The "Russian Factor" has become a buzzword among main stream media types of late, especially in regards to the nationality of potential lottery draft picks Yakupov and Grigorenko. Further the Don Cherry's of the world will tell you a Canadian or North American player has heart while a Russian or European is enigmatic. Let's take a look at a couple soon to be UFA's and discuss media perception of these players vs. their actual results.
Call it a prediction, a guess or a feeling, but if the Detroit Red Wings go down tonight in Game 2 in Nashville, they'll be hard pressed to win the series.
Following a 3-2 loss in Game 1, Detroit is looking for answers, some that might be answered with a net front presence and a better finishing touch. Henrik Zetterberg missed two empty nets and two Predators goals were lucky defelcetions and one on a bad giveaway by Brad Stuart. Jimmy Howard was solid in net, going toe to toe with Pekka Rinne.
The Red Wings were dealt a blow after last night's 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Nashville Predators; Darren Helm is out for the playoffs with severed tendons in his right forearm. Helm was skating after Alexander Radulov in the Detroit zone and layed a hit on the Nashville forward. As Radulov went down, his skates went up, catching Helm in the wrist and effectively sliced it open. Helm didn't realize for a second, but once he did he dropped his glove and skated hard to the bench. He immediately went to the dressing room with trainer Piett Van Zant and left for the hospital where he underwent surgery to reconnect the tendons.
( 4 ) NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs. ( 5 ) DETROIT RED WINGS
The pundits are out and predicting doomsday for the Detroit Red Wings and a much better fortune for the up and coming Nashville Predators. Detroit has knocked off the Preds in the only two meetings in the playoffs between the two clubs, both in six games in 2004 and 2008. The Central Division foes split the season series at three games a piece. That sets the tone for what can most likely be the most exciting series of the first round.
There should be plenty of saves and a ton of skill when the Wings and Preds...