KEYS TO THE GAME
Friday, 04.20.2012 / 3:30 PM ET
|Henrik Zetterberg and his teammates are focused
on winning one game at a time.
Even strength play: Everyone thought that Detroit’s biggest advantage of the series would be at even-strength. Instead, the Red Wings have been outscored 9-4 during the first four games.
“We’ve got to score some goals, so we’ve got to get to the net and yet, we thought we did quite a bit of that last game and had some opportunities,” Mike Babcock said. “If you look at the series really, they are averaging 22.8 shots a game and we’re averaging 35.”
The Red Wings are controlling the play when the sides are even, but they’re going to have to control the scoreboard as well to win Game 5.
Believe: Detroit had six winning streaks of three games or more during the regular season and that doesn’t count an NHL record 23 straight victories at home.
“We won three-in-a-row last year against the Sharks,” said Henrik Zetterberg about last season’s near record-setting playoff comeback. “We’ve just got to go down, play a good road game and get it back here for Game 6.”
One at a time: Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t win a seven game series in just one night.
“They still have to win one more game,” said Jimmy Howard. “I’m not the type of person to just roll over. I’m going to give whatever it takes in that next game and we’re just going to try and win one.”
Fans can look ahead, but the players can’t. Game 5 will be taken one period at a time, one shift at a time, even one play at a time. Any potential Game 6 is a mere mute point until the final horn sounds tonight.
Earlier this morning on our Facebook page, we asked the best fans in hockey to send along their well wishes for Game 5.
Here are some of your responses.
“Each game is a new one and the previous ones do not matter. Go out there and do what you do best. All of your fans across the country will be cheering you on, especially in Detroit. Good luck guys!”
– Justin Hoot
“You are stronger than you know. We still believe in you 100%.”
– Will, Mary, Hayden and Madison Rogers of Au Train, Michigan
“It’s my birthday today and I’m one of your biggest fans! We need you! And we need you to win. Good luck.”
– Hillary Lombardi
“I’m running my first 5K for charity today and will be wearing my Red Wings shirt. You guys are my inspiration to work hard and give back. Keep up the great work! I’ll be rooting all the way from Florida for you tonight.
– Sarah Payne, Tampa
“If a two goal lead in hockey is considered the worst lead you could have, imagine how uncomfortable a two game lead must feel? If we win tonight, all of the pressure is on them. They’re not going to keep getting every bounce.”
– Justin Giersdorf
“Just wanted to let you know that I’m over here in Turkey rooting you on! Haven’t been able to watch a lot of the games this season, but when AFN does show them, I am glued to the TV.”
– Joe Gratson