I'm heading down to the game tomorrow with high hopes of running into some of my favorite tweeps during warmups. My seats are way up in the rafters, which is awesome because I'm pretty sure my little sister got a free ticket to sit way down in the lower bowl with her friends' parents. Regardless, I'll be there to take in my second ever playoff game at the Joe. My first was the overtime victory in Game Two of the Chicago series last season. The one with the Campbell turnover and Samuelsson goal to end the game. I've got some fond memories of that night. Let's add to them tomorrow.
15. This entire team needs to wake up and start taking this series seriously.
14. Jimmy Howard needs to tighten things down and start looking like his regular season self again.
13. Defense, sunshines. Defense. It’s kind of important.
12. Rafalski sat out practice with his old man back. Is he going to be able to go tomorrow? Are we going to wish he wasn’t?
11. I want to see the Eurotwins in full flight. There are few things more spectacular than seeing Datsyuk doing those crazy things he does in person.
10. I’m hoping that his goal late in the game was the spark Franzen needed to get going. The Wings need him to start acting like playoff Franzen.
9. Can we avoid any octopus-fumbling to start the game? I really had a terrible feeling when I saw that octopus slip out of Al’s hands on Sunday. It’s just bad karma.
8. Are the Wings going to have to deal with Shane Doan? I would not be unhappy if he had to sit out tomorrow.
7. Make Bryzgalov work. His life hasn’t been difficult enough so far this series, and he’s already demonstrated that he’s beatable.
6. How many times are whistles going to go a split second before the Wings put the puck over the goal line? I think I remember a quick whistle preventing a goal against the Wings once ever. Usually these things even out.
5. All I’m really asking is for a sixty-minute effort tomorrow. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.
4. Special teams could be the key again. It’s no coincidence that the game when the powerplay and PK were clicking was the one that the Wings won.
3. Where is Playoff Helm?
2. I’m 1-0 in my playoff viewing career at the Joe. Please don’t drag me down to .500 with another lackadaisical effort.
1. Mike Babcock said it best. What this game comes down to 99% of the time is deciding that you’re going to work harder than the guy on the other side of the ice. Every guy in the lineup could use an attitude like that.