2010 NHL Playoffs: Yotes v. Wings
Phoenix Coyotes (4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)
These aren’t your older brother’s Phoenix Coyotes. After years of inhabiting the Western conference cellar, the Yotes have shocked everyone by challenging for their Division and gaining home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Years of bad play has allowed Phoenix to acquire some decent young talent. GM Don Maloney has done a good job of sprinkling in veteran players that can compliment and guide the young players. They present a balanced attack of players that can skate well, play physical when needed, and of course put the puck in the net.
They are facing perennial cup contender, The Detroit Red Wings. Before the season started, people would have looked at you funny to even suggest that Detroit would battle for a playoff spot in the final weeks of the season and be on the road against Phoenix in the first round.
But Detroit has gone through some struggles this year, and unfortunately for the Coyotes, they are starting to hit their stride. A number of injuries have plagued the Wings and forced some players into roles they weren’t suited for. Chris Osgoode has struggles and lost his job to rookie netminder Jimmy Howard. everyone is healthy for the most part now, and Howard has performed decently in the starters role.
This could be a very telling series, as not matter who wins, it is an indication of a potential shift in the Western Conference power structure. Win or lose the Coyotes are a young team on the rise and have really nothing to against Detroit. The Wings on the other hand, have been at the top for years and a number of their players are in the twilight of their career. They will by no means become cellar-dwellers, but their Division and Conference have caught up, and may pass them.
If I had to bet: They won’t be passed this year. Detroit in 6. They are rolling at the right time, and will provide a great education to the up and coming Coyotes.
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