Morning Skate: Back to The Joe

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 16: Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Phoenix Coyotes is unable to stop a goal scored by Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 16, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 7-4 to tie the series at 1-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Detroit's game two 7-4 win helped put the series back on track and generates a newly sparked interest in the series. Today's game 3 could be a pivotal turning point for both teams.

  • The game is at 3:00 on NBC, the game is at 3:00 on NBC, the game is at 3:00 on NBC, the game is at 3:00 on NBC, the game is at 3:00 on NBC. Got it? Only "day" game on the schedule.
  • The first five minutes of the game could be huge in determining the outcome. Will the Wings come out on fire after the big win in Phoenix or will the Coyotes look to make early statements to swing things back in their favor.
  • Detroit needs to carry the momentum from the win into a rockin' Joe. The seven goals will surely help the offensive confidence for the team and the 6 that Ilya Bryzgalov allowed showed that he's human. Keeping the attack in the Coyotes end is crucial to keeping the puck away from Jimmy Howard.
  • Following up on that Bryzgalov part, the way the Red Wings can continue to exploit him is with movement and even breakaways. The two goals Bryzgalov gave up on the breakouts weren't particularly difficult but showed the five hole might be a problem area. 
  • Following up on that Howard part, it's not that he's been bad that I say that the puck needs to be kept away. In fact he's been pretty solid but hung out to dry on a few occasions by the defense and or penalty kill.
  • Still hard to believe the production the Wings got out of their second line. 5 of the 7 goals came from Hank and Fil while Bert had a few nice passes throughout the game. If they pick it up and Datsyuk's line does too (which it looks like they are) then the Coyotes are going to be in for one hell of a shot parade.
  • Justin Abdelkader showed why he should be in the line-up. The stick work he had in last night's game was pretty great for a guy that spent about half the season in Grand Rapids. His pickpocket of Wojtek Wolski and then the goal following 
  • The physicality helped out greatly in game two. Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Stuart, and even Zetterberg were all physically involved in game 2 and it paid off. The Wings showed they weren't going to be the Coyotes' whippin' boys and the Yotes had to start playing to respect that.
  • It may not last long, but Henrik Zetterberg is tied for the goal scoring lead in the playoffs! Granted all three came in game two...and as I write this, Andrei Kostitsyn scored a hatty. Woops. EDIT: Nicklas Backstrom just added his third goal of the night to win the game in OT.
  • If Detroit plays on the PK like they did in the last game (and know that they can) and can start to focus on diminishing the turnovers, the series is going to start to swing HEAVILY in their favor. The way they started to play in game two was what we were looking for.  Stopping the turnovers and playing responsibly on defense will turn it into a short remaining games for the Coyotes.
  • The way in which the Coyotes are able to bounce back is a little bit scary. But so was the offense the Red Wings were able to roll out in game 2. The tug-of-war between the two on the momentum rope is going to be interesting to watch. Phoenix is a team that thrives on momentum and making plays to bury a team and if Detroit can shut that down it'll work massively in their favor.
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