Yotes or Preds?
The Detroit Red Wings have control of their own playoff matchup today as they travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks in both teams' last regular season games of the year. Detroit has locked up the 3rd seed in the Western Conference, and Chicago needs a win to clinch eighth place.
So as the teams get ready for their 12:30 start today, I was thinking about who I want Detroit to face in the first round. The only two possibilities are the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators. To start, I think it's better than playing the Ducks or the Hawks as both are proven playoff teams. When you look at Phoenix and Nashville, nothing really scares you that much, which is something that makes me nervous. They have both quietly had a strong season and could be a darkhorse team that could do some damage.
This is what needs to happen for Detroit to play each team:
DETROIT VS PHOENIX
1. Detroit beats Chicago
DETROIT VS NASHVILLE
1. Chicago beats Detroit
Pretty straightforward and simple. This really doesn't have any effect on who I want them to play because I'm not scared of them, I'm scared of how the Wings will play. Recently they have been lackluster and haven't really shown an effort. Hopefully it's just them waiting for the playoffs. That would be the only thing I can think of.
The real reason I care about this game is because I want to eliminate the Blackhawks. How sweet would it be to get rid of them yourself. Your division rival, defending Stanley Cup champions, and they need to win the game to get in (or lose and have Dallas lose as well). Why wouldn't you get pumped for that game. You know Chicago is playing playoff hockey already, so Detroit has to match their intensity. In a game that mathematically means nothing to Detroit, they need to find that motivation to win this game and let Chicago sweat as they watch Dallas take on Minnesota tonight.
Therefore, the only thing left to factor in is playing times. And seeing Phoenix starts are West coast, I think I'll go with Nashville.