That feeling is so pervasive that the San Jose Mercury News Thursday took to calling the anyone-but-Detroit phenomenon "ABD."
Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after his team's skate this morning that it isn't hard to figure out why this is so.
"They've been to the Stanley Cup Finals the past two years, they're perennial favorites, they're 14-3-2 since the Olympic break," McLellan said. "Their goaltender (Jimmy Howard) is hot, their power play is playing well. I understand why people are saying they want to avoid the Red Wings."
You won't find that talk in the Sharks' dressing room, though. "We don't talk that way," said McLellan, who also emphasized that all the playoff teams in the West are fairly equal in terms of talent. "I really don't believe there's much distance from 1 to 8 this year. This is maybe the tightest it's been."
The Sharks are focused on themselves and their own play and their playoff preparations, especially after getting bounced in the first round last year. And they're also still thinking about the top spot in the conference; Chicago regained the edge on Wednesday night because of a better win total, but the teams are tied in terms of points at 109.
The Canucks, at HP Pavilion to play San Jose tonight, don't have to worry about moving up or down because they are firmly ensconced in third place. But they're not doing much first-round opponent analysis, either -- particularly about the Red Wings.
Vancouver forward Mikael Samuelsson, a longtime Detroit player, said there's been no talk about his former club at all, and he wondered why there should be, really, dismissing the premise altogether.
"I don't know if nobody wants to play them," he told FanHouse with a shrug. "They've had their issues this year, like most teams. For me, it would be special to play them, of course, but it's not that anyone in here wouldn't want to play them. There are a lot of good teams in this conference.
"Obviously, their guys are healthy now, but it's not like they're totally tearing it up. They're playing well. So are we. So are other teams."
Canucks winger Alex Burrows would prefer to skip Detroit -- the city, not necessarily the men wearing the winged wheel.
"We don't mind facing anyone," he said, "but as far as Detroit, the only thing I dislike is having to fly there and having to stay there, to have to spend a couple of days in that city."
As for the Red Wings, Burrows told FanHouse, "Hockey-wise, they're a good team, but they're very beatable. The last time we were at their building, we won 6-3.
"All the teams in the West are good, and any team you play is a tough challenge. No one is a walk in the park."
Sedin, though, said he will not ask to be double-shifted; if he's going to finish with the most points, he's going to do it without any extra help. He'll do it on his own merits, playing his usual game.
"It's getting closer and closer," Sedin said of the points race with Ovechkin. "But we're in different conferences. If we played the last two games against (the Capitals), I would have thought more about him, but I could have four points in the final game and he could have seven. We'll see where we are Sunday."