We're 16 wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the 5th time in 13 years. And once again we have Gary Bettman standing in our way. In 2008 we beat his golden boy and the "model franchise"...and of course, by "model franchise" we mean sucking and sucking and sucking for years and years until your top 5 draft picks finally come of age. In 2009, Gary got what he wanted and saw Cindy raise the Cup. This year, the franchise that Gary has fought tooth and nail to keep where it is, to the point of actually purchasing the franchise, is our first round opponent...how fitting.
Hockeytown Todd aka "Gramps" over at Abel to Yzerman has long said that the play-offs always come down to two things: injuries and officiating.
Injuries are always going to be difficult...but we’ve been dealing with them all year. Even during our stretch run in March we were dealing with injuries. On defense, we have guys like Derek Meech and Brett Lebda…say what you want about them, but they’ve been in and out of the lineup all season. We also have youngster Jakub Kindl from Grand Rapids. Maybe he could be what Jonathan Ericsson was in last year’s play-offs. On offense we have Justin Abdelkader who already knows what it’s like to get called-upon when your team needs you in the play-offs. We also have Brad May; a gritty and experienced veteran who also knows what it takes to win the Cup.
We also DON’T have to play Anaheim…which means our roster should be much healthier than it was last year.
Officiating scares me…as it should for all of you. For the following reasons:
- Denis LaRue and Brad Watson are still employed.
- Not only are Dennis LaRue and Brad Watson still employed, but they’re employed by the same company that owns the team we’re playing against. As someone mentioned earlier, the Coyotes and the officials are almost “colleagues”.
- The officials' boss wants the Coyotes to win, giving him more ammunition to keep that team where he put it (no matter how stupid it is).
- Dan O'Halloran will most likely ref a Detroit game eventually. O'Halloran, a Brighton, MI native, always seems to favor the opposing teams...perhaps to avoid any "homer" speculations.