The Detroit Red Wings
will, in my opinion, win the
. This was my belief at the start of the 2005-06 NHL season and it hasn't
changed one iota.
The Detroit Red Wings simply have the most depth, experience and drive of any other team in the NHL. Well, all right, I must admit that there are
"other" contenders for the "cup", but I am a Red Wing Fan, so what would you expect me to say? Nevertheless, on this prediction I feel that I am
right and the stats for the season seem to support me.
With Detroit finishing at the top of their Division, their Conference and the overall standings, this certainly is an auspicious start. But where it
seems to matter is with the "specialty teams" and with Detroit finishing the season with the best power play in the game and a penalty killing ability
that is among the best, I have to say that it certainly looks good for Detroit.
The only weakness for Detroit lies between the posts. Manny Legace
certainly made this season the "stand up and take notice" season of his career. Called up to relieve
because of injuries, Manny has proven himself to be an able "first
goalie". But his lack of experience in a play-off situation might be his undoing. There is simply a different mind-set that is necessary when the
playoffs are underway and "Stanley" is at stake. Only time will tell whether he has the "right stuff". Of course, Osgood might take the net
because of his "experience" in the playoffs but after the stellar season Legace had demonstrated, it would be difficult to justify any goalie
With Nick Lidstrom leading a dynamic defense and Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Shanahan leading the attack, Detroit seems have all the pieces in the right
place to take Stanley back to Detroit as a symbol of their hockey dominance in the last decade. It would also be an apt and fitting tribute to "the
Captain", Steve Yzerman
who is, most likely, playing his last year in the NHL.