Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Game Day Thoughts: Detroit in Anaheim for Game 5

After a riveting game four, Detroit will head back to Anaheim today to face the Ducks for game five of this playoff series. So far, the Red Wings are tied at 2-2 against the Ducks. Both teams have not been able to gain enough momentum to win back to back games, but it is safe to say Detroit fans are looking to get out on top for the first time in the series tonight.

Game four was a phenomenal game that resulted in a 3-2 overtime win for Detroit. Damien Brunner scored the game winning goal. Datsyuk also tied up the game in regulation and Brendan Smith added a goal and assist. Howard landed 31 stops in the victory. After the game, Howard admitted that he was not a match up for Anaheim's wall Jonas Hiller. But when viewing the series stats, Howard's save percentage is on 3% under Hiller's, making him a worthy opponent in my eyes.

Each game winning goal for Detroit between the two wings this playoff series has been scored in
overtime by rookie players. While being inexperience has been a worry going into the playoffs, Brunner and Nyquist have proved that worry to be a silly one. Six of the Red Wings players had made first playoff appearances against the Ducks. It appears that these young players may deserve more ice time than they are getting. Brunner and Nyquist, while both being called "heroes" of the last two winning games for Detroit, have also had the least amount of ice time. It appears it would be wise to see them more in tonight's game.

For game give, what can we expect? While it would be nice to see Brunner and Nyquist be awarded with more ice time, it cannot be guaranteed. It is not always understood why Babcock makes some of the decisions he does (**Samuelsson on the top line**), but I am sure we will witness some questionable ones again tonight. Coach Babcock did state that there were no line changes and no big moves for Detroit from game four. We will also be looking for some goals from Anaheim in the third period, which is where nine of the thirteen goals scored by the Ducks have happened. Hopefully Detroit will have picked up on that statistic and be prepared to stop the Ducks from taking the lead. Regardless if Anaheim is dominating Detroit's playing through the series, the Wings have still kept it even showing temendous fight and patience. No matter what the outcome is for tonight, I hope we see more of the fight that the Wings had through game four!

Make sure to catch game five tonight, Wednesday May 8th at 10:00PM. Follow our Facebook and Twitter for more great Wings conversation and coverage!