Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 04/09/07 at 10:13 AM ET
Updated 0839 CST: Spector picks Wings in 6. See below
I’m not going to come down too hard on the mainstreamers on this one. Heck, if I even attempted to be objective—which, you know, I have no intention of experimenting with—I’d be tempted too. The Wing injury situation, recent playoff history, Hasek’s brittle body and even more brittle psyche?
I’ve never seen a 1 seed considered an underdog, but by the time Thursday night rolls around it’s going to seem that way. We start, however, with at least one for the good guys.
• Dominik Hasek vs. Miikka Kiprusoff. This has all the makings of a classic. One of the finest goaltenders ever and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, Dominik Hasek, squaring off against a man who is set to make a claim as the best of his generation, Miikka Kiprusoff. Hasek has been reborn this season, his third go-round in Detroit, finishing with a 2.05 goals-against average and eight shutouts.
Kiprusoff, whose 40 wins heading into Sunday night’s game had him tied for third in the league, has regained his other-worldly status in the final weeks of the season as the Flames held on to the final playoff berth. It goes without saying these games are expected to be extremely tight.
As terrific a series this promises to be, this season’s Red Wings have a bit more sand than previous editions; the Flames, a little less. That’ll make all the difference. Detroit in seven.
A seven-gamer, all one-goal games? I’ll be fetal and sucking my thumb by Game 5.
Adam Proteau and Ken Campbell from the Hockey News each pick Calgary in 6.
There are no shortage of NHL observers willing to question how well the Wings are built for the postseason. I am at least partly to blame for that surplus. The Wings are in for a rough reception from the Flames and losing minute-munching defenseman Niklas Kronwall until June won’t help matters at all. If Calgary can steal a game at Joe Louis Arena, they won’t waste their opportunities at home – especially if Kiprusoff continues his improved play.
PREDICTION: Calgary in 6.
If Henrik Zetterberg plays, he’ll be playing his first games in more than a month. If the Flames can steal one of the first two in Detroit, they stand a great chance to steal the series. The Wings have piled up too many points against inferior opponents this year, but the Flames are not that.
PREDICTION: Calgary in 6.
Expect to see this all week: “If Calgary can steal one in Detroit…”
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames. Split their four-game regular season series. The Flames have more offensive depth than in years past, making them tougher to defend against, but their defensive game hasn’t been as strong this season. The Wings have depth at all areas, with a good mix of experienced veterans and rising young talent, but could be missing some key players (Chelios, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi) to start this series. The Flames will play the Wings hard but ultimately Detroit’s depth should carry them through.
WINGS IN SIX.
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About Abel to Yzerman
Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org