Wings’ streak continues

Fat Guy Corner

The number 23 is a sweet number if you’re a Detroit Red Wings’ fan. The Wings have now made it 23 straight years in the NHL playoffs.

There are NHL franchises that have not been in the NHL that long!

It is just such an incredible accomplishment in today’s era of sports, especially with the salary cap. I know many people thought when the NHL adopted the salary cap that the Red Wings would suffer. It never happened. That is a direct credit to the organization and its scouting department.

The Red Wings’ scouting department is number one in the NHL, in my opinion. I also feel Mike Babcock should be Coach of the Year with the job he did this year in Detroit.

Let’s get down to the Red Wings playoff series with the Boston Bruins. Detroit will open up on Friday night in Boston at 7:30 p.m. Game 2 will be in Boston at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The series will resume at the “Joe” on Tuesday and Thursday. Detroit has won three of the four games against the Bruins this season. Detroit seems to match up well against the Bruins. Boston had the number-three power play and number-eight penalty kill. The Bruins were 3-16 on the power play this year against Detroit.

The Wings must play Boston even in the special teams play to win this series. The other factor will be, can Detroit’s young guns handle playoff pressure? Many have no experience in the playoffs. The intensity and speed of the game picks up even more come playoff time. How will the youngsters perform?

Jimmy Howard must be solid in the net. Boston fires a lot of shots on net. He must steal a game somewhere for Detroit between the pipes. I think the Boston Bruins are too strong and experienced for this young Detroit hockey club.

Fat Guy says Boston in six games over the Wings. I hope I am wrong on this, but I just don’t see Detroit winning this series. My other NHL predictions are Tampa Bay over Montreal, Pittsburgh over Columbus, and New York Rangers over Philadelphia. In the Western Conference, Anaheim over Dallas, San Jose over L.A. Kings, Colorado over Minnesota and Chicago over St Louis.

A couple quick hockey notes: Brendan Shanahan is the new team President of Operations in Toronto. Barry Trotz — the only coach ever of the Nashville Predators — is gone after 15 seasons. That is an awesome run if you ask me. Barry will get plenty of offers to coach again in the NHL if he wants to. He is an excellent coach.

Feeling green

The Masters green jacket went to Bubba Watson for the second time in the last three years. Bubba took down Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth. Spieth, the 20-year-old, played good golf, but Bubba was flat out outstanding. Bubba made every shot on the back nine. He left no window for the youngster Spieth to make a run at him.

Remember last week I wrote that Spieth was my dark horse choice. Pretty good selection, huh?!

I picked Kuchar to win it and he had his chance on Sunday also. The drama on Sunday was not much. However, the golfing display by Bubba Watson was tremendous. How about six of the last 12 Masters winners have been left handed? Hurray for all us lefties!

Joey-D out the door

Joe Dumars reign as Pistons president has come to an end as Joe has finally resigned.

It sure as heck was about time and way long overdue. Joe spent 29 years in the Detroit Pistons’ organization. He won two championships as a player in 1989 and 1990 and won a championship in the front office in 2004. The years 2003-2008 were the ones where the Pistons went to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Then the bottom fell out. Detroit has not been in the playoffs in five years. The bad contracts of Ben Gordon, Josh Smith and Charlie Villanueva haunt the Pistons still. The Billups for Iverson trade was a total flop.

The drafts were mostly a total bust. Can we all say Darko in one loud voice? Joey Dumars, you were a great player and we thank you for that. However, as an executive, not so much.

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