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1st Round Discussion: Wings vs. Coyotes

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Old
04-12-2010, 08:06 AM
  #76
HockeyinHD
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Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
Crap. I have ball hockey in Livonia Wednesday.
Must be that Bettman hates my ball hockey league.
Totally the same thing, too!

Days between games, Western Conference:

Nashville - 6.
LA - 5.
Vancouver - 5.
Chicago - 5.
Phoenix - 4.
SJ - 4.
Colorado - 3.
Detroit - 3.

Complete coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.

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04-12-2010, 08:06 AM
  #77
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Here's to hoping Abby takes Williams out of the lineup

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04-12-2010, 08:51 AM
  #78
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Any of you guys watched 'Gladiator'?

Ah, of course you have.

Remember when those fierce Germans and the Roman army choke full of battled tested soldiers and general clashed head on?

No? Let me remind you.




careful planning + knowing what to do + Unleashing Hell = doom on Gary's team.

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04-12-2010, 09:01 AM
  #79
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Not trolling, merely curious as to how/why they are a mess in your opinion is all.
They've been playing well the last week or so but they've mostly been playing lousy teams and just blowing them away with offense - their goaltending and defense are huge question marks. Nashville's D is good enough to take the air out of anyone's offense, and if it gets to be a low-scoring muckfest I think the Preds have a 50/50 shot at pulling it off.

Game 1 is going to look something like this:

Hawks have the puck for the first 15 minutes of the game without interruption and fire 35 shots on Rinne. Half the shots are blocked and half are stopped. Then someone makes a bad change and Nashville pots a 2-on-1 goal on their first shot of the game. Then the fans get testy and the Hawks start squeezing the sticks. Whether or not they suck it up and overcome it will determine their playoff fate. I say this having watched the Wings play about 15 1st-round series against overmatched defense-oriented counter-punching teams, and that is what ALWAYS happens.

The back-to-backs against the Jackets are a big red flag for the Hawks. Obviously they have the talent to win it all but they could be undone by the goalies and/or the defense.

I don't consider the Wings to be any kind of a sure thing either, so don't think that I'm just flaming the Hawks for no reason. IMO every team out West has major question marks. I'd say the team with the fewest is probably the Nucks, now that Luongo got his gold medal.

edit- It's kinda funny that the Hawks have been trying to make themselves into the new Red Wings with the high-powered offense and puck-moving defense, and the Preds have been spending their entire existence setting up their team and style and system to beat the Wings. It would be ironic if they ended up beating the New Wings before they beat the Original Wings. Should be interesting.

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04-12-2010, 09:42 AM
  #80
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Originally Posted by tmf2204 View Post
It's going to be very difficult for them between games 2 and 3. The league threw them a bone by scheduling two days off between games 4 and 5, but having to play at 7 pm PDT on Friday night and then at 3 pm EDT on Sunday? Is that really any better than perhaps playing games 1 and 2 back-to-back on Wed-Thurs and then game 3 as scheduled? Travel-wise I would expect them to stay in Phoenix after the game on Friday and fly back only on Saturday, as evidenced in the regular season. (On one Western trip the Wings flew red-eye immediately back to Detroit after a game against SJ, on to NY where they put up the stinker against the Islanders; on their last trip a couple weeks ago they switched it up by staying in Vancouver after the game, traveled the next day and played extremely well the following night against Pittsburgh.) To then wake up on Sunday and play an afternoon game, a time at which the Wings aren't usually at their best, well, I can already see Babcock worried about that one. All the more imperative to grab at least 1 of 2 in Phoenix.
The schedule is the same for both teams.

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04-12-2010, 09:55 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
They've been playing well the last week or so but they've mostly been playing lousy teams and just blowing them away with offense - their goaltending and defense are huge question marks. Nashville's D is good enough to take the air out of anyone's offense, and if it gets to be a low-scoring muckfest I think the Preds have a 50/50 shot at pulling it off.

Game 1 is going to look something like this:

Hawks have the puck for the first 15 minutes of the game without interruption and fire 35 shots on Rinne. Half the shots are blocked and half are stopped. Then someone makes a bad change and Nashville pots a 2-on-1 goal on their first shot of the game. Then the fans get testy and the Hawks start squeezing the sticks. Whether or not they suck it up and overcome it will determine their playoff fate. I say this having watched the Wings play about 15 1st-round series against overmatched defense-oriented counter-punching teams, and that is what ALWAYS happens.

