Thursday, April 27, 2006

Game 4: @ Edmonton, 9:30 ET

The Wings have been in this position before. Down 2-1 in the series, they need to win tonight or face elimination in Game 5. There is very little room for mistakes in this situation, particularly because the Oilers seem ready and able to capitalize on any screw-ups. If you're looking for optimism, you won't find it from Manny Legace. He told Ted Kulfan, "It's the same replay from the last couple of years. It's just the same old reel." Yes, that's the kind of world-beating attitude I want to see! Not! Come on, Manny. Steve Yzerman might not play and would be replaced by Mark Mowers if he doesn't. The News claims it's his back. This is huge, maybe not tonight, but for the rest of the series and beyond, if they get there. Don MacLean is sounding like a really good call-up right about now... The Wings are looking to get a fast start tonight, obviously a good strategy for a team that has had trouble getting going until the third period so far this series. They need to come out strong and sustain it over 60 minutes because a fast start but a sluggish finish won't be any more helpful than the reverse has been. If they play like they did later in the 3rd and in the two overtimes of Game 3, there shouldn't be any worries. Jarret Stoll is basking in his new hero status, apparently. Funny. I remember him being on the ice for at least two Red Wing goals the other night. Hopefully, we'll see more of that tonight. Expect the Oilers to come out of the gates strong tonight as they look for a killing blow early in front of their fans. If the Wings actually start strong too, it should make for some exciting hockey. Detroit can play a wide-open game so as long as they aren't back on their heels, they should benefit high-tempo play to start. They just can't let Edmonton get another lead and settle into the trap again or it will be very difficult to come back. They can do it, guys. I'm pretty confident in them going into tonight and I expect a great game, out of both teams.


At 4/27/2006 12:10:00 PM, Anonymous megan said...

So, apparently, MacTavish thinks we're diving. Anyone else see this?

At 4/27/2006 04:20:00 PM, Anonymous Wi Wing Nut said...

I think he took one too many head first dives without a helmet in his playing days...

At 4/27/2006 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

Well, if he's pointing out instances where the Wings have been diving, he ought to point out times when his own players do the same or else he's at serious risk of being an enormous hypocrite.

I don't deny some of the Wings embellish but they do a pretty good job of not being ridiculous about it. Not sure I would say the same about the Oilers (Hemsky...). Sometimes the ref needs a little help and properly drawing a penalty is an art that certainly walks a fine line.

At 4/27/2006 05:09:00 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

RED WINGS SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GO OILERS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!



At 4/27/2006 05:29:00 PM, Blogger sacamano said...

Classy post, Joseph.

Yeah, I don't know about any of the diving calls. I think it is a pretty difficult thing for refs to guage properly. I can't ever recall a diving penalty called that the players weren't upset about.

I also think that in lots of cases, what looks like diving really is just guys getting off balance and not being able to recover quickly enough (Lebda?). I actually kinda doubt Hemsky's lying on the ice was an intentional effort to get a penalty call, either. He did go face first into the boards at full speed - I don't care who you are, that's gonna sting. As for how fast he got up and skated to the bench afterwards -- well, you never want to let the opposition think that they got to you.

I dunno -- it is probably necessary to have the rule, but it is just so difficult to enforce properly.

At 4/27/2006 06:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, you never know when a player is diving or not, but in my opinion, the refs are terrible at calling them. I've seen tripping and hooking calls that corkscrew and lift players to the ceiling, and the refs call it diving...And trust me, as a hockey player, I know it is hard to dive THAT well.

As for the game tonight, The Wings should start strong- they have to. I predict it will be the typical Redwing game, strong 1st period, sloppy 2nd, and then a defensive 3rd period.

The Wings will be up 3-0 in the first, and the Oilers will rally to 3-2 after the second. The Wings will then finish them off with a 5-2 win.

I'm not really nervous for this game. The Wings know what position they are in, and hopefully they won't buckle under the pressure. If they lose tonight, then you NEED to worry and hope it isn't over.


...and Joseph is on either crack or acid. Possibly both. Either that or a sad individual relying on a fluke series for the Oilers, who, if they do win the series, will absolutely get spanked in the next series.

At 4/27/2006 07:16:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I guess it's easy for me to watch a play from the comfort of my hall lounge and determine a play is diving, especially if I'm shown a slow-motion replay. I imagine it'd be a lot harder for an official at ice level watching multiple things happen at once during a play and all at full speed. Still, it's their job and a lot is riding on their being mostly right, especially this time of year.

Lebda's case was just a particularly bad one. I've seen dives that haven't been called and then they slap him with a penalty for going down after getting a stick between the legs at full speed. Sheesh. I don't care who you are, you're going to fall and fall far if that happens.

Hemsky no doubt wasn't feeling so great and maybe the refs should have called the play right when it happened. What got me was the timing of the whistle that did come. It was a dangerous play and could have been a lot more serious but he sure turned out to be okay. Hindsight is 20/20, though.

It's certainly necessary to have the rule but a little silly for either side to acuse the other of doing it since both do it to some degree as part of their strategy. Neither team has become like the 2004 Habs when it comes to diving, though, so I don't see why MacTavish wants to make it an issue.

Firebird995, I think you're right. That's about how I'd expect the game to go, ideally, at least.

At 4/27/2006 08:36:00 PM, Anonymous megan said...

Just heard Ozzie's injured. They called up Jimmy Howard from GR. Apparently Oz got injured in practice. Not sure what happened or how bad it is. I haven't been able to find anything. Anyone else know anything?

At 4/27/2006 09:31:00 PM, Blogger ss3251 said...

Sucks to be the Griffins!

At 4/27/2006 11:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the refs watching the same game I am? No dive and then a weak hook to give the Oilers a 5 on 3? The quality of refing is horrible this year. Inconsistent to say the least.

At 4/27/2006 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know anonymous!!! Did you see that completely unsportsman-like slash Smyth had on Draper's stick!? Talk about freakin' one-side refs here. Give me a break...If the Wings loss this game, it's not their fault. Get some refs that have eyes.


Sorry, I had to let off some steam.

At 4/27/2006 11:27:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I agree with the complaints about the officiating but the Wings need to find a way to win regardless. Maybe by scoring on their own power plays... So far, they've been unable to take advantage of the power plays they have gotten.

At 4/28/2006 12:27:00 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Guess they weren't kidding about making all the penalty calls, huh? Jesus, I don't think I've even seen so many power plays in a playoff game.

WOW!!!! Go Wings Go!!! Zetts goal from Datsyuk was awesome. Bill Clement said it best when showing the highlights, "This play belongs in a museum."

Edmonton's fans suck. How classy is it that they had to delay the game twice to clear trash thrown by their own fans from the ice. I know they were upset about the calls, but they can't honestly say that it wasn't called both ways.

OLN had CBCs coverage of the game (again) and listening to those biased broadcasters was irritating. Listening to them talk about Pronger reminded me of John Madden talking about Brett Favre. Like they were strangely sexually aroused when he touched the puck.

Bottom line, Wings got it done tonight. Manny looked good, Lidstrom looked good, Shanny finally got some shots, Datsyuk had an assist, Lang had a goal (tink-tink.... :-)

I'm excited about Game 5. We have home ice again, and I don't think we're going to be so careless with it this time.


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