Friday, March 26, 2010

Mule Shows Minnesota Who's Really Wild

"We got out there, got rollin' was a good effort by our team, we didn't have to overplay guys...when you got a good team, lots of guys can contribute." - Coach Mike Babcock

It was a good night for contributions, apparently. The Detroit Red Wings exploded for six goals, the most they've tallied in a game since November, as they pounded the Minnesota Wild 6-2. Johan Franzen was good for two goals and two assists tonight which gave The Mule his first four-point night of his career. On the other side of the glass, we had the "Herm 2 Hockeytown" group in the stands to watch their Wings perform their best in four months. The H2H project raised over a whopping $5000.00 for DMC Children's Hospital along with bringing Brazilian Wingnut Guilherme Calciolari to Detroit to see his favorite team play live. All of this puts the Wings at 89 points on the year, tied with Colorado for 7th and only two points out of 5th spot, currently held by Nashville who they play tomorrow.

Let's look at the keys to victory!

1.) Run with The Big 3 - Well, I guess if this key didn't get met, watching the 1st line explode for a change is a welcome substitute!! Datsyuk, Franzen and Holmstrom combined for eight points against the Wild, splitting goals and assists evenly. This shows that Babs can confidently keep the lines as they are, because it's not just The Big 3 kicking it up a notch now!!

2.) FIX THE $#@&ing PP!! - Finally the Wings start converting again!! Detroit pocketed two powerplay goals, going 2 for 9 with the man-advantage. I know the Wings got a shortie tonight, but that's not something we can count on all the time. We SHOULD be able to count on the boys taking advantage of a 5 on 4 or 5 on 3. 2 for 9 still isn't pretty, but it'll do for now.

3.) Clean up the Garbage - Redirections, guys in front, the Wings got right in Minnesota's face tonight and man, did it ever work. This is the kind of play I'm talking about, being able to switch from the finesse game to the dirty, grinding style that gets under a team's skin. You know what that grinding style can do? Create powerplays. We saw a bit of that, now didn't we?

All in all, this was the best game thus far to convince me that MY Wings are back. The West better watch out, because the Red Wings aren't as dead in the water as everyone thought they were. Hope you have money saved away for your playoff tickets, because we're going back for round 19. Good night Wingnuts and Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Preview: Wings VS Wild

"We've been playing playoff hockey for a while here, having to get points every single night." - Goalie Jimmy Howard

Detroit (37-23-13) VS Minnesota (36-32-6)

Well Wingnuts, one of the most anticipated games of the year is finally here!! Why, you might ask? Well it's not because we're playing host to the Wild, I can assure you's because today, finally, we've brought one of our brethren to Graceland. That's right: Herm is in Hockeytown. Our Brazilian brother will be in attendance for the game tonight, so if you can watch the game, I strongly suggest you do so, as we may be lucky enough to see Herm and the many H2H supporters who are joining him in the Joe tonight. It's gonna be something special, let me tell you.

But for now, my three keys to victory for tonight's game:

1.) Run with The Big 3 - The Zetterberg line, which I am henceforth naming "The Big 3", has been on an absolute tear, a combined 20 points in their last 3 games, and Babs would be more than a little silly to break them up now. Kudos ti him for not sticking Cleary back on the line after getting healthy, hopefully he sticks to his guns and lets these boys have some more playtime together. Like I've always said, if something's working, ride it till the wheels fall off.

2.) FIX THE $#@&ing PP!!! - Speaking of riding something till the wheels fall off, what the hell happened to the Red Wings PP units??? Good lord, we still haven't got a PP goal since playing Calgary 20,000 years ago!! Babcock needs to either tell the same units t stop cycling so much and shoot more, or switch out guys who are too happy to pass for guys itching to shoot. I'm sick of wasted man-advantages where Detroit only generates like 2 shots. Yeah, they might have been good chances, but they still aren't going in!! Like I keep hollering at my laptop when I watch/listen: gets shots off with a body in front for a loose rebound, if we can't score pretty ones, there's only one other option...

3.) Clean up the Garbage - Teams know how the Wings play. They know we like to control the puck instead of playing dump-and-chase. They know we like to cycle for a prime scoring chance. The problem with this is that most of the time, the opposing team is so focussed on shutting that style of play down, they completely forget about that dirtier, more grinding style of play of dumping the puck in, winning the ensuing battle on the boards, then bringing the puck out front for a chance or two or three, depending on the guys you have in front of the crease. The thing most teams might not realize is that Detroit actually has the bodies to play that style. They just...don't, for the most part anyway. I'm not saying we can throw ourselves around like a team like Anaheim, I'm saying that Detroit has the manpower to push to the net and get those nasty goals you have to fight for. If Detroit can mix up their offensive styles, it will go a long way in terms of production and, more importantly, winning these last few and crucial games of the regular season.

Unfortunately, I work again tonight, so I will miss a good chunk of the game, but I'll be on Twitter tonight soon as I get home. So till then, have fun tonight Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!