The back-to-backs against the Jackets are a big red flag for the Hawks. Obviously they have the talent to win it all but they could be undone by the goalies and/or the defense.

I don't consider the Wings to be any kind of a sure thing either, so don't think that I'm just flaming the Hawks for no reason. IMO every team out West has major question marks. I'd say the team with the fewest is probably the Nucks, now that Luongo got his gold medal.

edit- It's kinda funny that the Hawks have been trying to make themselves into the new Red Wings with the high-powered offense and puck-moving defense, and the Preds have been spending their entire existence setting up their team and style and system to beat the Wings. It would be ironic if they ended up beating the New Wings before they beat the Original Wings. Should be interesting.
That's one of the most overlooked aspects of the Hawks playoff run I think. Last season they were the cindarella team with no expectations and played very loose. This year they are Cup favorites. Will such a young team be able to handle the pressure of being down 2-1 or 3-2 or even 1-0 in a series as the favorites? The playoffs are a totally different animal from the top.

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04-12-2010, 09:56 AM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmf2204 View Post
It's going to be very difficult for them between games 2 and 3. The league threw them a bone by scheduling two days off between games 4 and 5, but having to play at 7 pm PDT on Friday night and then at 3 pm EDT on Sunday? Is that really any better than perhaps playing games 1 and 2 back-to-back on Wed-Thurs and then game 3 as scheduled? Travel-wise I would expect them to stay in Phoenix after the game on Friday and fly back only on Saturday, as evidenced in the regular season. (On one Western trip the Wings flew red-eye immediately back to Detroit after a game against SJ, on to NY where they put up the stinker against the Islanders; on their last trip a couple weeks ago they switched it up by staying in Vancouver after the game, traveled the next day and played extremely well the following night against Pittsburgh.) To then wake up on Sunday and play an afternoon game, a time at which the Wings aren't usually at their best, well, I can already see Babcock worried about that one. All the more imperative to grab at least 1 of 2 in Phoenix.
Yeah, I still prefer having a consistent day between games than having back to back games and/or 2 day breaks. I think rhythm is important, and being able to settle into an every other day cycle is ultimately a good thing. There's also the question of momentum and how back to back games and two day breaks affect that. If we're rolling, do we really want to take 2 days off? On the other hand, if we're on the ropes, do we want a whole extra day to think about it? And how much of a role does momentum play in back to back games? I know Babcock and others have brushed away the idea of momentum but it's also something all of us can see on the ice when one team is going and the other is just sort of getting pushed back.

It also gives the goalies a break between games. They're out there for 60 minutes in the heaviest gear imaginable. Meanwhile, the travel itself is eased a bit by the Wings having their own jet.

What's odd is that our lowed seeding might actually help us here. As it's been mentioned, both teams have the same schedule, but while we're playing at 3pm, the 'yotes will be feeling it's around noon. What I dislike about the schedule is us getting stuck with a 6:30 start in game four. It's early here, it's WAY early out west. Is there any reason there couldn't be a more conventional 7/730 start? Especially when the Wings aren't given a break with the 10pm (7pm yote time) starts out west. If we're going to start at 630, they should be starting around 9.

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04-12-2010, 09:59 AM
  #83
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Do any teams NOT have their own jet, either permanently or chartered for the playoffs? I can't imagine seeing an entire NHL team flying commercial especially during the playoffs.

edit- Why would the NHL start the Wings on Wednesday when they could put one game on Thursday, put 2 on Sunday and not have the ratings hit that will come on the East coast for a Phoenix start time, then play 2 games in Detroit during the week and have game 5 the following Saturday or Sunday when they can get good ratings from both coasts? Nobody out West is going to watch these games except for Yotes and Wings fans, and they'll watch it at any hour. By putting more games on so late on the East coast they are shutting out the major markets. More brilliant strategery by the NHL.

5 bucks says they only did this because the Wings wanted to play Thursday.

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04-12-2010, 10:02 AM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FissionFire View Post
That's one of the most overlooked aspects of the Hawks playoff run I think. Last season they were the cindarella team with no expectations and played very loose. This year they are Cup favorites. Will such a young team be able to handle the pressure of being down 2-1 or 3-2 or even 1-0 in a series as the favorites? The playoffs are a totally different animal from the top.
Plus injuries to their blueline plus some question marks around both of their goalies...

