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Morning Skate: back to Detroit

Detroit had hoped for a split in San Jose but two 4-3 losses have the Red Wings in a 2-0 series hole heading back to Detroit.


  • Detroit needs to play more disciplined hockey. The Wings have given the Sharks 16 power plays (10 in game 2) and it has come back to haunt them on the scoreboard. Giving up a pair of PP goals in each game has been the difference between a win and a loss. Stay out of the box.
  • Contain Joe Pavelski. This goes with that last point because Pavelski has scored five of his nine goals and all four this series while on the man advantage. He took a whopping 11 shots on net in the last game and scored two goals in three straight games. He's also winning faceoffs at a high rate (81% in the game 2) and helping the Sharks play puck possession hockey better than the Red Wings do.
  • Somebody needs to help Jimmy Howard out. He's been subject to 5-on-3s in both games so far and has had to save the team from losing games by bigger margins. 4 goals a game doesn't exactly look good but when he has to face so many power plays a game and as many as 45 shots in the last game, he will start to tire.
  • Niklas Kronwall needs to show up. Kronwall has been MIA for most of the playoffs on both the offensive and defensive side of the puck. By jumping up really high in the attack in the last game and being out of position the Sharks had a three on two the other way with Valtteri Filppula the other defender next to Brad Stuart. That won't cut it in the playoffs, especially against a team like the Sharks.
  • Pavel Datsyuk is starting to emerge as the offensive leader. Daysuk has been nothing short of great this postseason and has kind of flown under the radar at times (odd for a guy with his skills). He's contributed three straight 2-point games and has been the most confident puck carrier that the Wings have had in the playoffs.
  • On a similar note, Johan Franzen has become a passing machine. Franzen's earned a point in every game this post season (only Red Wing to do so) and has added 8 assists throughout the course of the games. 
  • Other games: The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead on the Flyers with a Milan Lucic turnaround shot from the slot that beat Brian Boucher late in the third period. The Blackhawks rallied for a win over the Canucks after a shorthanded goal from Patrick Sharp tied it and a Kris Versteeg shot beat Roberto Luongo for the go-ahead goal.
  • What the Wings need to do: Play puck possession. I know, it's a little hard to do against the Sharks because they do the same thing and also know how to stop it defensively but the Red Wings need to have better puck control and more importantly, win some faceoffs. Control the puck from when it comes into play and keep it until you get a shot on net. It's a lot to ask but the Wings are also getting outhustled up and down the ice and frankly don't have the speed to keep up with the Sharks on end-to-end action. 
  • Fear The Fin is the SB Nation Sharks blog.