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Red Wings @ Coyotes - Game 1 - 4/14


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#1 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 03:21 PM

It's been a long regular season, an odd regular season for most Red Wings fans, but here we are on the opening day of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Six weeks ago the Red Wings were out of the playoffs. Today they're the Western Conference's fifth seed, with a record better than six of the eight playoff teams in the Eastern Conference (and only a point back of the New Jersey Devils). That jump came courtesy of a 16-3-2 run after the Olympic Break, including a stretch of twelve games in which they earned at least a point.

The Wings come into the playoffs on a roll but in an unfamiliar position. They haven't started a postseason run on the road since 1991, when they were the Norris Division's third seed facing the second-seeded St. Louis Blues. They lost that series, 4-3.

Detroit hasn't been the lower-seeded team in any series since the 2000 Western Conference Semifinals, when the fourth-seeded Wings lost to the third-seeded Colorado Avalanche in five games.

Additionally, the Red Wings haven't headed into a playoff riding a rookie goalie since 1994, when Chris Osgood took over for Bob Essensa as Detroit fell to the San Jose Sharks, 4-3, in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

While six weeks ago no one knew if the Red Wings would be in the playoffs today, a year ago no one knew if the Phoenix Coyotes would even exist right now.

The Coyotes are the NHL's Cinderella story, finishing fourth in the Western Conference despite a year of ownership by the league itself after the team declared bankruptcy last spring.

Wayne Gretzky was replaced as head coach by Dave Tippett, the favorite to win the Jack Adams Trophy as the league's best coach. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had a Vezina Trophy-worthy season.

The Red Wings were unbeaten in regulation against the Coyotes this season, going 2-0-2. However all four of those games came while Detroit was battling injuries and before Phoenix added veteran depth at the trade deadline.

Detroit has added forwards Justin Abdelkader and Brad May back to their roster but head coach Mike Babcock won't be making any lineup changes for tonight's Game One, choosing to ride a winning lineup.

Phoenix, meanwhile, is expected to start the series without former Red Wing Robert Lang, out with an upper-body injury.

Game time tonight is 10:00 on FSD and Versus.

#2 Mathieu_Datsyuk132351

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 04:15 PM

Phoenix, meanwhile, is expected to start the series without former Red Wing Robert Lang, out with an upper-body injury.

That's good because it seems like he always manages to score against the Wings!

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#3 SYfanSD

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 08:07 PM

You would like to think that all of the money you shell out for Center Ice you would have the option between FSD and VS. As of now that does not seem to be the case... Go figure... For more than half the season I was unable to see the games on VS. and now I have no choice. :cursing: I need to move to Michagan... :D
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#4 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:06 PM

Anyone else nervous as hell? I'd kind of forgotten this feeling.

All that's missing is this:

#5 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:16 PM

Goddamn, that was close.

#6 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:21 PM

Ha! All the bitching about Homer and Phoenix gets the first goalie interference call.

#7 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:32 PM

Holy f*ck I thought this bastard was supposed to be unbeatable?

Way to go Homer!

#8 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:38 PM

Oh Stuie, don't do that. Motherf*ck.

#9 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:42 PM

Back in front, motherbitches!

#10 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 09:53 PM

Okay, someone explain to me why it's okay to throw an elbow at someone after the whistle but not okay to break your stick across their nose when play is stopped? After the whistle sh*t p*sses me off.

#11 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 10:21 PM

Keep giving them power plays...

Now the validity of those power plays...

#12 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 10:42 PM

Now they call that? I'll take it but WTF?

#13 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 11:10 PM

Three weak calls, three goals. Does the PK suck or should they never have been called in the first place?

#14 YzerFan19

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 11:29 PM

Lidstrom sticked to the face, no call. Does that mean we get to carve Doan's nose off now?

#15 RideTheRedWave

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Posted April 14, 2010 - 11:43 PM

already said it, i'm sticking with it. yotes in 6. Remember who else the wings have to overcome besides the coyotes. GOT BETTMAN?

#16 YzerFan19

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Posted April 15, 2010 - 12:27 AM

I can't say I've ever seen a team win a game in which they gave up three power play goals, so Detroit probably didn't deserve the win tonight. Say what you want about the officiating (and I will in a second) but the Wings' PK absolutely failed them tonight. If a single penalty kill had been successful, we have a different outcome. And don't talk to me about the fourth Phoenix power play, that wasn't a successful kill, the Coyotes killed it by taking a penalty of their own.

A part of that is that the Red Wings lost several key faceoffs. The first and third Phoenix goals came directly off of a lost draw. That cannot continue.

One coaching complaint... When you know the team you're facing is going to come out and literally hit you with all they've got, you put out a lineup that can counter that. I know the Red Wings are obsessed with having a right-handed forward on the point on the second power play unit but Jason Williams is not cutting it.

Williams should have been in the press box with Justin Abdelkader in the lineup. Abdelkader led the Red Wings in hits before being sent down to GR as a cap casualty. Throw him out there and give the Coyotes a taste of their own medicine.

As for the officiating, I won't complain about what was called but two uncalled penalties really bothered me.

Over at A2Y someone posted that the Wings needed to do a better job of covering the point on the PK. On the game-winning goal, Derek Morris was left all alone to blast a shot past Jimmy Howard.

Why was he so alone? Not because Detroit was down a man but because the man who was supposed to be on Morris, Darren Helm, had been driven to the ice away from the puck by Shane Doan.

Doan knocks Helm down on the faceoff, Morris is left wide open, goal. Doan leaves Helm alone, Helm gets out to cover Morris. Maybe still a goal but that play never would have happened.

A blatant interference play going uncalled directly led to Morris' goal, that's unacceptable to me.

Also blatant: The uncalled high stick on Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom takes a stick to the face that draws blood, with the puck still nearby, and no one was looking? Four officials and not a single one saw that? Again, unacceptable.

So I'm not happy about the game but there's plenty of time for a turnaround. A Detroit win on Friday will mean the Wings have claimed home-ice in a five-game series. The pressure is on the Coyotes for these first two games, I don't think they can play a game like they did tonight for every game of the series.

#17 RideTheRedWave

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Posted April 15, 2010 - 01:37 AM

I agree that Williams probably should sit next game and abdelkader replaces him. I also agree that coyotes probably can't keep this pace up for 7 game series although you have to remember that this team is young and has played very tight knit hockey all year. To me this feels like '03, '04, '06 for the wings facing a much grittier up and coming team.




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