Monday, April 05, 2004

4/5 Notes

Ted Kulfan states the obvious today: "Predators won't cower vs. Wings." It's obvious because it's exactly right. The season series ended up 3-2-1 and the Wings' three wins came only after three losses to the upstart Nashville team. That these guys are not just going to roll over and die is something we Wings fans need to remember, as do the Wings as a team. This will be the Preds' first playoff appearance in their six-year history and only ten of their 24 players have seen the postseason. They are going to have a whole lot of personal drive and the Wings cannot take them lightly. On a more positive note, Nick Cotsonika points out that there are usually thousands of Wings fans down in Nashville for the games and that the Preds are only 7-7-2 against the Wings there since they came into the league. They are 7-17-4-2 at the Joe, a much more appealing number, in my opinion. Another little factoid Cotsonika brings up: after losing three straight to the Predators this season, the Wings outscored them 13-3 in the next three games against them. ... Dave Lewis will announced the starting goalie on Wednesday, apparently. Curtis Joseph was scheduled to practice today but will most likely be on the bench Wednesday night while Manny Legace will get his first playoff start and a chance to prove himself to the thousands of Wings fans out there. ... The Wings finished one point behind last year's total with 109 but had the same number of wins. Those ties come in handy, guys! ... Kris Draper and the Wings will continue talking about a contract extension until today. If no deal is reached, talks will be postponed until after the playoffs. The Wings need Draper back and I highly doubt they'll have a problem coming to an agreement because I don't think Draper's looking to leave. His career year may hinder things a bit, though. ... Jason Woolley, who was slated to return much later in the playoffs, could come back this round, if he continues to improve as he has. That is great news, considering what Woolley was doing for the team before his injury. Freep and News Round 1 Schedule: Game 1- April 7 @ Detroit, 7:00 EST Game 2- April 10 @ Detroit, 3:00 EST Game 3- April 12 @ Nashville, 4:00 EST Game 4- April 13 @ Nashville, 7:30 EST If necessary Game 5- April 7 @ Detroit, 7:30 EST Game 6- April 17 @ Nashville, 3:00 EST Game 7- April 19 @ Detroit, 7:30 EST I'm not too thrilled about the back-to-back home-home games this weekend but at least the Wings don't have to fly all the way across the continent like they did last year. The only real benefit to this series is the amount of travelling the team will have to do. The Preds present too much of a threat to the Wings for me to relax until I see what the Wings do. Eastern Matchups: Tampa Bay vs. N.Y. Islanders Boston vs. Montreal Philadelphia vs. New Jersey Toronto vs. Ottawa Western Matchups: Vancouver vs. Calgary Colorado vs. Dallas San Jose vs. St. Louis


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