The NHL Playoffs are a rough road for every team, there are no more easy wins and anyone could get hot and take over a series. When the Playoffs begin, big teams will fall and Cinderella teams will appear; Detroit has the potential to be one of the Cinderella teams.
Yesterday we talked about why the Detroit Red Wings will not win the Stanley Cup, but today it is time to talk about why they will.
Pavel Datsyuk has never missed the NHL Playoffs in his career and in that time has lifted the Stanley Cup over his head twice. Daniel Alfredsson has only missed the playoffs twice in his career and while Lord Stanley still evades him, he does bring a wealth of playoff knowledge to the table.
Heading into the First Round, the Red Wings are carrying nine players who are twenty-five years old or younger and most have little to no NHL playoff experience.
Usually players need to learn to lose – check the Wings’ 1995 Stanley Cup loss – before they win, but these players have become integral parts of the team and sometimes ignorance can be bliss. They will play their normal game and not get in their own way.
The speed and stubbornness these players bring to the table could see the Detroit Red Wings through the first round and beyond.
Jimmy Howard has had a rough season in net for the Detroit Red Wings and gets a bad rap when fans talk about him, but when all the chips are on the table and it is win or go home time, I would prefer to have Howard in net over almost any other goalie.
Last season, Howard posted a career best 2.44 GAA and .924 SV% and is the reason Detroit made the playoffs last season and the reason they beat the Anaheim Ducks in seven games, then took the Chicago Blackhawks to seven before losing in overtime.
I expect Howard to be even better this year and the Red Wings need him to be better; the chips are down, the pressure is on and it is all up to Jimmy Howard.
The Detroit Red Wings have scored at least three goals in nine of their past ten games and the production has not been limited to certain players.
Justin Abdelkader, Riley Sheahan, David Legwand, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Brendan Smith, and Jakub Kindl are just a small sample size of the players who have stepped up for Detroit and provided goals for the team.
In the playoffs, the Red Wing cannot rely entirely on Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, or Pavel Datsyuk to score on a consistent basis and if they continue to produce the why they have in their past ten games, then they have nothing to worry about.
Nyquist, Tatar, and Datsyuk will continue to drive the play and get chances, but it will be up to the Wings’ third and fourth line to make a difference on the scoreboard, something they have been able to do lately.
The Detroit Red Wings have a ton of potential as a sleeper pick and if they can make beat the Boston Bruins in the first round and get Henrik Zetterberg back from injury, then nothing can stand in Detroit’s way of capturing a twelfth Stanley Cup.
If you missed it, here is Part One: Why The Detroit Red Wings Will Not Win The Stanley Cup.