Good day, ladies and gentlemen and all the ships at sea.
The Detroit Red Wings have advanced to Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs shutting out the Nashville Predators 3-0 in game six and winning the series four games to two.
I missed it
For those of you who sometimes go to my profile, you may have caught the "Editor's Note" that basically stated that I may not be around my computer this weekend. I did manage to get back for a short time on Saturday night to crank out an article, but I missed (sob, sob) Sunday afternoon's game. Hey, hockey is my game but not my (whole) life. Sometimes, priorities get in the way.
Just to recap, for those other unfortunates that missed it or couldn't watch it, here's what happened:
Head Coach of the Red Wings, Mike Babcock, and his associates made a smart move by pulling first string goaltender, Dominick Hasek, for Chris Osgood. What a move and what a performance. Osgood allowed only one goal in his two playoff matches with the Preds, shutting them out in his second appearance in these 2008 Cup playoffs.
Momentum, momentum, momentum...
I said it before and I'll say it again.
Momentum (almost) alone can lead a team to victory, even in Detroit's 3-2 loss on Wednesday night. They came back Friday night, in Hockeytown, and won 2-0, and then shut the Predators down Sunday afternoon.
Nicklas Lidstrom, of all players, the captain and true leader of the Red Wings opened the scoring in the second period with, of all things, a short handed goal. With fellow defenseman, Chris Chelios in the penalty box for slashing, Lidstrom got one past Predator's goalie, Dan Ellis—from the neutral zone to open the scoring in the second period. It was an "OMG!!!" moment for everyone watching.
"I'm just trying to float one in there," Lidstrom said. "I took some off the shot just to see if I could land in front of him, just go for a bounce or just create something in front of him."
"It just took a wicked bounce to the top corner," Ellis said. "It's a situation you really can't do much about it. I thought I was close enough to stop it from going anywhere."
That's exactly what Detroit needed to get them going.
Jiri Hudler added an insurance goal at 3:52 in the third period and then to put the icing on the cake, Brian Rafalski scored the empty-netter to end the game and advance the Wings onto Round Two.
Is anyone besides me still a little nervous?
In the 2007 playoffs, Detroit made it to the Conference Finals before losing to, of all teams, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks then went on to win Lord Stanley.
Well, Anaheim lost to the Dallas Stars over the weekend.
The Wings exited the 2006 playoffs in the first round being defeated by the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers didn't even make the playoffs this year.
2004-2005 was the season that no respectable hockey player or fan talks about.
Detroit lost again in first round in 2004 to, guess who, the Nashville Predators after they won the President's Trophy for the most points during the regular season.
2003 found the Red Wings exiting again in the first round against the Ducks who went on to lose against the New Jersey Devils in the Cup Finals.
And in 2002, oh yeah, we won the Cup!
My condolences to the losers...
Now, I must congratulate the winner of the Conference Quarter Final Round.
The Colorado Avalanche who beat the Minnesota Wild, 4-2.
The Dallas Stars took out, defending Cup Champs, the Ducks, 4-2.
The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1.
The Pittsburgh Penguins shut out the Ottawa Senators, 4-0.
And still to be determined...
The Habs/Bruins series is tied at three games a piece. They will meet again Monday night at 7:00pm (6pm central time) in Montreal.
Also tonight, Flyers/Capitals series continues in Philadelphia. The Flyers lead the series 3-2.
Tuesday night will be the end of the Sharks/Flames series in San Jose. Calgary won game six over the weekend knotting the series at three games a piece. Game time will be 10 p.m. (9 p.m. central).
And, Johnny, our next contestant is...
With the loss suffered by San Jose on Sunday, Detroit's next opponent is either Colorado or Calgary.
If the Flames manage to pull off a victory in Shark Tank, it'll be a Flames/Wings Round Two. If the Sharks win tomorrow night, it's an Avalanche/Wings renewal of a possible rivalry.
I know where I will be Tuesday night; in front of the TV at 9 p.m.
When Round Two will begin for Detroit, only God knows.
The two things I do know are this: If the Flames win or the Sharks win, it'll be a good series for the Wings. And also, if Detroit hosts Colorado, there won't be a Chris Osgood-Patrick Roy war at center ice.