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Play Your Game

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Jared Wickerham

Play your game.

That’s the phrase we’ve been hearing over and over since before this series even started. The Wings have to stay within their means to beat Boston, and if they wander into a street fight with the Bruins they’re going to get eaten like bear food,which is salmon or whatever.

I don’t think anyone has insinuated that if they simply play their game they will automatically win, but the inverse has definitely been said (again, that’s the bear food. I think they eat fruit too.) But did the Wings lose Game 2 solely because they let the Bruins get under their skin? That sounds like an oversimplified explanation to me. It makes for a quick and tidy story, but like anything else, there’s more to it than that. When Jimmy Howard experimented with PCP and gave up the first goal, I don’t think it was because he thinking about cracking Milan Lucic’s nose with the end of his blocker. He shouldn’t have been anyway because that would’ve broken his blocker in half,and then he would’ve had to use Gustavsson’s. Gross! Monster’s hands smell weird as hell.

No, the Wings lost to the B’s because it was going to be extremely difficult to beat that twice in a row in Boston, regardless of the extracurricular stuff. They haven’t lost back to back home games there since the fall, and coincidentally they are a very good team. The "they lost their cool" excuse isn’t only too convenient to use on the Wings, it’s also a slight slap in the face (or the balls! Ha) to the best team in the league. Let’s give them some more credit than "hey good job being goons,ya goons." Or don’t, I don’t really care because I don’t like them. But let’s not pretend that Brendan Smith considering carrying out an elaborate suicide plan at the hands of Zdeno Chara was a part or even a microcosm of why Detroit lost. That was pretty funny though, I can’t lie.

I think it was after the third failed power play in the second period when I thought that maybe we’re better off just taking them on 5v5. Not really in the joking sense either, like, I honestly thought this might be a better scoring threat strategically. While I’m sure they’d rather have five guys on the ice instead of four, being on the PK with a lead at home didn’t faze Boston one bit. This isn’t news,but I mean … why is that? My thought was that the Wings were always more likely to catch Boston on a rush than they were playing the slow, patient game at 5v4, where Boston could pack everything in and just concentrate on disrupting Detroit’s offensive flow. From that standpoint, it felt like they had the big edge and it was just snowballing with each killed penalty. All of that had nothing to do with the Wings being distracted by Brad Marchand's antics and everything to do with Boston's talent.

Alas, that was just one game. And the Wings did seem to get their footing down a little bit after the Luke Glend….the Glenden……Christ I can barely say it without feeling like I’m telling a story about a lame dream I had. Shit, man. After the goal, that’s what I was trying to say. But this Boston D is proving very tough to crack, and we’re trying to do it with a number of guys who have barely any playoff experience. Zetterberg coming back would help, in my opinion.

Can the Wings do it? Absolutely. With the game tied or the Wings leading, and Jimmy chained to his net, Boston’s beatable. The jolt from the home crowd will hopefully get our guys the early jump because that first goal tomorrow night is going to be huuuuge. Especially if it’s them.