"Round 2 is a whole new ballgame, a whole different dynamic. Why? Because, we're talking genetic hatred now. I make no apologies and offer no excuses. I despise the Dive, particularly the fans. Harsh? I really don't care. Check the glossary if you need an explanation. Or don't. I'll tell you now. My distaste for those 'fans' started back in ‘96 when some monkey-looking skank held up a sign behind the Wing bench during Game 6. It's continued through every playoff series, every season. I don't like their fans. I don't like their organ-I-zation." - The Chief, Abel To Yzerman, "Oh, There Will Be Blood."
"You see as much as Red Wings fans hate us... they need us, Avalanche fans. Avalanche fans have moved on. Red Wings fans are making fun of us because we 'think old-time hockey is 1996' but they are clinging to their hate of Mike Keene, Pierre LaCroix, and Patrick Roy. Darren McCarty? Kirk Maltby? Brendan Shannahan? That's in our history. We are much More into hating Dion Phaneuf, Chris Pronger and Stephane Villieux. We are looking towards the future. The Avs didn't bring back old irritants who can no longer play in order to relive the glory years they brought back old soldiers who can still play and lead to usher in a new set of glory years. The only thing more infuriating than unrequited is unreciprocated hate." - Jibblescribbits, "Round 2 Trash Talk"
Screw the love. Embrace the hate. If you aren't pumped for this series, you should take all of your hockey sweaters, find the nearest trash can, burn them, and then watch "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" for the next seven games. There is no hope for you.
Key Match-Up for Colorado: Finding some heroes to out-point Detroit's offensive arsenal up front. Old man Joe Sakic is playing at a point-per-game clip, and Peter Forsberg has nearly matched his pace. But Paul Stastny has one more goal than Peter Stastny has in this postseason, and Milan Hejduk failed to fill the net 5-on-5. Detroit's team defense is good enough to shut down the two big guns; it's going to be up to the co-stars to win this series. Oh, and it also helps to complain to the League if you don't like something Detroit is doing. Thanks again for ruining the octopus fun, Nashville.
Key Match-Up for Detroit: Flying rubber vs. Jose Theodore. Detroit put 240 shots on Dan Ellis in Round 1 but only scored 15 goals. He's in a zone now; the quality of those chances needs to increase. But the other key match-up for the Red Wings is the physical one. Colorado's defense can bring it, and so can players like Ian Laperriere. Remember all that talk about stereotypes and European players and the Red Wings? Yeah, that could finally end after this series. This series can't help but become a nasty one, like the ones McCarty recalled recently: "It was like going to battle, you knew every time you crossed that blue line somebody was going to hit you, going in front of the net somebody was going to be in your face." Awesome.
Mandatory Avalanche Reading:
Adrian Dater's Denver Post Blog, as his sanity continues to slowly slip away.
Mile High Hockey, which is comment city during games.
Jibblescribbits, one of the best reads around.
Mandatory Red Wings Reading:
George James Malik's Snapshots blog will tell you everything you need to know about the Red Wings whenever you need to know it.
Behind the Jersey promises some live-bloggin' fun.
On the Wings provides solid news and views.
And of course, Abel To Yzerman, which will bring the hate all series.
Well, If You're Going To Twist My Arm: Colorado in 7. I never thought I'd say this with Jose Theodore in goal and Hasek on the other roster, but I have more confidence in the Avalanche between the pipes than I do the Red Wings. And do you know how many times Colorado has lost in regulation with Peter Forsberg in the lineup this season? Once.