Series breakdown: Red Wings (3) vs. Coyotes (6)
The Wings enter this series without top forward Henrik Zetterberg, who is sidelined by a knee injury, and that puts more pressure on the wondrous Pavel Datsyuk, who recently returned from sickbay himself. But coach Mike Babcock still has plenty of offense with Johan Franzen, Dan Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom and a seemingly endless conveyor belt of forwards who are always well-versed in two-way fundamentals. Then there's Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski, still as scary as ever while putting shots on net from the blue line.
Phoenix has the edge, on paper, in goal with Ilya Bryzgalov over Jimmy Howard. But the Coyotes still fall well short of the the Wings in gravitas -- they have yet to win a playoff series since moving to Phoenix. And there still isn't enough firepower up front to put a scare into this been-there-done-that Wings group.