After last game we've already heard the complaints. Shane Doan is a dirty player! The Refs missed that blatant high stick! (Complete with screen shots, youtube video and yelling) You guys are a bunch of goons! I honestly don't know what to do with any of that. Play the world's smallest violin? Call the Waahmabulance? Pick another equally lame retort to a lame complaint? Look, I guess I'd be doing the same thing had we lost Game 1, finding a reason, but I'd go with what the more reasonable Wings fans have gone with in saying that the Penalty Kill played pretty poorly, the Coyotes dominated in the circle and the Wings just looked timid out there and were totally unprepared for how aggressive the Coyotes forecheck, backcheck, middle check and personal checks would be.
Those things will have been worked on and worked on in the practices yesterday and this morning and the Wings will certainly be ready for the hitting. The Coyotes both need to keep playing physically, but also keep ahead of the Red Wings by mixing other things up. Though I really don't know how you do that when the Bizzaro Power Play scored 3 of 4 chances. We need to focus on also generating 5 on 5 chances that find the back of the net. Ilya Bryzgalov played a very good game that was only marred by the early goal from just inside the line that he should have been a save.
The question will really boil down to this: Does this style of play really make the Red Wings look as old as they did the other night? Or did it just catch them off guard enough that we pressed this into a win? Who will be the machine for the Coyotes tonight? We know it's always someone different though Doaner picking up those hits again would be sweet. The Wings will put Justin Abdelkader in the line up to try and turn up the Wings' hitting as well. I'm wondering if it will really matter all that much though because the Wings really did look rattled by the intensity with the scrum after the game. Either way this is going to be an interesting series.
|2009 - Ilya Bryzgalov||69||4084||42||20||156||2.29||1961||1805||.920||8|
Like I said above, the softie was bad, but everything else was outstanding. He cleans up that mistake and he'll be solid. What's to complain about with 2 goals on 40 shots? I mean sure that one was weak, but a 95% save percentage? I read somewhere Wings fans were saying he'd have to play better to win the series and that just confused me. Play better? 2 goals. Our offense just has to play better and score more than 2 a game, hopefully more on even strength. Unless the PP wants to keep up the 75% rate, that's also okay if unlikely.
|2009 - Jimmy Howard||63||3740||37||15||141||2.26||1849||1708||.924||3|
Howard didn't play a bad game by any definition, he just got beat on the power play with some weak play by the guys in front. Maybe he should have had that third one on the Morris bomb, but you can't fault him. Not that that'll stop the crowd from jeering "Hooowaarrd" at him all game. At least for that he's the new Chris Osgood. Easy name to chant. Bryzgalov doesn't roll off the tongue the same :P
He may not have gotten on the board last game, but man was he trying. He was making moves out there dancing around Red Wing defenders to get shots on goal. Those are going to start paying off at some point. I'm saying that point is tonight.
Sure he didn't get on the score board, but he did make very good friends with the other boards. We'll see what side of the equation he's on tonight as he's a skilled player that doesn't typically get knocked around like that.
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries
Detroit Red Wings Injuries
Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)
|Player||Injury Type||Injury Date|