The Detroit Red Wings have already lasted much longer in these Stanley Cup Playoffs than many people would have expected. After needing a late run at the end of the regular season just to clinch a playoff spot and keep their streak of postseason appearances alive, most figured that the two-seeded Anaheim Ducks would have easily dispatched of them.
But that hasn’t been the case. The Red Wings refuse to go away, meaning that this series is the first one of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that will require a Game 7. The Wings are coming off of a win in Game 6, thanks to some overtime heroics from Henrik Zetterberg, who finally found his way into the goal column.
Had it not been for a few bounces, though, the Red Wings may very well have already been eliminated at this point. Each win for Detroit has come in overtime, which is as much of a crap-shoot as anything in sports. Four of the six games to this point overall have required that extra frame.
If the Red Wings are going to advance and earn a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals, they’re going to need more from Jimmy Howard. His numbers in the series aren’t too impressive overall, as he’s posted a 2.85 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. After the way he finished the regular season, that’s a pretty big letdown.
The Red Wings have the edge in experience over the Ducks, which could give them a slight advantage in a Game 7. If it goes to overtime, you’d have to imagine that such a situation would also favor the Wings, given what we’ve seen so far in this series. History also favors the Red Wings a bit.
Last time these two teams met in a Game 7 in the playoffs, the Red Wings won. That came back in 2008-2009, when the Red Wings lost in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Red Wings are hoping the bounces continue to go their way in this series. With three overtime wins, most of the important bounces have gone the way of Detroit. Can that continue into Game 7? Stay tuned.