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Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 7 game-day updates: Wings tweak power play as the cliche machine breaks

Updated 9x at 3:40 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face an uphill battle as they attempt to break Chicago's 2-game winning streak and purported momentum heading into Game 7 tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on FSD). The Wings headed to the United Center around 10:30 AM EDT, but didn't skate until after the Blackhawks took to the ice, and the Hawks held a "light" morning skate:

Read: Morning skate at the Madhouse on Madison--the last for either the Blackhawks or the Red Wings:

FYI:

Stefan Kubus's graphic is indeed pretty awesome.

The Hawks are weird:

Start the cliche machine!

O RLY? Barry Melrose is picking the Hawks. I'm stunned (not really):

Here comes Joel Quenneville...

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that Hawks forward Viktor Stalberg broke the cliche machine:

“We feel like the ball’s in our court here, we have home-ice advantage, we have to do everything we can to get off to a good start and get a win here.”

“All we’ve been doing here is looking to win. That’s been our goal here the whole time, advance to the next round and get it done in seven or five, whatever that might be. We’re happy we came back and that’s all behind us right now. A lot of things can happen in one game, we all know that. We have to come out prepared and be ready to go right off the bat.”

...

“At the end of the day we have to approach this game like we have games all year and we’ve been successful because we’ve played that similar style. Just be a little more aggressive, a little more hungry and I think we can do that and we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

As the Tweets rolled in, the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo re-posted his take on Game 7 with a video of him discussing said scenario, and the Free Press's "2 Minute Drill" includes several Wings-related items...

Damien Brunner's been a giveaway machine and hasn't been able to keep pucks in on the 1st power play unit, so it makes sense to go with a 3-man "umbrella" instead of forcing a forward that's not particularly comfortable playing the right point to do just that.

St. James' article:

"He's been playing great," Chicago winger Patrick Kane said. "He makes a lot of big saves for them, hasn't given up any weak ones or anything like that. He's been tough to score on, that's for sure. We've got to keep getting chances, keep getting shots. If we have to throw 50 pucks at the net tonight, that's what it's got to be ... to go our way. He's playing great."

The winner of tonight's game advances to meet the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals. The Wings are prepared to fly directly to LAX after tonight's game because, in their case, the series would start Friday at Staples Center.

Of course, they first have to get there. And for the Wings and Howard, the approach is the same as it is for every other playoff game: "They’re a good team, and it’s on us," Howard said, "to come out and focus and stick with our game plan for a full 60."

Via RedWingsFeed:

FTR, CBS Chicago reports that there are tickets still available for tonight's game, but the secondary market $$ is sky hiiiiiiiggh.

And here's coach Mike Babcock:

The Chicago Tribune's already posted a video of Kane's comments and an article about the state of the Hawks from Chris Kuc:

It's kind of a relaxed intensity," Hawks winger Viktor Stalberg said. "You've got to be hungry and excited about it, but you can't let it go to your head and run around and be too crazy out there. Play between the whistles, do our job, play tough, but try not to get too excited and take too many penalties."

After trailing 3-1 in the series, the Hawks roared back with consecutive victories to force Game 7 at the United Center.

"If you can't get excited and up for this one, you're not going to be able to get up for any hockey game," Hawks winger Patrick Kane said. "It should be a good game and hopefully we can take our momentum into it and keep it throughout the game.

"Everyone's kind of anxious to get it started," Kane added. "It seems like a long couple of days since we played last. It's a really good opportunity given the position we were in. This is where we wanted to be after the 3-1 deficit. We did a good job getting this opportunity so we have to take advantage of it."

I'm offering no comment regarding Ronnie Wood's allegiances, but the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus has already penned a game-day entry loaded with cliches:

"It's just a normal game," [Brent Seabrook, the] Blackhawks defenseman said a little less than eight hours before Wednesday night's Game 7 against the Detroit Red Wings. "You've got to treat it like a normal game."

...

Both teams said that the start would be key -- for the Hawks, to keep the momentum and rev up the crowd, and for the Wings, to quiet the crowd and put the pressure back on the Hawks to rally yet again. Mike Babcock was asked if he was just hoping to "survive" the first 10 minutes, and the Red Wings coach scoffed.

