A few days ago, we took a look at the NHL's 22 losers that are sitting at home. Now let's turn our attention to the teams that are still alive, with a round two scouting report.
- Are wisely keeping starting goaltender Jose Theodore extremely well-rested.
- Have so much depth that they were somehow able to win a game seven despite absence of Donald Brashear
- Intimidating fans are known to loudly questions opposing players' sexuality, which is pretty rich coming from guys who chant "We Want Semin".
- Star player Alexander Ovechkin often spends as much as four of five minutes every period just sitting on bench, doing nothing.
- Let Ovechkin get a few goals early; hope he tires himself out celebrating.
- Feature a roster full of excellent young players due to strong scouting, patient coaching, and drafting first overall ten years in a row.
- Have drawn inspiration from undisputed locker room leader, the mummified corpse of Gary Roberts.
- In the long history of talented players to come out of Russia, Evgeni Malkin will quite possibly go down as the second best one to ever play in this series.
- Extra slippery ice at Mellon Arena sometimes causes team's star players to fall down for no reason at all.
- Don't punch the crap out of Maxime Talbot, apparently.
- Coach Paul Maurice has referred to leadership core as "easily the most dedicated group of players I've seen in, oh, three years".
- Enjoy unrivaled home ice advantage thanks to savvy fans who save up energy by only remembering that hockey exists once the playoffs start.
- Is probably not mathematically impossible for them to win the Cup this year.
- Are still, when you get right down to it, the Hartford Whalers.
- Employ a goalie who is not so fat that he gets winded at the very end of every close game.
- In recent big games, have been pretty good at remembering how many players you're allowed to have on the ice.
- Zdeno Chara able to calmly clear puck from goalmouth scrambles without leaving bench.
- Will be feeding off the energy of an entire state full of douchey, bandwagon-jumping sports fans who haven't had a championship to celebrate in like ten whole months
- May be rusty coming off of first-round bye.
- Remind Tim Thomas that he is, in fact, Tim Thomas.
- Roster was largely assembled by Brian Burke, who is unanimously considered the smartest man alive.
- Disorient opponents by annoyingly playing all their home games way later than everyone else.
- Virtually every player on roster is an experienced fighter not intimidated by violence, which will come in handy if team bus breaks down on way to arena in Detroit
- It's possible that Ryan Getzlaf may have got some choking loser germs on him while fighting Joe Thornton.
- Somehow trick them into thinking it's the regular season.
Detroit Red Wings
- Are known for superior conditioning, which will allow players to recover more quickly from Chris Pronger cheapshots.
- Are so solid defensively that even terrible goaltender Chris Osgood can win multiple championships for them.
- In a pinch, some guy they drafted 200th overall last year will just emerge as a future hall-of-famer.
- Might be getting bored of winning the Stanley Cup by now.
- Get to overtime of game seven. Let tiny Russian man-child do the rest.
- Winning percentage is significantly higher indoors than out.
- Martin Havlat has bought into team's disciplined approach so much that he hardly ever kicks anyone in the groin any more.
- Somehow managed to turn an old man dying of cancer into a feel-good story.
- Winning game one of the Flames series 12 seconds into sudden death was a foolish waste of an opportunity to amass valuable overtime experience.
- Hold all games in a nightclub that checks ID, thus eliminating most of the Hawks best players.
- Have this guy named Sedin who is so lightning quick that he often sets himself up for one-timers.
- Own an excellent record when scoring first, largely because their goalie gets a shutout every game.
- Are lead by veteran Mats Sundin, for whom "winning a Stanley Cup" is unquestionably a top ten non-poker-related personal goal.
- Players run slightly higher than average risk of contracting lice due to habit of pulling opponent's hair when getting ass kicked in fight.
- Hope that Roberto Luongo's wife has a baby three or four times during the series.