Morning Skate: Yes yes, without the oops

The Coyotes and the Red Wings will face-off for game 2 of the series tonight and the Wings will hope that there is a lot less "oops" on the penalty kill. 

  • Some of the Wings fans (me included) got their wish as Justin Abdelkader is in the line-up for tonight. Gator will replace Jason Williams who was very ineffective in game 1. Abdelkader brings the physical play as well as comparable scoring touch. To me, it was just a matter of time before Gator reappeared.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov did look human after all. Granted, the two goals he let in were a bit odd (whiffing on a Holmstrom shot, screened by at least two on the second goal) but that also shows the Wings what they need to do to score. Bryzgalov was solid on the shots that he saw with no traffic or that he had time to adjust to. Detroit needs to 
  • I think it's safe to say that the PK won't be that bad again. They were due for a stinker and it just happened to be in the first game. Expect the PK to be better now that they've had a look at the Coyotes power play and how they move the puck. 
  • Detroit needs to find a way to deal with the forechecking of the Coyotes. The aggressive style that the Coyotes started to use from mid second period on was pressuring the Wings to move the puck before they were ready. I'd suggest more support from the forwards instead of waiting in the neutral zone for passes they need to have one or two go back and help make sure the puck gets out of the defensive zone to begin with. 
  • Wings also need to do better in the dot. The draws were dead even in the first game but the Wings need to do better on defensive zone draws. Greg Wyshynski pointed that out yesterday with the numbers:
    The numbers reinforce that: Henrik Zetterberg was 2-for-8 on defensive zone faceoffs and Darren Helm was 4-for-10. Both saw time on the PK last night against the Coyotes.
  • Oh, that Mikael Samuelsson guy won the game for the Canucks in overtime last night as he scored his second goal of the night. He then called Team Sweden and told th--well you know what he said.
  • Bit of a sidenote and unrelated but today's the 3rd anniversary of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. As a current Hokie, this day has a lot of significance so if I'm not quite up to par on the hockey coverage you'll know why.
  • The Wings PP wasn't all that spectacular in the last game either, going 1 for 6.With Williams off the blue line and in the press box on the man advantage, either Brad Stuart or maybe even Jonathan Ericsson will fill that spot. The power play needs to do a better job keeping the puck in the zone but more importantly setting up for shots closer to the net. Holmstrom in front of the net can only do so much and forcing the Coyotes to move more could open up the power play.
  • A lot of people keep insisting that the Red Wings were tired in game 1. I'd say that only one guy was tired: Brian Rafalski. Rafalski played 29 minutes in the game 1 loss and was out for 7 minutes on the power play. I think the rest of the team just got too relaxed and tentative and tried to control mistakes a little too much rather than being tired. 
  • Five For Howling is your Coyotes source once again. Oh hey, look: it too has been whited out to "help" the hockey team. It also seems that the entire NHL fanbase has joined forces with FFH to spread Red Wings hate. Although I guess that's what happens when your team hasn't qualified for the playoffs in the post-lockout era huh? 
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