We’re officially a week into the 2013/14 NHL playoffs and we’ve already seen our share of overtime dramatics, borderline hits, curious officiating, and Pierre McGuire. While every series has seen at least 3 games played, now is a good time to check in on what we’ve learned through week 1 of the dance and what we should expect over the next week.
The Islanders (10-20-7) come limping into this contest, desperate for a win, after failing to record a victory in 14 of their last 16 games. The Wings have not been too successful themselves of late as they have been completely ravaged by injuries. Detroit (17-12-9) is just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and their normally strong home ice advantage is anything but with a record of 6-9-6.
Last night's 6-3 win in Detroit was an exciting one for the Flyers and their fans as the Flyers came back from being down 3-1 to win.
Unfortunately there is a negative side to this comeback.
It has been a trend for the Flyers to not show up for a full 60 minutes. Of course teams are going to have their off nights and down periods, but the Flyers have been consistently inconsistent both in games and overall.
(Photo: Nicklas Grossmann reacts after the Wild score on Monday. Philadelphia lost, 2-0. Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
The struggling New York Islanders (7-10-3) look to turn things around tonight with Evgeni Nabokov in goal against the visiting Detroit Red Wings (9-5-6). The Red Wings, now a new Eastern Conference opponent due to the alignment change, are facing the Isles for the first time this season after a 4-3 shootout loss last night to the Washington Capitals.
The Isles, who once sat second in the Metropolitan Division, currently sit in 6th, five points behind the second place Capitals and three points behind the third place Carolina Hurricanes.
An inability to hold gain leads and/or hold them has propelled the Islanders to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings (12th in the East) and has allowed their division rivals to surpass them.
The Islanders have begun the season slowly on offense, so for some reason their coach Jack Capuano believes that breaking up the teams top scoring pair is the best way to ignite the team. This logic makes no sense.
The Detroit Red Wings, who actually boasted a power play worse than the Flyers, put on a clinic with the man-advantage and it paid off.
Detroit scored three power play goals and absolutely dominated a slow and sloppy Flyers team, 5-2, Saturday in Detroit. The Flyers gave up seven power play opportunities and it killed momentum much of the game.
The Red Wings got three-point efforts from four of their players. Nicklas Kronwall (goal, two assists), Pavel Datsyuk (goal, two assists), Henrik Zetterberg (two goals, assist) and Daniel Alfredsson (three assists) all put on star performances.
(Photo: Flyers winger Tye McGinn tries to play a puck in the first. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
After the outcome of game three, the reports of the demise of the Detroit Red Wings were grossly underestimated.
The Chicago Blackhawks knew going in that the Red Wings were going to do whatever they could to get them off of their game. Detroit's strategy working thus far. The Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-1 to take a decisive 2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference semifinal.
Game three was a much chippier affair. Both teams combined for 12 penalties. Seven of which were committed by the Blackhawks. Detroit continued to w...
With Pittsburgh beating Ottawa 4 - 1 and Los Angeles beating San Jose 2 - 0 last night, The Checking Line: Isles Edition will take a look into the other two semifinal series. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
The end of the season is in sight, and the Detroit Red Wings found themselves needing a win on home ice to try and maintain their position in the Western Conference standings against the team that trailed them by only a point: the St. Louis Blues. It was the day of the press conference confirming what everyone already knew--though still enjoyed hearing--about the 2014 Winter Classic. It was a day where the Wings needed to be tough, and resilient, and smart.
Of those three things, we witnessed the first two. The last one cost Detroit dearly.