The second round of the NHL Playoffs are finally upon us, which means it’s time to look ahead to what the conference semifinal round hold. From the best team in hockey down to those who limped into hockey’s Eight Eight, this year’s semifinal field is loaded with teams itching to see their championship dreams realized. All the action kicks off May 14th, so let’s take a look at what’s in store for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.
|TIME (ET)||#1 VS. #7||NETWORKS|
|WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013||8 P.M.||DETROIT AT CHICAGO||NBCSN, CBC|
|SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013||1 P.M.||DETROIT AT CHICAGO||NBC, CBC|
|MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013||7:30 P.M.||CHICAGO AT DETROIT||NBCSN, CBC|
|THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013||8 P.M.||CHICAGO AT DETROIT||NBCSN, CBC|
|*SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013||TBD||DETROIT AT CHICAGO||CBC|
|*MONDAY, MAY 27, 2013||TBD||CHICAGO AT DETROIT||CBC|
|*WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013||TBD||DETROIT AT CHICAGO||CBC|
Detroit Red Wings:
They have a heritage of winning and that’s what has helped the Detroit Red Wings find themselves in the Western Conference Semifinals. But it’s more than just a history of postseason winning that has landed this team in the next round, as they’re growing together as a unit and learning that talent can help balance a lack of depth. Stars like Justin Abdelkader are emerging to lead the team and combine star-power with the like of Henrik Zetterberg and despite that depth issue, the Red Wings survived a full seven game series with the Ducks. But the Chicago Blackhawks are a far better team and the speed of Chicago may ware the Wings out if another long series lies ahead.
The Blackhawks entered the postseason as the best team in hockey and while they’re no longer the hottest team, it appears they still are the most rounded and championship ready team in the field. They dropped a game to the Wild in the first round, but by comparison to the Penguins, that really isn’t as bad as things could have gotten. The Wild exposed one flaw though, as the Blackhawks aren’t sprinters rather they’re long distance runners. Only a few games were blowouts for the Blackhawks and if the Red Wings can get some fast goals, the Blackhawks may not rally. However the Hawks showed that you need at least three goals to have a comfortable cushion against them as they’re brawlers and will come at you hard until they come out on top.
Detroit is a great story, but they’re not the most powerful 7-seed still alive. The Ottawa Senators are the team you’re going to want to watch if you’re looking for a 1-seed to go down, as the Red Wings just don’t seem to have what it takes to hold back the fast and furious attack of the Blackhawks. Netminder Justin Howard has a tall order ahead of him in stopping the quick stick of Chicago and it’s one he may not be ready for and that could end this series faster than you think.
Prediction: Blackhawks win series 4-2