Thursday, May 23, 2013
On Finishing Off a Wounded Dragon...
Gustav Nyquist; this kid is simply a natural goal scorer with incredibly soft hands and after half a season in the NHL he's starting to figure out where the sweet spots around the net are. I don't say this often but Gustav is a joy to watch and gives me a tremendous amount of hope for the future of the Red Wings (assuming we lock him up long term: come on Kenny earn your paycheck!). I'm also not worried about Joakim Andersson or Damien Brunner; both players are operating within their abilities and while they aren't special every shift they aren't making huge mistakes that cost us goals either. I'm actually starting to wonder if Cleary is done as a professional hockey player; he's an amazing talent but injuries keep piling up and it's time to question if his body has anything left to give the Red Wings at this point.
In light of the above and with the general understanding that momentum in hockey doesn't really exist until someone is facing an elimination game, I'm going to predict a 4-3 Hawks win in overtime. I wish I could say this was a reverse jinx but truthfully nobody thought the Wings were going to win this series in 5 games before it started so it seems pretty ridiculous to assume so now. There are simply too many things Detroit needs to go right for them to win this game. Chicago has to remain tight, they need to fail to make adjustments, Detroit's youngster's have to keep playing out of their minds and Jimmy needs to stay elite for 60 minutes. The Chicago Blackhawks will expend every ounce of energy they have to avoid going home down 3-1 in the series and while I think the Red Wings will match their intensity the Hawks probably have enough to simply "take" this single game. I told anyone who would listen at the start of the series that if the Red Wings are going to win this they'll do it in 6-7 games and nothing I've seen so far gives me reason to doubt that prediction.
Naturally of course as a rabid Wings fan, I hope this above prediction is wrong. A 3-1 series lead would absolutely destroy the Blackhawks' psyche and Babcock is a good enough coach to get the better of Quennville once in 3 tries to advance. Did I just say advance? Now I'm starting to sound like every other Red Wings fan.
- The Sportsball Chic