penguins.

This has been, and will continue to be a season to tell the grandkids about for the Red Wings Nation. The injuries, the inability to score goals, let alone win games mid-season, the post-Olympic March to Playoffs, and, of course, H2H.

Let's just hope it lasts until June again.

If you're interested in what the 2nd round 
pairings could look like, the Wings 
fared like this against the other 
teams looking at playoff spots:

NSH- 4-1-1
LA- 2-2-0
COL- 2-1-1
CAL- 2-2-0

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