Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Red Wings, I named the Blue Jackets because I've never seen a blue jacket before, Stanley Cup Playoffs, stuttering stanley
It's tough being the kid with a stutter. You're always getting picked on, having Billy Madison embarrassing you in class by yelling out, "the kid can't even read!" when your turn is up in the game of popcorn reading. Of course, to this day I think Billy was just doing that to get the attention of Veronica Vaughn. It worked, didn't it? He put himself on the radar and then zap they fall in love after Billy peed his pants.
I digress. You're probably wondering what the hell a "Sixth Sense" quote and the aforementioned jumble-jargon about my theory on how Billy Madison landed Veronica Vaughn has to do with anything whatsoever. And if you can't tell what this post will be about from looking at the picture, then you my friend did not read enough books as a child. In any case, I shall tell you.
The Red Wings are starting their quest for the Cup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2009 NHL Playoffs. You may have furrowed your eyebrows in mass confusion after reading that second team name, and deservedly so. The Columbus Blue Jackets have never made the playoffs before, they are indeed in Columbus, Ohio; population one cool person (hi Chip), and their team name IS in fact the BLUE Jackets. Now, I've only heard of Yellow Jackets and green jackets, but another Adam Sandler movie has always told me, "gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit.," so I'm willing to give this hockey team a fair chance.
As for the Red Wings, they are a dynasty looking to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup, which would be the organization's 5th in just the last 12 years. Throughout this season, critics thought a Stanley Cup repeat was a lock for the Wings. However, they are just 3-7 in their last ten games coming into the playoffs, playing some of the least inspiring hockey I've seen from a Red Wings team in a long time.
Regardless of how they have been playing lately, I think the Wings are just stutter stepping their way into the playoffs, waiting to pounce on opponents en route to their franchise's 12th Stanley Cup Championship. Led by Captain Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Marian Hossa (just to name a few) the Wings are absolutely loaded with offensive weapons. However, I don't think it's any secret that the playoffs will hinge upon the play of the Detroit goalie(s). Chris Osgood is the playoff goalie, but if he struggles, I would not be surprised to see an early switch to Ty Conklin.
Meanwhile, Columbus has the direct opposite problem with their goalie. They have a rookie netminder, Steve Mason that could single-handedly prevent the Red Wings from advancing. Mason leads the NHL in shutouts (10) and is second in goals against average (2.29) and the Wings are just cocky enough to allow it to happen. The Red Wings have had their fair share of playoff series ruined by an opposing goalie playing out of his mind (Irbe, Brodeur, Roy, Giguere, etc.), so hopefully the Wings will be attacking the net early and often with scoring chances.
The Blue Jackets are surely going to be psyched about their first ever playoff appearance, but i don't see them getting past this Wings team. I will give the Blue Jackets a chance, though with passionate play and heroics from Steve Mason. Utilizing my own sixth sense, I know for sure this game will go six games. Wings in 6.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight. The game will be shown on VERSUS at 7 PM EST live from Joe Louis Arena.