This could be it, friends. This could very well be the last Red Wings game played as a member of the Western Conference. This could be the last game of an all too short season. This could be the end of our stress and the beginning of our summer-long depression. Hockey is a funny sport in that the harder working team can lose. A sport where a degenerate thug like Corey Perry can do whatever he wants to whomever he wants and not sit. A sport where a young kid can make the biggest mistake of his life, then be a hero 48 hours later. We just don’t know.
But there are some things we do know:
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will give this game everything they have. They might not score since they are allowed to be held and hooked, but they will fight through it and not complain.
Our young defense will make mistakes and learn from them.
Jimmy Howard will be great when needed. His sv% was bad early in the series, but without him, we’d be long gone by now.
The third line will generate chances. No idea if they’ll score or not, but they’ll try as hard as they can.
Teemu Selanne will whore out his integrity for a power play. He’ll dive multiple times and it will work once. He’ll whine the other times.
Getzlaff and Perry will play dirty and be praised by the NBC crew.
All of that is a given. The one thing we don’t know for sure is how will this guy respond?
The Ducks will be gunning for him. Based on post-suspension interviews, they would have you believe that Abby should be out even longer than 2 games. Will Abby take the bait and commit dumb penalties? Or will he focus on playing hockey and help force game 7? We’ll see.
But I have a hunch. I say the guy who grew up watching this:
And played with him:
And currently plays with these guys:
And who once touched this thing:
Will play a better hockey game than the team who learned everything they know about leadership and discipline from this guy:
If Abby scores tonight, the game and likely the series is ours.