Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coyotes Tear up Shoddy Detroit Defense, Take Game 3

I just...

I keep looking for words to express how disappointing today's loss was. There's numerous reasons for it, not least of which being we had home-ice advantage as well as the momentum from the previous game. Let me get The Geek's Winning Formula out of the way first, in the same way that Detroit should have put away this game: simple and succinct.

1.) Haunt Bryzgalov - Failure, went the other way around today, I think. The reason Detroit failed here? More leaning towards that ice-dancing-while-carrying-a-stick routine they love to use from time to time.

2.) The Big 3 - Still made a splash, but one line won't carry any team by itself. Too much work was not done by the rest of the roster for a W today.

3.) The Baby Bear Plan - It was so hard to watch this game that I couldn't really gauge which side of the right mix the Wings fell off, but they fell, and hard. Bad passing, lack of coverage, atrocious turnovers. Overall pathetic effort as a team in whole.

Not pressing the panic button just yet, but wow am I ever concerned that Detroit dropped this game. When you manage to take out a team's Captain without any reprimand, you need to seal that game up. The Wings looked more like they were sorry for Doan being taken out of the game and gave Phoenix Game 3 as a present, and it feels like they just ruined my birthday by doing so (no, it's not my birthday).

Now that I can keep food down again, I'm going to get me some supper and brood about this embarrassing game. Here's to a much improved Game 4, Wingnuts!! Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Preview: Wings VS Coyotes, Round 1 Game 3

"You can have all the skill in the world, it doesn't make any difference...if you don't compete if you don't win battles and you're not willing to run people over." - Coach Mike Babcock

Nice to know Babs is emphasizing this as the Wings return home to Hockeytown for Game 3 of their series with the Phoenix Coyotes. After a 7-4 thrashing of the Coyotes, Detroit looks to take their first series lead today when the puck drops at 3:00PM EST.

No rants today, let's get right to The Geek's Winning Formula!

1.) Haunt Bryzgalov - By this I mean that Detroit needs to keep the same offensive pressure on Easy Bryzy that was there last game. We proved he's very human, and very beatable, so beat him. Many, many times over. Again, keep in mind they have Jason LaBarbera as back-up. They will leave Ilya in and hang him out to dry no matter how bad we pummel him.

2.) The Big 3 - This was obviously coming, right? If you read my previous post, you'll see why I'm big on these guys right now. This line needs to keep playing well to give Datsyuk, Homer and Franzen time to get into real playoff mode. Once all four lines are clicking, Phoenix will be chasing all game long.

3.) The Baby Bear Plan - Sounds silly? Think about it: Detroit can't be too physical because it's not their game. They can't leave themselves prone or we'll see a repeat of Game 1. The Wings need to keep that 'just right' mix of style and brutality that they found in Game 2 to keep Phoenix's hitting in check and make them pay on the scoreboard.

Sorry for the sparse post this time round, but I'm actually just heading out. I should still be around for the game, so I hope to see you all on Twitter!!

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

Stimulus Pack: The Big 3 are Bouncing Back

I want to speak on a few guys who played an excellent game of hockey last game. I tried to stay on track with my post-game recap, so I didn't end up talking about them as much as I wanted to. A while back, Jeff Riger from 97.1 The Ticket was asking fans after one of the regular season games to nickname the line of Zetterberg, Filppula and Bertuzzi. As expected, there were a lot of attempts by callers to merge all three names together. This would work if their last three names were James, Smith and Stone or something, but come're not going to get anything easily remembered or pronounced from mashing their surnames into one big monstrosity. So I emailed in with my theory. I'm thinkin'...Motor City, 3 forwards, cars...

I call them 'The Big 3'.

The Big 3 basically won Game 2 for the Red Wings if you look at the stat sheet: all 3 played between 15 and 18 minutes, and I realize that doesn't lead the team in ice-time, but the motto is "Quality over Quantity" am I right?

Zetterberg - 3G, +2, 6 SOG, 0 PIM
Filppula - 2G, 1A, +2, 6 SOG, 0 PIM
Bertuzzi - 2A, +1, 3 SOG, 2 PIM
Total - 5G, 3A, +5, 15 SOG, 2 PIM

That's a pretty good night's work, hmm?

Now I know some of these points came on the PP (and you know how much I'm rejoicing THAT fact), but even then did Hank and Flip share points with Filppula setting up Zetterberg's powerplay goal. These guys need to keep working together and give the first line breathing room to get comfortable. Shoulder the offensive load until Dats, Franzen and Holmstrom get their mojo back. We need all four lines doing what they need to do if we want to see the Red Wings go far, so we need to get more help from the top line. Everything else seems to be working itself out.