Detroit Red Wings face elimination Friday

Rob Parker has your sports rundown

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DETROIT - In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday ...

The Red Wings' season can come to an end on Friday night in Nashville. And fans shouldn't really be shocked.

OK. OK. Maybe fans wouldn't have imagined that the Wings would have lost back-to-back home games after winning Game 2 in Nashville.

But most experts believed before the second season started that the Wings weren't going to beat the Nashville Predators in this best-of-seven, opening-round series.

Despite all the success the Wings have in the Stanley Cup playoffs the last 15 or so years, they limped into the postseason this season. Nashville, on the other hand, was playing well. Hence, they were the favorites and had home ice advantage.

Still, some honestly believe the Wings, trailing the series 3-to-1, have actually outplayed the Predators thus far. Except, that is, in most important facet of the game -- scoring goals. It's pretty big.

Stats say it's the case. The Wings have averaged the third-most shots a game in the playoffs with 34.5. On defense, the Wings have allowed the fewest shots per game, 22.8.

But Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne has been outstanding, turning away plenty of scoring opportunities in big spots. The Wing, to this point, are frustrated.

"We've had good success other than scoring," said Wings' forward Valtteri Flippula to the media. ``The most important part, we haven't done a good enough job ... trying to find ways to get more goals.''

Wings have also taken way too many penalties, putting added pressure on Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Still, it's hard to argue that Nashville ultimately hasn't play well enough to win. So far, they have the best 5-on-5 goals for/against this postseason. The Wings have the worst.

Nashville has a great home ice advantage. They have a loud building and crazy fans. You get the feeling Nashville knows what's at stake. They don't want to come back to Hockeytown for a Game 6 on Sunday. The chances of beating the Wings in three straight home games just seems like a tall order to hope for.

You have to believe they will be going for the kill against the Wings tonight in Game 5 at 8 p.m.

ALCS Preview -- Again.

For sure, it's early in the season and there's a lot of baseball to be played, but it's hard not to look at the Tigers-Rangers series and not think they could be the last two American League teams standing in October.

After all, the Rangers beat the Tigers last season in the ALCS, including a 15-5 laugher in the clincher. This season, both are off to hot starts. The Rangers are the best team in the AL at 11-2, causing problems everywhere they go. And not just with their bats. They have some talented pitching as well.

The Tigers (9-4) saw both on Game 1 of this four-game series at Comerica Park. They Tigers will try to bounce back Friday night with Rick Porcello on the mound  after losing the opener 10-3.

There's no reason to overreact after an ugly loss to the Rangers, who collected 19 hits vs. Tigers' pitchers. The Rangers have been incredible, including a 6-0 mark on the road.

Still, if the Tigers are going to get back to the World Series, they are going to have to have enough pitching to stop the Rangers. They couldn't do it last October.

Can't wait to see Justin Verlander against this potent offense on Saturday afternoon. In all, this is an early gauge to see where the Tigers stack up against what appears to be the best team in the league.

Don't Strike up the Band

Here we go. The cost-cutting has begun at Michigan. According to the school's newspaper, Michigan's marching band will not go to the football team's season opener in Texas this fall.

Despite Michigan pulling in a whopping $4.7 million for the game, the school doesn't want to shell out the $400,000 it will cost in expenses.

Shame on Michigan.

Either you have a band that travels or you don't. It's not fair to jerk the kids who have put in time and effort to be ready to represent the school at ALL games, not just the games that have the lowest expenses.

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