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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.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thoughts on Game 1 vs. Anaheim

-- It was surprising to see that Zetterberg's line was much more effective than Datsyuk's despite Zetterberg's line being given the assignment of checking the Getzlaf line.

-- 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.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Justin said...

-- 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.Really? I felt that Hiller didn't look great but the Wings didn't really test him all that much. Meanwhile Osgood was out of position several times and got lucky each time. Ryan's miss on the open net was the highlight.

CBC's Kelly Hrudey actually had a good analysis of the Lidstrom GWG. Getzlaf and Perry both looked like they were expecting a penalty for tripping Zetterberg (moments before the goal) and eased up on the play a bit as players often do when they think a whistle is coming. But no whistle came and they couldn't get back into the play in time, and Lidstrom made them pay.

May 2, 2009 at 3:16 AM 
Blogger Kurt said...

Bruce,

Curious to hear your thoughts on a possible suspension for Brown. Despite being an UM fan, I think Brown should get 2-4 games.

May 2, 2009 at 8:59 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Tough call on the Brown hit. It was in a grey area as far as being late. It was a hit to the head, but it was a clean hit to the head, if such a thing exists.
Personally, I put this in the category of players have to be responsible for their own stick. You also have to be responsible for your own hit. I'm sorry that Jiri Hudler is short, but I don't think the Chris Pronger he's-short defense works. Brown saw Hudler's head and he hit it violently.
The league HAS to protect the head. It's beyond the line of a man's game, contact allowed, all that good stuff.
Brown nailed Hudler in the head even if it was a clean check. For that, I'd give him a suspension of 1-3 games.
I have no idea how the league will look at this though. That five-minute power play was one measure of punishment. I hope the league doesn't think that's all that's deserved.
Please, NHL, protect the players' heads. Brown knew where his shoulder would land on Hudler.

May 2, 2009 at 11:22 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see your comments on Kronwell's hit on Carter - you know, the one he charged(left both his feet) jumped in the air, led with his elbow to the nose of carter -- Diiirrrttty...not so much as a 2 minute charging penalty..unbelievable...you can't think that was a clean hit, can you?

May 5, 2009 at 2:59 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Didn't like the hit at all. Kronwall is amazing at delivering clean BIG hits. He was off on that one. I think it deserved more than the two minutes. I think that falls under the category of protecting players' heads.

May 5, 2009 at 11:49 AM 

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