Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Game 3, in Columbus.....

Did you all enjoy your Monday? Did you have a wonderful day basking in the feeling of the Wings being up 2-0 in the series? Good I'm glad, because I am sure the stress has returned today. The wonder, anticipation, and fear of what will occur down in Columbus, Ohio should have fully set in right about, now. The Wings have been saying all the right things. Promising we will not have to sit through another Nashville 2008 and Calgary 2007, assuring us that rocking back and forth in the fetal position while our loved ones anxiously look on, will not be a possibility this year.... I just hope they mean it...can our nerves take? Sure we're Wings fans. I think we're hard wired for this.

"We all know down there, it's going to be a completely different game. They'll have the crowd and the whole city behind them. We're going to have to match them right from the start."Niklas Kronwall said

Despite Columbus being down 2 games to 0 in this series, it is still a monumental moment for their fans....It's their first playoff game and they'll be ready.

Brian from the BJs blog Carry the Flag had this to say about the atmosphere when he went to the Joe...

  • The history. All you have to do is look in the rafters and see all the banners from over the years. It's impressive. Then there are the retired numbers for Howe, Sawchuk, Yzerman and others.
  • It's all about the hockey. Starting with the "hockey, hockey, hockey" chant before the game, everybody knows why they are there. No silly contests during intermission, burrito drops (sorry Chipotle) or any of the other "stuff" that goes on at most other arenas - including NWA. During intermission, the Zambonis come out, the video board shows highlights and that's it! The focus is purely on hockey. Probably not great for the casual fan but I found it refreshing.
  • The fire after a goal. When Detroit scores, large jets of fire shoot out of the top of the scoreboard. You can literally feel the heat. I'm still partial to the Cannon but that fire is pretty cool also.

  • I'm sure I could go on but you get the idea. I encourage any hockey fan to take a trip up to the Joe, especially for a playoff game. Blue Jackets fans? We need to BRING IT on Tuesday and Thursday at home. The Detroit fans really stepped up, we need to do the same and help our team Carry the Flag! Let's Go Jackets!!
They've waited 8 years....do you think they are going to quietly sit by? No the crowd will be a factor in this game. It will be even more important that the Wings come out and play 60 minutes of hockey. Who scores the first goal will be pertinent, and if it's the Wings, the shifts following that goal will be imperative.

The Columbus golden boy is already calling for the Fans to bring their A game:

"We have to gain momentum from being at home," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. "I hope this building's rocking."

Do you think they'll disappoint him? Of course not.

From Ansar Khan:

It doesn't matter as much whether it's Zetterberg, Datsyuk or Filppula matched up against Nash's line (with Kristian Huselius and Manny Malhotra), more importantly, Babcock wants Lidstrom on the ice as often as possible against him. And it is easier to make defensive changes on the fly.

"When you got two or three (lines) you don't mind matching up, it's not as big a deal," Babcock said. "When you're ahead, you always get what you want. When you're behind you never get what you want. That's why catch-up hockey is losing hockey. You got to be in the driver's seat."

I guess he didn't hear about Vermette's promotion yesterday.....either way the matchups should be interesting tonight and Nash will be even more of a factor with the crowd, and the occasional absence of Lidstrom....but I think the other guys should be ready. At least I hope so. The BJs put all their eggs in one basket, now the Wings need to exploit it.

If the Wings provide the same passion effort and performance they did on Saturday, it should be a great game. Every goal scored will silence the Columbus crowd even more, strip them of their excitement, and bring on the gut wrenching feeling of defeat that we seasoned Wings fans have experienced multiple times before. But if they become apathetic and overly confident, if they decide to sit back and take it easy, feeling they are assured a third victory, then bring on the alcohol, vomit, and cold sweats for us.

I'm just hoping for a defeated and quite crowd in Columbus today....and hoping the Wings can deliver it.

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