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So it's Boston, then. Predictions?


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And so today's game against the Blues is just short of an afterthought. And afterthought because 2 points, 1 point, or nothing, we still meet Boston in the first round of the SCPs. Just short of it, because heading into the playoffs on a streak of 3 losses matters intangibly. It doesn't matter if you look at it like a veteran player should, and yet it'll be tough to ignore it if it happens. Oh, sure, when players are asked about it, they'll say what they are supposed to say, but that doesn't mean it isn't in their heads a little bit.

Seidel wrote a pretty good article this morning about how the Red Wing players pass on the way that they train and work to the younger players. But it's a little bit of a longer process to pass on how to THINK. That takes time and experience to learn.

I hope the Wings don't take today's game lightly. It's certainly not the end of the world if they don't, but it certainly won't help things either.

My prediction: this is going to be a good series. I see game 3 as being a very pivotal game. For whatever reason, we have matched up better against Boston this year than any other team. That said, they really are a tough opponent. It will all hinge on whether we can hold to our defensive structure. If we abandon that, we are gonna be heading home early, I fear. But I'm going to say Boston in 7. I agree with Babs' assessment that we will be a tough out. We will. And I think we will stay with this team throughout the series so long as goaltending is strong. But it's hard to see us taking 4 of 7 against this team, especially how they have been playing of late.

Looking forward to the series though. If the RWs are able to take this series, it will not surprise me. We are good enough to be able to pull it off. The question is: Will we?

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Boston in 6 is probably a fair prediction and shows the Red Wings a decent amount of respect.


Based on nothing other than the fact the Wings played them tough this year and just weird gut (could be gas!) I'm picking the Wings in 6.  I think they hold serve at home and steal one on the road.  


(I was initially thinking 7 but realized that would mean that the game they "steal" on the road would have to be game 7.  If it makes it to game seven I don't like their chances.)

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Goaltending: a clear advantage for the Bruins. Rask has been having his best season and Howard his worst.


Defense: Even with Seidenberg down and losing Ference the Bruins have managed to incorporate kids Dougie Hamilton and Krug in nicely. Sadly, clear advantage Bruins.


Offense: Depth gives a slight advantage to the Bruins.


I see the Bruins in 5. I pray to God I am wrong but cannot see much in the way to give the Wings a shot.


  For the Wings to Win, IMHO it would take:


 Rask falling flat ala Fleury has for several years with the Pens and Howard channeling his inner Sawchuk.


  That is about it. If everyone plays at their peak it is Bruins in a relatively quick series. Iginla almost makes it unfair, he has been a Wing killer forever. IF by some miracle we make it past the Bruins we will have Ericsson and Zetterberg back by the beginning of round 2 and IMHO we could with everyone healthy beat either Montreal or Tampa. The Bruins post a vaunting task however.

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You know it's tough when the two RW fans give the series to Boston.

Having said that, lemme discuss a couple of ifs.

I don't think Jimmy Howard will have to stand on his head, but he will have to be great for us to have a shot. But let's say that he does.

The X-Factor which determines whether this is a short series or a longer one is two players: Bredan Smith and Kyle Quincey. They don't have to play perfect, but they must continue to look like they have looked the last 4 weeks of the season or so. Q's gotta stay out of the box or this thing is over before it starts. The playoffs bring an extra dose of pressure, and I'm wondering if Smith may relapse back to how he was playing early in the season. If he does, or Q does, it's over. But I actually think they may not relapse. If I'm right, it gets interesting IF...

One of our forwards needs to get hot. I'd love for it to be Datsyuk, because he will drag others to be better with him. His strength is playmaking, and when he is in the zone, Abby and Mule will benefit. But it may be better if one of the kids gets hot, because Boston will be focusing on Pav. I have really liked how Tats has been playing, and although he has not scored, he has been close numerous times, and has been a very regular threat. If he can get hot, his charisma may drive others to believe also, and suddenly we are a very tough out.

If we play defensively like he did for the two weeks prior to this last one, and Howard is better than solid, and one of our forwards gets hot, we DO have a shot. We certainly have what it takes to make it a long series. BUT someone's gotta step up, because The X-Factor for Boston is Iginla. You spoke truth when you said he is a Red Wing killer. If he plays that role, Q and Smith playing their best won't be enough. Bottom line is that to have a chance, we must contain and someone's gotta get hot.

But for the first time in several seasons, I feel good about the fact that we have 4 lines that can potentially score, and two which are grind-type lines. Still, odds are the Bruins will take it. I think we will take at least 2 unless we fall apart defensively or Howard is pedestrian.

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