Found May 23, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
By DAVE DYEFOXSportsDetroit.com DETROIT A couple hours before Damien Brunner made the pass that led to Gustav Nyquists brilliant goal the other night, the two linemates were in the hallway outside of the Detroit Red Wings dressing room kicking a soccer ball around. Its a typical pregame routine for hockey players, but this time there was an unpleasant ending. Claiming that Nyquist hadn't beenplaying fair, Brunnergrabbed the balland threw it toward his teammates midsection. The problem is that the ball hit a little below the midsection - right in Nyquists crotch. Nyquist immediately fell to the ground, all of which was caught on tape. He knew he was cheating all night, Brunner said, jokingly, following Thursdays morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. That was the result that came out of it. He had it coming. Hell get it again tonight. He scored a really nice goal so we should do that every night now. Nyquist said hes neither superstitious nor crazy. He wants nothing to do with a repeat performance of the soccer incident. It wasnt a very pleasant feeling, he said. Brunner knows a payback is coming at some point. I havent really decided yet what my revenge is going to be, Nyquist said. (Brunner) said hes sorry, so were good for now at least. Some time before Thursday nights game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Nyquist and Brunner plan to kick the soccer ball back and forth again. Does he trust Brunner? I think so, Nyquist said, not so convincingly. ROLE REVERSAL: The Red Wings faced adversity throughout much of the season just to get into the playoffs and they had to battle back three times to tie the series in the opening round against Anaheim. Now, for the first time in these playoffs, they have a series lead, two games to one over the leagues top-seeded team. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, cruised through the regular season and the first round but now theyre facing adversity for the first time all year. It will be interesting to see whether Detroit can seize control and put Chicago on the brink of elimination, or whether the Blackhawks will respond to the challenge. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he hasnt focused on having the series lead. We never talk about being ahead or behind, Babcock said. We just talk about the game were going to play. I always say, When you win today, everythings OK. Thats what the NHLs all about. Thats what the playoffs are all about. Lets execute, lets focus on the process, lets do what were supposed to do. If you do good things, most of the time good things happen. Over in the Chicago dressing room, theres apparently been plenty of talk about the Wings2-1 lead. Being behind in the series is something that got our attention here, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. Were looking to play our best game of the year tonight. Well need it. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews added: This seems to be the first time weve run into some tough adversity. Theres nothing wrong with that. Thats something you have to embrace come playoff time. You dont win a Stanley Cup without going through some of that. We have to welcome it. Whatever they throw at us, weve got to smile and throw it right back in their face. Thats what playoff hockey is all about. Weve got to enjoy it. START HOW THEY FINISHED: Despite losing 3-1 Monday, the Blackhawks are hoping to carry over the momentum they started to build over the final 20 minutes. Chicago outshot Detroit 17-7 in the final period, but Wings goalie Jimmy Howard proved to be the difference. If you play with that intensity every shift and you keep your shifts short and you have four lines rolling, theres no reason why you cant do that for 60 minutes, Toews said of his teams effort in the final period. Babcock doesnt want to see the same approach by his team, which got a little tight while trying to hang on to a lead. To be honest with you, I liked us for the first 40 minutes, didnt like us at all in the third period when we got cautious and careful, Babcock said. You cant give this team space. As soon as you start backing up, theyve got too much space and then they really make you look bad and you never seem to get out of your zone. NO RESPECT? Quenneville suggested that his players might have taken the Wings third andor fourth lines a little lightly. Detroits third line scored the first goal in Game 3 and the fourth line scored the second goal, just 31 seconds apart in the second period. Quenneville said those goals gave their team a lot of life and got the building going. We want to make sure that no matter whos out there that weve got to be aware that defensively weve got to be committed to shutting them down, Quenneville said. Lets have respect that these guys can make plays, be it off the rush and in the (offensive) zone, theyve got quick sticks, they can one-on-one you, they play a real strong team game. You cant discount who youre out there against. Every shifts important.
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