Ken Holland has never steered us wrong. Even when he signed Bertuzzi [again] in the off-season, much to many people's disappointment, Bert has had his shining moments that have helped this team to victory. Kenny knows what he's doing.
With that being said, Fox Sports Detroit has a good interview with him where he brings up some extremely logical points about the Wings in the playoffs and this whole series in general.
"We really think Jimmy Howard's going to play real well (Tuesday) night... When he does have an off-game or he does have a goal that he'd like to have back, he's bounced back strong so we look for him to bounce back strong."
This is true. When has Jimmy Howard had terrible back-to-back games? [Don't count before December because he wasn't in the groove of things] If there's one thing I can see in Jimmy Howard's play so far, it's an essence of Dominik Hasek. And by saying that, I know half of you are cringing, half of you are happy, and the other half are reading this, saying, "What the hell...?" So keep reading and hear me out.
He's not like Dom in the fact that he ventures out of his crease constantly and plays the puck when he totally shouldn't nor is it the ridiculous positions to save goals nor is it the fact that he gives me heart attacks every time the puck comes into the defensive zone. Nor is it anything like this. Rather, it's the fact that if he lets in two or three goals, more often than not he shuts it down after that. Dom was known for that and it helped keep us in a close game. Jimmy does something similar to this--not all the time, but enough. And enough is what has gotten us to the postseason.
"Everybody remembers now that you won the Stanley Cup and they forget about the emotions...If you can't handle adversity, you're not going for a long playoff run. We're facing some adversity. I believe given the people on our team and the success that we've had, the long playoff runs, that they're going to dig deep and we're going to respond with our best game of the playoffs (Tuesday) night."
Kenny's onto something here. Look back at our past Cup runs to things you may not remember. Like in 2008 when we were up 3-0 in the series to Dallas and everyone was expecting a sweep. Yet they won two games in a row. No one remembers that; they just remember that Dom dropped the ball in games three and four of the first round and Chris Osgood stepped in and won nine in a row. [Or they may ignore that fact completely and pretend it was Howard with how much hate there has been on Ozzie this season.]
The Red Wings have been torn a new one, both by their own team mates and their head coach. And Kenny. And probably Stevie, too, who has been down this playoff road a lot. Nightmare on Helm Street reported this anger. When the Wings get yelled at, they play with a lot more focus. They play Red Wings hockey.
Will we play tonight's game with heart and soul? Absolutely.
Will our team play for the entire sixty (or more) minutes? Yes, or Babcock will murder them in their sleep.
Will it be a complete blowout in favor of the Wings like Game Five against Pittsburgh last year? That I don't know. Phoenix knows the pressure is coming and they're a team that's adept at responding to tough situations. If anything comes out of tonight's game, I just want it to be a Detroit victory. Go back to the desert tied, Red Wings. We'll be cheering you along the whole time.