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 Stanley Cup Playoffs - 1st Round - Nashville Predatros 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Stanley Cup Playoffs - 1st Round - Nashville Predatros
I thought I would start a playoff thread and see how it goes. I realize this is a Lions website, but figured that there must be a few Red Wings fans around here. :D

We have the Preds in the first round. Any predictions? I'm thinking the Wings in 5. The series starts Thursday at 7 EDT.

Let's go Red Wings!!! Time to bring Lord Stanley's Cup back home to Hockeytown!

Red Wings Playoff Central

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Last edited by TheRealWags on April 8th, 2008, 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.



April 8th, 2008, 10:53 am
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ESPN.com wrote:
Sunday, April 6, 2008
First-round breakdown: Red Wings vs. Predators

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com

GM David Poile and coach Barry Trotz turned what could have easily been a lost season into a memorable one for the Nashville Predators. Forced by outgoing owner Craig Leipold to strip down his team, Poile traded Tomas Vokoun to Florida, dealt the rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen to Philadelphia and watched Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg walk away as free agents before somehow cobbling together a team that snuck into the eighth spot in final days of the regular season.

Now, for all their heart and determination, the Preds are not going to go far in these playoffs. Never mind the Predators stayed close to the Red Wings during the regular season (3-3-2). And you can forget that the Wings hit a bit of a wobble in the second half, going 1-8-2 in February.

Dan Cleary has returned to the lineup after a broken jaw sidelined him for 19 games, Nicklas Lidstrom has returned to full form after missing a few games with what initially looked like a serious knee injury, Dominik Hasek appears to have put hip and other aches and pains behind him and the team has lost just once in regulation in its last nine games.

The Red Wings boast the top scoring team and power-play unit in the conference and the eighth-ranked penalty-killing unit in the league. That's a mouthful and it's too big for the plucky Preds to swallow.

Five Points to Series
1. The sweat box. Unheralded netminder Dan Ellis, who one night lost 13 pounds during a particularly sweaty game, has stopped all but five of the last 182 shots he's faced in his past five decisions (4-0-1). In his only other start, he was chased after giving up three goals on seven shots in a crucial game against St. Louis. And there's the challenge for the 27-year-old goalie, who will be playing in his first NHL playoff series. The only hope the Predators have of upsetting the Red Wings is for Ellis to stand on his head night after night. It seems like a lot to ask a young man who was originally penciled in as the team's No. 3 goalie at the start of the season and might have finished the season in the AHL if a snowstorm hadn't kept goaltending prospect Pekka Rinne from joining the team. Ellis will be backed up by Chris Mason, who couldn't hold onto the job. Unless Ellis can summon up more magic, the Preds' playoff season will be a short one.

2. The switch factor -- on/off/self-destruct. Two seasons ago, the Red Wings were Presidents' Trophy winners and still couldn't put away the eighth-seeded Edmonton Oilers, who upset Detroit in six games. Last postseason, the Red Wings seemed to have learned their lesson and started the playoffs with a lot more emotion. Unless the Wings suffer collective-memory loss, they should be jazzed up to play the Predators. Having Cleary back in the lineup helps, as does the presence of Darren McCarty, whose ice time may increase as the playoffs progress. (He got his first point since rejoining the team late this season in Sunday's regular-season finale against Chicago.) He, along with Aaron Downey and Dallas Drake, may be asked to do a little more given the Preds will try and play an in-your-face style behind players like Jordin Tootoo and Scott Nichol. Either way, the Red Wings don't expect to cruise through the first round.

3. Nicked up. Both teams will hit the postseason with significant injuries and the ability to find players to fill those roles will tell much of the tale of this series. The Predators are without David Legwand, Martin Gelinas, Jed Ortmeyer and Steve Sullivan, who hasn't played this season due to chronic back problems. If Nashville can get timely scoring from Jerred Smithson, Rich Peverley and Jan Hlavac (13 points since coming over from Tampa at the trade deadline), it will take pressure off the top scoring group of Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and Alexander Radulov. The Red Wings will also look to different areas for depth up front. Tomas Kopecky is gone for the season (knee), veteran Kirk Maltby will likely miss some time early (hamstring), faceoff and penalty-killing specialist Kris Draper has been nursing a sore groin and Brad Stuart has been out with a broken finger. Tomas Holmstrom, a key part of the Wings' top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, returned to action Sunday after missing 13 games (groin). Johan Franzen was especially hot in Holmstrom's absence with 15 goals in 15 games before Sunday. The Wings, who always seem to find a body or two to chip in at the right time, also just signed Michigan State forward Justin Abdelkader.

4. Baby blueliners. A season ago, we wondered whether the talented-but-youthful Predators blue line would be able to stand up to the San Jose Sharks' balanced attack. The answer turned out to be a resounding no as the Preds were dispatched in five games by the Sharks for the second straight year. Now, youngsters Shea Weber, Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Suter and Greg Zanon have been joined by Ville Koistinen, who filled in when Weber was hurt. Marek Zidlicky remains the offensive leader (43 points) and Greg de Vries, who won a Cup in Colorado back in the day, is there for stability. But if the Predators are going to contain the high-powered Red Wings, it will be because the young guns on the blue line have grown up enough to handle the challenge.

