Edmonton Oilers Vs Detroit Redwings


Detroit Red Wings (Seed 1)

Detroit was a powerhouse this season leading the league in wins and coming in either second or third in points, goals against and goal scored. So, what else is new? Detroit, once again, was dominant.

Critics doubt they’d do well in the new NHL, but they managed to outplay teams in numerous areas, including being first in the power play, third in the penalty kill, and first in road wins.

This is a team of vets, including winger Brendan Shanahan and Tomas Holstrom, center Steve Yzerman, and defensemen Chris Chelios and Nicklas Lindstrom. Shanahan and Lidstrom were third and fourth in points, with 81 and 80 respectively. Shanahan led the team in goals (40) and Lindstrom led the Red Wings in assists (64). Yzerman was quiet much of the season but turned it on in the final few weeks. Holstrom was productive notching 29 goals and 30 assists, while Chelios played tough “D” finishing +22 and leading the team in penalty minutes with 108.

But it’s been two youngsters, center Pavel Datsyuk and left wing Henrik Zetterberg who have been most productive. Datsyuk, a true playmaker with speed and finesse, assisted in 59 goals while putting the puck in the net 28 times. Zetterberg, who finished 1 goal behind Shanahan, scored 39 while assisting in 46.

Add to that mix a tough rookie net minder, Manny Legace (37 wins, 8 loses, 2.19 GA and .915 SAV%, and you’ve just about got a one-way street when it comes to scoring. Along with Legace, Detroit has veteran Chris Osgood (20 wins, 6 loses, 2.76 GAA, and .897 SAV%), who sat out part of the season with an injury and who now shares goaltending duties with Legace.

This is a very tough team to beat at any time.

Edmonton Oilers (Seed 8)

Can the Oilers play the Wings in a seven-game playoff series? They went 2-2 against Detroit during the regular season, but this is a whole other animal. With Chris Pronger on defense and some solid centers such as Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll, and Michael Peca, you would think Edmonton could duke it out with the Wings.

But this team is unsettled, especially in the net. Dwayne Roloson came over from Minnesota at the trade deadline but does not seem to have the juice to carry this team past the first round.

This will be an early exit with the Oilers looking towards the future.

First Round Playoff Series Prediction:

Detroit over Edmonton in 5 games

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