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Preds Chase Hasek…Even Series

April 17, 2008

Yet another roller coaster of a game between the Red Wings and the Preds. Say what you will about either team but one thing is for certain they are giving hockey fans a great series to watch.

Last night the quick strikes continued as the Preds we able to score 32 seconds apart (first a goal by Hamhuis then by Weber) and followed up Pavel Datsyuk’s goal with one by Greg de Vries 11 seconds later killing any momentum that the Wings had gained by cutting the lead to 2-1. If a Hollywood writer scripted these games it would go to rewrites because it would just no be believable.

One thing that got lost to me last night was the fact that all of our offense came from our D-men last night. We expect big Shea to put up some points and not shocked by Hamhuis but getting a goal from de Vries is not what you expect (though he has a flair for the clutch goals, scoring the game winner against St. Louis in the home finale this year). Getting the production from the D is a huge lift for the team and bodes well moving ahead in the series.

Is there a goalie controversy in Detroit? Depends on who you ask. It sounded like Babcock had made up his mind who would start game five tomorrow night but stopped short of naming the starter. “I always like to take a deep breath first and then decide what I’m gonna do,” Babcock said.

Osgood played very good in relief and gave the Wings a chance to win however if Babcock decides to go with Osgood it’s, in my opinion, a one way bridge that he cannot go back on. I think, at this stage in his career, Hasek is not good at ‘battling’ for playing time. He wants to be the guy and does not take well to being benched in favor of someone else. Babcock needs to remember the stellar play of his 43 year old net minder that he got in games one and tow of the series. He is one of the main reasons that Detroit was able to take games one and two. It is a very interesting dance that they will have to do.

Even though these teams have been in this exact situation before I feel different about this one. The last time we met in the playoffs it was the Preds virginal voyage to the post season. We might of even still be a little intimidated by the Winged Wheel. Those days are gone. We do not have the experience that Detroit has in the post season (and truth be told we never will…they have a wee bit of a head start!) but this is the fourth time we have been here…now we just have to learn how to close the deal.

If you don’t have plans to watch the game tomorrow night head on down to the Sommet Center to watch it on the big screen. Admission is free and there will be prizes and entertainment at intermission. Doors open at 6 pm.

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