So half of my prediction did not come true, Detroit cannot clinch the division, but we did clinch a playoff spot! hooray! It was tough at some points but like always they come through, granted no one would think they could of clinched losing 2 very close games to Nashville and Philadelphia respectively. Thomas Holmstrom was in on all the goals with 3 assists but Nashville would score early in the 3rd and hold onto the lead. It would go into OT but Nashville’s, Suter would get the winning goal just 16 seconds into OT.
Sunday night it was on to Philly, this one started to get ugly early by the 7:16 mark of the first the Flyers had already scored twice, it would be nearly another 7 minutes before Detroit would add a pair of goals to tie it up still in the first. In the second however the Flyers would come back scoring 2 more. At 2:22 in the 3rd Pavel Datsyuk would score bringing the lead to one, although Detroit pounded the net 12-5 shots in the 3rd Philly would hold onto the lead.
So how did they do it? Well by the one point they earned against Nashville and Calgary losing to Chicago(divisional help go figure!) was able to help Detroit clinch but now they cannot do better then 5th place. I am quickly gonna run through all my opinions on each of Detroit’s now possible playoff opponents. Jimmy Howard should be the starting net minder, yes he is young but Osgood’s performance this year has been less then acceptable, and as always Lidstrom and Rafalski have to lead the blue line with grit and grind if they are to win, and finally my 2 key forwards are Zetterberg and Franzen, if these 2 men can keep on the trend they are on Hockey Town USA should get a 12th Stanley Cup.
Vancouver Canucks: Detroit is currently matched to Vancouver in the Quarter Finals, these games are usually entertaining and high scoring, but as much as this would be the most entertaining series from how I see it Vancouver has much going from them, after the Olympic Hangover and Luongo playing some of the best hockey of his career they would love to add the Stanley Cup to Luongo’s resume and they are one team I am not sure Detroit could pass.
Phoenix Coyotes: Phoenix is a big question mark they have had one of the best seasons in franchise history and still have potential to take the Pacific Division as well as the entire Western Conference. The only problem is experience, Detroit’s team has deep playoff experience while Phoenix has very little, but on the other side of the coin Phoenix’s youth could tire down the old vets on Detroit. I still believe overall Detroit would come out on top age and experience often overcomes youth and ability.
Chicago Blackhawks: Yes one more time an original 6 match-up in the first round, what do you think? Last year Chicago was un-cerimoniously ejected from the post season in 5 games by Detroit after putting out Calgary and Vancouver in the earlier 2 rounds, this year could the roles be reversed? Chicago is in much the same position as Pittsburgh was several years ago. Just getting back into the feel of top notch hockey and a good team to back them up. At some points in the year I would of picked Chicago hands down but as i noted in an earlier blog Chicago’s record post Olympics to Detroit’s is not something to over look as is the fact that Chicago has been bitten by the injury bug and claimed a top D-man in Campbell, it may take all 7 but i think Detroit would take it here.
San Jose Sharks: Ahh the Sharks like Detroit they have been at the top or near it for several years now, but un-like Detroit’s success San Jose has not made it to the big dance and never made it to the Stanley Cup final, but why? They have top notch in all categories and several opportunities to go with it. This may be a sleeper match if it happens but i expect a good showing like Phoenix I see San Jose as a question mark, but overall I still see Detroit coming out the winner.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog.
Thanks for Reading!
About the Author
Written by Mark Bates