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Execution

“We’re going home, we’ll have our crowd, we got to do something with it.” –Mike Babcock

That quote comes to us via Khan(!).  Mike Babcock had a few interesting things to say after Sunday’s loss.  That first quote is my favorite – but I also found this one provocative:

“I don’t know about getting in your head. When they beat you, they beat you.  I think our belief in ourselves and our plan, the execution we have, I don’t question that whatsoever.”

Interesting that he used the word “execution” in that quote.  Especially after scoring all of two goals in 60+ minutes of hockey. 

That play that got Zetterbeg his first goal of the play-offs.  It looked easy, didn’t it?  That was the perfect power play set up and execution.  The opposition had four players – one was challenging the puck carrier, one was covering Holmstrom in front of the net, and two were covering the points.  That is four players covering four players.  Guess what?  That leaves one of us open for a pass and a shot.  Zetterberg snuck into the slot, got the puck, and shot it in the net.  Simple.  Not so simple when you’re playing against San Jose?  No.  Every team at every level can succeed with a play like that.

Teams can pass the puck around the perimeter all that they want – it’s what the penalty killers want.  Detroit needs to get the puck inside of the Sharks four man box and shoot the puck quickly.  That play worked once, it will work again if they execute it correctly.  It’s the simple little things that Detroit has been doing wrong that have lead to their impotence in the goal scoring department.

And please, please, please Tomas Holmstrom – please stop just swatting the puck around the boards when it comes to you.  Holmstrom can handle the puck, but lately – he looks like he has little confidence in himself and wants to get the puck away from him as quickly as possible.  So if it comes to him on the boards, he’s swatting at it and causing a 50/50 puck…which Detroit has been losing a hell of a lot more than 50 percent of the time.

We need to start doing the little things right.  If Mikey Mo and Kris Draper are going to do those things…then get them the hell into this lineup.

Execution is the word of today.  And tomorrow.

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