Formulas for Not Being Brutal

Jonathan Ericsson watches another minus appear on his stats sheet

Final Score of Game 2: San Jose 2, Detroit 1. Pretty tight game, wasn't it? If you said yes, what game were you watching?

The Sharks put down the Red Wings for a second straight game with another great performance on home ice. And Detroit ruined another great game by goalie Jimmy Howard.

At the beginning of the playoffs I would have said the weakest link was goaltending (like every year), with a team so potent offensively I would have called you crazy if the Wings got great goaltending and would still lose.

Recapping game two is very simple:

1. Justin Abdelkader takes high sticking penalty, Ian White rocket puts Sharkies up 1-0
2. High stick on Abdelkader puts a 4 minute Detroit PP on the ice. Nothing close to scoring a goal, let alone entering the zone clean.
3. Nick Wallin of all people lets a blast go that Howard fights off, but ends up in the net anyways.
4. Henrik Zetterberg scores a goal that's meaningless
5. Pull the goalie, don't try that hard to score, lose 2-1

So there you have it, Game 2 in a nutshell.

My issue with this game isn't refereeing like most Wings fans are complaining about (which is kind of embarrassing; that whole NHL hates Detroit argument), we already know it's been consistently bad throughout every series so far.

The fact is that Detroit keeps getting beat at their own game and gets outworked as well. San Jose destroyed Detroit today. They dominated the play, were excellent defensively, and had a tremendous number of odd-man rushes, which only magnifies Howard's performance in net.

I read yesterday that Mike Babcock said that there were "a lot of things we did well today," this after a sloppy game one loss. I honestly can't think of anything good to say about this game. The only thing was Howard, but that was game one as well, so it doesn't really count.

Their powerplay sucked, their breakout sucked, their defence sucked. Everything sucked. Name it and it probably sucked if it had a winged wheel on it's chest!

It just seems to me that Detroit really didn't care that much. It can't be that they're tired, I mean they had 9 days off! If Los Angeles can score goals by the bunches against Antti Niemi (who I think hasn't really shown a whole lot through two games), then why the heck can't a deep team like Detroit do it?

Here are some mathematical formulas that would make Detroit a less-crappy-Shark-playing hockey team:

1. Why in God's name is Nick Lidstrom NOT on the penalty kill? Is Mike Babcock gone brain dead? Norris Trophy nominee (for DEFENSIVE PLAY, if you didn't know) + shorthanded = ......put on bench? How does that make sense?

2. For the love of all things sacred, get Jonathan Ericsson in the press box. He is absolutely horrendous. EVERY time he pinches. And every time he gets beat. Ryan Clowe practically murdered him in the corner in Game 1. Recap: 6 foot 7 guy = slow as a sloth + shoots like a novice player + hits like a 6 year old girl = Give me Jakub Kindl + Please.

3. Might as well put Mike Modano in. That's why he was here, or so I thought. Take out Cleary because he's been brutal as well. Probably won't happen but if I was Babs, it would. Speed > Not so fast

4. Play Miller and Eaves! They barely played today! Guys like that are sandpaper and wear the opponent down. It's a pretty simple concept. More ice time + more hits = bruises for Shark defenceman

5. Shoot the freakin' puck: four times today Valterri Filppula had a clear shot and did some stupid button hook towards the boards. 100% of the shots you don't take = 100% you don't score.

So there's my math lesson for today, plus a little of how I felt after this game. If Detroit doesn't show some effort they'll be golfing really soon.

Kyle Busch


George Prax's picture

Can't blame you for being frustrated. Wings need to be better with this. But don't worry, i think they still got this. Going back to Detroit will do them wonders.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Hopefully it does. They just need to start skating and using the middle. San Jose has played them perfectly. Clogging the middle and letting them take the outside shuts down Detroit.

nowhere's picture

I don't think they've played that poorly. The first 2 games this series have come down to special teams play in my opinion. If you've closely watched Detroit on the PP, you can see that they've been able to complete diagonal low - high passes out to the point, which tells me 2 things:

1. SJ is playing an open box
2. There should be room in there to park somebody in the slot, where both of their goals have been scored from. If SJ's defenders collapse to the guy in the slot, then you'll have ice open up elsewhere.

So far the puck possession on the PP has mostly been on the perimeter, and overall the puck movement hasn't been very crisp. In addition, too many guys have been standing around, which makes them easy to cover. If they start skating, they'll get some openings.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Well even so, they haven't figured it out in two games. Plus, I wasn't talking so much about the PP, it's the overall effort involved. I mean, this is the playoffs. They really need to change something. San Jose is just plain better than them right now. I'm not really comfortable even though they are at home. Same thing happened last year, they just stayed relaxed and lost Game 3. They need to play like this is their last game of the year.