The Nashville Predators decided in five games to hand out golf cart keys to the Detroit Red Wings. Yes, our favorite hockey club will be teeing it up this weekend. A first-round exit here in April does not sit well with us Red Wing fans. We have been super spoiled by the Red Wings’ success in the playoffs, although not spoiled too much in recent years. I predicted a series loss to Nashville in seven games and it only took five. Nashville’s goaltending was better than Detroit’s, as Rinne outplayed Howard. The Preds were faster to the puck than the Wings.
The most obvious deficiency for Detroit was its play at the blueline. I thought the Red Wings, defensively, were the worst I have seen in the playoffs in a long time. This off-sesason the defense needs to be shored up. The obvious question is, will Nick “The Great” return for another season? He is 42 years old and might be ready to call it quits. I think he will actually call it a career.
Brad Stuart is ready to head to the West Coast and be with his family, so he is a goner too. I will miss Stuart; he was steady back at the blueline. I thought Kyle Quincy was below average and did not impress me much. I have to believe the Red Wings will make a splash in the free-agent market and acquire a top-notch defensman. If they don’t, it will be the same result come next year in the playoffs. I also think Tomas Holmstrom has to go, even though I admire his play in the Red Wings’ wheeled jersey for all these years. I am gonna miss my Red Wings. See you in September.
One more quick note: I am pulling for Nashville or St. Louis to come out of the Western Conference. Go Preds or Blues!
Luck of the draw
The NFL Draft is this Thursday and Andrew Luck will be the number-one pick and become an Indianapolis Colt. I must admit, not seeing No. 18 Peyton Manning taking snaps for the Colts will seem just downright strange. One positive, though, is the Colts are headed to Ford Field this season and I will get to see Mr. Luck up close and personal. I am jacked up for that.
The Washington Redskins are next up on the clock and will select RG3 (Robert Griffin III) with the numbertwo pick. Washington will finally have a quarterback, or at least hopes it does! I am not 100 percent sold on RG3 just yet. I want to see how he will handle pocket pressure in the NFL. He does not look strong to me, so I can see where he might be a tad bit fragile. I think ball security in the pocket could be an issue.
We shall see, I guess.
The draft after those two selections will be entertaining to watch. Why, you ask? It’s because nobody knows what is going to happen in the rest of the first round. Numerous teams want to trade down and only a few want to trade up. The Lions, who draft at number 23, have no idea who will be available to draft. The only no-brainer is they need to take a linebacker, secondary help, or offensive lineman help. I feel as though secondary help should be the main focus and if a solid player is available, take him.
All of us Lions fans have to tip our forks to the Lions, as they have drafted very well in the last three seasons. Martin Mayhew and Jimmy Schwartz deserve large credit for this. I expect the same results here in 2012. It is a tougher task drafting at the bottom than it is with a top-10 pick, obviously. I cannot wait for this year’s draft.
How about the Lions’ schedule for this season? They have five prime-time games! The Lions have not been in five prime-time games in a decade, if you throw out the Thanksgiving Day game. The second game of the season is a Sunday-nighter in San Francisco. The “Hand Shake Rematch” will be a dandy. Detroit has a home Monday-nighter against the Dirty Birds the Atlanta Falcons three days before Christmas. A Monday-nighter in Chi-Town, which will be awesome. A Sunday-nighter in Green Bay is also on tap. I am nervous about a blowout there for the Lions. They haven’t won there since I weighed in at 155 pounds. I am not joking about that either!
Quick note: Never leave your dryer running when you leave the house. A piece of advice from the Fat Guy!