The last time these teams played in the playoffs Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger were in the lineups. Things have changed since then but don’t expect any less entertainment when the Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings fly into battle in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A Tale Of Two Coaches.
On the one hand you have Red Wings coach Mike Babcock who has made the finals three times in the last decade with two different teams. Twice with the Red Wings, and once behind the bench of his opponents, the Ducks. And on the other hand you have Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau who has a track record of playoff under achievements. Hard to say if Bruce’s previous playoff troubles were his fault or his team’s. This year we may find out.
The Ducks Are Big Up Front.
With all the size the Ducks have up front they may be a lot for the Wings to handle. Getzlaf and Perry have given the Wings problems back when the legend Nicklas Lidstrom was playing. Without Nick in the lineup, can the Wings stop the puck possession game Anaheim’s big forwards will exercise in this first round match up? It’s going to be pretty tough. The Wings may spend a lot of time without the puck in this series.
The Red Wings Reputation Earns Them Respect.
Stop if you think the Red Wings are the same team that won the Cup in 2009 because they’re not. For the Red Wings to win this series they’ll need superb goaltending from Howard, excellent efforts from their defense by committee, and their veteran scorers will have to produce. All of these things could happen and the Wings could pull the upset many expect them to accomplish against the Ducks.
My How Things Change.
A decade ago Wings coach Mike Babcock shocked the Red Wings as an 8 seed in the West when he coached the Anaheim Mighty Ducks as they were known at the time. Now he finds himself in the same situation with the opposite team. He’s done it once so it stands to reason he could do it again.
Ducks in 6.
These aren’t the same Wings and the Ducks finally have good forward depth again after years of suffering without it. The Ducks’ cycle game will be too overwhelming for a fading Red Wings squad and that will be the difference.