"No, that's not the plan at all," Babcock said. "I thought that's what we did in our building [in Game 6]. We didn't win a faceoff in the first 10 minutes. All the Game 7s I've ever been involved in, the start is so critical."

...

"We talk about Game 7 like it's something to avoid," he said. "It's as much fun as you can have in hockey. It's about having fun. When you do what you're supposed to do and you're organized and you trust your teammates and you trust your structure -- let's play."

Detroit has far more experience in dealing with the emotions of a Game 7 than the Hawks do. Only Marian Hossa (six) and Michal Handzus (four) have played in more than one Game 7 among the Hawks active players. Meanwhile, nine Red Wings who'll likely be dressing tonight have played in at least four. Most of the Hawks' only experience came in 2011, when they rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to force a Game 7 in Vancouver. The Hawks lost 2-1 in overtime.

"A lot of guys were in here against Vancouver when we lost in Game 7, when we fought back from 3-0, and that's one of those things we're going to draw off tonight," Seabrook said. "A lot of guys bring their own experiences into this kind of game, but we're looking forward to getting off to a start and making some new memories tonight."

Update: Amongst SI's Allan Muir's keys to tonight's game, for the Wings:

1. Stop worrying about Jonathan Toews. Make him worry about you: Look, the Red Wings did a magnificent job of getting into his head earlier in the series to the point where he wasn’t just neutralized as a threat, he actually became a liability for the Hawks as his frustration mounted. But as the good ones have a way of doing, he made his adjustments and was again an impact player in Chicago’s last two wins. Simply sending Henrik Zetterberg over the boards every time Toews touches the ice probably won’t change that for Game 7, but forcing him to spend more time out of the offensive zone will. That means coach Mike Babcock needs to follow the lead of Joel Quenneville and put his scoring eggs into one basket. Skating Zetterberg with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen hasn’t always guaranteed success in the past, but the potential for an offensive explosion should force Quenneville to counter with his Selke-nominated captain. That could be two birds right there, but only if Detroit’s top players raise their game above what we’ve seen in the past two outings.

The Chicago Daily Herald's Tim Sassone has filed a game-day entry discussing the "end" of the Wings-Hawks rivalry...

"I think everybody remembers a Game 7," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Wednesday's morning skate ahead of tonight's seventh and deciding game of the Western Conference semifinals at the United Center. "You look at the tradition and history between the two teams, regular season games and playoff series, battles, wars, Norris Division series, and you come down to a Game 7 to end it, so it's fitting for an amazing history."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is going to miss the rivalry, too.

“Obviously, the next time we face them in the Stanley Cup playoffs it’ll be a lot of fun and we’ll both know we got someplace,” Babcock said. “For me, what I like is they have high-end players. I like the way they play because they play fast. I like coming in the building. Their captain (Jonathan Toews), to me, is what a captain should be. He’s respectful of the game and does things right. So to me there’s a lot of great things about (the rivalry). It reminds me of our franchise in a lot of ways, the guys you bump into when you’re around the building. I like that part of hockey. When you’ve been in it a long time and you’ve had a lot of respect for the game, Original 6 means something to you.”

Like most Game 7s, it should be decided by the goaltending matchup between Corey Crawford and Jimmy Howard. That's how Tuesday's Game 7 between Los Angeles and San Jose played out with Jonathan Quick of the Kings getting the best if the Sharks' Antti Niemi.

"You can talk about playoff games and the first thing that's always mentioned is goaltending," Quenneville said. "Game 7 is no different. We talk about the importance of making big saves, timely saves, the importance of the confidence you get from it. I think last night's game, if you look at any Game 7, you can almost change the name of the game from hockey to call it goalie."

Babcock sees it differently.

“The 19 other guys, they kind of think they’re involved too,” Babcock said. “So let’s not get too carried away.”

The Northwest Herald's Tom Musick reports that everybody's excited...

"Just watching our group out here today and yesterday, I think we haven’t changed at all over the last four or five days here," Quenneville said. "I think it’s been consistent. We’re excited. I think we’re looking forward to it. You’ve got to commend them on their approach."

As for which players might shine in Game 7, Quenneville said, members of both teams' third and fourth lines could make the difference.

