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2008 NHL Playoffs: Momentum Is (Almost) Everything For Detroit

The Captain -Brian KatesSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2008

Half way through the weekend, and half of it still left. I'm glad I had a chance to get away for a few minutes so I could relax. Yes, to me this is relaxation.

I don't mean to say I told you so but........ Detroit has the momentum, now. At 1:48 of the first overtime period, Johan Franzen kept the momentum going. Now it's up to the rest of the Detroit Red Wings to continue what they've started. Let's take a quick at what has transpired, so far.

Detroit took an early two games to zero lead over the Nashville Predators in their first round meeting of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Then the Preds. won the next two in Nashville, knotting it at two games a piece.

Back in Hockeytown, Friday night, the Wings won game five and on Sunday, they will meet in game six. Game time is at 3PM (2PM central time) and I will be in the midst of something else when they play. Amazing, but true, some things carry more priority in my life than Red Wing hockey. Not many, but some.

Game 5 Recap

Valtteri Filppulla opened the scoring for Detroit at the 4:20 mark of the first period, with a snap shot past Predator's goalie Dan Ellis. It's nice to see the Wings third and fourth lines scoring the way they have. Now, Detroit need lines one and two to start putting the puck in the net.

During the second and third periods, Wings players, like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrick Zetterberg and Captain Nicklas Lidstrom, had their chances but either the shot missed the net, was blocked by a Nashville defender or Ellis made an awesome save. For his first career playoffs, Ellis has already proven that he is more than a capable enough goalie to win Lord Stanley for any team he plays for.

Late in the third period, with Detroit hanging on to a 1-0 lead, Head Coach for the Preds, Barry Trotts pulled Ellis out of his net for an extra attacker and it paid off for them. With 44 seconds left in the game, Radek Bonk snapped a shot past Chris Osgood to tie the game and send it into overtime. The crowd at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit fell silent.

I had my own way of expressing myself during the overtime intermission and no, I will not tell you what I said, sorry. Let's just say that the friends in which I was watching the game with turned almost tomato colored.

After the longest 20 of the longest minutes in hockey history, overtime between the Wings and the Predators continued. And then, all of that expressing myself went away. At 1:48, Niklas Kronwall intercepted a pass from Nashville's JP Dumont and sent Franzen in on a breakaway.

The crowd at the Joe erupted in a like thunder when they saw the goal light turn on. You couldn't even hear the horn sound over the noise of the fans in Hockeytown. Detroit takes Game 5 and a three games to two lead.

Now, what about that momentum

In a previous article, I stated that Detroit had gained the momentum in game four even though they had lost the game and I explained why. You'll have to read the article to find out what I had said, sorry. What I can tell you is that momentum can change on a dime even in a losing effort.

So, who has the momentum now? The Wings, of course. They scored the last goal of the game, they scored it in overtime, they won the game and they now have a 3-2 lead over Nashville. The only thing Nashville has on their side is Sunday's game is in the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.

Detroit is 25-12-4 on the road and 0-2 during the first round while the Predators went 23-14-4 at home during the regular season and are 2-0 in the GEC.

Will Detroit keep the momentum going in either a winning or losing effort? Guess we'll all have to tune in and watch. 

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