Morning Skate: Game 6 - Do or Die, Part III

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08: Drew Miller #20 (from left), Jonathan Ericsson #52 and Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate on the bench after Tomas Holmstrom #96 of the Detroit Red Wings scored the winning goal against the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

New game.  Same story.

The Red Wings are faced with another "Do or Die" situation tonight.  A win continues the season at least one more game.  A loss sends the Sharks packing for a road trip against the Canucks in the Western Conference Finals.

In game 4, we saw a great 3-0 start, watched the Sharks force their way back to tie the game, and Darren Helm add another game winning goal to his Red Wings career.  In game 5, we saw the Wings get outplayed for 2 periods, fall behind 3-1, and come storming back in the third period to win the game and save their season.

What will game 6 have in store?  We'll have to tune in to find out.  The one thing I do know for sure is that the Joe is going to be damn loud.

Puck drop is just after 8p ET on Fox Sports Detroit for the locals and Versus for us out-of-towners. 

Fear The Fin is your SBNation Sharks blog.

More after the jump.




The Expected Lineup


Mike Modano -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Todd Bertuzzi -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Danny Cleary

Drew Miller  -- Valtteri Filppula -- Justin Abdelkader 

Kris Draper -- Darren Helm -- Patrick Eaves


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Brian Rafalski -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Ruslan Salei


Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald


Scratches: Jakub Kindl, Chris Osgood, Jiri Hudler and Johan Franzen

Aces: Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, Ilari Filppula, Jan Mursak, Derek Meech, Brian Lashoff, Doug Janik and Jordan Pearce

Have to imagine that Babcock will stick with the formula from game 6.  The only major change could be the sitting of the Mule.  Franzen barely played in the second period after tweaking his ankle thanks to Joe Thornton.  He didn't see the ice at all in the third.  I imagine Mike Modano would replace him if he can't go.  How would that be for a story?  Local boy gets his potential last chance in a do or die game at home in front of all his friends and family?  Sounds like a storybook fairy tale or Disney sports movie or something. UPDATE: According to reports: Mule is out.  Modano is in.  Time to make an impact, Mo.  If this is your last hurrah, make it a memorable one.  SIDE NOTE: Ryane Clowe did not make the trip to Detroit.  He is supposedly out with "flu-like symptoms" after being Kronwalled into next week during game 5.


3.09 (7th) GOALS PER GAME 3.44 (2nd)
3.00 (10th) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME 2.67 (7th)
13.6 (13th) POWER PLAY % 24.2 (4th)
78.6 (10th) PENALTY KILL % 74.4 (13th)
2 tied with 5 goals GOAL LEADER Nicklas Lidstrom (4 goals)
Ryane Clowe (13 points) POINTS LEADER Pavel Datsyuk (13 points)



Key to the Game: James Tiberius Howard III.  If you ask me, Jimmy has answered all of his critics who doubted his ability to show up in the playoffs.  James, we need you know more than ever.  If there was ever a game for you to truly stand on your head and be a brick wall in that net, it's tonight.  Cement your legacy as a Red Wing.  Make your name go down in history.  Win this game.  Win the hearts of Red Wings fans forever.  It's your time, Jimmah.

Match-up to Watch: Red Wings offense vs Antti Niemi.  The Wings must get to Niemi.  Shoot the puck.  Crash the net.  Do whatever must be done to get that puck across the goal line.  I don't care how pretty the goal is.  They all count the same.  Throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Niemi and the Sharks tonight.

For Discussion: Last time the Wings came back from being down 3-2?  2002 Western Conference finals vs Colorado.  Dominik Hasek pitched a shutout in game 6 in Denver and we all know remember the game 7 destruction of the Avs, 7-0.

Bottom Line:  Win. This. Game.


Lets Go Red Wings.





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