Previews and breakdowns are all over the place, with attempts to answer to questions. Who's got the better forwards, defensemen, and goaltending? Who's got the better coach?Who's got the better arena?Who's got the better mayor? And that's all just at Puck Daddy.NHL Fanhouse will be live-blogging Game 1. Maybe IPB will do the same; should they get their ghost issues sorted out. Anyway, Mirtle has the best preview because it's the one I agree with most (Aside: Check out Mirtle's site for mad numbers, just keep scrolling). To underestimate the importance of Nicklas Lidstrom is very foolish. There's reason he's a perennial Norris candidate, almost to the point where after he retires, there could even be a small movement get the trophy named the Nicklas Lidstrom Trophy for Most Outstanding Defenseman. He's not flashy, he's just commanding of the ice and incredibly consistent in his excellence. Should Detroit win the series - and I think they will - Lidstrom will be a main factor for the Red Wings' success. Of course, the eventual return of Johan Franzen will definitely help.
In the meantime, check out the best playoff hockey commercial I've ever seen. Great job, NHL Marketing! (hat tip: Puck Daddy)