I have finally completed the drive home from Detroit and gotten a night of sleep.
What has become obvious in the first two games of the series is that the Wings are in an entire other offensive league from us. The key part of the ice?
The Red Wing hashmarks.
This is where the Wings start their offense. They move up as a unit, they push our defense back with speed and create drop passes and room for shots. Their defense has made great first passes, they've played really well.
The bad news is the Red Wing hashmarks is also where the Blue Jacket offense starts. When we get around the goal line we've tried to create offense, but one bad pass spurts out and then it is going the other way. We have not cycled well, we have not forechecked well. It is amazing to see the Wings consistently carry the puck up ice, and then us flubbing passes and being perplexed in the neutral zone.
My two keys to the series were score early and keep the Wings off of the PP. We haven't done either and we have been burned. The Wings powerplay turns 1 goal leads into 2 goal leads into 3 goal leads. This is why they are so good, they have a money PP unit. A confident unit that they know will score at least one goal a game. This is where we will have to retool in the offseason. It is obvious you won't win in the playoffs with a 12% Powerplay.
This series will do two things. It will give the younger players a taste of what is needed to win in the postseason. They will not get content. It will also show that if you cannot beat great teams on the road, you will not win. We are currently a team that needs good matchup to win. That will not happen on the road in the postseason. That means we need to upgrade.
I thought Derek Dorsett was our best player last night. He is full effort, every shift. He hit, and he created the best scoring chance we had last night.
I thought Nash played a much better game, but he also was not double shifted... when you reduce his minutes you do get better quality minutes, I'm not sure why we try to double shift him.
Vermette played a pretty bad game IMO. I love Vermette, but his interference penalty was really really bad and unnecessary. This PP turned the score to 2-0.
Voracek took too many minors but otherwise played pretty good. Umberger wasn't as noticeable in this game, but you can tell his style is perfect for the post season.
We have to win Game 3. For our fans, for our pride. We have to turn this into a series.
Carry the Flag.