WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
It’s all on the line for Phoenix tonight, as the Wings look to eliminate them from both the 2011 NHL Playoffs and (potentially) their current city of inhabitance. The bus to Winnipeg is packed and ready to go. 10:30 Eastern. 7:30 in the desert.
10:30am local / 1:30pm Eastern :: Coyotes Practice
11:30am local / 2:30pm Eastern :: Red Wings Practice
7:00pm Eastern :: Capitals vs. Rangers
7:00pm Eastern :: Penguins vs. Lightning
7:30pm Eastern :: Flyers vs. Sabres
8:30pm Eastern :: Ducks vs. Predators
10:30pm Eastern :: GAME 4 at JOBING.COM ARENA
Versus, CBC, RDS, Fox Sports-Detroit and Fox Sports-Arizona will all carry the game, depending on your geography.
By special request, the TPL Glossary is ready to jailsex your eyes.
Franzen — Datsyuk — Holmstrom
Bertuzzi — Abdelkader — Cleary
Hudler — Filppula — Miller
Eaves — Draper — Helm
Lidstrom — Stuart
Ericsson — Rafalski
Salei — Kronwall
Chris Osgood [groin]
Henrik Zetterberg [knee]
ACES: Pearce, Janik, Lashoff, Meech, Smith, Emmerton, Mursak, Tatar
The TPL Name Game ”Three Stars”
Petrella: Jonathan “Is It Too Late To Abort?” Ericsson (Ed. note: *cringe*) and Darren “I Could Eat the Ass Out Of A Dead Rhinoceros” Helm
Hollis: Jonathan “Like Trying To Drive A Toaster Through the Car Wash” Ericsson
*Now it’s up to you! Think up your best names and throw them in the comments — the best one will be shared for all to enjoy on the TPL Facebook Page. The best of the best will be pitted against one another at season’s end, and the winner takes home a TPL Shirt of their choice.*
:: Three wins down, 13 (get it?) wins to go. Plenty on the line for both teams tonight and you can bet your sweet bippy that this one is going to be physical. A win for the Wings, and it’s on to the second round with some much needed rest along the way. For the ‘Yotes, it’s all about survival. A win prolongs their playoff run and potentially sends their fans (all four of them) in Phoenix home happy one final time.
:: It’s been a physical series from the get-go, and the intensity should be ramped up even more tonight with the stakes high for both teams. The ‘Yotes have been toeing the line with some of the rough stuff over the last three games, even going as far as trying to rough up Captain Nick. The Wings need to jump out early and play a smart, contained game and not give in to the temptation to slap Shane Doan and the JovoCop right across the face. Why you ask?
:: The PK sucks. It’s terrible. The last five goals the Coyotes have scored have all been on the power play. I’m no genius, but that’s got to change.
:: Speaking of change, the Wings could afford to find themselves some success on the power play tonight. 0-4 with the man advantage usually doesn’t help your cause, but the Wings somehow found a way to survive in Game 3. If the play is as physical as everyone believes it will be tonight, the Wings should find themselves with some man advantages and it would definitely be in their best interests to capitalize on a couple of them.
:: Who will be the “X Factor” for the Wings tonight? Rusty Salei stepped up his game on Monday, scoring the opening goal and going +3 in 17 minutes of play, but it’s hard to believe he can replicate that performance every night. My money is on Todd Bertuzzi or Jiri Hudler, both who have looked pretty darn good this series and are due to make something happen. Of course, we can’t forget about…
:: Jimmy. Dude has been on his game all series and has completely out-dueled Ilya Bryzgalov up to this point. He’s bound to be tested tonight with the Coyotes throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him, so if anyone can turn the tide in the favor of the Wings, it’s likely going to be the guy who’s gotten them to this point.
WHAT WE LEARNED IN GAME 3
The Wings like to score within the first three minutes of a period. All four on Monday came less than 180 seconds into each frame. More please.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN GAME 4
:: Multiple folks said there was no octopi on this ice during Game 3 in Phoenix. Is someone going to Free the Octopi tonight?
:: Cheapshots by the dozen. It happened in Game 3 and it will happen in Game 4. Can the Wings keep their composure and finish off the series?
:: Ilya Bryzgalov. He’s got to be on his game tonight, as you know the ‘Yotes will be forcing the issue offensively. The Wings should have plenty of scoring chances and Bryzgalov will have to be on top of his game if Phoenix wants to live to fight another day.
:: Bert tallies a big goal and the Mule gets the series winner tonight. It’ll be a hard-fought and close game, but round 2 awaits the Wings and Winnipeg awaits the Coyotes.