Nashville will make this an ugly, physical series. It'll be interesting if Nashville gets by Chicago and the gets San Jose, another team built to resemble us a bit.

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04-12-2010, 10:04 AM
  #85
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Then again losing Campbell is a huge plus for the Hawks' defense.

On the other hand if it forces Sopel into the lineup...

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04-12-2010, 10:12 AM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
Do any teams NOT have their own jet, either permanently or chartered for the playoffs? I can't imagine seeing an entire NHL team flying commercial especially during the playoffs.

edit- Why would the NHL start the Wings on Wednesday when they could put one game on Thursday, put 2 on Sunday and not have the ratings hit that will come on the East coast for a Phoenix start time, then play 2 games in Detroit during the week and have game 5 the following Saturday or Sunday when they can get good ratings from both coasts? Nobody out West is going to watch these games except for Yotes and Wings fans, and they'll watch it at any hour. By putting more games on so late on the East coast they are shutting out the major markets. More brilliant strategery by the NHL.

5 bucks says they only did this because the Wings wanted to play Thursday.
Honestly, it's on Versus. They're probably not expecting a huge audience outside of Detroit regardless of starting time. As long as the Wings are available for Sunday's NBC game, they're happy.

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Then again losing Campbell is a huge plus for the Hawks' defense.

On the other hand if it forces Sopel into the lineup...
I'm not a Campbell fan, either, but he's still a big part of their blueline. Then they lost Johnsson on top of that. For a team built to score goals and making a quick transition, that has got to hurt them. Didn't their late season slide start around the time Campbell went down? And if they aren't transitioning as well from the back end, Nashville could make their lives hell back there.

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04-12-2010, 10:16 AM
  #87
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what worries me is the NHL put a lot of effort to keep PHX there so willl the games be called fair? We already witnessed what Betmen will do with the Pens.
Very good point.

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One of those top 3 is going down. Chicago and Vancouver won't meet in the 2nd round. Bank on it. Which one will go down, I have no idea. I don't think the Sharks will have any trouble with the Avs, but the Hawks are a mess and the Kings will give the Nucks a good fight.

As for this series, it's tough to say. Phoenix does not have a strong offense but they have guys up and down the roster that can score a few in any given series. Nobody for the Wings to key on, which they usually do pretty well. Could be tougher to defend since they don't really have any major weapons.

Phoenix's defense is strong offensively but not tremendous defensively. They don't have to be with Bryzgalov back there though.

Now that the Wings are healthy, they look like the best team in the league ... some nights. And on other nights they look like they could lose a short series to anybody, including the Yotes. Do we see the "Ole!!" defense that has popped up now and again, or do we see the pretty solid defense that doesn't do anything special and just takes care of the puck, clears the zone, clears the rebounds, and keeps passes from crossing the slot?

Offensively, the Wings look like a 5 goal a game team ... some nights. Other nights they look like they forgot where the other team's net is. Usually this happens when teams stack the blueline and take away the middle of the ice. Do the Yotes have the defensemen and overall team defensive ability and discipline to play that way?

Jimmy Howard is the X factor for both teams. If he plays the way he has most of the season, the Wings will win this series. If he plays the way he did against the Hawks on Sunday, the Wings will win this series in 4 or 5 games. If he struggles or if the pressure gets to him, all bets are off and the Wings are looking at a long series if they're lucky.

Something else I didn't think of - the Wings haven't been the road team in a series since the 2000 2nd round when they lost to the Avs. It's a different feeling as a fan and it must be different for the players as well. Do they go in thinking in the backs of their minds that splitting the first 2 is the goal? Will that take any edge off of their game?

Interesting series. These teams are actually pretty similar - both with low high-scorers, the Wings because of injuries and the Yotes because they just don't have any elite scorers. Defensive lapses for both sides all year, and leaning heavily on their goalies. And both have a minor fan following in Phoenix.

I can't even make a prediction because I don't know what Wings team is going to show up. That scares the hell out of me, but what the hell, it should be interesting.
I find it strange nobody mentioned this yet. Howard is really the X factor for both teams, hopefully he is going to turn it to our favour, or maybe the Wings will play well enough so he won't need it.

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Originally Posted by Blue Liner View Post
Not trolling, merely curious as to how/why they are a mess in your opinion is all.
I would say goaltending.

