Monday, May 12, 2008

The Detroit Red Wings Are Playing Some Incredible Hockey Right Now

After a brief blog hiatus, Quo Vadimus is back with regular posts starting tonight, and I'm still in practical disbelief about how great the Detroit Red Wings are playing hockey right now. I have watched the Red Wings for a long time, and in my lifetime, I have seen three Stanley Cups, so many President's Cups (for the best regular season record) I have lost count, and teams with Hall of Fame players from top to bottom. And, yet, I don't think I have ever seen the Wings play as well as they have this playoff run.

Colorado, the once vaunted foe of the Wings, were nothing more than an afterthought. And, yes, part of that was due to injuries which decimated the Avs, but the Wings have kept the pressure on against Dallas, winning the first three games of the Western Conference Finals quite convincingly, and winning the last two games, including tonight's game three, without star-in-the-making Johan Franzen. No worries, Pavel Datsyuk simply scored a hat trick (the first of his career, which is a pretty amazing stat itself) as he and linemate Henrik Zetterberg continue to dominate games.

We're really spoiled here in Detroit. I don't think we really appreciate how great Datsyuk and Zetterberg really are. Some of their goals this post-season, the incredible skating and passing and shooting, have been nothing short of breathtaking. They just make it look so easy.

And goalie Chris Osgood cannot get enough credit for his play. The first 10 minutes of tonight's Game Three was Dallas' chance at surviving and making a real comeback against Detroit. The crowd was into it, Dallas' players were pumped up, and they put the pressure on the Wings and on Osgood. But Ozzie was more than up to the task, and the Wings jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Dallas tied it up (and tied it 2-2) but Ozzie and the Wings defense shut the Stars down after that, and with a 3-0 series lead, the Wings may have back-to-back sweeps ushering them into the Stanley Cup Finals.

And that is just what a starving Hockeytown needed to fall in love all over again with a team which despite its star power and regular season successes, had lost its luster among Detroit sports fans in recent years. Maybe it was the explosion of the Tigers, the tough economy, the strike, or the retirement of Steve Yzerman. For whatever reason, the Wings, despite their star power, were in a rut. Well, the team is now one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

About time.

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