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NHL Playoff Preview: Red Wings vs. Avalanche

A new round of hockey is upon us and since, despite watching the first round, I still don't know that much about hockey I've invited my roommate John DiDomenicis back for more playoffs previews. He went 6 for 8 in first round predictions.

#1 Detroit Red Wings vs.#6 Colorado Avalanche
(Season Series Wings won 4-0)

Wow. If we could rewind this series about 10 years, we would see one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. Spanning from the 95-96 season to the 01-02 season, the Red Wings and Avs met up in the playoffs 5 of the 7 years. Sandwich in the middle a Claude Lemieux cheap shot, a 144 PIM regular season brawl, and 4 Stanley Cups you can see why these teams were involved in some of the most memorable games of the decade. (Ed. Note - check out this video of top 10 moments between the two teams, number 3 is my favorite for the interview afterwards)
Colorado Avalanche vs Detroit Red Wings top 10

Enough history, lets get to the series at hand. Colorado improved a lot at the trade deadline, picking up playoff God Peter Forsberg and long-time Av Adam Foote. Both were instrumental in upsetting the Wild in their first round series. Foote excelled in shutting down one of the most dynamic forwards in the game, Marian Gaborik, and will have his work cut out for him again with Swedes Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Advantage in net goes to the Avalanche and red-hot Jose Theodore, who looks like he did back in 2001-2002, when he won the Vezina Trophy (top goalie) and the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) during the regular season. How can you not give the defensive advantage to the Red Wings and Nicklas Lidstrom, who is no doubt the best defenseman in the last 15 years. Both teams have overwhelming firepower up front, but I feel like the Avs can go a little deeper down the middle and that will make the difference here.

Prediction:


Avalanche in 6 games