We've been analyzing the Detroit Red Wings for several days now. We know about their offense. We know how they're led by the ever-creative and equally-hateable Pavel Datsyuk and their consistently solid captain Henrik Zetterberg. We know their goaltender, Jimmy Howard is to say the least a Duck killer. We know their defense is young and inexperienced, but still skilled and will rise to the challenge. We know their building is one of the most difficult places for Anaheim to win.
Likewise, we know that Anaheim has shown signs of the glory it reveled in through the first 20 games of this season, but will have to dig deep to find it again. We also know they will have to do this to have any chance of pulling out of this series.
We know the road ahead is difficult.
But the time for all of talk is behind us. Starting tonight at 7:30pm on the ice at Honda Center, none of the words that we've said here, nor by the NHL "experts", nor by Joe down at the bar, nor by ESPN, nor by anybody anywhere will matter. [Ed. Note: Especially ESPN. -CK] It all comes down to the play, the teamwork, the effort, and the desire of the 40 guys that will be on the ice.
And hopefully not the officials.
The story is set. Now...