Playoff Eye for Y's Guys

Unhealthy the bulk of the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings appear on the verge of a healthy beginning to the post season, with the exception of Curtis Joseph. How will they fair, possible goalie “controversy”, and an in depth look at what the keys are to win another cup for Motown. The current list of injuries for the Red Wings looks to be clearing out around the start of the post season, with key players like Kris Draper, Darien Hatcher, and Robert Lang returning in time for the cup run. Let’s jump right into the first of three keys to the Wings success in the post-season: health. This is a must for every team obviously, but it’s more of a worry on an older team like the Red Wings. Hatcher has been injured all year, and might not stay healthy throughout the playoffs. The wings must stay healthy throughout the playoffs to have a shot.

Key number two: goaltending. Curtis Joseph has played well when healthy, but an ankle injury is prime for reaggrivation at any given time. In my opinion, the Red Wings can win a cup with Manny Legace, but there are doubts… for instance he has little playoff experience, and his stamina for playing many games without rest is still uncertain, being a backup all of his career. If Cujo is injured, and Manny starts to slip due to fatigue, what do the Wings do then? Play Marc Lamothe? Moth-man is very talented, but he can’t handle the playoff pressure.

Key number three: No Edmonton in the first round. This may sound stupid, but as a Red Wing fan myself, I am dead terrified of playing the Oilers in the first round. They are fast, and are young and hungry. If the Wings were to survive this first round opponent, it would be a 7-game series, unless the Wings were firing on all cylinders right off the bat and took the first couple games to knock off Edmonton’s confidence and momentum.

Say the Wings do draw the Oilers in round one… Edmonton takes the first couple games of the series, Wings fight back and end up winning in 7 games. They draw the second round opponent of the Calgary Flames, fresh off knocking off the Avalanche. Flames take it to the tired Wings, and kill their hopes of a cup in 6 games. And I do believe that the Flames are the “cinderella” story of the playoffs this year, and I take pity on whoever draws them first round. Most likely Colorado or San Jose, and if it’s San Jose, what a series that would be indeed.

Okay losing my focus here… let me throw some final thoughts in here. If the Wings win the cup:

– Wings draw St. Louis in round one.

– Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will have standout playoff performances.

– Defensive scoring will be the stat to watch on the Red Wings side.

– Manny Legace proves to the hockey world that he is not the best backup goaltender in the league, but one of the best starters.

Yzerman wins the Conn Smythe, not for scoring points but for doing what he does every damn game… sacrificing his body for the team, giving 200%, playing through pain, being the best damn leader of the game.

If the Wings falter…

– Serious injuries to their defensive core (Hatcher, Schneider, Chelios)

– Legace plunders, Joseph isn’t 100%.

– Wings falter in first couple games of the playoffs, fans lost faith in the team, a younger faster team (Edminton, Nashville) prevails.

– Yzerman still plays his heart out every damn game.

Well that’s my take on this playoff year in Hockeytown. I know I show all gloom and doom if the Wings draw Edminton or Nashville, but if the Wings take either games one or two against either team, then I believe they will be okay. To conclude: A healthy, well tuned, hungry and ready Red Wings team will make it to the Stanley Cup finals.. their opponent?

Let’s pray it’s Toronto, and Cujo is healthy (even unhealthy). That turns me on just thinking about it.

12 Responses to Playoff Eye for Y's Guys

  1. Petr89 says:

    Man, you’re just asking for ridicule with the title. We don’t take kindly to metrosexuals in these here parts.

    I’m not too sure if I’m that scared of Edmonton, as their goaltending tandem of Conklin and Markkanen is less than intimidating. They’ve also lost a lot of scoring depth in the last couple years with Comrie, Carter, and Marchant all jumping ship and Oates being almost completely invisible (although Nedved has looked good bouncing back from years under the broadway curse).

    Also, I do share your enthusiasm for Yzerman. One of the all-time most talented and classy hockey players.

  2. Wills says:

    If the Wings go into the playoffs they shouldn’t be scared of who they play in the first round. They have way more talent and playoff experience then any of the potential first round matchups. You add the fact that they look like they might finish first overall with an injured team all year, and that they will have a healthy lineup to begin the playoffs, this team shouldn’t have much of a problem in the first two rounds. The problem with Detroit was that they were coming off a Cup win last year and weren’t motivated enough to win last year. This year they have added Hatcher, Whitney and Lang, and you add in the fact they have a better Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Draper and a healthy Yzerman, then this team looks a whole lot different.

  3. MNWinger39 says:

    Edmonton is riding a very hot streak. They were supossidly sellers at trade time. Everyone ruling them out of the play-offs. Are thehy dangerous,yes, Dallas can tell you that from the past. Are they gonna have ,i think a decent run. Right now the dark horse from the West is Calgary. This team is my pick for the Anihem Team of the year. As any team in the west, I do not want to play them. Also how about Nashville. They have given the Wings a run everytime they play watch out for them also.

    Yzerman is the man, ‘Nuff said.

    Injuries will hurt the Wings. Hatcher shoulder is the key. Schnieder is going to be fine, Draper is going to be fine but we will see with this ammount of time off if it will throw his rhythem off.

    Go Wings!

