I don't think we'll see much of him during the playoffs
First round matchup: Phoenix Coyotes
Isn't this going to be a tale? The underdog Coyotes versus the Western champs for the past 2 years. The Red Wings have the best record post-Olympics. The Coyotes are a team that has played with consistency for most of the season. Who will be the ones to come out on top?
The Red Wings haven't missed the playoffs in 20 years. The last half of the season showed us why. Prior to the Olympics, Detroit was on the outside looking in. Now that the season has finished, they are in 5th place. Something makes you wonder what's up with the Red Wings? Are they running on Energizer batteries?
Unlike the past two years where they've made incredible runs, they don't have Chris Osgood in net. This past season, the Wizard of Oz got himself into a lot of hot water with his play. Questionable goals were let in and slow starts earned him his current spot on the bench. I don't think Osgood will be seeing much of the ice during this playoffs.
Don't worry Detroit fans; y'all have Jimmy Howard! The only downfall to that is, he's never had to play NHL playoffs hockey before. Boy, is he in for the shock of his life when skaters he used to stop start scoring on him. Osgood needs to whisper some words of advice to the young goalie if things start to get ugly.
Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom have shown us that going slow is not part of their game and they can only go faster and stronger. But some have started to slow down, but not enough to slow down their game. I won't say who they are, but they may look a bit more sluggish, they can still produce the same game they've been putting up for the past few years.
Can Detroit make it to the finals for a third year in a row? That would be quite a feat, but not impossible. First they'll have to get past the speedy, hot, and young Desert Dogs before they can even fathom playing the second round.
One of my favourite current Red Wings:
And fans like this make Hockeytown what it is: