The Red Wings and Game Five at home are kind of like a late-night Taco Bell run.
It seems like a sure thing, but often times you end up disappointed with what you got.
Last year in the conference finals, rhe Wings had the same opportunity that they do today. The Penguins ended their series early, and sat awaiting the Wings. The Wings (last year) got caught looking ahead, and it took them one extra game to finish their opponent off.
Don’t count on that this year—for several reasons.
For one, the Wings are real banged up, which for most teams would be a huge problem, but Detroit has spun it into a positive. What better way to focus a team, then to say “Two of our top five players will not play, so we are going to need some players to step up”?
At the same time, if they end the series now, they can go into Pittsburgh at close to 100 percent.
Blackhawks coach Quenneville is reason number two. The playoffs require some thick skin, and a very short memory, Quenneville and his young team has proved that they do not have either of those things. Whether it be about the (clean) hit on Havlat, or “the worst call in the history of sports,” Coach Q has pissed and moaned his way through these Western Conference finals.
Perhaps the coach has taken on the personality of the team instead of vice versa? (Interesting note—each time the Red Wings have Won the cup since ’97, they have passed through a Joel Quenneville team.)
Reason three is more of a gut feeling. With the Red Wings missing so much up front, I anticipate Marian Hossa sticking around on the score sheet for Game Five. He looked back to normal in Game Four, but the Wings would like him to get a little consistency behind his production. Tonight is a perfect opportunity to do just that with so much missing on offense.
So as the Wings pull away from that latenight order screen, they should double check their order. Did they get everything they ordered? If the answer is no, they will have to go back around through the drive thru.
If the answer is yes, they can continue home, and enjoy the Game Five win they ordered—minus Drapes, Lidstrom, and Datsyuk, and with extra Hossa sauce.