West final has potential to be classic Wing-ding

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

So much potential for a great series. Here's a breakdown of the Detroit-Chicago set which begins today in the Motor City.

Offence

Red Wings: Want concrete proof how potent the defending champs are on the attack? Tomas Holmstrom is on the fourth line. This is a team loaded with proven scorers such as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, Johan Franzen, Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler. Plus, their defence corps still has Nicklas Lidstrom to move the puck.

Player to watch: Pavel Datsyuk. He has only one goal so far in the playoffs.

Blackhawks: One team that's been more productive than Detroit in the playoffs is Chicago. Young stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have delivered, but so have Martin Havlat, Dave Bolland, Kris Versteeg and the under-appreciated Patrick Sharp.

Player to watch: Dustin Byfuglien had two goals and three points in the two regular-season games against Detroit to end the season.

Defence

Red Wings: Lidstrom is his generation's Bobby Orr and a point-per-game player in the second season, while Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall make a proven top-four crew.

Player to watch: If Rafalski is healthy, he can be key.

Blackhawks: Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook kept Jarome Iginla in check in the first round and the Sedin twins last series.

Player to watch: Brian Campbell will enjoy facing a Wings club that isn't as physical as the Flames or the Canucks.

Goaltending

Red Wings: All Chris Osgood does is win. He's also pulling off the top-notch netminding we saw in last year's playoffs and has a 2.05 goals-against average in the playoffs.

Blackhawks: Nikolai Khabibulin is something the Red Wings haven't faced yet this post-season -- he's proven. His 2.96 average isn't inspiring, but Khabibulin slammed the door when his team's needed it.

Special Teams

Red Wings: They have drawn a lot of penalties and used it to their advantage with a 26.4% success rate. The concern is the penalty kill, a shockingly poor 72.5%.

Blackhawks: Chicago has been lights out on the powerplay, with a 29.4% mark. The penalty kill hasn't been all that good, though, at 79.6%.


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