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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Friday, April 17, 2009


So here's a total jinx ... but I'm watching the other Western Conference playoff games and I can't figure which second-round opponent would be the best matchup for the Wings. See, total jinx.

If the Wings win, they'll likely play either Anaheim or the winner of the Chicago/Calgary series. If the top three seeds win, Vancouver would be the Wings opponent.

Anaheim is obviously on a roll, but right now I think the Ducks would be my No. 1 choice. What impressed me most about Anaheim two years ago was that awesome line of Getzlaf's. That's broken up now and Getzlaf's role is that of a No. 1 center. I think the Wings can shut down Getzlaf and Ryan. And the Ducks don't have a sandpaper line like they did two years ago to slow down the Wings. I'd also rather face Hiller than Kiprusoff or Khabibulin.

Chicago plays Detroit tough. The 'Hawks and Flames are similar in that they have a handful of defensemen who are punishing. (I know that Pronger is in Anaheim, but Regehr is just as tough on the Wings and Keith and Seabrook are very tough.)

Luongo alone makes Vancouver tough. But the Canucks don't have enough offense to beat the Wings.

So I've totally laid on a jinx and I should be sorry. But it's tough not to think ahead as you watch the Flames and Blackhawks and Ducks and Canucks wondering whose victory would help out Detroit the most.

My list of teams I'd most like to see in the next round? 1 Anaheim, 2 Vancouver, 3 Calgary, 4 Chicago. Although this might be a case of be careful for what you wish.

Who would you most want to play of the four potential opponents?


Blogger Matt said...

Anaheim, absolutely, especially given the goaltending. I still have this weird fear of Kiprusoff, and Chicago has been a tough opponent of late.

April 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM 
Blogger Heaton said...

Calgary or Anaheim for sure. Regehr is injured like he was two seasons ago and won't be back anytime soon.

Anaheim, like you said, has nothing beyond Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan and Selanne.

April 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM 
Anonymous Alex said...

you forgot Vancouver, Bruce.

we either play Anaheim (if they beat the Sharks) or Vancouver (if they beat the Blues and the Sharks beat Anaheim) or the winner of Chicago/Calgary (if the Blues beat the Canucks and the Sharks beat the Ducks).

phew. so there's that option too.

April 17, 2009 at 10:54 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot about Vancouver, if both San Jose and Vancouver win, the Sharks play against the winner of Chicago/Calgary and the Wings get Vancouver...

April 17, 2009 at 11:10 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wings could also play Vancouver, if they and San Jose win.

April 17, 2009 at 11:19 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if all the top seeds win, wouldn't #2 detroit play #3 vancouver...not #4 chicago or #5 calgary?

April 17, 2009 at 11:30 AM 
Blogger Kurt said...


I would like to see the Ducks but only because that would mean the Sharks are out of it. Calgary would be my least favorite but honestly without the SJ factor, I would rather see the Hawks as the travel would be much less and I don't view the Hawks as much better than the Ducks.

April 17, 2009 at 12:10 PM 
Anonymous Joe, Belleville said...

Who I'd like to see:

1) Anaheim. They play physical but I think they are too slow and will put the Wings on the PP a lot.

2) San Jose. Best team in the regular season but have trouble in the playoffs.

3) Chicago. This team scares me. Their skill players are young and fast. This team can make Detroit show its age.

April 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM 
Blogger Kevin said...

I think Detroit can also play Vancouver in round 2, if all the seeds hold. Ideally for the sake of my sleep, I'd like to see St. Louis beat Vancouver to set up San Jose vs. St. Louis and Chicago beating Calgary setting up Detroit vs. Chicago.

April 17, 2009 at 12:50 PM 
Blogger John said...

I unjinx you.

I can think only about tomorrow night at 7pm at the Joe.

I can think only about the next contest. The next hit. The next rush and the next shifty defensive move the smothers the opponents best effort.

I was so wound up that I had to leave during the 4 on 4 in the first last night that I took it out on my amature opponents. I think i had 5 hits and got away with at least 6 roughing penalties... and my tripping call was really more of a slew foot. It was an accident, but I was so wound up about the wings game I didn't mind. We won too. 5-2. I was +3, three for, none against. I was also out for a power play goal... but of course no +.

Game 2. That is where my soul is.

April 17, 2009 at 1:59 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Sorry I wasn't clear the first go round. I edited the post a bit. Yes, Vancouver is a possible, but I'm playing a what-if game, focusing on the opponent possibilities other than if the seeds hold. I was curious what people thought of a matchup be it Chicago, Calgary or Anaheim and I didn't write it that way. Let's throw Vancouver in and include all the possibles.
(Although seeds holding isn't often the case in the NHL.)
Luongo alone makes Vancouver difficult, but the Canucks' lack of offense puts them second behind Anaheim for me on the would-like-to-see list.
So, I'm going 1 Anaheim, 2 Vancouver, 3 Calgary, 4 Chicago.
That's with Regehr as a question mark. I might move Calgary to 4 if he plays. I don't want to play against that guy.

April 17, 2009 at 2:21 PM 
Blogger Rob said...

CHICAGO. The line "Chicago always plays Detroit tough" only applied to games that the Wings didn't care about (like the last two of the season). The Winter Classic swing, where Detroit also played Chicago on 12/30 is what I look at. The Wings DOMINATED those two games. There's no way the series would go more than 5 games.

April 17, 2009 at 2:26 PM 
Anonymous Ryan said...

Ignoring travel, give me Calgary. Kipprusoff is the worst goalie in the playoffs by a mile (seriously, check his stats for the last three seasons. Notice the pattern?). And think he might be tired after playing 75 games each of the last four years? The bonus there is that Calgary doesn't even have any other options, because McElhinney is a total disaster.

Factoring in travel, give me Chicago. Yeah, they're young and good, but I think the Wings are still clearly better than them, so what's the harm? May as well let the Wings be as rested as possible for their grueling third-round matchup against St. Louis. (I can dream, right?)

April 17, 2009 at 3:12 PM 
Blogger jl said...

anyone else see hiller last night? he's the last guy i want to see. i'm rooting for the sharks ... i think anaheim is the #2 team in the conference right now, plus they are dirty and will take a toll on the team. i personally hope for chicago. i'd rather not face luongo, and calgary will take some cheap shots as they did during the regular season.

April 17, 2009 at 3:48 PM 
Blogger CUP#12 said...

i say chicago 1st since i live here! bring it on! their fans act like the blackhawks are the defending champs. i have fantasies of the wings never going past the central time zone! lol ducks take out sharks; blues take out nucks.. wings knock out the hawks while the blues handle the ducks! making for a tough central division WCF! isnt nice to know the wings have leino just waiting if needed. so long as the wizard of oz is back its looking good against any team! what incredible team depth! glad youre back in action mac! i missed your stuff during the season.

April 17, 2009 at 6:59 PM 
Blogger Neil said...

Chicago. Travel, Travel, Travel, Travel. The wings can take on anyone! Travel is the only consideration

April 17, 2009 at 9:40 PM 
Anonymous Octopus said...

I was rooting for us to face Anaheim in the first round, but I have to admit, if they beat the Sharks and Hiller is playing out of his mind, they're not quite the shallow pushovers they're being painted as here. That would be a formidable series. I think we would win, but it would be a battle.
Bottom-line, by the second round it's always a battle, no matter who you're facing. Teams are starting to believe, and sniff the Cup.

April 18, 2009 at 10:43 AM 

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