Saturday, May 2, 2009

ANA/DET Game 2 Preview

So, that was quite a start, hmm?  I won't get too much into the hit on Hudler, as I've made my feelings pretty clear on that in the last post by Art + Dan, as well as in the comments at the BoC.  Suffice it to say, its gas on the fire, when we were already standing in a forest full of dry, dead wood.  It will be interesting to see how the series grows from that point, physically.  That said, let's jump into the Game 2 preview, which is basically code for examining what the Wings did right in Game 1, and maybe more important, what they did wrong.  

1)  Be physical
The Wings did a pretty good job of coming out and playing physical, especially in the first period.  They may not have been laying people out or whatever, but neither were they allowing themselves to be forced into skating around people.  If the quickest way to that puck involves skating through a Duck, then that's what you gotta do, and that's what they did.  You can't back down from the Duck's physicality, because if you do, you're going to allow them to control the game by controlling you.  Play up to their level of physicality, and don't allow yourself to be intimidated.  Keep it up!

2) Traffic In Front of Hiller
The Wings did a pretty decent job too of getting traffic to the net, and particularly getting ahold of rebounds, especially as the game went on.  This is absolutely a key to the series, and the Wings must keep doing it.  The first Lidstrom goal came off a screen (thanks Whitney for shoving Homer into your goalie!), and those kinds of goals will continue to come if the traffic keeps up.  Not only that, but rebounds will also create goals.  In a series where goals figure to be hard to come by, ugly ones count just as much, and often make the difference.  Keep it up!

3) Don't Be Sloppy In Front of Ozzie
There were a few sloppy plays in the defensive zone in Game 1, and that can't continue.  Several times, there were series of passes in the defensive zone or odd carry-outs that almost went bad, or did in fact turn into turnovers.  Getting Rafi back would definitely help with that, but unfortunately he's going to be out for Game 2 as well.  Again, in a tight series, little bounces and mistakes will decide games, and decided games will decide a series.  Knock it off!

4) Play Disciplined Hockey
The Wings do have a better PP than the Ducks, but you're kidding yourself if you think that means the Ducks PP is worthless.  That 4 on 3 that allowed Selanne's goal did not need to happen.  Neither did the elbow that Hudler took near the start of the game.  Play physical, but play smart too.  By playing physical and refusing to be goaded into penalties, you will piss off the Ducks, and get them to do stupid things, resulting in more power plays for you.  For the most part, the Wings were good at this, but Hudler's unnecessary elbow and the calls that resulted in that 4 on 3 really stuck out at undisciplined penalties.  Keep it up, kind of!

Go Wings!  

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