Game 6 Wings vs Hawks Game Day Updates

Jonathan Daniel

Who's in, who's out, who's up, who's down, and who's playing with who.

The Dirt
  • No lineup changes for the Wings, and the lines and defensive pairings will also remain the same. When asked about keeping Pav and Z together, Babcock said he tried that last game and it didn't go so well.
  • Niklas Kronwall said he'd be good to go tonight. He said his shoulder is fine and there are "no worries". Ansar Khan reports that Kronwall knew he was going to get hit, but sacrificed himself to make the play and protect Zetterberg.

"You get a little bumps and bruises along the way,'' Kronwall said. "This is just part of it.''

"I saw him coming,'' Kronwall said. "I just tried to hold onto the puck for as long as I could before I gave it to (Henrik Zetterberg), so that guy couldn't jump Hank. A lot of times when you hit you put yourself in a bad spot. I got caught in a bit of a bad spot there.''

Said Zetterberg: "There will be physical hits in the playoffs. Kronner’s one guy that will play through that. I have no worries about him. He’s a fighter. I don’t think he feels that bad today. I’m sure there will be good hits again tomorrow.''

  • Jamal Mayers, who has been a healthy scratch in the playoffs, was fined $1600 (1/2 days pay) for shooting pucks past the Wings players and into our net during warmups before game 5. He said he was trying to get under the Wings' skin.
  • I know I shouldn't laugh at this, but I did. The Samuelsson saga just gets sadder and more pathetic.


  • Remember when Duncan Keith had a brief conversation with Al Sobatka before game 4? Well Bob Duff reports that apparently he was just curious about the Octopus because... "I’d never seen something like that, that big." (TWSS)
  • Speaking of Octopi...


  • Babcock said today that our Powerplay needs to be better because it has sucked (my word, not his). He also said that our third and fourth lines have to be better in game 6 because your third like is supposed to win you the series as when you don't have depth, the other coach runs your bench. Babcock also said he was surprised by the effort (or lack thereof) in game 5. He said today that it's worse on the psyche of the team if they play well and get "bashed" and said that the team skated better than in game one, but didn't play much better, and said that the players didn't play well; but also said the coaching staff takes responsibility for not getting them better prepared. Mark Lazerus wrote about it this morning.

"That's normally what happens in hockey," Babcock said. "That's why they give you a third line, and that third line's supposed to win you the series. That's what happened for Chicago and Anaheim in the regular season -- their third line was better than everyone else's. ... That's what's happened for us, is our third line's gotten better. The third line, like the rest of our group the other night, was not very good. If we're going to be successful, we need our third and fourth lines to be good. Their third and fourth lines were better than ours the other night."

"We do the same job against each other," Datsyuk said. "It's like that the whole series."

Datsyuk said there has been no frustration in the Wings dressing room about the stars' lack of production.

"Everybody knows the goal is to win [the] series," Datsyuk said. "Nobody cares about this. ... Team. Our team [is] our star."

  • Most of the talk coming out of the Blackhawks camp today is about how they're the underdog, have their backs up against the wall, and all the pressure is on the Wings to win, not the Hawks. I'm sorry (not really) that's complete and utter garbage.


It's a credit to the Red Wings that the Hawks *feel* like the underdogs in this series, but they are by no means the actual underdog with less pressure. They're all tough and arrogant when they're on top, but as soon as they start losing and it's not looking so good for them, they tuck their tail and adopt a submissive, underdog attitude. They must really be afraid of the big, bad, 8th seed Red Wings. I hope they're shaking in their little space boots.

  • Jonathan Ericsson is the only active Red Wing to not take a penalty on the post season, and he said we took too many penalties in game 5... I agree.
  • Speaking of penalties, Art Regner tells us that Abdelkader isn't happy with himself at all about the penalties he took in game 5.

Justin Abdelkader is still fuming about Saturday. His two second-period penalties swung the tide the Blackhawks' way, and he isn’t happy about it.

"This is the time of year where everyone is excited," he said. "Everyone is trying to do what they can to try and help their team. You’ve definitely got to keep your emotions in check.

"Refs are looking to even things up all the time and call penalties against guys for whatever reason, so you’ve got to keep your head and play between the whistles."

"I’ve got to be smart about that (going after Dave Bolland after he took a shot at Pavel Datsyuk). He tries to bait guys into penalties. That’s how he plays. He tries to play on the edge."

Outside of those penalties, Abby has been fantastic in the playoffs. He got off his game Saturday and it cost the team. I'm not putting all blame for the loss on Abby by any means, but he's a key player for the Wings and we need him to be smart and intense. In the post season he's 4th on the team in shots of goal, but Saturday he had 0. I'm confident Abby will be re-focused tonight and I'm going to say he scores at least 1 goal (maybe a game winner?) to earn redemption.

  • Babcock wants the team to play loose and driving, not tight and tentative, and reports from practice this morning indicate that's exactly how the team was practicing. Babs also said that playing in February is not too fun, but that this is fun. These are the games that the best players get up for.
  • Corey Masisak wrote an article on Smith's progress and what Babcock thinks of it. Here's an interesting snippet...

"Obviously just the experience is a very important thing, but what I like about what has happened with him is he knows we think he's a good player, so when he makes mistakes and you talk to him about it, it is not the end of the world," Babcock said. "He doesn't just keep vibrating and make another one. I think he's an ultra-competitive guy. [Smith], when he makes mistakes they are usually mistakes from trying to make a play versus guys out there hiding and don't want puck. He's not one of them.

"I think he's going to get better and better. I don't know if he's ever going to have ... I think he's going to support the rush and he's going to score like that. I don't see him being a visionary on the blue line and being the top guy on your power play or something like that, but only time will tell."

Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen

Pavel Datsyuk

Justin Abdelkader

Valtteri Filppula

Henrik Zetterberg

Daniel Cleary

Gustav Nyquist

Joakim Andersson

Damien Brunner

Drew Miller

Cory Emmerton

Patrick Eaves

Defense

Niklas Kronwall

Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey

Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl

Carlo Colaiacovo

Goalies

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Jordan Pearce

Healthy Scratches

Todd Bertuzzi

Jordin Tootoo

Ian White

Injured

Danny DeKeyser (Broken Thumb)

Darren Helm (Back)- Out for the season

Mikael Samuelsson (sore boob)

Blackhawks Lineup

Forwards

Patrick Sharp

Jonathan Toews

Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell

Michal Handzus

Marian Hossa

Brandon Saad

Andrew Shaw

Viktor Stalberg

Marcus Kruger

Dave Bolland

Michael Frolik

Defense

Duncan Keith

Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brent Seabrook

Nick Leddy

Michal Rozsival

Johnny Oduya

Goalies

Corey Crawford

Ray Emery

Henrik Karlsson

LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!

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