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Coyotes @ Red Wings - Game 1 - 4/13


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#1 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 09:30 AM

Let's get this going, shall we?

What once was old is new again, as the Red Wings and the Coyotes meet in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season. This time around, Detroit has home ice by virtue of the Western Conference's third seed.

The Wings are the only team to have met Phoenix in the playoffs more than once, beating them in the 1998 Conference Semifinals and again in last season's Conference Quarterfinals.

Of course, none of that history matters going into this series. You could argue that Detroit's 2-1-1 record against the Coyotes this season means something, but given how inconsistently the Red Wings have played I'm not sure I'd even agree with that.

The way I see it, this series entirely depends on which Red Wings team shows up. Ilya Bryzgalov could steal the series, a goalie can always do that, but if the Detroit team that showed up in Chicago on Sunday is the one we see in the playoffs, Bryzgalov will have to steal the series for the Coyotes to advance. If the motivated, patient, focused Red Wings are what we see, they're simply better than the Phoenix team.

That said, we could very well see the sloppy, lazy, disinterested Red Wings. If that's the team that shows up, this is going to be a cake walk for the Coyotes.

#2 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 12:46 PM

Because playoff games alone aren't enough drama, we've got lineup fun today.

In a bit of a surprise move, Mike Modano is the healthy scratch up front for Detroit. Kris Draper and Drew Miller, who had been rotating in and out of the lineup, are both in.

Jakub Kindl is out on the blue line as Niklas Kronwall returns.

#3 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 05:56 PM

Okay, I managed to bury my head in code for the last several days to put off playoff nerves. I guess there's no avoiding it now.

#4 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 06:15 PM

Damn, great shot. Howard down early? Not sure.

#5 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 06:17 PM

Good shift by the second line, Wings responding.

#6 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 06:21 PM

Wings doing well when they get into the Phoenix end but getting tied up in their own zone.

#7 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 06:31 PM

Fantastic kill there. Hit on Helm high?

#8 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 06:50 PM

A couple good offensive shifts but Wings spending too much time in their own zone. Part of that is penalties, four in the period is ridiculous. Hopefully they even out.

#9 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:07 PM

Big stop by Jimmy to start the period there. Wow.

#10 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:20 PM

Fantastic stick work by Pavs on the wraparound. He couldn't have made that if he tried to skate any further.

#11 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:27 PM

Bert was p*ssed there. Fight kinda sucked but good to see him fired up.

#12 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:30 PM

The Mule makes it 2-1! Not much of a screen, just a great shot.

#13 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:43 PM

Two fantastic long shots to build the Detroit lead. Great shot by Rafalski. Real solid possession on the power play.

#14 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 07:46 PM

Very solid period. Gotta stay on it, though.

#15 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hudler snipes Bryzgalov, top corner. About six minutes of playing time, gets a goal.

#16 DetroitRiver

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 08:13 PM

Just woke up and logged in to check out the score. Looks like all our primaries are doing their job.

Off to chow for now and I'll be watching this game delayed on AFN tonight.

GO WINGS!

#17 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 08:21 PM

Another big kill. Loving special teams tonight.

#18 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 08:40 PM

One down...

#19 YzerFan19

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Posted April 13, 2011 - 09:44 PM

Overall, I think you can look at tonight's Red Wings - Coyotes game and see a lot that looks good for Detroit. They rallied from one down, scored four straight, and got an important Game One win. Break it down by period, though, and it's almost like three separate games.

I don't care how close the shots were, Phoenix controlled the opening period. True, a lot of that can be attributed to special teams, but that doesn't matter at the end of the night. Detroit did a nice job of weathering the storm but never got anything of their own going.

That changed in the second, which was all Detroit. Much more possession in the Phoenix zone and a better job of keeping the Coyotes from getting opportunities. Whistles put away, Wings got momentum. Not a conicidence.

Third period, game slowed down. Wings got a little sloppy as they let up and focused on preventing the lead. Never a good combination but it worked well enough.

The Red Wings need more of that second period. With their problems with consistency, they've gotta find a way to keep their foot on the gas for a full game.

Individual parts of the game worthy of note...

All four goals for Detroit (hell, all of the goals) were great plays. As I said at the time, Datsyuk's goal doesn't happen if he tries to skate it around the net. That was a great stick play. Franzen, Rafalski, Hudler, Turris and Vrbata? Fantastic shots, perfect placement.

Jimmy Howard was on tonight. A couple times I thought he bobbled the puck but stayed with it and one miscommunication behind the net. Did he go down early on the Turris goal? Maybe, but that's modern goaltending; dare them to beat you high and Turris did that time.

Sounds like fans of both teams were complaining about officiating. My complaint isn't so much what was called - you could call a lot of what the Wings were sent to the box for "cheap" but they were still the right call - but rather what wasn't. Darren Helm seemed to take a shot high in the first period on a PK, that goes uncalled while they crack down on hooking? Overall, not a poorly called game, I hope that doesn't get played up much 'cause I think it was mostly right.

That said, all those PKs the Wings had to go through (especially the five-on-three early) definitely kicked them into gear. Fantastic special teams effort tonight, scoring once on three PP chances and holding strong on six PKs.

So it's one down, three to go. Worry about the second round if it happens. Easy to look ahead and feel good right now, we'll see how it's going Saturday afternoon.




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