5. Home-ice advantage? We have been in Nashville for a home playoff game and, trust us, the Sommet Center can rock. But no discussion of the Predators and the playoffs would be complete without acknowledging that fan support continues to be an ongoing issue even with local ownership nullifying the threat of relocation for the time being. Local media outlets reported the Preds averaged just 13,145 in paid attendance through the team's first 36 home games. Two seasons ago, home playoff games did not sell out in a timely fashion and the team threatened to black out games on local television. Nothing would do more for the team and its future than to see the home barn filled for its dates against the Red Wings. If the Preds can't sell out, it will only reinforce what many believe -- that the Predators are living on borrowed time in Nashville.

Key Matchup
Nashville forecheckers vs. Detroit defense: The Red Wings are a puck-possession team blessed with all kinds of skill and speed. The best way to neutralize such a team is to keep the puck from them or make it painful to have it. The pressure, then, is on the Predators' forwards to disrupt the flow of the Wings' game by hammering away at Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Stuart. Of course, that's what teams have been trying to do against the Wings for a while, but that doesn't mean the Preds should stop trying.

Hot and Not
Red Wings: Datsyuk was held off the score sheet just three times in his last 18 games. Cleary had just two assists in his first six games back after recovering from a broken jaw.

Predators: Dumont, cast off by the Buffalo Sabres a couple of years back, led the Predators in scoring and had 25 points in his last 24 games.

Predictions
• The Wings just have too much of everything for the Predators to contain. This one will be mercifully short. Red Wings in five.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.

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April 8th, 2008, 10:58 am
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I'm gonna say the Red Wings in 6 and this series is going to be a lot closer than many people think. As stated previously, Nashville was 3-3-2 against the Wings this season, so it's not like Detroit has their number or anything. In addition, Dan Ellis scares me. Sure, he's never played in a playoff game before, but I've seen him stand on his head against superior teams, so he just might steal a game or two.

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April 9th, 2008, 9:29 am
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At least this will get my mind off the tigers debacle. Wings in 5 sounds good to me. Nashville always gives us a hard time. That was when they had Vokuun though. BRING IT HOME RED WINGS!!! :D

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April 9th, 2008, 2:15 pm
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Well, the Wings won Game 1 by a score of 3-1, but it was close until the end. I forgot to mention earlier that I hate dirty teams like the Predators. They're not as bad as Anaheim (who is?), but they still take as many cheap shots as possible knowing full well that the refs aren't going to call everything in the playoffs. Hopefully, there will be different refs in Game 2 that will call the blatant interference penalties that the Preds got away with all game long tonight. A couple of boarding calls were in order too.

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April 10th, 2008, 10:46 pm
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The Red Wings are now up 2-0 in the series after a 4-2 win today. It wasn't looking too good in the first period when Nashville was clearly outplaying them, but Hasek came up huge. They later settled down, other than for 11 seconds in the 2nd period, to come away with the win.

McCarty even scored the first goal. Imagine that?

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April 12th, 2008, 5:28 pm
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slybri19 wrote:
The Red Wings are now up 2-0 in the series after a 4-2 win today. It wasn't looking too good in the first period when Nashville was clearly outplaying them, but Hasek came up huge. They later settled down, other than for 11 seconds in the 2nd period, to come away with the win.

McCarty even scored the first goal. Imagine that?

Overall they're looking really good. Like you said, a couple bad spots, but when it really counts, they're cranking it up. They absolutely dominated the 3rd period in this game. Keep it up boys!


April 12th, 2008, 8:23 pm
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GO WINGS!!! IMO, the Wings did not match up physically in the first game until the 3rd period..yesterday's game was a real barn burner..I don't know what happened when the Preds score twice in 1 minute, everyone must of went to sleep. I see the Wings now beating the Preds down.. the last 2 minutes was most exciting hockey I seen in a while..


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April 13th, 2008, 1:15 pm
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Well, that was a major disappointment last night. I thought the Wings had the game in hand twice (2-0 and 3-2 leads), but lost 5-3. They also gave up two goals just 9 seconds apart. That's 4 goals in 20 seconds now in two games. What the hell is up with that? In addition, I'm a litttle worried about Hasek. Old age must be slowing him down since he gave up those two slapshots when he wasn't even screened. Putting Osgood in for Game 4 might not be a bad idea.

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April 15th, 2008, 11:28 am
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slybri19 wrote:
Well, that was a major disappointment last night. I thought the Wings had the game in hand twice (2-0 and 3-2 leads), but lost 5-3. They also gave up two goals just 9 seconds apart. That's 4 goals in 20 seconds now in two games. What the hell is up with that? In addition, I'm a litttle worried about Hasek. Old age must be slowing him down since he gave up those two slapshots when he wasn't even screened. Putting Osgood in for Game 4 might not be a bad idea.

