Found April 11, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
Detroit -- Have the Detroit Red Wings suddenly become the NHL's version of Rodney Dangerfield?
Because the Wings sure aren't getting any respect these days.
NHL.com had its writers, international staff and NHL Network analysts give their predictions for every series and of the 16, exactly two picked the fifth-seeded Wings to beat the fourth-seeded Nashville Predators in the first round.
ESPN did the same thing and only one of the 12, noted New York Rangers fan and anchor Linda Cohn, picked the Wings to win in six games.
The other 11 did say the series would go seven games but all said the Predators would prevail.
Hey, I get it, the Wings didn't exactly dominate at the end of the regular season.
Their power play struggled, their penalty kill didn't look very good until the last several games and they weren't putting the puck in the net as often as they used to. Not to mention the Wings' road woes all season. They were No. 1 at home with a 31-7-3 record but 21st on the road with a 17-21-3 record.
But good grief, the Wings were one of the 10 playoff teams to reach 100 points (102), just two points behind the Predators. The two teams split the season series, 3-3, with each team winning once in the other team's building.
Only three teams had a better goal differential than the Wings, who were plus-45. The Boston Bruins were plus-67, the Pittsburgh Penguins were plus-61 and the Vancouver Canucks were plus-51. The St. Louis Blues tied the Wings at plus-45. The Predators? They were plus-27.
The Predators did not have anyone with more than 58 points. Martin Erat led the team. Grosse Pointe native David Legwand had 53 and Mike Fisher had 51.
The Wings were led by Henrik Zetterberg, who had 69 points in what was considered a down year for him. Pavel Datsyuk had 67 points in just 70 games. Valtteri Filppula had a career best 66 points. Johan Franzen had 56 points in 77 games, Jiri Hudler had 50 points in 81 games.
Pekka Rinne is widely acknowledged as one of the top goaltenders in the league. He led the NHL with 43 wins this season. But Jimmy Howard still won 35 despite a broken index finger and groin injuries cutting his season short. Rinne's goals-against average was 2.39 and Howard's 2.13. Rinne's save percentage was .923 and Howard's .920.
Howard, who knows Rinne from their days in the American Hockey League, knows his teammates have their work cut out for them against the Predators netminder.
"He competes," Howard said. "He battles. He works extremely hard out there. He does a great job of moving the puck and relieving pressure for his (defense).
"The one thing that sets him apart is he never gives up. When you think you've got him beat, sometimes he finds a way to get a piece of equipment on it."
Howard thinks a lot more of Rinne than he does of the predictions.
"I really don't care, not at all," Howard said. "That's why we go out there and play the games. I'm sure they'd (Predators) say the same thing. It doesn't matter. That's why we play."
Captain Nick Lidstrom, the four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner, is seemingly never flummoxed by anything, so other people's predictions about the Wings' demise certainly wouldn't upset him.
"We don't mind that at all," Lidstrom said. "We don't mind being the underdogs. Nashville had a real strong regular season, finished ahead of us in points. I think they're the team to be the favorites right now."
In the salary cap era, there is more parity among teams than ever before, which is why the standings stay so bunched up all year.
That is why when it comes to the Wings and the playoffs, I say the same thing every year. The Wings could lose in the first round or they could make it to the Finals.
Staying healthy is one of the most important factors for any team that wants to succeed in the playoffs, that's why these things are so hard to predict. It's better to just let it play out.
Stuff like that I really never look at, so you have to play the game," four-time Stanley Cup winner Tomas Holmstrom said. "Ive played the game so long that it doesnt really matter what the records are and whats in the papers, you have to play the games.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Detroit -- The Red Wings are very close to being back to full health.
Darren Helm, who missed the last 10 games of the regular season with a knee injury, could return for Game 1 of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators.
"Slight possibility, hopefully if it feels really good tomorrow I'll go, if not then our goal was Game 2 or 3 anyway," Helm said...
Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm was undergoing surgery for a cut on his arm after he was cut by a skate in Wednesday's playoff opener at Nashville.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Helm was having surgery on his forearm after he was sliced during a first-period mishap.
Helm, who was returning to the lineup after missing the last 10 games of the regular season with a sprained...
Via MLive’s Ansar Khan, this quip from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos should come as no surprise to those who witnessed Darren Helm suffering a serious injury to his forearm on a skate cut from Alex Radulov:
#SNPlayoffs news. #toughloss #Redwings Helm playoff run is over. Its believed tendon damage that required surgery went well.
Awful news for the Wings, and it should be noted...
Detroit, MI…Detrot Red Wings forward Darren Helm underwent successful surgery last night to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm. The injury, suffered with just over eight minutes remaining in the first period of the Red Wings Western Conference Quarterfinal Game 1 vs. Nashville, will sideline Helm for the remainder of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Helm is expected to...
Helm won’t return and was taken to the hospital.
thanks to Puck Daddy for the video.
The Detroit Red Wings quest for the Cup begins...
After an up and down season, the Detroit Red Wings finally know who they will be facing in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. The Nashville Predators welcome the Red Wings to the Music City, and believe me, both teams are built for long runs. After an entire 82 game season, the Wings take a modest 4-4-2 record into the playoffs...
If the Red Wings "flip the switch" in this series, it could be over in 4. If they don't "flip the switch" in this series, it could be over in 4. I'm going to avoid the urge to predict which team will show up because there's just no way for me to tell. Instead, I'll look at stats and head-to-head match ups to see if we can figure out how this series...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Detroit center Darren Helm sustained an upper-body injury' in the first period against Nashville on Thursday night, and he will not return in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
Helm played 3:08 in the first period with six shifts before tossing his glove to the ice and speeding to the locker room during a penalty kill against Nashville.
The time that all hockey fans crave has arrived...the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
All of the sixteen remaining teams have their numbers reset to zero in the hopes of winning 16 games and lifting Lord Stanley's Mug over their heads.
For the 21st consecutive season, the Detroit Red Wings have their lottery ticket in hand, hoping in the end it results in a magical Stanley Cup send...
Very briefly (still ramping up to full speed here, sorry folks): here’s a roundup of the various Red Wings and Predators storylines from Thursday. The news regarding Shea Weber (more on it later) comes as a bit of a surprise, per the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper:
Greetings from today’s Predators practice update. Shea Weber was not suspended by the NHL for hitting Henrik Zetterberg’s...
Granted, technically this hit on Henrik Zetterberg by Shea Weber wasn't a traditional hit. It was more of a "I'm gonna fight you, Steve!" kind of move than anything else:
The reaction on Twitter was immediate and universal: "What the hell was Weber thinking?" It didn't seem to matter what team you were a fan of (disclaimer...
((HT: NHL/NBCSN/CNBC))First off, Pittsburgh gave up a 3-0 lead to Philly before losing in OT on a Jake Voracek goal...Second, Nashville-Detroit will probably go the distance. But it took the folks at CNBC and the NHL until late in the second period to lift the blackout in the southeastern parts of the US- since the promise was, after all, for the Peacock's family of networks...
This play is the talk of the night. At the end of tonight's game between the Detroit Redwings and the Nashville Predators, Predators defenseman Shea Weber took Henrik Zetterberg's head and jammed it into the glass, I am not sure what led up to this play but this is not acceptable in any league.
Weber for his efforts was given a two minute minor for roughing, the length...
They teams split the season series 3-3, but if you are a Preds fan what else is there to say except..."Detroit is in town." If Nashville Predators' fans were to rank their rivals the Red Wings would be #1, #2, #3, etc. Since the team came into existence the Red Wings have been the hot ticket in Music City. Twice before the Red Wings have met the Preds...