"Sometimes, it’s the guys that maybe fly under the radar," Quenneville said. "When you get a little less freedom – top guys get a lot of scrutiny and a lot of tight coverage – sometimes those guys seem to come through and break through. But every game is different. Scoring is going to be hard to come by, and there’s not many scoring chances in games, but usually you get the unexpected guys that jump up."

And the Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton took note of the Wings' comments:

"To me it wasn't about surprise – it was about what we felt we needed to do because of the way the series went," Babcock said Wednesday, referencing the Anaheim series. "We've been through all those scenarios: If they do that, what are we going to do, if we do this, what are they going to do. The bottom line for us, Chicago has a different kind of lineup than Anaheim had. So you have to use your players that are going to give you the best chance to win. That’s what we're going to do tonight. We've been through, as you can imagine, every one of those scenarios."

The guaranteed scenario is this: A forthing crowd, an anthem, and a piercing atmosphere at the United Center.

"The first 10 minutes have been crucial in every playoff game," defenseman Brendan Smith said. "The first 10 almost dictate the game, pretty much. It's soemthing we've talked about -- playing our best 10 at the start. It's really hard to do."

...

"They're a good team," winger Justin Abdelkader said. "Obviously no one thought we were going to beat them in five games. It's tough closing out a team, we've learned that. But you know what, we're in a situation where we're in a Game 7 and we can put out the President's Trophy winners, best team all year. Coming into the series, if you would have told us that, we would have jumped on it."

Also:

Update #2: The Macomb Daliy's Chuck Pleiness took note of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk's Game 7 records (and he offered Game 7 stats for each and every one of the Red Wings' players)

In five career Game 7s, Zetterberg has two goals and six assists, while Datsyuk has four goals and one assist. That’s why Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t worry about his two superstars heading into Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the United Center.

“That’s because I’ve been hanging around them for a long time,” Babcock said. “Pav had six shots on net (in Game 6). He was home-free (Monday) night and didn’t score, he didn’t get up over the pad. Like he’s due. So the way I look at guys like that when they haven’t scored in a bit they’re due, they’re bound to come through.”

Zetterberg has yet to score through six games in the series, but does have three assists. Datsyuk has just one goal and one assist in the series with Chicago.

“Everyone talked about (Jonathan Toews) for a long time,” Babcock continued. “It’s the same thing. When you’re due and you’re a good player and you work hard and you’re determined eventually you’re going to break out. So to me those guys are like money in the bank as far as I’m concerned.”

NHL.com's Corey Masisak tossed off a pair of Tweets...

The Chicago Tribune posted a clip of Brent Seabrook discussing Game 7...

And NHL.com's posted a game-day report:

Update #3: The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash penned an article about Brandon Saad, and, via RedWingsFeed, 97.1 FM's Terry Foster suggests that the...Uh...fans? have all the pressure on their shoulders going into tonight's game:

Here is my main question. What is the pressure level for you, the sports fan? Some will watch the game and live and die on every shift. Some people won’t even watch because they are too nervous. Some folks enjoy sports and enjoy every moment unless their team is involved in a do or die game.

My take is to enjoy it. You might be surprised. The Wings might actually win.

And MLive's Ansar Khan took note of the Abdelkader-and-Franzen-in-front, Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Kronwall-on-the-point power play formation:

“We tried it out in practice; we'll see what happens in the game, if that stays or not,'' Abdelkader said. “If it goes, we just got to shoot pucks and get second chances and break them down. Power plays always start with the shot, we got to make sure we're shooting and getting pucks back and taking it to the net.''

The Red Wings are 1-for-22 on the power play (4.5 percent) in this series. Their only goal came from Jakub Kindl with one second remaining on a power play in Game 4. The Blackhawks are 38-for-39 (97.4 percent) on the penalty kill in the playoffs.

“Our biggest thing in this series on our power play is their 'four go,' '' Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “That's when a puck is shot and it's on the wall and they got four guys going. Our power play retrieval part of it hasn't been good enough. So their four guys are working harder than our power play to get it back. If you're one and done your power play's not very good because there's no skills plays happening, you're just shooting and they fire it down and you work on your breakout. That's a lot of exercise. It's way more fun wearing them out in their zone.''

The Red Wings went 6-for-25 (24 percent) on the power play in the first round against Anaheim.

