WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?!
Game 5. Win or go home. The Wings have survived one elimination scare, and the next test comes tonight in SanJo. We’ve been in this situation before, with this entire series feeling like the five gamer we had with the Sharks last season. The Wings will look to finally break the comparisons tonight.
THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS
8:00pm Eastern :: SAN JOSE vs. DETROIT, GAME 5
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Cleary — Zetterberg — Bertuzzi
Abdelkader — Filppula — Hudler
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Lidstrom — Stuart
Ericsson — Rafalski
Salei — Kronwall
Chris Osgood [groin]
Mike Modano [healthy]
Jakub Kindl [healthy]
Drew Miller [healthy]
ACES: Jordan Pearce, Doug Janik, Brian Lashoff, Derek Meech, Brendan Smith, Cory Emmerton, Ilari Filppula, Jan Mursak, Tomas Tatar
The TPL Name Game ”Three Stars”
Disch: Jonathan “There Were Times, I’m Sure You Knew, When I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew”
Petrella: Darren “Come Fly With Me” Helm
Hollis: Ryane “Let’s Keep This Party Polite” Clowe
*Now it’s up to you! Think up your best names and throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page. The best of the best will be pitted against one another at season’s end, and the winner takes home a TPL Shirt of their choice.*
:: The big news emerging just hours before puck drop is that both Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen will be gametime decisions tonight. Franzen has been bothered by a sore ankle pretty much since the playoffs started, and it’s a sore wrist that’s potentially keeping Datsyuk on the shelf tonight. It goes without saying that losing Datsyuk would be a disastrous blow to the Red Wings, undoubtedly putting a huge damper on their hopes at taking this series back to Detroit. Mike Modano and Drew Miller are standing by in case one or both can’t play.
:: Good to see Bert and Helm get back on the scoresheet with some goals in Game 4, and add to that Patrick Eaves’ goal in Game 3 and the Wings secondary scoring looks to be rounding into shape. That said, we are putting out an APB for Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula, Tomas Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler. Sure would be nice to see those guys make their mark in a pivotal matchup.
:: After looking pretty darn stout in SanJo, Antti Niemi started to show some chinks in the armor when the series shifted to Motown. Look for Detroit to take low shots from the point to try and generate rebounds for crashing forwards, something that has cost Niemi on a number of occasions this series. In tight, the Wings will continue to try and go high on Niemi, who’s looks to be vulnerable from the shoulder up.
:: On the other hand, the Wings D needs to be much better in front of Jimmy Howard. They haven’t looked good during those 50/50 battles in the corners, and responsibility covering the slot and crease has been an issue on a number of San Jose goals. Pack it in tight and clear a path for Jimmah to see the puck.
:: You just get the feeling that special teams will win or lose this one, and while looking better, Detroit still has plenty of work to do. It’s been an emotional series and it looks as if the intensity is getting ratcheted up even further now. Cool heads must prevail for the Wings if they want to avoid testing fate with the PK, while the PP units need to continue peppering Niemi and finding rebounds in the slot.
WHAT WE LEARNED IN GAME 4
:: Nick Lidstrom is a straight baller and may have a future with the Detroit Tigers when he hangs up the skates. Hand-eye coordination like that doesn’t come cheap though.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN GAME 5
:: It’s going to be a total dogfight. Get ready to have about five or six heart attacks per period during this one. Every game in this series has been tight, and the Sharks are going to be out to finish this thing off in their home rink. Detroit won’t win this one without a full 60 minutes and some puck luck, so as Frank would say “Luck Be A Lady Tonight.”