It's expected to be a balmy 63° outside and here I am writing about hockey instead of frolicking through fields of perennials. Why? Mainly because I'm at work and I have to do something besides earning my paycheck, but mostly because I hate your weather and I (and 42 other Americans in documented cases) love this sport.
Unlike the bottoming-out ratings-killer -- pretty redundant when it comes to hockey in America -- of Tampa Bay/Calgary in 2004 and Carolina/Edmonton two years later, this matchup just oozes history. An original six team gunning to cement its recent legacy and a younger one once headed by the best player this side of Gretzky, now flush with all-star calibre skaters, one or two of which are on track to join that pantheon of Gordie Howes and Steve Yzermans and Paul Coffeys.
Not that Sergei Gonchar is a slouch, but one would have to give the defensive edge to Detroit with first-ballot Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom and hard-hitting spring chicken Niklas Kronwall. Unlike his counterpart, Red Wing goalie Chris Osgood has been here, and won, before. But I see a three-deep center position of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal with snipers Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone and wonder if they'll be slowed down enough. They will. Barely. Red Wings in seven classic games.