Pregame 2: Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks

Posted: 05/02/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
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Note: The term wheel and wheeling as used in this post means to put all skaters in motion while moving the puck among them. I looked wheeling up and found it doesn’t have the meaning I’m giving it. I first became familiar with wheeling in the 70’s in Southern Ontario. Teams I played on practiced it and it was used to describe the ‘High Flying Habs” of the time and the Russian 5-man unit system.

In game 1, Ducks were able to shut down the Wings attack in all three zones. Detroit was limited to just 11 shots on goal in the first two periods. Critical to how our Ducks defended is that Detroit 13 giveaways during the game. Ducks broke up numerous stretch passes.

Coach Babcock commented that Wings D failed to move the puck and that they were too spread out. Look for the Wings to play a short or tight gap between their D and forwards tonight. This will also dictate that they make shorter passes in a give and go style.

Except this give and go will be different. Look for the Wings to wheel it out. This is when all five players are in constant motion. D and forwards become interchangeable. The passing and player movement is crisp and quick respectively. Wheeling involves as much drop passing to a player advancing with speed as it does head manning and lateral passing.

What Detroit is looking to do is raise the tempo of the game such that our Ducks begin running around and chasing the puck. They’ll also be attempting to draw those “late on the play” tripping, hooking and interference penalties. This tactical change is partly why Babcock took them to a soccer field yesterday instead of practicing on ice. You want to practice constant foot movement. That and soccer is built on wheeling with give and go passing.

The Wings will also be looking to get the puck to the net the nano-second they cross the center red line. They’ll shoot from everywhere tonight.

Finally, Babcock will, either start the game or during the game separate the Eurotwins. When Babcock splits the Eurotwins he most often goes with Z alongside Brunner and Fanzen or Datsyuk/Abdelkader with Franzen. Filppula then drops to the 3rd line.

He was also non-committal about inserting vets Todd Bertuzzin and Mikale Samuelsson into the lineup for tonight’s game. He said he’ll sleep on it.

Update: Per Curtis Zupke tweet, Babcock says Bertuzzi will play while Jordan Tootoo is a healthy scratch.

Wings best hope is for Jimmy Howard to steal one.

Who and how Detroit brings it tonight should make things a bit easier for our Ducks. Anaheim is arguably the best balanced team in the NHL. We have two lines that bash and crash. Two lines that can dash and flash.

By shortening the gap between the D and forwards each Wing should be easier to pressure and hit. However, you can’t hit what you can’t catch.

Look forward to a Ducks win unless Howard steals the game. This won’t put us in control of the series though. Everything could change back in Detroit.

  1. Greg Johnson says:

    I was watching Abdelkader skate in the third period Tuesday. It looked like he was already looking around for the next hit, trying to avoid the punishment. I hope it’s contagious, and that the Ducks noticed it too.

    • bc says:

      Our Ducks delivered 35 hits in that game. Obviously we got inside their heads a bit. That nano-second of hesitation can make all the difference. Good eye Greg and welcome to the board.

  2. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    According to the Red Wings site, Bertuzzi is in and Tootoo is out (IMO they should keep them both in as they are both big guys)..refer to the link for additional information:|DET|home

    We need a solid start and a good 60 minutes of crash and smash hockey…did you catch the Leafs game? The Brunis manhandled the Leafs…

    • bc says:

      Thanks for the heads up on Bertuzzi U. The post is updated.
      Caught part of it and the aftermath. Carlyle is making roster changes. Can you say push the panic button.

  3. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    I am so frustrated with these refs calling penalties in close games with less than 60 seconds to play…both teams were battling…refs you should be seen and not heard…swallow the whistle with less than 60 seconds and allow the players to deal with the situation…it is pathetic!

  4. bilverado says:

    After everything that went on for the 4-5 minutes before that, it was a ridiculous call.

    Stephen Walkom determined the outcome of that game with a quick whistle on the disallowed goal, and inconsistent penalty calls.

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