May 3, 2011
Wings need goals -- and a win
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
DETROIT -- The Red Wings are showing cracks in their armour.
As the Western Conference semifinal shifts to Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 Wednesday, Detroit is in need of offence.
The Wings scored only two goals in the first two games of the series -- back-to-back 2-1 losses to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion -- and need to pick it up a notch to avoid falling behind 3-0.
Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't tipping his hand Tuesday, but he'll likely make changes to try to get Detroit back on track.
Babcock split up veterans Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk at practice, while Kris Draper, a healthy scratch in the first two games, was skating on the fourth line and expecting to play Wednesday.
With the Wings, something has to give. The Sharks have won 10 of the past 12 games between these teams and six of the past seven playoff games.
"All I know is they won 4-1 last year (in a playoff series) and they're up 2-0 this year. By my math, that's 6-1," Babcock said. "So the bottom line is we've got to win a game and we've got to win our next game.
"That's the way were looking at it. Let's get prepared and relaxed (Tuesday) and prepared for the first shift (Wednesday) and get after it. There's no question what the body of work describes: They've been better than us. If we want to keep playing, we've got to be better than them."
Zetterberg skated on a line with Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi while Datsyuk was between Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen. The Wings have to find a way to get offence, especially from Franzen, Zetterberg and Datsyuk.
"We need to score more than one goal," a frustrated Datsyuk said. "Getting three or four goals would help us a lot and we've got to get the power play going as well."
Draper said he understands the urgency.
"I want to do anything I can to help us win Game 3 and get back in this series," he said. "I'm just a spoke in the wheel. I just want to try to use my energy, my enthusiasm and go out there to try to grind.
"If I get a chance to hit somebody, I'll hit somebody. I've played a lot of hockey with these guys. We've just got to be stronger on the puck, more determined on the puck and we've got to make those guys play in their own end."
The Wings weren't the only ones making changes. For the Sharks, Logan Couture skated with Joe Thornton and Devin Setoguchi while Patrick Marleau centred Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski.
Those trios have skated together in the past.
"They made changes with their lines so we've got to be ready," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "They've got some veteran players who have played in this situation. We don't know what we're doing yet, but we'll see."
The Sharks know they have the Wings in an unenviable position.
"We expect a strong push," San Jose winger Ryan Clowe said. "We expected a strong push from them last game and they came out pretty hard.
"Sometimes you can get it in your head you're so ready for a strong push you kind of forget about your game and just weather the storm.
"We have to look to stay on the attack, stay on the offence and try to pin them in (and) kind of kill momentum a bit."