Thoughts on Game 3 (3-2 win over Chicago)
-- Did you see the defensive play by Todd Bertuzzi? Leading 2-1 with 3:18 left in the second period, the puck goes over to Radek Smolenak at the side of the net for a slam dunk. But as soon as the puck reaches the fourth-line winger, Bertuzzi's stick is there, sweeping it out of harm's way. Great defensive play.
-- I loved how Ville Leino created a power play in the second period by picking Brian Campbell's pocket. The Wings went up 3-1 on the ensuing power play. I'm not sure why Leino isn't getting power-play time right now. I like him on the second unit better than Bertuzzi. Dan Cleary is there to take the net-front. Zetterberg is the do-all center. Leino would be a nice sniper on that unit. When Bertuzzi was taken off that unit for one shift on the third power play, Babcock put Valtteri Filppula on the ice. I like Leino better than Fil there too.
-- Speaking of power-play units, the first unit finally scored when Franzen tipped in that puck. First PP goal this season they've been on the ice for.
-- On the flip side, did you know that Brad Stuart has been on the ice for all five power play goals that Detroit has allowed? Draper and Filppula and Ericsson have been on the ice for three. Lidstrom has yet to see a power-play goal against.
-- Way to go Brad May. Just like Brendan Shanahan did in 1996, May dropped the gloves in his first game. I like how May fights. He doesn't measure and hold and pick a spot. He throws bombs. Then May stands at the Chicago bench at the end of the first period and tells someone to keep his head up. Priceless. When Kirk Maltby was creamed by Cam Barker on a great check, May came across and challenged him.
Don't think those actions don't help keep the flies off (as Babcock calls it). I get the feeling that every year there's an in-house debate on filling this role. I'm guessing here, but I see Babcock as someone who wants May or Downey or Norton on the roster and Ken Holland as someone who can do without that role being filled.
-- Jonathan Ericsson didn't look good when he was felled by Duncan Keith's power-play shot. I hope he's not out of the lineup with a leg or foot injury.
-- Despite the win, I'm not seeing a change from the first two games as far as controlling play. Too many good scoring opportunities for Chicago. Too many shots allowed by Detroit. It was a good win, but I'm still not seeing Red Wings hockey. I know that no one liked to see a 40-20 advantage in shots on goal and a close game or Detroit loss. But I'd rather see that than trading blows like this. It doesn't bode well for the long term.