NHL Playoffs 2011: The Detroit Red Wings vs. Phoenix Coyotes Game 2

Michael MrockCorrespondent IApril 16, 2011

DETROIT,MI- APRIL 13:  Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his 2nd period goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Joe Louis Arena on April 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

With all the controversy coming from Wednesday's Game 1, due to a octopus hitting the ice, the story of the Detroit Red Wings winning 4-2 seems par for the course.  With my own prediction that this series going to six games, the Wings putting on a clinic on playoff scoring has made this series take on a whole other angle.

With their goals coming from Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Brian Rafalski and Jiri Hudler, the Wings proved that as they approach Game 2 this afternoon, their traditional problem with opposing goalies seems to not be a problem this time around.  However, the national audience for Game 2 will present pressure on both teams.

The value of this game is significant to both teams as the next two games are in Glendale, AZ.  Therefore, before the NBC coverage, the teams will not only want to put on a good show for the national audience, but also put the series in their prospective court.

A 2-0 advantage for the Wings puts them in the driver's seat going out west. The 1-1 tie in the series isn't a big deal for the Wings, where as tying up the series prevents the Phoenix Coyotes from being swept.

However, do not be surprised that the NBC commentators in the booth, on the ice and back in the studio, overplay the octopus incident from Game 1.  Back in Detroit, the opinions are quite heated, as this tradition has defined the 20-year playoff run of the Wings.  The opinion of the NHL to squash the tossing of the octopus has more to do with Gary Bettman's desire to turn the NHL into the NBA. 

He doesn't respect tradition at all.  The original six teams in each conference very rarely play each other of any great number of times each season.  There has been a lot of chatter of moving some of the failed franchises to Canada, yet Bettman wants those teams to stay in America, even though their arenas only fill up when good teams such as the Wings are playing. 

He appears on TV with a detached connection to the fans and is also the only commissioner of any of the leagues who gets booed presenting that league's championship trophy to the winning team every year. 

Sure, there is a risk of an octopus hitting someone on the ice.  However, the purpose of the throw is just to get it on the ice.  Anyone who is trying to hit someone with the octopus is no real fan of the Wings.  In truth, the worst thing about the octopus is the smell which was conveyed by Red Wings anthem singer Karen Newman on 97.1 The Ticket, on Friday. 

This smell probably smells worse to the opposing teams, as it sort of proves the Wings have made their mark on the series.  Adam Foote of the Avalanche, in 2008, nearly lost it when one landed near him, in a game when the Wings tore Colorado apart during their march to their 11th Stanley Cup.

Back to Saturday.  The Wings have the mystical momentum in this series, however, the Coyotes will have to show up to prevent the 0-2 deficit.  Therefore, my prediction for this game will be 3-2 Red Wings.  The scorers for Detroit will be Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Darren Helm.  For the Coyotes, the scorers will be Doan on both as he tries to get his team back in the series.  There will also be one octopus that makes it on the ice.

It's tradition.