This series would have a lot going for it. It would feature two popular teams that boast plenty of big-name talent. It would be the first playoff matchup for Pittsburgh and Detroit since their back-to-back meetings in the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009. (Each team won once.) And it would be a divisional crossover series, which would cause maximum confusion among the majority of fans who still have no idea how this new system works.
So could the Red Wings pull off the upset? I think they could. The Penguins are top-heavy with elite talent, but their lack of depth and spotty recent postseason history makes it seem like they’re vulnerable to being knocked off in the early going. A second-round exit seems more likely, but the Wings would have a shot here.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to watch a series that prominently featured the undisputed best player in the entire league? (And when Gustav Nyquist wasn’t on the ice, we could still watch Sidney Crosby.)