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Originally Posted by theYman View Post
Yay we get to play the Phoenix Bettmans!

wonder how many times we get screwed during this series? oh boy hope I have enough fingers and toes left to count by the end.
Bettman simply thinks he can do whatever he likes, the fans will not realise it.

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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Totally the same thing, too!

Days between games, Western Conference:

Nashville - 6.
LA - 5.
Vancouver - 5.
Chicago - 5.
Phoenix - 4.
SJ - 4.
Colorado - 3.
Detroit - 3.

Complete coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.
I kind of think it is good we won't have to wait for to long.

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04-12-2010, 10:35 AM
  #88
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I kind of think it is good we won't have to wait for to long.
I feel the same way. I understand the Red Wings wanting more time to rest up but they have been on a roll. Seems like a good idea to get back at it sooner rather than later.

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04-12-2010, 10:44 AM
  #89
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I feel the same way. I understand the Red Wings wanting more time to rest up but they have been on a roll. Seems like a good idea to get back at it sooner rather than later.
That is what I thought and I do not mind at all starting on Wednesday.
I am a bit surprised Babcock did not give another start to Osgood.

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04-12-2010, 10:54 AM
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Bettman simply thinks he can do whatever he likes, the fans will not realise it.
As long as he sticks with 'nudges', most fans won't. The NBA fairly often resorts to much more obvious fixes, especially in the postseason, and fans aren't yet convinced those exist, either.

The thing that makes me more confident this year is that even getting jobbed on a bunch of calls isn't going to be as difficult to overcome as it was last year, given the Wings improved PK.

Detroit averaged 3.73 minors per game. That number is almost certain to go up.
Phoenix averaged 4.13 minors per game. That number is almost certain to go down.

Detroit's playoff minors per game jumped up quite a bit from their regular season amounts in both 2007 and 2008. They were down slightly in 2009, but Detroit also had a particularly un-taxing round 1 opponent.

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04-12-2010, 10:55 AM
  #91
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Do any teams NOT have their own jet, either permanently or chartered for the playoffs? I can't imagine seeing an entire NHL team flying commercial especially during the playoffs.
I actually think its the opposite, most teams do not have their own jets. I should mention however that the last time I had heard about this was 02 so things may be different now.

The biggest problem I can see is that the yotes truly play as a team. The wings play better when there are guys to shut down and putting together a strong 60mins has been trouble for them all season long.

3rd and 4th line guys could be huge, I think DRW's 3/4th lines are much more talented, if they can really press the advantage they could totally be the difference maker.

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04-12-2010, 11:01 AM
  #92
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The regular season series is 2-2, but it is actually 2-0-2. We won twice and lost 2 times in OT.

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04-12-2010, 11:12 AM
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Neither OT loss was in a shootout though, so translated to the playoffs it's the same as 2-2.

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04-12-2010, 11:16 AM
  #94
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Neither OT loss was in a shootout though, so translated to the playoffs it's the same as 2-2.
I know, but I still like our chances.

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04-12-2010, 11:35 AM
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I know, but I still like our chances.
That's fine, and it doesn't have to have anything to do with the season series, but keep in mind that 2-0-2 in the playoffs is 2-2.

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04-12-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyinHD View Post
Totally the same thing, too!

Days between games, Western Conference:

Nashville - 6.
LA - 5.
Vancouver - 5.
Chicago - 5.
Phoenix - 4.
SJ - 4.
Colorado - 3.
Detroit - 3.

Complete coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.
The thing that sucks is...

you can't prove it. Even if you're right, you can't prove anything.

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04-12-2010, 11:40 AM
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That's fine, and it doesn't have to have anything to do with the season series, but keep in mind that 2-0-2 in the playoffs is 2-2.
Do you keep that vodoo doll 'Jobu' or do you change it for the playoffs?

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04-12-2010, 11:41 AM
  #98
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Well, this is the series I wanted so hopefully it will be a good one. I like Phoenix. I wonder if they are pissed at tha fact this is the one year they have this amazing run and end up with us, lmao.

Hats off to our boys for a phenominal season with all those injuries. It looked bad at times but we really played pretty damn good down the stretch (understatement of the year?)

