Time to finally play!

Are you ready?

Okay, that’s a pretty stupid question, but it has been a while right?

The Red Wings have made their way to HP Pavilion, where Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal gets underway in a few hours. You know the various storylines; San Jose beat the Wings in the playoffs 12 months ago, only to lose to Chicago in the Western Conference Final. There’s revenge, vindication, all of that good stuff to be had.

“I think if anything, it fires us up a little bit more,” admitted Justin Abdelkader. “We’re excited to get out there and play better than we did last year.”

After talking to many of our players this morning, the mood is very calm. Most simply grabbed a bite to eat and relaxed in their rooms last night. Unlike the regular season, where travel is a hustle-bustle type of thing, the playoffs offer more road downtime. One of the reasons why, during the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, the team packed up and left Pittsburgh for a nearby resort, merely to escape it all between Games 3 and 4.

A few line items to tell you about …

Credit our PR Coordinator Rick Bowness Jr. for this one. The Red Wings are 1-1 on days in which a Royal Wedding of the British Monarchy has taken place. The victory came over the Islanders on November 14, 1973, as Princess Anne married Mark Phillips. The loss happened on the day the Duke of Kent married Princess Marina of Greece on November 29, 1934. That was to the Montreal Maroons.

So as Kate Middleton prepares to enter the House of Windsor as a Royal, a team that started its NHL legacy in Windsor, Ontario will add to that historic stat. Who knew?

We also saw a pair of potential hockey fashion statements at the Royal Wedding.

Credit – Getty Images

That hat looks JUST like an octopus! I didn’t know Al Sobotka had this type of influence. The photo is of Princess Beatrice, the daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York.

Credit – Getty Images

And there is Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice, with her husband David, rocking a hat that looks just like a hockey puck.

According to Mike Babcock, Kris Draper and Mike Modano will be the healthy scratches this evening. He also noted that one of the reasons why his team isn’t active in scrums is because it isn’t worth using up the energy.

Today is also coach Babcock’s birthday, born on this date in 1963.

“If I’m coaching on my birthday, it’s a good year,” Babcock said. “My daughter texted me this morning and told me to impress her. ‘Coach on my birthday’, she said,  it’s on June 2nd.”

Well played. Very well played.

About Jake Duhaime

Social Networking Manager for the Detroit Red Wings
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