Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thoughts on Game 1 vs. Colorado

-- As important as winning Game 1 was, the biggest thing to happen last night was the shifting roster of the Colorado Avalanche. Peter Forsberg tweaked his groin during the morning skate and didn't play in Game 1. That's not the sort of injury that goes away in a week. Wojtek Wolski left the game with six minutes left in the first period because of an upper-body injury. Wolski's probably out for the short-term at least, meaning Colorado lost two of its top six forwards yesterday. Add to that Jose Theodore's illness and the Red Wings were plus-3 in the injury department.
-- I just heard a television commentator say that Theodore gets a big break (in criticism) because he was so ill. I don't think so. If he's that sick that his performance is going to be that bad, then Theodore didn't do his team any favors by trying to play last night. The Avs would have been better off starting Peter Budaj.
-- After Wolski left the game, the Red Wings' matchups changed. Detroit was putting its top defensive players ... Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Holmstrom and Lidstrom-Rafalski ... out against the Sakic-Wolski-Brunette line. After Wolski left the game and David Jones replaced him, the Red Wings put their top defenders against the Stastny-Smyth-Hejduk line for the rest of the game.
-- Andreas Lilja looked pumped up early in the game with a big hit on Hejduk four minutes in. After that, he looked tentative. With Brad Stuart coming back for Game 2, Lilja didn't do anything to show that he should be back in the lineup.
-- Darren Helm's speed showed itself again. He's playing well enough that you wonder if he's won a roster spot for next fall. Then again, Kyle Quincey fared well last post-season and he's practicing with the Grand Rapids call-ups this spring. On a side note, Helm threw his body around a lot last night. He bounced off Adam Foote when he tried to check the veteran though.
-- Johan Franzen is exactly the style of player for whom this franchise has searched for years.
-- Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk look driven to carry this team. They came of age as leaders last spring. I was listening to a podcast of Hockey Central out of Toronto this week when Doug MacLean was asked about how the Avs shut down Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra in the first round. MacLean responded that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are much tougher. Nice to see the Wings' Heavenly Twins getting national respect.
-- The Wings' forward lines are nicely balanced right now. With Dan Cleary on the third line, there's a possibility for a goal coming from three unit. The Filppula-Franzen-Samuelsson line is a solid second unit.


Blogger Steven Horwitz said...

I had the exact same thought about Helm. The difference with Quincey is that we're stacked on D, and were coming in this fall. There are spots for fourth line forwards and Helm is playing like he may well get one.

And you are quite right about Lilja. The first Avs goal was because he screwed up a clear and then didn't tie up his man behind the net.

Sammy also played a very good game last night.

April 25, 2008 at 10:10 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the game with a friend last night (who is a huge Dallas fan), we both thought that Chelios had a lot of bad moments out there and that Samuelsson on the point for the second power play unit isn't anything to get excited about.

While Chelios seems to do better when paired up with Lebda as the 3rd set of defense, do you see the Wings bringing back Chelios next year? As he's pretty much relegated to 5/6 defensive duty perhaps it's time to start plugging in the kids?

And is there any chance Detroit can sign Stuart in the off season to round out our top 4 defense, or do you see his west coast roots as being too strong to stay with the Wings through a whole season? I thought I had heard he turned down the Wings last off season when approached.

April 25, 2008 at 11:10 AM 
Blogger Alex said...

Man, Versus coverage is just so cool. Having heard every comment, I now know that the the Aves lost the game because of health but the Red Wings sure didn't win it. In fact, I forgot the Wings were playing against them because Versus "accidentally" forgot to remind us there was a 2nd team on the ice!

April 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM 

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