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Pat Caputo: So Far, So Great, But The Next Round Figures To Be Much Tougher For The Red Wings

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GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 20: Mike Modano #90 of the Detroit Red Wings shakes hands with head coach Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes following Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 20, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 6-3 to win the series 4-0.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, AZ – APRIL 20: Mike Modano #90 of the Detroit Red Wings shakes hands with head coach Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes following Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 20, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 6-3 to win the series 4-0.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Now, let the real Stanley Cup playoffs begin for the Red Wings.

At least after a well-deserved and much-needed rest – in the sense of getting Henrik Zetterberg back from injury, and perhaps another series that involves travel to a Western time zone.

In the aftermath of Detroit’s four-game sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes in the opening round, isn’t that what most of us are thinking?

The beginning of the Stanley Cup playoffs present a dicey situation for any team. The Red Wings are no exception. Opening-round losses the past decade to the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers serve as haunting reminders.

However, in retrospect, it was as if the Red Wings’ could have swept a best of 14-game series with the Coyotes. They were that much better. They fell behind early in Game 1. They trailed for the briefest time in Game 4 Wednesday – just a little more than three and a half minutes. But there wasn’t much doubt “if” the Red Wings were going to oust Phoenix.

It was more of a matter of “when.”

It was a rout. Not much of a test. If will be much more difficult in the Western Conference semifinals, whether it is against San Jose, Nashville or Anaheim.

Theoaklandpress.com for more

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