â†µFor the Detroit Red Wings, it isn't an idle question. â†µâ†µ
â†µConsider this: Thanks to recent schedule change, the Red Wings, who clinched their series with the Blackhawks on Wednesday, would have to turn around and face the Penguins in Detroit in Games 1 and 2 of the finals on Saturday and Sunday. They have two days to rest and recover before playing back-to-back games, and that might not be enough for a team that saw Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper all miss Game 4 against Chicago -- a 6-1 Red Wings victory -- with injuries. â†µâ†µ
â†µLidstrom and Datsyuk did not play in Wednesday's Game 5. Draper is nursing a groin pull. And on Wednesday, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson had his appendix removed. â†µâ†µ
â†µMeanwhile, after seeing Pittsburgh's efficient 4-1 defeat of Carolina on Tuesday, it's pretty clear the Penguins are riding a wave, and are as healthy as they can reasonably expect to be through three rounds of the playoffs. If they get to enjoy an advantage, it's clear that they've earned it. â†µâ†µ
â†µThen again, the Red Wings entered Wednesday's game knowing they would play Saturday night — the question was, who would be their opponent? Had they lost Game 5, they would have returned to Chicago for Game 6 of the Western finals.
â†µAll things considered, something tells me that the Red Wings would rather have had the Blackhawks out of the way, injuries or not. â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.