“Anytime somethings' not working you got to find different ways through it,'' Kronwall said. “We tried a different look, we'll see if that's going to happen in the game as well. But it felt pretty good in practice, we'll see where it leads.''

The Chicago Tribune's posted another auto-play video, this time with Viktor Stalberg breaking the cliche machine...

And ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers spoke to both teams about the ice conditions:

The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings deemed the United Center's ice satisfactory Wednesday prior to Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series, despite a Rolling Stones concert the night before and high heat and humidity.

"It's fine," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of the ice after Wednesday's morning skate.

Temps are near 80 in Chicago with high humidity.

"I think it'll be OK," Hawks winger Viktor Stalberg said. "I know it sometimes makes it a little worse when it's humid and warm outside like it's been the last day or so. I felt the ice was pretty good. This late in the year, the ice isn't going to be great everywhere. That's just part of it. Usually the ice is pretty decent here. ... I'm sure the ice will get better during the day here too because you get some time to rest it and get a little colder in the building hopefully."

Patrick Kane said, "It seemed good today."

Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith thought the United Center's ice was better Wednesday than it has been in some of his past experiences.

"I thought the ice was OK," Smith said. "Actually, I think the ice has been worse here previous games. I thought the ice was decent. It hasn't been great, but it's all right. Both teams have to play on it. ... Sometimes it becomes a disadvantage for some puck-possession teams, but we're both puck-possession teams here, so both teams are going to deal with the same thing."

Update #4: NHL.com's Brian Hedger played up the "last hurrah of the rivalry" story...

"All you've got to do is take a look at the jerseys," said Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader, who grew up in Muskegon, Mich., as a big Red Wings fan. "It's all about Original Six and two of the best jerseys in the League. It's the tradition and what each organization is all about. Every time you put on that uniform, you take pride in it."

The Blackhawks don't have any players on their roster from the Chicago area, but they feel the same way about pulling on their sweaters. Some might not like all the attention that games and series between Original Six rivals generate, but the fact of the matter is that people do care about them quite a bit. Longtime fans on both sides will see more than just Jonathan Toews and Henrik Zetterberg battling in the faceoff circle on Wednesday night. Seeing the winged wheel and Blackhawks logo, for some, will remind them of classic clashes from the past between guys named Hull and Howe, Mikita and Lindsay, Yzerman and Savard.

Figuring out how to win this Game 7 is what players and coaches on both sides will think about on Wednesday, but even some of them can pause to think about the historical significance of the game they're gearing up to play.

"It's the last time we'll be division rivals and in the same conference," Abdelkader said. "If we meet [again], it will be in the Stanley Cup Final, so it'll just be fun going out like this. There's no better way to go out against these guys than in Game 7, in a win-or-go-home game."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock feels similarly. Like Quenneville, he reflected on the rivalry following Detroit's skate and summed up just why this series finale just feels like it had to happen.

"I like coming in the building [here]," Babcock said. "Their captain (Toews), to me, is what a captain should be. He's respectful of the game and does things right. It reminds me of our franchise in lots of ways, with the guys and the history that's around. I like that part of hockey. When you've been in it a long time and you've had a lot of respect for the game, ‘Original Six' means something to you."

If you want to read ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers talk to Patrick Kane about #88's belief that he's going to contribute tonight, go ahead...

And, via RedWingsFeed, CBS Chicago's Adam Hoge has penned a game-day entry:

“You look at any Game 7, you could almost change the name of the game from hockey to goalie,” Quenneville said.

Indeed, both Crawford and Jimmy Howard will have a huge impact on the outcome of tonight’s Game 7, but Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock didn’t want to put all the focus on the goaltenders.

“The 19 other guys, they kind of think they are involved too. So let’s not get too carried away here,” he said.

And two of his 19 other guys are Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk who have combined for just one goal and four assists in this series.

“Lots of you people did a lot of talking about Jonathan Toews at the start of the series and I just know that those kind of people just come,” Babock said when asked about his top two players. “They just do. That’s just the way it is.”

FYI:

In the multimedia department, the Blackhawks' website has posted clips of Quenneville's morning skate presser and comments from Patrick Kane (who has the opportunity to win the series "before the greatest fans in hockey?") and Michael Frolik.

