Look, a shiny new GP format just for the playoffs. The idea is that for every win the Wings pick up, I get to knock one pre-game point off of my list. Obviously this is just a playoff special (Can you imagine me trying to come up with 82 things to say about the first game of the regular season?), and, uh, I’ve got high hopes that it’ll get easier as the Wings move forward. That’s perfect for me because my stress level rises exponentially with each passing playoff game. I'm going to try to keep some sort of GP Answers section in my recaps, but since they're not all questions anymore...I'm just winging it. (See what I did there?)
Sixteen things to look out for:
16. Every single playoff round for as long as I can remember, my nightmare has been seeing the Wings come up against a hot goalie. This seems like it happens over and over and over again to them, and Ilya Bryzgalov is definitely the kind of guy who can cause me to lose sleep.
15. The Wings are starting their playoff series on the road for the first time in forever. I’m still a little confused. Still, it’s intriguing.
14. Will there be more octopi than snakes thrown on the ice?
13. Jimmy Howard’s making his playoff debut. I think he’ll be just fine.
12. What tin-foil-hat-inducing moment will we bear witness to?
11. The FSD crew will be in rare form tonight, I’m sure. I can only imagine what beautiful turns of phrase they’re going to grace our ears with. I’m still mad I missed Murph’s mock awards on Sunday.
10. What percentage of the crowd will be cheering for the Wings? I’m willing to bet that half of the crowd noise the broadcast feed picks up will be LGRW chants.
9. I hope the game doesn’t go to a shootout. Oh. Wait. You mean ties are decided by real hockey in the playoffs? Wowzer.
8. This probably goes without saying, but it’s crucial to start out strong and stomp on the Coyotes’ little Cinderella story right out of the gate. Set the tone right off the bat and don’t let them get even a spoonful of confidence.
7. Sixty minute game? Oh pretty, pretty please.
6. How much support is the defense going to give Jimmy? As much as I’d love to see him stand on his head, my life expectancy will be a lot higher if he doesn’t have to save the day.
5. Two words: Playoff Zetterberg. Oh my goodness, do I ever love watching that man drive opposing star forwards batty.
4. In a similar vein: Playoff Helm. Yeah.
3. One huge difference between last year’s playoff roster and this one is Andreas Lilja. I never expected to be that relieved to see him in the lineup. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he turned out to have been the missing link?
2. I hope you’re not expecting rational thoughts or actions from me for the next little while. Word to the wise: It’s best if you don’t speak to me on gamedays. It’s also advisable to avoid me for a 24-hour period after any Wings’ loss. Trust me, you’re better off.
1. No fear. No excuses. No mercy. No limits.
There are no 7-11s in Ann Arbor. This is going to cause a serious problem when it comes time to obtain my ceremonial playoff Slurpee on gamedays. I'm used to being only half of a mile away so I could even run out during intermissions. I hope Speedway slurpees are going to cut it.