Friday, April 23, 2010

Preview: Wings @ Coyotes, Round 1 Game 5

"Special teams has been a big part of our success as of late. Strong special teams can win you a series or win you a game at the right moment." - Defenseman/Captain Nicklas Lidstrom"

The Red Wings will need to keep their Captain's words in mind as they suit up to battle Phoenix tonight when Game 5 of this Wings/Coyotes series gets underway. The Coyotes have already made their statement that they will be trying to press for improvement in their special teams, particularly the powerplay. I say let them, as long as we stay disciplined and don't take stupid penalties, they won't get a chance to capitalize. On the other side, Detroit is finally seeing some success on the man-advantage and I really want to see that continue. I'm sure this is big news to everyone.

Humor/sarcasm aside, let's recalculate The Geek's Winning Formula!!

1.) Solid Special Teams - As mentioned above, this will be key. Do not give Phoenix PP chances and cash in when they give the chances to Detroit. The Wings are 4 for 11 on the powerplay from Game 2 onward, much improved from the regular season stats. The PK has gotten its engine running again, yes, but let's not push luck any harder than we have to, eh? Detroit has gotten into the right rhythm to hold down the Coyotes during even-strength play, so this factor could tip the scales in one team's favor.

2.) Don't Get Cocky - The Wings are bad for this, we all know it, but we can't afford for Detroit to ease itself into this game. We need full throttle from the get-go and no letting up on a hungry Phoenix team that will make Detroit pay for taking the skate blade off their throat. Last game was the only real blowout game on the scoresheet, but the match was much closer than the boxscore would lead you to believe: the Wings fought for and earned that win, and will need that same grit two more times to get through this series.

3.) Control the Face-offs - This was the biggest concern after Game 4. Detroit did manage to pull even with Phoenix by the end of the game, but for a long stretch of Game 4, Detroit was being badly beaten at the dots. This is not something a puck-possession team should be allowing, as it prevents Detroit from possessing the puck. Call it a cardinal sin of puck-possession, call it bad luck. Whatever you want to call it, we need to make sure it doesn't happen again, because the Hockey Gods may not be wearing the Winged Wheel this time around and may just make the Wings pay for losing key draws in the face-off circle.

I'm not sure what my plans are for tonight. May be home, may be at a friend's place, might even be out at the sports bar begging the management to put the Wings game on. Hopefully you'll see me on Twitter though!

Till then, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!


Michael Smith said...

If the Wings come out and put in a solid 60 minutes, the Coyotes will be road kill. I'm still kind of scared the Wings will come out flat and pay for it. We'll see I guess.

Let's Go Red Wings!