The NHL Playoffs are finally upon us, which means it’s time to look ahead to what the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs hold. From the best team in hockey down to those who limped in at the very end of the season, this year’s field is loaded with teams itching to see their championship dreams realized. All the action kicks off April 30th, so let’s take a look at what’s in store for the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings.
|TIME (ET)||#2 VS. #7||NETWORKS|
|TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2013||10:30 P.M.||DETROIT AT ANAHEIM||NBCSN, TSN|
|THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013||10 P.M.||DETROIT AT ANAHEIM||NBCSN, TSN|
|SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013||7:30 P.M.||ANAHEIM AT DETROIT||NBCSN, TSN|
|MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013||8 P.M.||ANAHEIM AT DETROIT||CNBC, TSN|
|*WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013||10 P.M.||DETROIT AT ANAHEIM||TSN|
|*FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013||TBD||ANAHEIM AT DETROIT||TSN|
|*SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013||TBD||DETROIT AT ANAHEIM||TSN|
The Ducks return to the playoffs after a hiatus the last few season, but they’re back in style. The Ducks meshed size and toughness this season and the result has given them the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. But while they’re a real force, they’re not a lock to run away with the series. Toughness and size are key for Anaheim but they lack quickness, mobility and depth — all things that could come back to bite them. However, great goaltending was key for the Ducks in their classic runs of yesteryear and both Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller will be looking to emulate Jean Sebastian-Gigure’s great playoff performance that got the Ducks to the Stanley Cup back in 2003.
Detroit Red Wings:
Usually the Red Wings are favorites in the playoffs, after all this is the teams’ 22nd straight trip to the NHL Playoffs. But the Wings struggled a bit to get their footing this year and enter the postseason as the seventh seed in the West. But the Wings are still dangerous and shouldn’t be slept on. Their first line led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk is one o the best in hockey and when they’re on, netminder Jimmy Howard gains a lot of confidence. Still, Detroit success in the past was due to stars having a strong supporting cast and that’s something that’s lacking on this team. They aren’t the favorites they used to be but the Red Wings will put up a fight like they always do.
This is a series that is begging to go the full seven games. The Ducks are big, mean and have great goaltending but they lack depth and mobility. The Red Wings have a killer first line and their goaltending has the ability to be lockdown, but they aren’t the well-rounded machine they used to be and may have the bottom fall out from under them. Either way, this is matchup that will go at least five games ad should go the whole set.
Prediction: Red Wings win 4-3