Update #4.5: CSN Chicago's Steve Konroyd penned his 3 Keys to the game. Waiting for Ken Kal's instead.

Update #4.75: OH BOY, it's the Chicago Tribune's Rosenbloom, Kuc and Kellams rambling about tonight's game!

Update #5: The Red Wings' Game Day Blog does indeed offer both a historical note...

On This Day in Red Wings History...On May 29, 2002

Dominik Hasek shuts out the Avalanche, 2-0, as Detroit forces
a Game 7 in conference finals.

And Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

Play a Full Sixty Minutes - - The Red Wings can't afford not to. The lapses hurt the team in Game Six, so they must play a complete game to win tonight. Leave everything on the ice. There's no tomorrow, unless you win.

Play with the Lead - Strike early and strike often. Play solid defensively in front of Howard.

Keep the Emotions in Check - Compete hard and stay out of the penalty box. The Red Wings must maintain their composure in front of this Chicago crowd. Everything is on the line tonight.

Update #6: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's game-day article, discussing the Wings-Hawks rivalry:

"It's been fun to be a part of and just to see both cities and the way they get behind their teams," forward Justin Abdelkader said. "The excitement and energy in both stadiums has been fun."

Abdelkader couldn't remember a rival of the Red Wings who could instill the same kind of passion in fans.

"Pittsburgh was good there (in the back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in 2008-09), but even those guys, we played them in the Finals but we didn't see them in the regular season," said Abdelkader, adding the Blackhawks have been the Red Wings' deepest rivals. Once Chicago got good and got (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews, and picked up a few other players, the rivalry kind of renewed itself."
Babcock appreciates the history of both organizations.

"When you've been in the game for a long time, you have a lot of respect for the Original Six, and it means something to you," Babcock said.

Said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville: "You look at the tradition and history between the two teams. The regular season games, the playoff series, Norris Division (playoff) series, and now down to a Game 7. It's a fitting end to an amazing history."

Update #7: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a clip of Niklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist discussing tonight's game.

Update #8: NHL.com's Tracey Myers posted a morning skate report which includes comments from Michael Frolik, Patrick Kane, Joel Quenneville, Justin Abdelkader, Gustav Nyquist and Mike Babcock...

And NHL.com posted a clip of Babcock's comments as well:

Update #9: The Free Press's Jamie Samuelssen suggests that the Wings' season will be a huge disappointment if they lose tonight...but won't be disappointing at all?

{i]t’s important that we realize what has been accomplished here. Hockey matters in this city again. And it matters a lot. When Nicklas Lidstrom retired last summer, it seemed like the team was in for a long rebuild. When most of the big-name free agents passed on coming to Detroit, the outlook seemed bleaker. But thanks to a strong playoff run, we’re reminded (in case we forgot) just how good some of these players are. And we’ve been introduced to a new cast of characters. The die-hard hockey fans get to know these guys in the regular season. The casual fans normally get familiar in the playoffs. And these playoffs have lasted long enough for the likes of Damien Brunner, Patrick Eaves and Gustav Nyquist to become household names in Detroit. Win or lose, that’s a huge accomplishment for the Wings.

And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose discusses the potential power play tweak:

“Our biggest thing in this series on our power play is their 'four go.' That's when a puck is shot and it's on the wall and they got four guys going,” Babcock said. “Out power play retrieval part of it hasn't been good enough. So their four guys are working harder than our power play to get it back. If you're one-and-done your power play's not very good because there's no skills play happening, you're just shooting and they break and they fire it down and you work on your breakout. That's a lot of exercise. It's way more fun wearing them out in their zone.”

Should the Wings decide to stick with the new power play look – which had Datsyuk and Johan Franzen playing kind of out on the half wall near the blue line, Niklas Kronwall in the middle, and Zetterberg and Abdelkeder down low – it won’t be for the element of surprise.

“We felt we needed to do (it) because of the way the series went (in Anaheim),” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve been through all those scenarios, that’s what I do before every game, if they do that, what are we going to do? If we do that, what are they going to do? Like the start of last game they pulled (Jonathan) Toews off the ice every single time they won the faceoffs so they could do that. If you don’t win the faceoff you can’t do that. Chicago has a different kind of lineup than Anaheim had, so you have to use your players that will give you the best chance to win and that’s what we’re going to do here tonight. I’ve been through every kind of scenario.”

