Thursday, April 23, 2009

Game 4, Round 1...

So it's Thursday again, and time for another Wings playoff game. Game 4 in Columbus. Despite this incident, I have to say that Columbus fans did represent their BJs well. They were loud and impassioned through most of the game. Even with the decisive win from the Wings. With that said, today is going to be a very important game for Detroit. The BJs are down a bit, but still feel as though they have something to prove, and will be looking to get at least a win, especially in their own arena.

I think Hossa sums it up best:

It's one of the toughest things to close a series," winger Marian Hossa said. "Obviously, no one wants to be swept. They're going to be ready for us and we have to make sure that we come out strong like we have."

Game three certainly wasn't their best effort of the series. They were lucky that Ozzie played some great hockey in the third period or things could be looking very different right now. We can only hope they put that apathetic boredom behind them from Game three and come out ready to make some young BJs cry tonight all the way home. Harsh, but necessary. I'd rather they just finish the series and get some much needed rest.

Hitchcock had this to say about his teams troubles and completely losing their cool in game 3:

"The playoffs are for veteran players," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They're not for young players. I think you see young players do uncharacteristic things this time of year because the collision between stress and pressure really affects them."

Hmmmm funny. I would say that our young guys, Ericsson and Helm, seem to be playing with the poise of veterans. A controlled and productive effort from them on every shift....And honestly, Commodore has also been around long enough to stop acting like an utter Donkey Dick, or a 'playground bully' and get his job done. Maybe Babcock was right about him.....

Ready for some more excuses? From Nash:

"They've always got two guys on me, playing me pretty hard," Nash said. "They've been shutting down the lines I've been on. They play such a good defensive game. They all come back to the puck. They finish every single check."

Sorry Nash. As an elite player and your teams's your responsibility to fight through that and still be productive. Please see Yzerman, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk for examples.

Today I revisited Allan Muir's playoff predictions. Yes perhaps it's petty to bring this up after the fact, with the Wings playing well but here's what he had to say:

Contrary to the beliefs of Detroit's fans, it's not a matter of flipping a switch now that the games count. Full commitment to the cause will determine the Wings' success. That work ethic was clearly lacking as the season wound down. They enter the playoffs having dropped seven of their final 10. Looking-ahead syndrome? Maybe.

Apparently there is a switch. And they have been playing Red Wing hockey since the start of the playoffs. The question now is, will they keep it on long enough to close out the series tonight? Once again they're going to have to patiently wait for the energy from the crowd and from the BJs to calm down, and exploit their mistakes when it does. They absolutely must play a full 60 minutes and support Ozzie in front of the net. And the 5 foot 10 beast that is occupying the Wings goal, needs to reappear tonight. I'm anxious. I want the series to be done tonight, allowing me a few days where I can easily keep solid food down.

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