Detroit Red Wings (3) v.s. Phoenix Coyotes (6)
A rematch of last year’s playoffs the Coyotes seek revenge against the Red Wings. But it is not going to be as easy as it may seem. The Red Wings almost kept the former Stanley cup champs out of the playoffs in the final game of the series. In fact the Red Wings won and absolutely dominated the Blackhawks that game.
The Wings are a very good puck possession team and to make matters worse for the Yotes, the Wings are getting healthy. Datsyuk is back to his normal self, and to be honest is there any defensemen in the NHL that can stop him? This guy does whatever he wants on the ice and cannot be stopped, it’s sometimes sickening. The only downfall for the Wings right now in terms of injuries is that Henrik Zetterberg will miss game one of this series.
Besides Zetterberg my only concern is Jimmy Howard. He is a proven solid goaltender, but there are times where he does not look like the goalie he is expected to be. Sloppy saves, tends to get over anxious at times. The key for the Red Wings to make a deep playoff run will be Howard. He needs to play the best he can and not get over whelmed and just stay calm.
The Coyotes are starting to get healthy as well, Ed Jovanoski and Martin Hanzal have just returned. But let’s be honest about the Coyotes. With-out Ilya Bryzgalov, they are not in the playoffs. Bryzgalov has carried this team all season long it’s a shame he is not on a legitimate Cup contending team. He will do his best but facing an army like the Red Wings in the first round is going to be a struggle, especially with the defense in front of him. Hope he is prepared to see 35+ shots a game in this matchup, with-out much offense from his team to balance it out.
Of all the series I personally think this is the easiest to predict. And I say that because of how well and physical the Red Wings played on their final game of the season and how outstanding Datsyuk looked in that game.
Prediction: Detroit Red Wings to win the series in 5 games.
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