Red Wings v. Ducks one very intriguing series

Posted: 04/28/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The difference between our Ducks and the Red Wings season record is just 4 RT losses and 2 OT losses. Red Wings were minus-4 (10-14) compared to our Ducks plus-4 (13-9) in one goal games. This tells us that our Ducks are a better shut down team overall.

The question is can our Ducks shut down these Red Wings head to head?

Much has been made of our Ducks goal scoring depth that features six players with 10 or more goals on the lockout shortened season. Red Wings have five scorers in double digits and two more, Valtteri Filppula and Dan Cleary, with nine. Most Ducks fans will recall that it was Dan Cleary who scored the winning goal in Game 7 the last time these met in the playoffs. And who was the goat on that play? Francois Beauchemin.

The Red Wings will go as far and/or push our Ducks as hard as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterburg and Jimmy Howard can power them. On one hand this makes the focus simple. Keep Datsyuk and Zetterburg off the score sheet and get a few past Howard and the Wings are done. Were it so simple though.

Stat wise, Jimmy Howard is the best of the three goalies likely to see action in this series. Howard’s 2.13 GAA, .923 SP and 5 SO’s is better than either Ducks’ goaltender. The series could well come down to a goaltender’s duel.

Our Ducks have the better blue line on paper but they haven’t proven to be better in the head to head match-ups.

The coaching is very different according to conventional media wisdom. Mike Babcock is a tactician up against Bruce Boudreau, the motivator. Don’t let the media fool you. Underestimating Gabby could be Babcock’s and the Wings undoing.

The Wings match-up in every key area save one. The Big Bad Ducks are back. The physical match-ups favor our Ducks. To prevail we have to pound these Wings into submission.

In the playoffs physical advantages often show up in the following series though. Remember how beat up these same Wings were after surviving seven grueling games against our Ducks?

Jonas Hiller will start the series in goal. For one, Gabby already said last week. For another it’s Hiller’s start and Fasth had a rough night against the Coyotes (though not entirely his fault) and went 1-2 against the Wings during the season.

The odds makers haven’t put up a line yet, but I make this series a Pick ’em.

Wings will try to out skate and out hustle us. Like Chicago they rely on their passing game and flow.

The keys you want to look for is when we’re breaking up their passing game and the Wings are constantly looking over their shoulders. If the Wings players look like they’re preparing to be hit every time they touch the puck, our Ducks have ’em.

At various times throughout the season I’ve posted that I didn’t think our Ducks have played their best hockey yet.  These Red Wings are the beginning of rising to and achieving the next level.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    My hope is that the Wings stay out of the box. I think we’ll do better against them on ES. IMO our power play is still not as good as it needs to be. Which means to me the Wings might be inclined to take some liberties with our guys. Based on officiating this year the Wings may think they can risk
    playing the penalty kill – or (more likely) that the refs may not make the calls.

    • bc says:

      Interestingly, bb’s view is only partially supported by the stats. While our Ducks are the NHL’s 4th best ES, we’re also 4th best PP and our Ducks have raised their horrid PK efficiency rating to 81.5%. The latter is up from the low 70’s range.
      ES is where the respective teams are closest in the standings where the Red Wings are 7th to our Ducks 4th, tied with Boston.
      Where and why bb may well be proved propheitc is that this series doesn’t come down to statistical tendencies. Penalties upset the flow of the game. It always takes at least one shift for a team to reorganize after a penalty. That plus Ducks PP’s will face on of the All-Time PK greats in Pavel Datsyuk.
      Jimmy Howard, more than anyone will decide this series.The opposite is also true. Our Ducks offense or lack thereof will dictate the outcome.
      From a flow and tactical point of view, I’ll take fewer penalties which will allow for our Ducks vaunted depth and physicality to rise to the fore.
      Good eye bb. Even if a tad unconventional and unsupported by the numbers 😉

      • bbdux93 says:

        Once I completed my second stats class in college I gave up trying to make sense of most things – based strictly on stats. Unconventional – I’m a girl – ’nuff said 🙂

  2. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    We need to send a clear message that we will not allow Datsyuk and Zetterburg to monkey around us in the neutral zone.This can be achieved with a few open ice hits (they rarely get leveled). Therefore, setting the tone early and often is key….Sad, my biggest concern is the one sided officiating…

    • bc says:

      The ever thorough fact checkers at Hockey News lend substance to points made by bb and you getwhatyouputin:

      How the Red Wings lose: The Wings have been ousted from the playoffs for the same reason three straight years: a bigger, tougher team bullied them. Their forwards lack brawn, even with Jordin Tootoo on board.

      Ducks question mark: Anaheim had 52 minutes more on the penalty kill than on the man advantage as the season came to a

  3. czhokej says:

    I am focused on coaching. bc said it very well, it’s the tactician and strategist against the motivator. Even though BB is not too far behind Babcock in terms of geometry and math of the game. We have a lot of talent, and skilled top line, but we win our games with hard work and effort, not with dexterity. Do you think that Cogliano could make Datsyuk’ life miserable. I certainly hope so. I think that the Ducks are capable of outworking the Wings.

    • bc says:

      Found a new reference site cz. This is the most accurate line combo and D pairings I’ve seen.

      As to how the forward lines match-up, I’ve no feel for what the respective Coaches will do. Cogs on Datsyuk? Our Iron Man can certainly skate with him. The other thing is Cogs puck possession ability. So long as AC is out there against the Datsyuk line, Cogs ability to hold onto the biscuit could really reduce Dats effectiveness.

      Jeez, you guys are tossing out some novel thinking today. Cogliano/Datsyuk is an indirect match-up. And they only match-up as possibly being out there at the same time. But when you think about it, Datsyuk-Abdelkader-Zetterburg v. Koivu-Winnick-Cogliano/Souray/Beauchemin makes a ton of sense,. no.

      Most media is describing a strength v. strength, Dats v Getz, battle. My sense is cz is closer to getting it right, at least during Ducks home games.

  4. czhokej says:

    It is going to be a furious battle, and tactical challenge for everybody involved. It is not only Datsyuk’s line which is dangerous. Filppula, Brunner, Cleary and Franzen are equally lethal.

    • bc says:

      Red Wings do have some secondary scoring. They do impress me as a Chicago-lite though. Howard is the key. Score 3 goals a game we win.

      What do you think of the new D pairings announced today? Souray-Beauchemin separated in favor of Fowler-Beauchemin and Souray-Lovejoy.

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