Thoughts on Game 1 vs. Anaheim
-- Getzlaf had 27:55 of ice time. The Ducks depend way too much on him and his line. Getzlaf was 3-of-21 on faceoffs. They could shave some ice time by not throwing him over the boards for all those defensive-zone draws.
-- That was the first Jonathan Ericsson fight that I've ever seen and I'm a fan. He has a bad hand and shouldn't fight often. It was funny to hear both Ericsson and Babcock talk after the game about when the Big Rig is allowed to drop them.
Babcock: "We also said to him that we don't have enough D. We can't have you fighting. I don't mind him fighting those guys. If he wants to fight Getzy and Perry and Ryan, by all means. That's as long as the list gets."
-- Quite the juggling of the D pairing by the Wings. This much I could figure ...
Babcock's first choice against the Getzlaf line is Lidstrom-Ericsson with Lidstrom-Kronwall second. Against the Ebbett line, Babcock preferred to use Ericsson-Lebda. Against the Marchant line, the Wings wanted Kronwall-Stuart, but also used Lebda-Stuart and some Lebda-Chelios.
I'm sure there's a reason to all this that I'll never be able to guess. (I can guess that Lidstrom is Mr. Shut-Down. I mean beyong that.) It could be that the Wings like Ericsson's size against the Getzlaf line. Maybe they like Lebda's speed against Marchant's line.
-- Hiller certainly didn't look like the Heller on skates that he was in Round 1. Osgood was fighting the puck early, but looked like the better goalie.
-- Loved the games played by Stuart and Helm. The former is showing his versatility, stepping up like Kronwall did last post-season. The latter is a remarkable forechecker for someone who has been a top-line guy at his other stops.
-- There is a remarkable chemistry between Lidstrom and Holmstrom in the offensive zone. Can there possibly have been a better combination of screen and point shot in the history of the game? I really doubt it.
-- Loved seeing Lidstrom outwork both Ryan and Perry for the rebound in the final minute and be rewarded with the winning goal.
-- Ugly blow suffered by Hudler on the Brown hit. It seemed like the Ducks were one part trying for retribution on Hudler's elbow to Beauchemin and one part trying to establish physical play. But that five-minute power play was the most distinctive turning point in the game. The Wings were down 1-0 before that and trailing 7-3 in shots on goal. That hit got Detroit right back in the game the easy way.