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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.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thoughts on Game 2 first round

-- It's remarkable how well Rick Nash has been contained. Detroit is a bear to find a good matchup against because the Wings have so many good defensive individuals. I'm not sure what Columbus will try to do to free Nash up in Games 3 and 4. So you get him away from Lidstrom/Rafalski, you're still stuck with Kronwall/Stuart. As soon as Nash hops over the boards with Lebda/Ericsson on the ice, they'll be under orders to head to the bench. And going against Kronwall/Stuart isn't easy.

They'll certainly avoid the Zetterberg line with its three great defenders, but who will they be able to get up front? They'll avoid the Datsyuk line and try to get on the ice against the Filppula line. Even then, Filppula and Samuelsson are very good defenders and Hudler is adequate.

With the ice time they log, there won't be many times that Lidstrom, Datsyuk or Zetterberg aren't on the ice. So if the Jackets get too caught up in matchups, Nash's ice time will dwindle.

Did you notice the little adjustment they made with Nash in Game 2, lining him up on the left side instead of the right? That put Nash closer to Rafalski than Lidstrom and opposite a smaller forward in Cleary rather than Franzen. Didn't work, but it was creative.

-- The Red Wings power play was as dominant as it has been in the past four seasons. The plays were working so well that the Jacket players could have been counted in the JLA attendance because they were doing little more than watching.

-- The Vermette hit on Datsyuk with 8:39 was pretty high on the dirty scale. It also shows how frustrated that the Jackets are. After watching -- again that word watching -- Datsyuk go around two of his teammates for a good scoring chance, Vermette hit Datsyuk from behind, then climbed on top. The bad part of the hit was that Vermette slammed Datsyuk down head first. Datsyuk's neck was in a position to be hurt. So was Datsyuk's face as Vermette purposefully climbed over the back of his head. Very dirty. The toughness of the Wings always impresses me.

-- The Helm line really set the physical tone for the Red Wings.

-- I don't know why, but it makes me smile when Holmstrom starts moving forwards away from the Detroit net after Osgood covers up the puck. I wonder if he gets a kick out of the role reversal.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this conclusion!i allways love to read your posts!marc,switzerland

April 19, 2009 at 10:11 AM 
Blogger John said...

As a guy who is sometims a defensive defensive defensemen and somtimes a right wing who likes to mix it up in front and my only hat trick came off three goals within a combined total of 4 feet of the net... i think Holmstrom is freakin beside himself with glee to clear bodies. How many roughs can I get away with this week before I go to the box and feel shame? (PS, Boudreau looks at me funny when i say slapshot schtick.)

Also, on Rick Nash, I would wager that because he's trying to play the opposite wing, he's getting better personal opportunities, however, it's much harder to get him the puck since he's not going to be in the right place as much and his opposite winger is also trying to adjust.

April 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM 

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