Friday, April 16, 2010

Round 1 Game 2 Preview: Wings @ Coyotes

"They gave us some great opportunities, and we have to take advantage of it." - Goaltender Jimmy Howard.

After a disappointing first game, the Red Wings look to re-assert their dominance and tie the series with a win in Game 2 in Arena. It is in Detroit's best interest to split the first two games in Glendale and avoid going down 0-2 to start the series. We'll take a look at The Geek's Winning Formula in a moment, but I want to stress that one loss does not a series make. I'm not adding this to the Formula because Game 1 was an anomaly: Detroit is better than that. Giving up 3 PP goals is nothing to do with what Phoenix did, it was all to do with our boys having a very off night. It will be rectified.

Now, for the Geek's Winning Formula:

1.) More Energy - I was listening to Sean Baligian last night and he made a good point: if the Wings want to go far, they absolutely need their depth players to amp up their game. We need those 3rd and 4th lines to really start grinding, getting under Phoenix's skin and getting dirty around the net looking for those garbage goals. Detroit's energy fell to the wayside after the 1st period and it was obvious. Like I said previously, Detroit doesn't need to turn into a hitting team and get in a checking match, that's not their style, but the energy lines need to stand up for this team.

2.) Powerplay - That's all I really need to say. You know my stance on this if you've followed me for any reasonable length of time. For any newcomers: I'm angry with Detroit's PP units. I have been for the last month and a half. Game 1, going 1 for 6? I'm sorry, that game was gift wrapped and we blew it big time. Never mind the meltdown on the PK, there's no reason why we shouldn't have scored at least 3 PPG in that game. The saving grace, I think, is that Williams has been pulled from this game, which means that someone else will have to fill in his spot on the 2nd PP line (thank the Lord...). I'm interested to see the results of this shift and hope it produces tonight.

3.) Play Your Game - Detroit had a stellar 1st period in Game 1, they stuck to their style and had Phoenix chasing them all around the rink. It's a shame we couldn't take more advantage of the situation, because Phoenix eventually just ramped up the hitting and took us off our focus. Let the energy and checking lines deal with the hitting and get the goal scorers scoring goals. If everyone plays their role, Detroit will come out of Arizona with a split series. Doan and his ilk will get theirs, especially with the addition of Abdelkader, who will actually stand up for himself and his teammates, unlike Jason Williams.

I'll be around for the game tonight, so you'll see me on Twitter as it happens. Till then, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!


Michael Smith said...

Nice preview. I totally agree the power play needs to step it up and make Phoenix pay for their physical style. Nothing will shut down Shane Doan better than being down 4-0 on the scoreboard. The penalty kill just needs to earn their man-cards back.

Tonight the PK will be fixed. The team will play with more "sandpaper". The Red Wings will make the necessary adjustments. Phoenix will come out with the same game plan (why not?) and find out that doesn't work in the playoffs.

It seems the Wings had their pride stung a little on Wednesday night and that's a good thing. It can be the motivator that keeps their foot on the gas all 60 minutes tonight. Hopefully all Phoenix did was awaken the sleeping giant within the Red Wings players.

The last time Babs faced Dave Tippet was the 2007-08 Western Conference final. Babs won 4 games to 2. I expect a similar result this time around.