Thoughts on Game 1 first round
-- Chris Osgood was remarkable. He did turn a switch on. He did better his performance from the regular season. He was the best player on the ice. Remarkable game following a bad regular season. During the regular season, Osgood had only 15 quality starts in 43 outings. (Quality start defined as allowing two or fewer goals.)
-- Hitchcock called Detroit's third line of Filppula, Hudler and Samuelsson the best line on the ice for either team. he was right.
-- Columbus defenseman Kris Russell is overmatched. I've seen him in the prospects camp in Traverse City a couple of years and Russell's skills were impressive there. But his size and his defensive shortcomings hurt the Jackets when he has to be on the ice against a Datsyuk or Zetterberg.
-- Second only to Osgood in the switch-on stat, Niklas Kronwall certainly elevated his game. He was Detroit's most physical player once again. (Datsyuk and Stuart were close behind). Of course, Kronwall's giveaway behind the net that led to the Jackets' goal wasn't pretty, but other than that he was solid.
-- What the hell was Manny Malhotra thinking when he took his hand off his stick to try to catch Jonathan Ericsson's shot? A very bad decision. I can't remember seeing a goal go in like that.
-- An inconsistently called game by the officials. Nudges were whistled as interference. Other times, players without the puck were dropped to their knees and no calls were made.
-- Nicklas Lidstrom gave a clinic on how to play against Rick Nash. The highlight was when he tied up Nash's stick as a rebound approached, totally taking the Jackets' leader out of the play.
-- The Red Wings hit and when the Red Wings hit, they win. The official stats for hits favored Detroit, 37-26. The leaders were Datsyuk with six, Samuelsson with five, Cleary and Helm with four apiece. Helm's presence was noticeable as usual. It's obvious that he's one of the 12 best forwards on this team.
-- Commodore was the most physical of the Jackets' defensemen. It was good to see him burned on Franzen's goal. Commodore left his station to go for a big hit on Zetterberg, double-teaming the Red Wing. Zetterberg made a beautiful one-hand pass behind the net. with Franzen and Cleary to cover, Hejda was a step slow in stopping Franzen.