One of the great things about professional sports is that once you have momentum on your side it’s tough for the opposition to stop. The Red Wings “mo” is certainly building and the team has an opportunity to get more momentum with a victory tonight in front of the home crowd.
Let’s talk about the crowd for a moment. The fans have been GREAT. The noise they made after Darren Helm netted his game winning goal in game 4 was the loudest I’ve heard in a long time. The fans will have the Joe “rockin” tonight. Do the players hear and feel it? They do! I spoke with Danny Cleary and Nicklas Kronwall this morning at the skate
and they both agreed that they truly respond to their cheers. The players hear it and feel it.
Speaking of “mo,” the Red Wings will have Mo in their line-up tonight. Mike Modano will play for the first time in this series. Modano has some impressive numbers against the Sharks in his 21 year career. He has 15 points (9 goals and 6 assists) in 17 playoff games against San Jose. Five of those 9 goals have been on the power play and 3 of those 9 have been game winning tallies. Jiri Hudler who was a scratch in the last game will be playing tonight.
Jimmy Howard has been solid in goal for Detroit. He is the main reason the Red Wings are playing a game 6 tonight. He stopped 39 San Jose shots in the last game. His save percentage in the series is .927. Howard is tracking the puck well, challenging shooters and stopping screen shots.
The Sharks really played well in game 5 and they probably feel that they should have won, but that’s the playoffs for you. The Red Wings took advantage and scored three times in the third period to force tonight’s game.
Today at the morning skate, Patrick Eaves, Tomas Holmstrom and Danny Cleary were talking about getting off to a better start and playing better for a longer period of time. They admitted that they will be “fired up” because they know the crowd will be as well.
The hardest win is the 4th one in a best-of-seven series. Can the Red Wings even the series? I believe they can. After all, they do have the “mo” on their side.