Sunday, April 11, 2010

Season Finale: Wings @ Blackhawks

"I'm just being patient out there and having fun." - Goaltender Jimmy Howard

Detroit (43-24-14) @ Chicago (52-22-7)

Good to know that Jimmy is taking everything in stride. I wish I could be as calm as him coming into today's game, but it's hard knowing that our positioning in the playoffs will be determined by our last game of the season! A win today against the Chicago Blackhawks will clinch 5th seed for the Red Wings and ensure that they will play Phoenix in the first round. Anything less and it starts to get a little dicey...

So for the last time this regular season, let's calculate The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Win the Mirror Match - You may not like hearing this (trust me, I don't like saying it), but Chicago and Detroit are looking very similar right now: both on hot streaks, high offense, getting help from a hot young goaltender, solid PK units, PP units's kind of disturbing how identically these two teams are playing. This means, however, that it is critical for the Wings to fix their problems today. The first team to correct their mistakes is going to win this hockey game. The way Chicago has been playing, if Detroit goes behind the eight-ball today, we're in for a long and tiresome uphill climb.

2.) Playoff Mode: On - This needs to happen now. I don't know if the Wings felt they were already in playoff mode, but the inconsistency they still show says to me there is lots of ground left yet to cover. If ever Detroit needed to put on a playoff performance, it's today. You can also bet that Chicago is going to throw everything they have at us this afternoon, as a win for the Blackhawks clinches 1st seed in the West for them. Wouldn't it be fun to spoil that party in their rink?

3.) Play Hard, but Play Smart - It's gonna be real easy for Detroit to stand on the gas, but the Wings need to forget that this is Chicago and focus on the "this team is vying for 1st seed" part. If we turn to a full attack style, the Hawks are gonna burn the Red Wings, Chicago has too much offensive talent to not take advantage of a defensive lapse on our part. Strong offense on top of strong defense is what we need today, a balanced, calculated attack. Look for chances without giving chances away, control the neutral zone, and get early pressure on Niemi/Huet (I figure it will be Niemi). Minimize the chance of falling behind and Detroit maximizes the chance of keeping control of the game's rhythm.

Well, since I only started last game, I only have a chance to go .500 on the year, but I'm counting on our energy lines today, so I'm gonna go with Darren "The Flash" Helm to save the day today! Show 'em what speed really is, Helmer!

Enjoy this last regular season game, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!