Wednesday, April 14, 2004

4/14 Columns and Comments

... Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News does a very good job today summarizing the series so far in his column entitled "Wings lose cool, control." He hits the nail right on the head repeatedly and I think it should be required reading for the Red Wings even though they probably don't read the papers. I think this sums it up better than anything:
The Wings are taking undisciplined play to a ridiculous low. They�re out of position, they�re taking dumb penalties, they�re generally playing like the clueless upstart, which was supposed to be Nashville�s role.
... In the Free Press, Mitch Albom's column is a bit less effective (the school theme doesn't work for me, sorry Mitch) but still has some good points. I like this part:
Familiar Complaint No. 3: Where are all the big guns for Detroit? This is another perennial April question. Year after year, the Wings are loaded with offensive stars, and then come the playoffs and, for some stretch of time, the big flowers wilt. Hey. This isn't rocket science. Detroit was second in the NHL in offense, while Nashville was 20th in defense. That means the Wings should score more than six goals in four games. Stars like Pavel Datsyuk -- is he actually, you know, playing? -- Henrik Zetterberg, Steve Yzerman and Shanahan should have some goals by now. Where are they?
... Michael Rosenberg, also of the Free Press, reminds us that this series is not all that unusual, that much of what we are seeing this year is what we saw last year with the Ducks. This part here is another perfect summation of the series so far:
The Predators are doing what Anaheim did last year -- what so many underdogs have tried against the Wings. They're clogging the area in front of their own net, forcing the Wings to take shots far from the goal. The Wings shoot and shoot, without success, until Nashville/Anaheim/Whoever gets an opening and dashes toward the Wings' net with the puck, at which point the Wings have to hope that goaltender Manny Legace/Curtis Joseph/Whoever is fully awake and capable of making the save.
... The Freep's Wings notebook has this to say:
At least the Wings don't have to figure out how to win on the road, like the Preds do. That's why you play for the Presidents' Trophy -- so you can scratch your way past the No. 8 seed with home-ice advantage.
So true. That's about all it's good for and it might not even help. ... Just think, if it weren't for Robert Lang, the series probably would have ended last night. Think about it: He was the man whose great shift caused Tomas Holmstrom's game-winner in Game 1 as well the guy who scored the insurance goal. He then scored again in Game 2 and held off the Preds defense when that puck was sliding into the net for the game-winner of that game. He's been a little too pass-happy in the past two games but without him in the first two, the Wings probably would not have won. That trade's already paid off and given the Wings two more chances than they've deserved. They have to be themselves (the team we saw win the President's Trophy through all that adversity) Thursday night or it's over.


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