Western Conference Semi-Final Game Four: Detroit Red Wings Back to Being Wings
The 6-3 score in Thursday's Game Four was the wake-up call for the Red Wings. They host Game Five on Sunday night with a restored sense of self.
The double trouble of the two goals each by Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen as well as the artistry of shot of Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg reflects a team of snipers regaining their poise on the shot.
However Corey Perry's goal 42 seconds into the game could have meant the game was already over, but instead it became a non-issue. The Red Wings plan from the start was finally coming into view.
The Red Wings are a physical team but nothing close to what the Ducks employ. The Wings are also not as big as the Ducks. But what they do have that aids their physical play is endurance.
The game on Thursday proved this notion with the amount of goals. Five of those goals were enough to lead to Jonas Hiller being pulled for Jean-Sebastien Giguere early in the third period.
As much of a pounding that the Ducks have given to the defending champs, the stamina of the Wings is starting to show as the Ducks defense could not keep up enough with the Wings to keep the score low as in the prior three games.
Tomas Kopecky will be a scratch for Game Five after the fight he had with Francois Beauchemin in Game Four. However the Red Wings will set loose Justin Abdelkader onto the ice. The former MSU Spartan will make his first ever playoff game debut for the Wings.
He will have to be on his toes as the Ducks keeping with hockey etiquette will introduce themselves. However he is a physical player who like Jonathan Ericsson in Game One won't mind getting into it to prove he is worthy of the playoffs.
The Wings must keep up the same sense of presence as they did in Game Four however it doesn't mean giving up a goal in the first minute. If in fact they are starting to wear out the Ducks, then they need to keep the speed in their play.
They also need to be equally physical to the Ducks so the combination of trying to keep up to speed with the Wings and overcoming the bruises leave whomever is in net for Anaheim—pardon the pun—a sitting Duck.
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