Lidstrom needs to get the Wings focused in tonight's definitive game.
I guess you could consider this a bit of pep talk. Who's it aimed at? Hell if I know since I know the players won't be reading it. Maybe it's just a way to light a fire and instill some confidence in all of you as we head into the horribly nerve-racking Game 7.
As far as the Red Wings and Coyotes are concerned, the rest of the playoffs and the prior regular season are irrelevant. It's now a one-night stand with anxiety and eventual heartache for one team and its fans. The winning team advances to the next round to play the San Jose Sharks while the losing team hits the golf course early.
There's one thing I wish the Wings would do tonight: leave it all on the ice and make up for that uninspired stinker of a game that the Red Wings faithful were subjected to at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. Forget about what happened then in terms of not being able to clinch and think of it as a chance for redemption. There were far too many times this season in which the Wings looked uninspired for the duration of a game and it showed up on the scoreboard. Come out and play a full 60 minutes of hockey like you actually want it.
When Detroit plays a full game and is focused for the duration, they're a scary team. But right now this team looks like a six year-old on a sugar bender. No ability to focus on one key aspect and it's coming back to bite them in the ass. They've only played one game in the series with a full team effort on both offense and defense (Howard's shutout) and that's one of the biggest contributors to even being back in Phoenix tonight.
Give credit to Phoenix though. Love him or hate him, Shane Doan is the emotional backbone of this team and they've done exceptionally well without him in the line-up. I feel like the Red Wings have slightly underestimated the Coyotes without Doan and that's a dangerous game to play.
Heading into tonight's game the Wings need to do two things. 1.) Play like a team. There have been only a handful of times this series where the Wings have done so and the inconsistent team play has been very detrimental to the team's success. 2.) Play the game to win. I know that sounds a little ridiculous considering what's at stake but did it really look like the Red Wings were trying to win in the last game? I don't think so and although that's just my own personal opinion, I think there's something to be said for the lackadaisical approach taken by the guys last game.
But that was Game 6. Tonight is Game 7 and it's a whole new story. Put the events from the last game in the past and come out with a high energy level.