Wings/Bruins Round 1 Preview
Well the Wings made it in, and they’re set to face the President’s Trophy winning Boston Bruins. Interestingly, this seems to be the most hotly debated matchup of all playoff series’ involving wildcard teams. The fact that the Wings are just starting to get healthy, and have been in playoff mode for the past month, coupled with the 3-1 regular-season record against the top-seeded Bruins, seems to have made this matchup appear close in many people’s eyes. Looking around at early predictions across the web, I see a 50/50 split on who is expected to win this series - though most major media outlets are sticking with the numbers, calling the Bruins heavy favourites.
Coach Babcock has no illusions. He knows the gap between the two teams in the standings isn’t a fluke, and that what happened in the regular season doesn’t give his team any edge in a playoff series. What can Babcock and his team can draw from their regular season success against the B’s? They know they can play a system of speed that Boston has difficulty with, and that work ethic and discipline are going to be the key deciding factors in this series. You can tell Babcock enjoys being the underdog, and wants to make sure all the focus is on Boston being the best team in the league, and what it would mean for them to go home so early.
I wonder how the Bruins are viewing this. Do they have as much pressure to win as a typical 1-vs-8, or does the aura of Detroit playoff success, excellent coaching, and the recent hot-streak provide them with the expectation that this should be a very close series? Sure, every player on every team will tell you that anyone can win on any given night, but when does the sense of urgency kick in for a team that hasn’t needed it? The Red Wings have been playing that type of urgent hockey for a good stretch already… Meanwhile, Boston has been cruising along with ease. How ready are they to respond to adversity? We all know they have it in them, they’re an experienced group. But how quickly can they turn it on? Personally, I can’t wait for puck-drop on Friday night.
Go Wings Go!
News from the IR
Henrik Zetterberg (back) is set to re-join team practices starting Tuesday, but has already been ruled out for games 1 & 2 this weekend - with the ‘wait and see’ approach going forward. General Manager Ken Holland says that there’s a chance Z might play this round, but there’s also a chance he might not. Jonathan Ericsson (Finger) has been ruled out for round 1 while he recovers from torn ligament surgery. He is expected to be ready for round 2, should the Wings make it.
Detroit Redwings Correspondent
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