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Last week of April and there's two Game 7s

Anyone who looks forward to a Game 7 in any sport even half as much as I do, will be in for a treat this week. Two of the biggest teams in all of professional sports get down to business this week.

Anyone who looks forward to a Game 7 in any sport even half as much as I do, will be in for a treat this week.

Two of the biggest teams in all of professional sports get down to business this week. The Detroit Red Wings were the heavily favoured hockey team heading into their first round playoff matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes. Thanks to a 5-2 Phoenix victory Sunday afternoon in Game 6, we are headed for the first of two Game 7s in the opening round. Unfortunately by the time this column gets printed, we will already know the outcome of the Phoenix/Detroit finale. The other Game 7 has Washington and Montreal returning to the nation's capital to settle the score once and for all.

However if Phoenix can win at home (scheduled for last night at the Arena. Should the home side come out on top in this one, it would be a huge step forward for a club that's had more issues than the Leafs. These Coyotes appear to be for real. They've beaten last year's Stanley Cup finalists three times so far and history is not looking in Detroit's favour at all.

In Sunday's win, Phoenix scored its first three goals on special teams, while Russian-born goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves to force last night's deciding match. What a way it would be for the powerhouse Wings to go out, if they were to drop this one? Adding a little more insult to injury for Detroit is that the Coyotes' win was only their fifth playoff win in their last 19 post season games. Phoenix scored three times on the power play Sunday after having gone 0-18 in their previous four games. What's even better for the Coyotes is that the biggest game in their team's current history will be played on their own home ice against a team that most thought would probably walk all over them. To some, this series probably should have been done in four or five games. Both teams however are missing some of their most experienced leaders-Phoenix captain Shane Doan was listed as unlikely for last night's finale while Detroit netminder Chris Osgood has been out since before the playoffs started. It's been a little more than evident that Detroit's missing their top goalie. Jimmy Howard has been called upon to shoulder the load and hasn't done a horrible job at that, however on Sunday he gave up at least four goals for the third time in the series. He's also up for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie however that probably won't mean much if Phoenix is to win last night's match. It will be Howard's first do-or-die type game.In Game 6, Phoenix went ahead 1-0 by scoring on their first shot on goal then beat Howard four more times.

A Coyotes' win last night would mean that their feel-good season will go on for at least another couple weeks after some tumultuous times that threatened the team's long-term future in Arizona. Now the western conference's fourth place club has the chance to eliminate the two-time defending conference champs with one more win on home ice.

They are in the post season for only the first time since 2002 and are 0-5 in first round victories and they haven't advanced to round two since 1987-back when they were playing out in these parts as the Winnipeg Jets.

The Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 19th straight time, the longest active streak in sports. They've won nine series -- including the 2008 Stanley Cup finals -- since a first-round exit four years ago in Babcock's first season.

Detroit started the postseason without home-ice advantage for the first time since 1991, when it lost Game 7 at St. Louis in the first round. The Red Wings haven't won a Game 7 on the road since a 1964 victory at Chicago in the opening round.

Thanks to the Vancouver Canucks elimination of the LA Kings and the Blackhawks finishing off Nashville on Monday evening, the stage is set for what should be as good a series as whoever ends up playing for the Stanley Cup this June. Both teams won their opening round series in six games but this next one should definitely go seven.

If there's anything you'd like to see covered by Game 7, please forward your suggestions to the Yorkton This Week sportsdesk by phone, fax or email. All ideas are welcome and can be submitted by calling (306) 782-2465.