Let's be honest: did anyone really, truly care about the game yesterday? Like, really care?
Yes, it's nice that the Wings ended the season with a win (for the record, the Wings are 6-3-1 in their last 10 season-ending games, including a 3-0 shutout of Dallas last year), because it caps off a 9-4-2 run the Wings went on to earn their 23rd straight playoff berth. Going into the playoffs on a winning note, especially when you're about to take on the President's Trophy winners, helps a lot.
One fear I had looking at this game a few weeks ago was that the Blues would relish the opportunity to prevent the Wings from making the playoffs. Thankfully, the Blues are the Blues, and it turned out that they needed the points more than the Wings, and it was Detroit who prevented the Blues from winning the Central and setting them up for a first round matchup with the defending champion Blackhawks. Have fun with that, St. Louis!
Since this really was a nothing game for both teams, I'm not going to spend a ton of time on what happened. Some small things jumped out at me, however, and we'll share them before we get into previewing the playoffs:
- I know it was only one game, and I know that there's a long way for him to come, but consider me as officially excited for Ryan Sproul to become a Red Wing. He was involved in the offense, had some decent chances, and threw a nice legal hit on Derek Roy. He'll need more time in Grand Rapids to get seasoning, but I could see him in Detroit within 2 years.
- Petr Mrazek needs to be the back up next year. Jonas Gustavsson performed admirably this year, but Mrazek is the real deal and could provide the team with a reliable starter should Jimmy Howard get injured or be inconsistent.
- Gustav Nyquist didn't score in the last few games. Trade him now.