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Detroit Red Wings Playoff Game Day Blog

WELCOME TO GAME DAY - Round 1, Game 5

Friday, 04.20.2012 / 12:00 AM ET
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Detroit Red Wings Playoff Game Day Blog

“You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is hockey. Because in either game, life or hockey, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half step too late or too early, one half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.”

“On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches, that’s going to be the difference between winning and losing, between living and dying.”

– Any Given Sunday (altered slightly for hockey)

Those inches that the legendary Al Pacino spoke of have been everywhere around us. Unfortunately for our boys in red, the scratching and clawing hasn’t added up to victory just yet.

What if Johan Franzen’s disallowed goal had come just a second sooner? What if Kevin Klein didn’t get a stick on Cory Emmerton’s golden opportunity in Game 3? What if one of those 40+ shots in Game 4 had gone an inch more to the left, or an inch more to the right on Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne?

The ‘what if’s’ are part of what makes being a fan so much fun, especially at this time of year. The thing about being a professional hockey player is that these guys understand that the sun will rise, another game will be played, and that until the clock strikes 0:00 on that fourth loss, the season is not over.

They know that you can’t change the past, but you can still control the future.

“I’d like us to play the same way we did last game with the exception of those two plays (which led to Nashville goals),” Mike Babcock said during his Thursday press conference. “One in our own zone and one off the rush. Just play that way.”

The 20 individuals who dress for tonight’s Game 5 will have a direct impact on whether we’ll see a Game 6 on Sunday. There won’t be any wishing. Hope isn’t a virtue. Nobody will shake a Magic 8 ball in the locker room, or throw pennies into the hotel fountain.

Those players who sport the Winged Wheel will determine their fate through grit, hard work and determination. They will control their own destiny by the way they play on the ice. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You can’t look at the big picture,” said Nicklas Lidstrom. “You’ve got to break it down and look at it as winning one game three times. We have to go down to Nashville, win that one game and that will be our mindset. We can’t look any further than that or we’re done.”

As Morgan Freeman said in The Shawshank Redemption, the Red Wings have to “get busy living, or get busy dying.”

The keyword is “get busy.” It’s time to win or go home. Why not win one game at a time?

    Hypothetical Caption
    Hudler: People are saying the series is almost over.
    Bertuzzi: You and I both know that this thing has only just begun.
The last time Detroit battled back from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series was in 1992, losing three of the first four games in a Norris Division semifinal to the Minnesota North Stars. The Red Wings were the higher seeded team in the series, but lost the first two meetings on home ice. Sergei Fedorov’s goal to win a thrilling Game 6 would end up being the last playoff game for the North Stars in Minnesota.

Game 1 – Minnesota 4, Detroit 3
Game 2 – Minnesota 4, Detroit 2
Game 3 – Detroit 5, Minnesota 4 (OT)
Game 4 – Minnesota 5, Detroit 4
Game 5 – Detroit 3, Minnesota 0
Game 6 – Detroit 1, Minnesota 0  (OT)
Game 7 – Detroit 5, Minnesota 2
Home team in


The Red Wings are 1-9 on the road in Game 5’s and 7-12 overall when trailing a series 3-1.

Including the playoffs, Pekka Rinne is 17-0-2 when making at least 35 saves in a game.

Detroit has not lost an opening round series since 2006, Mike Babcock’s first season as head coach.

The Red Wings have been outscored 9-4 in even-strength situations. Four of Detroit’s eight goals in this series have come on the power play.

GAME 5 VIEWING PARTY: The Red Wings and Absolut Vodka will host a special Game 5 viewing party tonight at the Hamlin Pub in Rochester Hills (1988 S. Rochester Road) Watch the game with fellow fans, take part in interactive games, and trivia, mingle with members of the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol, special guest Jason Woolley and much, much more. For more details visit:

It really works! The Detroit Red Wings Excuse-O-Matic is your way out of over-tweeting, ignoring a significant other, not letting the dog out, missing work, class, or whatever inconvenience you chose to ignore due to playoff hockey. Visit to create your own custom excuse, signed off on by your favorite player, or even coach Mike Babcock.

On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference announced that Joe Louis Arena will host its Men’s Ice Hockey Tournaments in 2015 and 2017. The three-day event will feature all six teams with the two seeds receiving an automatic bye to the semifinals. Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin make up the league, which will begin play during the 2013-14 season.

MEET TED LINDSAY AT KROGER: Tomorrow, Kroger is teaming up with Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay to present Hockey Fest from 11AM-4PM at the Kroger Store on 10059 Highland Road in Hartland Township. Admission is free. In addition to Lindsay, fans can meet and mingle with other Red Wings Alumni, enjoy the ‘Legends of Hockey’ exhibit and enjoy interactive games, including the hardest shot.


11:30 AM – Nashville skates at Bridgestone Arena
12:30 PM – The Red Wings skate at Bridgestone Arena
8:00 PM – Game 5 between the Red Wings and Predators on FOX Sports Detroit, CNBC, CBC, RDS and 97.1 FM.




1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47


D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89