Misconduct

Red Wings - Coyotes: Series Preview

It's been a long regular season, an odd regular season for most Red Wings fans, but here we are on the opening day of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Six weeks ago the Red Wings were out of the playoffs. Today they're the Western Conference's fifth seed, with a record better than six of the eight playoff teams in the Eastern Conference (and only a point back of the New Jersey Devils). That jump came courtesy of a 16-3-2 run after the Olympic Break, including a stretch of twelve games in which they earned at least a point.

The Wings come into the playoffs on a roll but in an unfamiliar position. They haven't started a postseason run on the road since 1991, when they were the Norris Division's third seed facing the second-seeded St. Louis Blues. They lost that series, 4-3.

Detroit hasn't been the lower-seeded team in any series since the 2000 Western Conference Semifinals, when the fourth-seeded Wings lost to the third-seeded Colorado Avalanche in five games.

Additionally, the Red Wings haven't headed into a playoff riding a rookie goalie since 1994, when Chris Osgood took over for Bob Essensa as Detroit fell to the San Jose Sharks, 4-3, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

While six weeks ago no one knew if the Red Wings would be in the playoffs today, a year ago no one knew if the Phoenix Coyotes would even exist right now.

The Coyotes are the NHL's Cinderella story, finishing fourth in the Western Conference despite a year of ownership by the league itself after the team declared bankruptcy last spring.

Wayne Gretzky was replaced as head coach by Dave Tippett, the favorite to win the Jack Adams Trophy as the league's best coach. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had a Vezina Trophy-worthy season.

The Red Wings were unbeaten in regulation against the Coyotes this season, going 2-0-2. However all four of those games came while Detroit was battling injuries and before Phoenix added veteran depth at the trade deadline.

Detroit has added forwards Justin Abdelkader and Brad May back to their roster but head coach Mike Babcock won't be making any lineup changes for tonight's Game One, choosing to ride a winning lineup.

Phoenix, meanwhile, is expected to start the series without former Red Wing Robert Lang, out with an upper-body injury.

Game time tonight is 10:00 on FSD and Versus.

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Phoenix, meanwhile, is expected to start the series without former Red Wing Robert Lang, out with an upper-body injury.


That's good because it seems like he always manages to score against the Wings!

Posted by Mathieu_Datsyuk132351 on 4/14/2010 at 5:15 PM

 

You would like to think that all of the money you shell out for Center Ice you would have the option between FSD and VS. As of now that does not seem to be the case... Go figure... For more than half the season I was unable to see the games on VS. and now I have no choice. <img src="http://forums.detroithockey.net/public/style_emoticons/default/cursing.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":cursing:" border="0" alt="cursing.gif" /> I need to move to Michagan... <img src="http://forums.detroithockey.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.png" />

Posted by SYfanSD on 4/14/2010 at 9:07 PM

 

Anyone else nervous as hell? I'd kind of forgotten this feeling.

All that's missing is this:

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:06 PM

 

Goddamn, that was close.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:16 PM

 

Ha! All the bitching about Homer and Phoenix gets the first goalie interference call.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:21 PM

 

Holy f*ck I thought this bastard was supposed to be unbeatable?

Way to go Homer!

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:32 PM

 

Oh Stuie, don't do that. Motherf*ck.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:38 PM

 

Back in front, motherbitches!

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:42 PM

 

Okay, someone explain to me why it's okay to throw an elbow at someone after the whistle but not okay to break your stick across their nose when play is stopped? After the whistle sh*t p*sses me off.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 10:53 PM

 

Keep giving them power plays...

Now the validity of those power plays...

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 11:21 PM

 

Now they call that? I'll take it but WTF?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/14/2010 at 11:42 PM

 

Three weak calls, three goals. Does the PK suck or should they never have been called in the first place?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/15/2010 at 12:10 AM

 

Lidstrom sticked to the face, no call. Does that mean we get to carve Doan's nose off now?

Posted by YzerFan19 on 4/15/2010 at 12:29 AM

 

already said it, i'm sticking with it. yotes in 6. Remember who else the wings have to overcome besides the coyotes. GOT BETTMAN?

Posted by RideTheRedWave on 4/15/2010 at 12:43 AM

 

I agree that Williams probably should sit next game and abdelkader replaces him. I also agree that coyotes probably can't keep this pace up for 7 game series although you have to remember that this team is young and has played very tight knit hockey all year. To me this feels like '03, '04, '06 for the wings facing a much grittier up and coming team.

Posted by RideTheRedWave on 4/15/2010 at 2:37 AM

 
Phoenix Coyotes

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