I say let them keep thinking that. Most of thought this team wouldn't be icing for the playoffs, and most thought that we wouldn't make it out of the first round either. Do I think we'll beat the hawks on talent alone? NO! But, I think we will shock them at least twice in this series. Let them doubt. This team thrives on it.
I'm not sure if I agree with people who've been saying that Z is "declining" over the years. Sure, his goal scoring ability is far lower than what it used to be, but his assists have gone up. And he's been leading the team in points the past 3 years, albeit he's played more games each season than Datsyuk did. Datsyuk had a broken hand and was forced to play less games. Sure. But to be honest guys, I would rather have a broken hand for one season then have back problems for 3. Zetterberg's has been leading in points for 3 years and he has been doing it through back problems. I'm not sure how many of us here have played some ice-hockey for local teams but don't you guys agree than back pains can seriously cause you to slow down? And to those of you have experienced it, you know very well as I do that it's not something you recover right away from and it's ALWAYS lurking around if you play a long season. Look closely at Z when he skates, he really does not look anything like he used to in the 08 season, his form is completely different. When he was younger he had more of a "bend" while he skated. If you look now, his plays more in an "erect" posture. Those are signs of someone who has a bad back. Z reminds me of Stevie a lot. He's playing hockey through injury. Not necessarily good for him in the long run but hey, give him credit.
I don't think we will be seeing Z able to produce 40 goals and 90 points unless we have another young talent on our team. Z has no way of sitting games out. The pressure is on him and if this continues, he will be aging out way sooner than he should be. Stevie Y was able to play until 40 because of the fact that he had young guys who could step up and take over the goal scoring and point producing for him (this was dats and zet when they were younger), Who does Zet have to fill in his shoes? Nobody... I mean look at Stevie, he had a year off for rest, came back and scored 18 goals and 51 points as a 38 year old as a 3rd line center... That's pretty damn impressive.
I played for about 20 years (obviously never made it pro), and in my 19th season, I was playing a holmstrom type role and screening/tipping on the PP. The defender at one point, spun me around with a shove and my teams defense-men took a slapper from point (mind you he had the hardest shot on our team) which hit me in the lower spine, fracturing a vertebrae. I had to have surgery that summer, and was able to come right back and play next season, but I was never the same. I was much slower, couldn't really skate with the jump i had before and, as you pointed out about Z, I had to skate more erect due to the lower back. The problems from my back (along with other injuries over the years) made me play a completely different way. It was so bad for me, that I had to stop playing after the 20th season because I was no longer effective in any capacity anymore. I'm just happy we still have a healthy enough Zetterberg to play and show us magic when he can.
He's past prime years , but as with Pav, when he turns it on, I'm still awed and impressed.