Sunday, May 5, 2013

Red Wings Preparing for Worst during AbbyGate, Must Respond in Game 4

Getting blown out in a playoff game to trail a series 2-1 is one thing, but the Detroit Red Wings have numerous questions that need to be answered before tomorrow night's tilt in Joe Louis Arena.  The most urgent would now have to be what the fate of grinding forward Justin Abdelkader will be after his hearing with the NHL for his collision with Toni Lydman of the Anaheim Ducks.

If Abdelkader is suspended for any amount of time, and many sources believe that he will, this puts the Wings in a very difficult position.  They are hard pressed for able bodies as it is, and the effectiveness of players like Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson are in deep question due to injury and inactivity over the course of the regular season.  If the Wings lose the services of Abby, we are basically forced to inject someone with a lot of rust on their skates into the lineup.

With the 4-0 blowout Detroit allowed the Ducks to lay on them last night, they now find themselves behind in the series with major concerns on their roster, which is a terrible combination.  Recently the Wings also lost young defensive prospect Danny DeKeyser to a broken thumb, and last night it proved just how invaluable he has been since joining the Wings.  Detroit's blueline looked like the mistake-ridden mess that it was for the majority of the year.

To make matters worse, the PP units also reverted to mid-season form and squandered chance after chance on the man-advantage.  We were treated to the "Let's pass the puck around and be cute and hope that puts the puck in the net" show that we've all come to know and hate.  Performances like the one we were subjected to yesterday make me truly believe that this team needs to be re-taught offense from the ground up, but we don't have the luxury of time to do that, so this is what we're stuck with.

Coach Mike Babcock had best dig out the tapes from Game 2 and strap all the skaters into seats and make them watch the first two periods, because those were two of the best periods of hockey we've gotten out of Detroit in some time, and it is exactly how we beat the Ducks in this series.  If we don't press Anaheim harder for 60 minutes, Detroit does not advance past this round.  'Efforts' like last night will never cut it in the postseason.