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Friday, April 26, 2013

Puckmania: Last Hurrah in Hockey Town

Wild on Sports
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Puckmania: Last Hurrah in Hockey Town
By Wild on Sports NHL Analyst Josh Tarr

If the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t a thing, the question mark over the Red Wings playoff implications wouldn’t be either. Since the Blue Jackets we’re favored to beat the Dallas Stars on Thursday night (they did in fact win 3-1), Detroit took the ice at home knowing that their playoff lives were at stake.

For a franchise that titles itself “Hockey Town”, you could buy tickets online for $12 for what may be teams most important regular season game in 25 years. On the plus side, the Red Wings played as if the game was important, thanks to a three goal second period, they beat the Predators (who will be a top 5 draft selection) 5-2.

As it stands, the Red Wings now sit in the 7th spot (54 points) in the Western Conference while Minnesota is 8th (53 points) and Columbus is 9th (53 points).

It’ll be interesting to see which of those three teams will left out of the playoff this year. Those are the three teams remaining in the league who are neither in or out of contention. All of those teams play their remaining games against teams who are eliminated from playoff contention so there will be at least one team that plays spoiler this year.

It’ll be an absolute shame to see a team that has choked as hard as the Red Wings all year long make the playoffs. They are now captained by Henrik Zetterberg, who is about 5 times worse than Pavel Datsyuk and are becoming a team that gives too much time to let their ‘prospects’ blossom: i.e. Filppula, Abdelkader, I’m sure I’ve missed a few other. Besides, how freaking exciting would it be to see Sergei Bobrovsky and Marian Gaborik lead the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Stanley Cup run? Yeah I’m laughing too.

Players of the Week:
3: Phil Kessel (LW Toronto): 4GP 0G 5A
Great offensive work by a guy who is expected to put up numbers like that- eh, maybe some room for improvement. Nonetheless, those helpers have led to a Leafs playoff birth. Congrats. #ThankYouKessel

2: Brad Richards (C Rangers) 4GP 4G 4A
It’s been a bumpy ride for the Rangers, who entered the season with such high expectations. Brad Richards delivered, big, when it mattered and the Rangers are heading to the big dance after all.

1: Martin St. Louis (RW Tampa Bay) 3P 1G 4A
He’s the scoring leader now and he’s 37 years old. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Playoff predictions to come mid-week...

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