The Wings’ lone power-play goal came in Game 4 when Jakub Kindl scored with one-second remaining in a Toews penalty. And since the power play hasn’t gotten anything going for the Wings, expect them to pull out all of the stops in Game 7 tonight, especially on the power play.

“You know, try a different look and see if that’s going to happen in the game as well,” Kronwall said. “But it felt pretty good in practice and we’ll see where it leads.”

And the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus more or less covered the stuff he and Potash addressed in earlier blog entries in article form.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

“The first 10 minutes have been crucial in every playoff game,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “The first 10 almost dictate the game, pretty much. It’s soemthing we’ve talked about—playing our best 10 at the start. It’s really hard to do.”

Not boding well already.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/29/13 at 12:55 PM ET

SYF's avatar

My take is to enjoy it. You might be surprised. The Wings might actually win.

- Terry Foster

I think Interwebnetz’ses just blew the fuch up.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/29/13 at 01:35 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

I. Hate. Game. 7’s.

That is all.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 05/29/13 at 01:44 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

My stomach is sick in anticipation of tonight.  I set my expectations low and expect the worst, but I’m dreading a possible loss tonight.  Everyone in my office knows I’m a Wings fan, and they’re all just waiting to rub in a Hawks victory - that almost stings more.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/29/13 at 03:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

“Our biggest thing in this series on our power play is their ‘four go.’ That’s when a puck is shot and it’s on the wall and they got four guys going,” Babcock said. “Out power play retrieval part of it hasn’t been good enough. So their four guys are working harder than our power play to get it back. If you’re one-and-done your power play’s not very good because there’s no skills play happening, you’re just shooting and they break and they fire it down and you work on your breakout. That’s a lot of exercise. It’s way more fun wearing them out in their zone.”

Well, quit talking ‘bout it and execute it, Wings.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/29/13 at 03:16 PM ET

Avatar

I’m not looking forward to the series with the Kings.

Oh wait, I said that about the Hawks too smile

Posted by neffernin on 05/29/13 at 03:17 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Melrose: Wings may be tired

Well, if they should happen to win tonight, you can double that for Friday’s game. They’ll have just one day off after travelling across three time zones to play an 8:00 game – a game that their “body clocks” will tell them is really starting at 11:00. And the Kings will have been sitting at home for three fricking days, resting and practicing.

This league is a joke when it comes to stuff like this.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/29/13 at 03:22 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Yeah SYF that’s not exactly a new problem, wasn’t a new problem this year, or last year.  It’s an ongoing issue, year after year.  The Wings take the PP to catch their breath instead of put themselves up.  Most of the PP guys just stand in the O-zone and pass back and forth long enough to run out of options then shoot from the point.  Usually no puck support.

They’ve also been cheating on puck support that past 2 games.  You watch the frame and the most you see in it are 3 players on the breakout.  Once the camera pans out you see two Wings STANDING next to eachother next to the opposition blue-line.  They keep cheating and not playing the HONEST game and doing the little things and it’s killing us.  Hope to see more puck support and care for the details in this game.  AND PLAY PHYSICAL.

Once Bickell took over “most physical player” status in the series the swing went back to Chicago.  We need more physicality out of our players.  Finish your checks, don’t leave the guy who just got rid of it, in a position to get it right back.  And it’s 60 minutes, every hit takes a little out of’em, take everyone you can.  I saw Filpulla finish more checks than Franzen the last 2 games.  Franzen needs to step up bigtime.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/29/13 at 03:25 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

We feel like the ball’s in our court here

-Viktor Stalberg

Sure, if you insist. Don’t lose serve, however wink

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/29/13 at 05:01 PM ET

socalwingnut's avatar

Pav on the pp point? Interesting.  I notice that the Capitals sometimes have AO out for the entire two minute power play. He starts up front then switches to the point when the second unit comes out. 

Something has to change since they only have one stinkin’ pp goal in this series.

Posted by socalwingnut on 05/29/13 at 05:10 PM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

This league is a joke when it comes to stuff like this.

Well, then the Wings should win each matchup in fewer games. The NHL would never reschedule their next series even earlier in response.

Posted by ChowYunCat on 05/29/13 at 05:27 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.