  4. TheCoach says:

    Detroit is a terrific team, but their biggest competition are the Dallas Stars. I think they’ll meet in the West finals, and that would be a terrific series.

  5. bruinexpert says:

    When I used to live in Ottawa I was playing road hockey with my friends and Yzerman came up to us and asked if he could play (this was probably 12 years ago or so) but we said that he was too good to play so we made him play net…man was that dumb..he’s sick

  6. Furlong19 says:

    Detroit will win the cup. Too much experince. They are the most experienced team in the NHL. I don’t care what leaf fans think. Leafs are experienced. But not experienced at winning. Guys like Leetch haven’t been in the playoffs in 7 years. Detroit has individual experience and that team together has winning experience. Plus Detroit has it all to win.

    1. good goaltending. Either Cujo or Legace.

    2. Best defence in the NHL.

    3. Playoff warriors. Guy that play with their hearts and have determination like you wouldn’t believe. Yzerman/Shanny/Stumpy.

    4. Plus they have good young speed and guys that can turn it up like that.

    5. Grind line. Best 4th line in the league. Shuts down other teams top lines.

    Detroit is a team with 2 first lines and 2 third lines. and 3 number one defence and 3 number 3 defencemen. There’s no real weak link on this lineup. They’re not missing anything. They got grit/toughness/finesse/speed/defensive forwards/defensive defencemen/offensive defenceman/good pk/good pp/experienced goalies/experience/youth.

    This is the Stanley cup winning team folks! Come playoffs they are head and shoulders above any other team in the NHL. Anyone that disagrees doesn’t know a thing about hockey or are just being ignorant and denying the obvious.

  7. Primis says:

    Detroit only has one thing to worry about, and this is where they have tended to blow it sometimes as of late:

    They need to play solid, hard defense for 60 minutes (or more).

    Period. End of story.

    Goaltending is and never has been the issue people made of it. Cujo didn’t falter in last year’s playoffs, the Wings’ defense did and he got no help whatsoever. And I don’t mean just the blueline, I mean team-wide. It won’t matter if Manny, Cujo, Lamothe, or Vladislav freaking Tretiak is in net if they don’t play good team defense.

    If the Wings play D the way they did in the back-to-backs against Colorado, noone can beat them. It’s hard to get offensive pressure on them when four guys are meeting you at the blueline every time you go up-ice.

    If they get lackadaisical and play so-so defense for only part of the game, they’re vulnerable and prone to being knocked off. If they play hard though, make gaining the blueline hard for opponents, and forecheck with the ferocity they have been lately though, nobody’s going to beat them.

    This is all that matters in regards to Detroit right now, and is all Wings fans should be worried about.

    — Primis.

  8. The_Conductor says:

    Alright… Detroits injuries are and aren’t the problem. They haven’t been healthy all season but yet are the number one team in the league. But… in order to win the cupp they need all the healthy players they can get.

    Secondly… goal-tending makes or breaks the playoffs. I have all the faith in the world with Legace to come and back CUJO. However I am worried about CUJO. To me he has made the third round once… He has experience (122 games) but he doesn’t have Stanley Cup Finals experience. Which to me still proves that he has to prove something as a playoff goalie.

    Finally… No Edmonton? I am more like no anyone… See to me the first round is so critical especially in the west with the huge battle. I mean Detroit can either play St. Louis, Edmonton or Nashville. All these teams in a huge battle for the last playoff spots. Anyone of these teams will be hard… just look.

    This season vs these 3 teams.

    Nashville 3 wins- 6-0, 4-1, 3-2 and 3 losses- 5-3, 4-3, 1-0

    St. Louis 3 wins 2-1, 2-1, 5-1 (1 loss) 6-5 and 1 tie 4-4

    Edmonton 2 wins 7-1, 2-1 and 2 ties 4-4, 1-1.

    By no means are these teams a push-over.

    As to reply to your losing focus…

    First round draw is NAshville or the Oilers

    Datz and Zetterberg… I dont think they’ll shine. I see more of the Vets doing something. Yzerman… will play spectacular cause this is his last season. Hull maybe done… Chelios could be done…etc

    Everyone will have to be the stat to look for. The Wings are going to have to be a team. No individual will truely shine.

    Manny is the poop. Meaning good… He is the Wings backbone. And this back doesn’t seem to break easily.

    I want them to play the Oilers so I can go to a playoff game… Everyone throw in a good word to TC_4 for me… He is the holder to playoff tickets.


  9. devfanman4 says:

    I hate to be biased but the best defence in the NHL again belongs to the Devils. You can say all you want about injuries. Scott Stevens has been out for about half the year and they still have only given up 159 goals in 79 games.

  10. datsyuk40 says:

    Dude lol, I agree with your liking Manny Legace, but come on… the poop?

    that’s hilariously annoying.

  11. The_Conductor says:

    Please it gets the point across without the ************** u know!

  12. Furlong19 says:

    Brodeur doesn’t hurt either in that regard. But Imagine if you add Hatcher/Chelios/Fisher/Lidstrom/Schneider in front of Brodeur. Watch out. But that aside the devils do have good defence. Without a doubt. Both teams also have good defensive forwards. Draper/Maltby and of course Madden. Both 2 sick teams. Love to see them in the finals. Best 2 teams in recent years.

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