Time to Walk the Walk

From the Free Press

“We have to look upon these games as though they’re the playoffs.  You’ve got a number of teams fighting for any points they can get, and you have to match their level of intensity. Just because we’re not used to playing these kind of important games in March doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t know how to respond. These are basically playoff games for us.”–Nick Lidstrom

Guys that played like it was a play-off game last night…

  • Pavel Datsyuk
  • Tomas Holmstrom
  • Johan Franzen
  • Darren Helm
  • Patrick Eaves
  • Kris Draper
  • Brian Rafalski
  • Nick Lidstrom
  • Valterri Filppula

Guys who noticably did not play like it was a play-off game last night…

  • Henrik Zetterberg
  • Todd Bertuzzi
  • Dan Cleary
  • Nik Kronwall
  • Brad Stuart

I hate calling out Zetterberg.  He’s been my favorite Detroit Red Wing since he came into this league.  But that “breakaway” in the first period?  Not going to cut it.  Cleary was basically invisible out there and Bertuzzi didn’t make an impact until late into the third when he got his bell rung and finally got pissed off.  Kronwall and Stuart were out there for both of the even strength (non-empty netter) goals that Calgary scored.

Maybe Babcock needs to re-unite Zetterberg and Datsyuk again to get Z shooting the puck again.  With the way that Filppula was scrambling around out there, maybe you move him to second line center between Franzen and Cleary.  Just a thought.

It’s going to take more than nine guys playing with urgency to make the play-offs this year.  You can say that you’re going to treat every game like a play-off game until you’re blue in the face, but now it’s time to start freaking acting like it.

We’ve been talking the talk, now it’s time to walk the walk.