One thing the Red Wings have in their favor heading into Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals tonight at Joe Louis Arena is their experience at overcoming adversity.
They reeled off a 15-2-3 post-Olympic break run to secure the fifth playoff seed, which seemed out of reach with a month left in the season. They won three road games, including Game 7, in the first round against the scrappy Phoenix Coyotes.
This is their toughest task, climbing back into a series against a top-seeded team trying to shed its label as a postseason underachiever.
Khan(!) then lists 6 keys that Detroit needs to accomplish in order to turn this season around, click the link for more details on what dear Ansar had to say, I list them below with my own personal thoughts…
1.) Stay out of the penalty box
-Easier said than done in the first two games of the series. We’ve been issued enough penalty minutes to cover 30% of this series. The refs need to stop trying to dictate the game and let the boys play.
2.) Win the goaltending battle
-Done. Jimmy has been better than Nabakov. With all the penalty killing that Detroit has had to do, the fact that we’ve lost two road games by only one goal is a testament to how well James “Tiberius” Howard is actually playing. Don’t let the media fool you. They’re magnifying Nabakov’s play because he hasn’t laid an egg…yet.
3.) No. 2 Line must step up
-Hank has been good at times. Filppula has been good at times. Bertuzzi has been good at times. We need them to be good at the same time. It had to be hard for Big Bert to play his game when he was getting penalties called on him for looking at the Sharks cross-eyed. Khan(!) wants them to step up…I say it happens tonight.
4.) A better bottom 3 defense
-Lidstrom has played extremely well (broken stick excluded). Rafalski has been solid. And Brad Stuart has been a man on a mission out there. It’s time for Kronwall to get back to the “beast of the post-season” that he has been. Lilja has been good on the penalty kill…anything more than that is a bonus. And we still can’t figure out what is going on with Ericsson. It’s time to wake up, Big Rig.
5.) Win more face-offs
-Do whatever it takes. ‘Nuff said.
6.) Contain Joe Pavelski
-See point #1. Take him off the power-play and he isn’t nearly as effective…in fact, he wouldn’t have a goal in this series. My advice is to not change coverage on Joe Pavelski’s account. Do that, and you risk the other bigger stars on San Jose getting hot. Joe Pavelski doesn’t scare me…only being short handed 9 times a game on average does.