Following last night's game, it's apparent what style of play the Coyotes are going to use. Physical physical physical. The Coyotes outhit the Red Wings by a 43-20 margin (and those are just the credited hits) with Shane Doan making 9 of those hits.
One of Doan's hits landed him the box for charging but the other 8 surely sent messages. That message is that Detroit needs to play the same style or it's going to be a long series. A total of 8 Coyotes had 3 or more hits last night. How many Wings accomplished the same thing? Two; Brad Stuart with 3 and Darren Helm with 5.
Doan's play set the tone for the entire game and it started early on. Attacking Detroit physically and wearing them down worked better than the Coyotes could have imagined. Paired with aggressive forechecking, the hits (and knowing that they're coming) forced some early passes and bad decisions.
I don't mean to hint that the Red Wings need to completely change their style of game because physicality can only get you so far in a series. But they do need to hit back and with frequency to send the message that they won't be pushed around. The Wings aren't the biggest team by any stretch of the imagination but the guys that do have the size and the hitting ability need to do so. Looking at you, Todd Bertuzzi and Jonathan Ericsson.
Get Justin Abdelkader in there. He lead the Red Wings in hits before being sent back down to Grand Rapids and continued doing so in GR. Even if he doesn't quite have the goal-scoring prowess that Jason Williams somehow has, he can hit back and do the same (if not better job) as a balanced forward.
Once again, I'm not pressing the panic button but merely offering up thoughts on something that's easy to change and will help balance the physical play.