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Morning Skate: Game 2 - Free the Octopi

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Do we really want to live in a world where chicks cannot skate around with Octopi?  (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Do we really want to live in a world where chicks cannot skate around with Octopi? (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
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Here we go again.

The heart stopping, fist pumping, awesomely nervous roller coaster ride known as the Stanley Cup playoffs continues today for our boys wearing the Winged Wheel.  After game 1, us fans were left feeling good about our team.  There may have been a slow start, but once they got rolling...they were rolling on all cylinders.   I know Babcock received a text telling him to inform the Wings that the games begin at 7p ET an not 7:45p ET.  Well, let's hope the team got the message that today's game starts much earlier.

NBC will have the game for you.  Puck drops a little after 1p ET.

Five For Howling is your SBNation Coyotes' blog.

More awesomeness after the jump.


The Expected Lineup










Scratches: Mike Modano, Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Henrik Zetterberg (knee), Chris Osgood (groin)

Same lineup as game 1 with hopefully the same result.  I'm curious what the plan is for Mike Modano.  Maybe Babcock is unhappy with him for speaking out about retiring, maybe he's getting time off to rest his old legs for a long playoff run, or maybe it's just a case of sticking with what worked in game 1. 

  • James Tiberius Howard.  He showed up ready to play in game 1 and if he can duplicate the effort in game 2 it will quiet some of his doubters.  Of course, winning 2 games in the 1st round is the same as hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup, but Jimmy has to take it one game at a time.  The defense isn't going to perfect and Jimmy needs to continue to make the big, timely save when called upon.
  • Still no Hank and don't expect him to play anytime soon.  In an ideal world, the Wings can make this a short series and give Hank all the time he needs to rest up for round 2.  With that said, it's only game 2 and a long ways away from talking about round 2.  Z needs to be healthy and hopefully the Wings can win another game without their future captain.
  • Raise your hand if you thought Todd Bertuzzi would be the straw that stirs the Red Wings' drink.  Since Bert's questionable hit a few weeks back, he has made much more of a physical impact in games.  He dropped the gloves in Nashville against SOB and turned that game around.  He dropped the gloves in game 1 and turned that game around.  I don't know about you, but to me Bert seems like a guy that wants to win his first Cup. He's playing with some passion out there, let's hope he keeps it up.
  • Is the Mule back?  Another goal today and I might just believe.  As Danny Cleary said, maybe he just hates the regular season?  That's fine by me if he can light up the stat sheet now.
  • If you're going to game today.  Be loud.  Very loud.  Let's top the atmosphere of game 1.
  • For Discussion: Who's going to be the breakout star for the Wings this postseason?  Someone is going to really step it up as the Wings get deeper into the playoffs.  It's early now, but who do you think it will be?
  • Key to the Game: Specialty team.  The Wings took 4 penalties in the 1st period of game 1.  Thankfully, their PK was up to the task.  That might not be the case every game.  Stay out of the box.  And when the Coyotes head to sin bin, capitalize.  The PP and PK are keys to this series.
  • Match-up to Watch: Octopus-throwing fans vs. security/police/Gary Bettman.  For some reason I'm picturing a fan throwing an octopus on the ice, the lights in the arena go dark, music plays and out comes Gary "The Commissioner" Bettman surrounded by his henchmen dressed like police.  Very WWE-like.  As the crowd chants "YOU SUCK!" at the Commish, "Hey, Hey, Hockeytown!" blasts and out comes the Orange Hat guy, the Knitting Lady, and Mo Cheese.  They dump Bettman into a trash can and restore order and tradition to Joe Louis Arena.  Hey Commish, I got 2 words for you...SUCK IT.

Prediction: Feed the Mule.  Feed him some Octopi.  Wings win 3-0 and head to the desert up 2 games to none.