Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wings Go For 20 VS Philly: Game Preview

Detroit (37-17-2) VS Philadelphia (31-17-7)

For fans who enjoy milestones, it's nail-chewing time.

The Red Wings will defend home ice tonight against the Flyers for a chance to tie the all-time consecutive home wins record with their 20th straight home victory.  The task will certainly have its challenges, but I believe that, if Detroit plays their game, if they go out and simply do what they do, then Hockeytown will share in another piece of NHL history.

As if tying the record weren't enough, though, one must take into consideration the depth into which the season has gone.  A win tonight would add another huge 2 points to the Wings' total in a Western Conference that has been neck-and-neck for a while.  You mustn't forget that Detroit has played 56 games coming into tonight's match, tied for the most games played by any Western team currently in a playoff spot so far this season.  With division and conference rivals having games in hand, we need to keep piling up the W's until they pull even in GP.

For tonight's match, Joey MacDonald will likely get another start, as this game is far too important to trust Ty Conklin with.  Jo-Mac has been pretty solid over his last 3 starts, so he's got my vote to back up Jimmah when he returns, and hopefully can hold his ground this evening against the Flyers.

One thing that needs to change soon, however, is the low-scoring.  The Wings have been cutting these games way too fine, the last game against Anaheim was a great example.  We can't keep going to OT and the shootout for wins, because sooner or later, that puck-luck is gonna run out.  Early pressure, lots of shots on net, and hopefully--with a goal or two early on--we can watch Detroit build a lead that they can cushion as the game progresses.  It's been my experience as a Wings fan that this team is not good at defending a lead, so I prefer the boys simply keep playing like they don't have one.  Keep the gas pedal down all night on Philly and run them ragged.

We'll see what happens though, and we'll see how the history books remember this game.

Let's Go Red Wings!!