Detroit Red Wings Steal More Than a Game From Phoenix Coyotes
When considering a seven-game series, the general consensus is: a series isn't a series until the road team wins a game.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series.
After shooting themselves in the foot (the bullet being a terrible penalty-kill) in Game One, the Detroit Red Wings used a seven goal onslaught to earn a Game Two victory in Arizona on Friday night.
The Phoenix Coyotes proved to be as dangerous and determined as game one (and their entire season to date for that matter) suggested they were going to be.
They continued their physical attack, used their speed to generate offense, and showed not an ounce of awe and only a smidgen of respect for their high profile opponent.
They had designs on heading to Detroit up two games to none, however, after this game, they're likely to draw up a new plan.
The Coyotes were thought to have two things going for them heading into this series that might, just might yield them four wins and a trip to the second round: physicality and goal-tending.
However much this looked to be the case in Game One, the Red Wings all but rendered these things moot in Game Two.
The Wings not only showed they could sustain all the physical punishment Phoenix could throw at them, they also were deft at doling out plenty of hits themselves.
Ilya Bryzgalov was perhaps the best goalie in the league heading into the playoffs.
As the Red Wings were set to face yet another hot-goalie-come-out-of-nowhere in the first round, visions of Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Miikka Kipprusoff and Dwayne Roloson were supposed to be dancing through their heads - yeah, not so much.
Though none of the six goals he allowed were particularly bad, the fact that Bryzgalov was beaten six times (the Wings' seventh was an empty netter) pretty much dulls the supposed edge the Coyotes had in goal.
At the other end, Jimmy Howard stood tall yet again.
The Wings aren't likely to win many games in which he gives up four goals, but, he made several key saves at critical times to give his team a chance to win this one.
Through two games, the Red Wings' goal-tender has surrendered seven goals, the Coyotes', eight.
While a one goal differential is hardly enough to declare one goalie "better" than the other, it does put to rest the idea that the Coyotes would have an overwhelming advantage in goal.
This series is far from over, in fact, as it is now tied at a game apiece it has, in some sense restarted.
However, the two things the Coyotes were supposed to have going for them are, if not gone, hardly the advantages they were intended to be.
The Red Wings are coming home with a split in the series, but they are taking more than that with them back from Arizona.
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