It's game day and once again, I attempted to sleep in to eat up some of the day, but I'm too nervous and excited to sleep past 9am [and I have a full day of mulching planned]. So I may as well make a blog post.
Tonight's game is a pivotal one, and the Red Wings seem to know this, which is always a bonus:
"So, just because [Babcock's] team turned in a solid effort in Tuesday's 3-0 win, players shouldn't think their performance will automatically carry over or that they've gained control of the series. And they don't. "
Those three final words are key right there. I think our problem going into Game Three was that we got too cocky and when we fell behind really early, we didn't really bother trying to catch up. The Red Wings now know that they have to give 110% to win and they can't think they can just coast to victory. They have to keep fighting and fighting, like Ottawa last night, who absolutely deserved to win that game.
My Keys to Victory tonight:
1.Keep up the solid PK and be a little more forceful on the PP. And try not to take a bunch of stupid penalties.
2.Casey over at Morning Skate has the same feeling that I do: Feed the Mule. This is Franzen's time of the year. Hey Mule - remember when you scored more goals than Colorado did in a series? If you wanted to get started on trying to single-handedly outscore Phoenix, I would have no problem with that. But seriously - I have this crazy feeling that tonight's game is going to go into OT and he's going to have a breakaway goal like he did in Game Five against Nashville, which is on the front of my bedroom door.
3. Jimmy Howard is coming off of a shutout and a Calder nomination. Is he going to let either of those things go to his head? No. Jimmy has the mentality of Ozzie and Dom - he doesn't let a good game or a bad game affect his play; he just takes it one game at a time.
4. SHOOT HIGH ON BRYZGALOV. Take a patented Shanahan shot from behind the goal line and bank it in off of Bryz! Filppula's goals have been exactly that [as well as that crazy puck that almost went in]. Bryz has some problems holding up against that post. Take advantage of that weakness. Pepper him with shots from everywhere.
5. Physical play is important. We've been out muscling them in the past few games. Datsyuk needs to throw his weight around a little more and look Datsyukian. He just got nominated for a Selke [and Lady Byng]; play like a Selke winner [which he is].
6. If Shane Doan plays, be on top of him. In the words of Michael Bluth to his son, "Don't be afraid to ride her, hard." If Shane Doan doesn't play, be on top of everyone else. I guess this bullet point goes hand in hand with number 5...
7. Pierre LeBrun from ESPN will be there. You know why that's good? He was at Game Four in Detroit. Is he our good-luck charm? Maybe. He did pick Red Wings in six...
8. Be the Red Wings. For the last half of Game Four, we played Red Wings hockey, albeit not the best version. Look at the five-on-three we killed off. Look at how Jimmy was a BAMF. Look at how we were a team through and through.
Keep up the good work, Wings. My sacrifice of a night's sleep before work was worth it last Friday - can you make it worth it this Friday?
PS - Top Rated Shuffle #104/1496: Bo Diddley - Bob Seger. Yeah, my taste in music is way before my time.