The Detroit Red Wings are becoming more of an irrelevant threat in the Western Conference.This was proven weeks, if not, months ago, when the St. Louis Blues sailed past the Wings in the Central Division and rode the waves of Western Conference front-runners, until the Vancouver Canucks grabbed the President’s Trophy at the last minute.
In fact, the last time the Wings won the President’s Trophy was in 2008, en route to their last Stanley Cup.
But a cup or trophy of any kind are on the back burner for now, it appears. At least that’s the way of their playoffs venture if things progress downslope as happened Sunday.
With a chance to carry a series advantage at the Joe Louis Arena, the Wings couldn’t follow through with solid opportunities. A goal which crossed the line tenths of seconds late was denied, and nothing else really followed as an opportunity.
But Pavel Datsyuk had the right idea in terms of creating chances out of nowhere.
Here’s what he found in the second period:
But Detroit’s loss lies within the team’s biggest advantage: 31-7-3.
That’s the team’s home record during the regular season, and a league best for that matter.
Nashville is proving to be a quiet force to be reckon with. Predators coach Barry Trotz seemed to be in a loss of style earlier this season when the Predators were on the fringe of the playoff picture. They propelled past the Chicago Blackhawks and snuck past the Red Wings, changing the forecast of their usual fist-round departure from the playoffs.
And, so far, the forecast is looking to take shape.
But, why exactly are the Predators so effective?
Team leaders and unsung heroes are good places to start. Shea Weber started off with a power play gold while Kevin Klein added a goal in the second and had quite an impressive defensive play to add to that.
Klein also made an important block with his stick on Cory Emmerton in the third period off a rebound from a Drew Miller shot. Goaltender Pekka Rinne was still scrambling from the Miller save and the net was open.
After the play, Rinne went over to Klein on the bench and gave him a fist bump.
Fist bumps from last year’s Vezina Trophy candidate is always good.
But, Klein is not your usual suspect, obviously, to showcase playoffs theatrics. He has 12 goals in 309 games, but was picked 37th overall, just 12 spots ahead of Weber.
Yet, the two have developed quite out of synch.
Either way, the production was mirrored by the two in Sunday’s win. And, from there, Nashville needs to keep that constancy for just one more game until they look to seal the series in Nashville in five games.