Morning Skate: Red Wings at Blackhawks - Game 1 Preview

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

8:00p ET, United Center

Chicago, IL

TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blackhawks Blogs: Second City Hockey

Detroit Red Wings Tickets

Round 2.

Here we go.

If you would have told me the Red Wings would be in the 2nd Round a few months ago, I wouldn't have believed you. Hell, if you would have told me a few weeks ago I wouldn't have believed you either. Yet here we are. Ready to for Game 1 against the best team in the league. It's quite the role reversal and it's pretty exciting.

I'm from the region of Hockeytown that was barely alive the last time the Wings missed the playoffs. Since I can remember, it's been Stanley Cup or bust. Long gone are the days of being the favorite. We all remember the seasons where the Red Wings were everyone's top pick. We remember the early round exits to the Oilers or Mighty Ducks or Kings or Flames. Well, now it's our turn to flip the playoffs upside down.

No one believes the Red Wings have a chance.

Puck Daddy? Blackhawks all the way.

Pro Hockey Talk? Chicago for everyone.

ESPN? Hawks, Hawks and more Hawks (Except for Linda Cohn because she's the best and the only on-air talent from the "World Wide Leader" that matters other than Randy Scott).

It's us against the world. The Wings enter this series with everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, have everything on the line. Detroit has already exceeded expectations. Chicago isn't even halfway to it's goal. We've thrown the term "house money" around here the last few days and that's exactly what Mike Babcock's team is playing with. Everything from here on out is icing on top of the cake.

Steal Game 1 and it's about to get real tense in the Windy City. It's our turn to play spoiler. It's Detroit's turn to be the scrappy team that could. It's all been building to this. The season has been a roller coaster full of giant ups and downs, but we must always remember… roller coasters are f*cking awesome. So strap in and get ready. This series is about to go from 0 to 120mph in 4 seconds or less. One last playoff battle with a division foe.

Time to give the Blackhawks hell.

The Expected Lineup

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Johan Franzen - Valtteri Filppula - Daniel Cleary

Gustav Nyquist - Joakim Andersson - Damien Brunner

Patrick Eaves - Cory Emmerton - Todd Bertuzzi

*

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Kyle Quincey

Carlo Colaiacovo - Jakub Kindl

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Ian White, Brian Lashoff, Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Sameulsson

Injuries: Drew Miller (hand), Danny DeKeyser (thumb) and Darren Helm (back)

RED WINGS PLAYOFF MATCH-UP BLACKHAWKS
4-3 Record 4-1
2.57 (9th in NHL) Goals Per Game 3.40 (3rd in NHL)
3.00 (11th) Goals Against Per Game 1.40 (1st)
24.0% (4th) Power Play % 15.4% (10th)
72.0% (14th) Penalty Kill % 100.0% (1st)
2 tied with 3 goals Goal Leader Patrick Sharp (5 goals)
Henrik Zetterberg (8 points) Points Leader 2 tied with 6 points

  • The Red Wings are 35-39 (W-L) all-time against the Chicago Blackhawks in the postseason. Chicago has won 8 of the 15 series between these clubs.
  • Last time these two teams met in a Game 1 in the postseason was May 17, 2009. Detroit won 5-2. Cleary (2), Franzen, Samuelsson and Zetterberg all scored for the Wings. Chris Osgood made 30 saves.
  • Howard is 4-7-5 with a 2.79 GAA and .905 SV% all time against the Hawks. He has never faced Chicago in the postseason.
Prediction: Red Wings win 3-2 in overtime, of course.


Let's Go Red Wings.
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