For the first time since 2005-2006, the Detroit Red Wings were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. One of the Blues’ Central Division rivals, who finished third in the division, the Wings were bumped by the second place finisher Nashville Predators.
It’s rare that the Wings are the first team out of the playoffs, and it’s even more rare that they play in the playoffs the way that they did. Key players, such as Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom were invisible on the ice, and the number of turnovers were disconcerting. Nashville took advantage of this, hopping on turnovers and converting them, especially in game five. Both of the Nashville goals came from unsightly turnovers by the Red Wings. They outscored the Wings 11-4 even strength.
This will be the second season in a row advancing to the second round for the Predators. They had only done so once before: last season, against the Anaheim Ducks. The Preds won both of their games at Joe Louis Arena, one of the toughest places to play in the league. They’re clicking on all cylinders, have a goaltender that is very much unbeatable at times, and can smell any blood in the water faster than a shark (not the Sharks, mind you). The Blues won just one game against them in the regular season, so meeting up against them in the playoffs might be a mountain to climb higher than Lookout Mountain, TN.
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