By: Scott “The Gator” Anderson
I was a little confused watching the Red Wings close out the regular season against Chicago. Had they lost, they would be facing Phoenix on the road, a win would give them a chance at hosting Nashville but the Preds would have to lose their last game. The Coyotes on the road are an easier playoff route than playing Nashville regardless of who has home ice advantage.
But that is hindsight, and it’s also clear that the players don’t care one bit. That goes for both the Wings and the Hawks for that matter as it was obvious that Chicago was desperately trying to win that game in regulation despite knowing their fate was would be playing the up and coming Predators.
The real solace for Red Wing fans is that our players don’t care whom they play either. For all the talk about “tanking” the game so they would face the Pacific champion instead, the NHL shows that’s not what they’re about. Play your hardest every night with your full complement of players at your disposal and let the chips fall where they may. The most important thing to take out of the shootout loss is that the Wings are not intimidated at all as far as who’s next in the playoffs, they’re ready to take on all comers.
Nashville is no joke; it’s a roster full of talent, grit, and very good goaltending. It won’t be easy; in fact, the Wings should be considered the underdog in this series. But, it should be damned entertaining and whoever advances will have certainly earned it.