Wings in 5

My other picks:

Sj in 5
Chi in 6
Van in 6

Wsh in 4
Phi in 7 (season series bought me on this one)
Buf in 6
Pens in 5


and today i found out my buddy's GF can get tickets cheap as hell from her work, so I might be going to game 3

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04-12-2010, 11:50 AM
  #99
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The thing that sucks is...

you can't prove it. Even if you're right, you can't prove anything.
As with so many other things that aren't 2+2 obvious, it largely depends on the willingness of the individual to believe what their eyes tell them and have an opinion as opposed to defending a position. I mean, for the better part of 10-15 years back in the 70's and 80's people wanted to believe that professional wrestling was real, and they did so. It wasn't until the early 90's that reality finally percolated down through even the ardent supporters.

Now, this isn't to imply the NHL or the NBA or whatever is as fake and contrived as professional wrestling, merely to illustrate the degree of obvious fakery that has to be committed to truly gain much traction among a passionate fanbase.

And, honestly, I'm not sure that a sports league would be 'better' if their leadership didn't engage in strategic nudging. Would the NBA be better if they called everything evenly regardless of whether a guy was Michael Jordan or the 10th guy at the end of the bench? Would the NHL be better if the league encouraged better officiating overall, or made the same calls in June that they made in November?

The important thing is to never cross the line where it becomes patently obvious a fix is in. That destroys things irrevocably. As long as events remain plausible the vast majority of fans aren't going to be bothered.

As it relates to the Coyotes series, however, I certainly hope that the League's obvious and astonishingly clear financial incentive to extend the series and/or have the Coyotes win outright doesn't push them nearer to crossing that line than they've demonstrated a willingness to go previously.

That would undeniably be terrible for the NHL.

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04-12-2010, 11:57 AM
  #100
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They've been playing well the last week or so but they've mostly been playing lousy teams and just blowing them away with offense - their goaltending and defense are huge question marks. Nashville's D is good enough to take the air out of anyone's offense, and if it gets to be a low-scoring muckfest I think the Preds have a 50/50 shot at pulling it off.

Game 1 is going to look something like this:

Hawks have the puck for the first 15 minutes of the game without interruption and fire 35 shots on Rinne. Half the shots are blocked and half are stopped. Then someone makes a bad change and Nashville pots a 2-on-1 goal on their first shot of the game. Then the fans get testy and the Hawks start squeezing the sticks. Whether or not they suck it up and overcome it will determine their playoff fate. I say this having watched the Wings play about 15 1st-round series against overmatched defense-oriented counter-punching teams, and that is what ALWAYS happens.

The back-to-backs against the Jackets are a big red flag for the Hawks. Obviously they have the talent to win it all but they could be undone by the goalies and/or the defense.

I don't consider the Wings to be any kind of a sure thing either, so don't think that I'm just flaming the Hawks for no reason. IMO every team out West has major question marks. I'd say the team with the fewest is probably the Nucks, now that Luongo got his gold medal.

edit- It's kinda funny that the Hawks have been trying to make themselves into the new Red Wings with the high-powered offense and puck-moving defense, and the Preds have been spending their entire existence setting up their team and style and system to beat the Wings. It would be ironic if they ended up beating the New Wings before they beat the Original Wings. Should be interesting.
I didn't take your comment as flaming at all, otherwise I wouldn't have even bothered to ask, so no worries there. They definitely have a couple of concerns going forward, no doubt. They still have a very solid top 3-4 on D but after that their depth certainly has taken a hit with Campbell and Johnsson out. Campbell could be back for the second round if they get there, but Johnsson is out indefinitely with concussion issues and you guys know as well as anyone how long those can last like they did with Lilja.

Goaltending, sure, is a question mark because Niemi has never played in them before, but he's been good of late and I'm actually not worried about him. I'm more worried about their power play, or lack thereof. Their PP was a huge part of their playoff success last year and while it's heated up of late the past couple games I'm still more concerned about that than any other aspect of their team right now. I think Nashville will be a tough first round opponent, then again in this conference I think every team is capable of getting out of the first round, but I think the Hawks pull this one out in six games. Anyhow, didn't mean to take things so off topic, just wanted to hear your side about the mess. You raise some good points and we'll see what happens going forward. Your series with Phoenix should be really interesting. I'm going to try and go to one of the two first games here in Phoenix. I think Phoenix is capable of pulling off the upset (though, really, it's an upset in seedings alone, Detroit's on top of their game right now and I've said all season long the road still goes through Detroit in the Western Conference until proven otherwise) but at the end of the day I think Detroit comes out of this series the winner. Lot of intriguing first round matchups.

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