I think it might be a bit much to pull Hasek already. Yes, he's given up a couple that he probably should've stopped, but he's also made some great saves that probably should have been goals. No team wins all the games, so let's just see what happens. My guess is the Wings will bounce back in the next game and they'll be fine. Hasek included.


April 15th, 2008, 1:19 pm
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Touchdown Jesus, I understand what you're saying and I could be over-reacting. Hasek has made some great saves in this series, but he can't be allowing 25 foot slapshots to reach the back of the net. He has to make those saves if he expects the Red Wings to win. I could see possibly letting one of them in, but two? No way.

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April 15th, 2008, 1:50 pm
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slybri19 wrote:
Touchdown Jesus, I understand what you're saying and I could be over-reacting. Hasek has made some great saves in this series, but he can't be allowing 25 foot slapshots to reach the back of the net. He has to make those saves if he expects the Red Wings to win. I could see possibly letting one of them in, but two? No way.

I'm right there with you. Those are the goals that championship teams don't let in. But, Hasek also has a reputation for getting mad at himself and bouncing back in a big way after a bad game. I think they have to put him back out there. After all, he didn't play terrible. A couple mental lapses cost him. That can be said of the entire team though. In watching the game, I got the impression that they let up a bit. It almost seemed like they thought they had the game in hand and then the next thing you know, they're losing.


April 15th, 2008, 2:55 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
slybri19 wrote:
Touchdown Jesus, I understand what you're saying and I could be over-reacting. Hasek has made some great saves in this series, but he can't be allowing 25 foot slapshots to reach the back of the net. He has to make those saves if he expects the Red Wings to win. I could see possibly letting one of them in, but two? No way.

I'm right there with you. Those are the goals that championship teams don't let in. But, Hasek also has a reputation for getting mad at himself and bouncing back in a big way after a bad game. I think they have to put him back out there. After all, he didn't play terrible. A couple mental lapses cost him. That can be said of the entire team though. In watching the game, I got the impression that they let up a bit. It almost seemed like they thought they had the game in hand and then the next thing you know, they're losing.


I was yelling at the TV telling Babcock to pull Hasek and put in Ozzie. IMO that would have really ticked of Hasek and made him work harder for the next game. I think Hasek is getting too old to be a consistant #1. As it is I think that Ozzie ended up with better stats that Hasek. I think if Hasek lets another soft goal in then they should yank him immedately!

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April 15th, 2008, 4:50 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
slybri19 wrote:
Touchdown Jesus, I understand what you're saying and I could be over-reacting. Hasek has made some great saves in this series, but he can't be allowing 25 foot slapshots to reach the back of the net. He has to make those saves if he expects the Red Wings to win. I could see possibly letting one of them in, but two? No way.

I'm right there with you. Those are the goals that championship teams don't let in. But, Hasek also has a reputation for getting mad at himself and bouncing back in a big way after a bad game. I think they have to put him back out there. After all, he didn't play terrible. A couple mental lapses cost him. That can be said of the entire team though. In watching the game, I got the impression that they let up a bit. It almost seemed like they thought they had the game in hand and then the next thing you know, they're losing.


I was yelling at the TV telling Babcock to pull Hasek and put in Ozzie. IMO that would have really ticked of Hasek and made him work harder for the next game. I think Hasek is getting too old to be a consistant #1. As it is I think that Ozzie ended up with better stats that Hasek. I think if Hasek lets another soft goal in then they should yank him immedately!

Yeah, you just have to be careful with stuff like that. It's similar to a QB in the nfl. If the coach keeps switching goalies, the team won't know who's playing and I think it creates unnecessary uncertainty.


April 15th, 2008, 4:55 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
slybri19 wrote:
Touchdown Jesus, I understand what you're saying and I could be over-reacting. Hasek has made some great saves in this series, but he can't be allowing 25 foot slapshots to reach the back of the net. He has to make those saves if he expects the Red Wings to win. I could see possibly letting one of them in, but two? No way.

I'm right there with you. Those are the goals that championship teams don't let in. But, Hasek also has a reputation for getting mad at himself and bouncing back in a big way after a bad game. I think they have to put him back out there. After all, he didn't play terrible. A couple mental lapses cost him. That can be said of the entire team though. In watching the game, I got the impression that they let up a bit. It almost seemed like they thought they had the game in hand and then the next thing you know, they're losing.


I was yelling at the TV telling Babcock to pull Hasek and put in Ozzie. IMO that would have really ticked of Hasek and made him work harder for the next game. I think Hasek is getting too old to be a consistant #1. As it is I think that Ozzie ended up with better stats that Hasek. I think if Hasek lets another soft goal in then they should yank him immedately!

Yeah, you just have to be careful with stuff like that. It's similar to a QB in the nfl. If the coach keeps switching goalies, the team won't know who's playing and I think it creates unnecessary uncertainty.


I know what you mean, but after the 2 goals in 9 sec thing yesterday, I would have done it just to wake up the rest of the team.

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April 15th, 2008, 5:15 pm
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