Detroit Red Wings: Redemption, Momentum, Bragging Rights Up for Grabs Sunday

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Detroit Red Wings: Redemption, Momentum, Bragging Rights Up for Grabs Sunday
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Red Wings would love Johan Franzen - who has just 2 goals since the five goal showing against Ottawa - to help them break out of their recent slump

With Detroit having already locked up the Central Division a few games ago with that 4-2 win against Minnesota, playoffs are on the mind of most Red Wings fans.

After Detroit's abysmal performance tonight against Chicago—giving up a goal on the first shift of the game, three goals in the first period and four goals in the first half of the game—I have had just about enough of this playoff talk.

While most are making a big deal of reaching the playoffs for the 20th straight season, it is time for us fans to look at a different statistic that should worry us.

The "pint-sized" total of 21 home wins this season.

Okay, I'll admit it for the rest of the fans: we've been spoiled over the past two decades watching an amazing franchise make runs at Lord Stanley's Cup.

However:

The last time Detroit had fewer than 25 home wins in a season was 1996-97—granted, they did win the Cup that year, and that was before the expansion to 30 teams, but Detroit has 21 wins this season.

"But Detroit can win on the road this season they're 25-11-4 on the road..."

True, Detroit's road record is one of the best in the NHL, good for second in the league (pending the outcome of the final game with Chicago on Sunday). But Detroit is at minimum the No. 3 seed in the West this year after locking up the division—meaning they will host the first two games of this round.

The playoff fortunes of Chicago will be....?

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Frankly, that should scare most Red Wing fans after seeing this year's home record.

But enough with the doom and gloom talk and back to Sunday's game.

Here are few things that I personally would like better than being the team to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks from the playoffs.

After tonight's performance, those feelings only got stronger.

A regulation win by Detroit over the Blackhawks on Sunday and a win by Dallas in their final game of the season would eliminate Chicago from the playoffs, making them another team in the past decade to win the Cup one season and not qualify for the playoffs the next.

THAT would make my season.

Although some may argue otherwise, Detroit doesn't really have a rival other than Chicago. To knock them out of the playoffs would be nothing short of inspiring going into the playoffs.

The Wings have just three wins in their last 10 contests. Detroit needs this game to build momentum going forward into playoffs.

The lackluster performances at home this season could all be forgotten about by knocking the defending Cup champions from the playoffs with a big win.

A loss? Well, I'd rather not mention that possibility. I've seen it far too many times against Chicago this season with Detroit's record against the Blackhawks standing at 1-3-1 record this season.

I think it is safe to say that the playoffs for Detroit start Sunday.

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