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.