Thoughts on Game 1 vs. Colorado
-- 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.