No Contest: While at various points the Coyotes looked like a hockey team, at no point did they go too far in threatening a Red Wings team that has this series ridiculously well in hand. The Wings are just so clearly the better team, even while they onlyÂ occasionallyÂ hit their full potential. Phoenix may have it in them to stave off elimination in Game 4, but if they do, they haven’t really shown it yet. What they have shown, however, is that they’re a weak team mentally, a team that would rather get frustrated when the going gets tough than to bear down and do the stuff necessary to compete. It’s more important to Doan and Company to run around and hit. If they continue that on Wednesday, they’re going to be swept.
And I’m sure the early goals screwed them up. But you can still react better than Phoenix did.
Plenty of Room: … for improvement. 30 shots allowed to a team like Phoenix is unacceptable. The Wings are good enough to get away with it, but I hope they take the opportunity on Wednesday to play a sealed-up game that will prepare them for the next round. They’re going to need to be better in their own end and not lean so heavily on Jimmy Howard to make saves on uncovered players.
Jimmy: Stellar game and a well-deserved first star. He was incredible and made a number of great saves when the Coyotes managed to stumble into a scoring chance gifted to them by the Wings defensive coverage. I love that in a series that people thought might showcase Bryzgalov, Jimmy Howard is stealing the show. Bryzgalov has been laughable, but Jimmy’s been great, and that’s great for the Wings going forward.
Datsyuk: I noticed him a lot less last night, but a lot of that had to do with guys like Helm, Miller and Eaves taking over the spotlight. Those three had a great game on a quiet night for Pavel.
Franzen: I’m glad he scored with the visor on. He looked uncertain with it out there, but getting a goal like that may help him stick with it.
Doan: Went after Lidstrom a few times, including one incident involving a totally unnecessary cross-check to the lower back after the play. I have to say that I want to vomit when I hear all the talk about how this guy deserves more in his playoff experience when I consider what he does with the little playoff time he’s been able to achieve. If he channeled half the energy he wastes on running around into playing toward the object of hockey, maybe he’d have built some more success for himself. But as it is I can’t respect what he does and I can’t go nuts about how much he deserves playoff success.
Helm: A wrecking ball in all the right ways last night. That’s the way to do it, Shane.
Penalty Kill: After the stellar showing in Game 1, the PK has been pathetic. It shouldn’t be almost a lock for Phoenix to score if they get a power play.
#Octotoss #Octowatch: @mserven says no octopi made an appearance on the ice, which is both disappointing and understandable. Maybe Wednesday.
Next: Phoenix will bring everything to the table Wednesday night. The Wings would be best served to do the same and close this out in four.