In relentless pursuit of a closer

Posted: 05/10/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

These Red Wings are little more than Chicago-lite. A smooth skating puck possession team that succumbs under the physical pressure imposed by teams like our Ducks. Noteworthy, these same Wings went 6-4-1 against the NHL’s big  bad three, composed of our Ducks, St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings.

It isn’t just our Ducks that these Red Wings give fits. Frankly, I’m baffled.

Kyle Palmieri says, “They are relentless in their pursuit. (of the puck)” is that it? You can’t hit what you can’t catch? In Wednesday’s game our guys got on top of these Wings often enough to deliver 20 hits in the 20 minutes of the first period. Following the first they caught the Wings with just 12 hits in the second, third and overtime periods combined.

The media is fond to point to Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. The papers are full of stories about how Corey Perry is being kept off the score sheet. Big whoop. For as good as Howard has been, he’s only held our Ducks to less than three goals once in this series. Ducks GF is 16 goals in five games for a 3.20 GFA.

As good as our Ducks offense has been, they haven’t solved Jimmy Howard. He’s just no different from every goalie who’s ever played the game. Get him moving, screen him, force him to give up rebounds and get bodies into the low slot and Howard proves himself to be quite human after all.

Maybe it’s as czhokej shared last night, “Detroit is a very dangerous hockey team.” They have a lot of snipers, one of whom, Henrik Zetterburg has been held off the score sheet as well. Let them hang around and they’ll find a way with their relentless pursuit to make us pay. It isn’t just our Ducks but they’ve beaten our play-a-like teams as well.

Another 4-0 win would be sweet but something tells me these Wings will remain relentless to the final buzzer. Ducks fans don’t care how our guys close these Wings out. We care that they do and the sooner the better.

Note: If our Ducks and the Kings win their respective series, they will meet in the second round of the playoffs.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    Before the last game in Detroit Babcock talked about creating chaos. As defined in the dictionarychaos is
    1. A condition or place of great disorder or confusion.
    Prior to that game bc speculated they might shorten their passes and they did. (Not sure that was said quite right – but you get the idea). In our game on Wednesday the Wings went back to stretch passing.
    Question for our Ducks now may be – can we cover both. I think MB will look to change things up as often as possible – i.e. more chaos

    • bc says:

      Good points and question bb. The easiest way for a finesse team like the Wings to create chaos is to get the opposition chasing the puck. It’s how they entice players out of position and get behind them. Job 1 for us is to play our game not theirs. When they have the puck, each Duck must pick up his check, keep the body between the check and Jonas Hiller and stay with him. We want to be aggressive to the extent we take the body but not to the extent that we give up inside position to do it.
      So long as we maintain our defensive posture everything else will fall into place.
      At the same time there’s a line between keeping the check in front of you and playing back on your heels while allowing the opposition to run ragged around you. You have to be aggressive but as importantly you want to be smart about it and pick your spots.
      I don’t care how many shots the Wings get so long as the shots come from the perimeter. The Wings have baited our guys into chasing out onto the perimeter. We need to let them go so long as they want be outside.
      We have the lead. They have to come to us to win. We should force them to do just that. I look forward to seeing Abdlekader bringing it to Souray and Ericsson or Kronwall to the Twins. Let them come at us and force the physical battle at the point of attack.
      With proper support the first Duck can play the man and his support picks up the loose puck.This way we’re looking to force turnovers and giveaways.
      It’s real easy to draw it up on the Coach’s board. Not quite as easy to execute it on the ice 😉

      Yes we can cover both the dipsy-doodle stuff and the long pass if we keep the play in front of us.

      The stretch pass works in two situations, (1) you send 4 man deep, (2) on a line change. The latter is defended by D dropping back between the blue line and center red line. The most often happens in the middle period when the team executing the stretch pass can use the bench to take a player off near center ice and send out a player near the opposing blue line.
      The former is usually not defended because most often when you send four guys deep it’s because you’re down a goal or two in the waning minutes of the game.

      • bbdux93 says:

        As so often happens – bc’s answers make me read & visualize and read again. I love it.

  2. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    Yes…sooner the better! On a side note, this could possible be our last playoff series against the Wings (unless it is a Stanley Cup Finals) as they move to the Eastern Conference next season.

    Go get them tonight guys!

  3. czhokej says:

    Good reading, guys and girls. Analytical and educational.
    I just hope that we will get them tonight, We have to do it with a relentless effort, and hard work. (I do not think that the Ducks could win just with a better strategy – it was said here before that MB is a great strategic planner, and BB is a great motivator. It’s going to be another battle, until the last seconds.

  4. bc says:

    The odds makers have made Detroit the clear fave to win tonight cz. One number that stands out is the total goals scored has gone under in the 13 of our Ducks last 14 road games. The O/U is 5.
    That’s a strong trend.
    Prediction: Ducks 3 Detroit 1

    • czhokej says:

      My prediction would be almost the same, 3-2 Ducks. The game has already started!

      • czhokej says:

        Well, we were both wrong. Detroit made the life miserable for Hiller, with excellent screening, we don’t do it, we don’t want to do it (or cannot do it?). And the big bubble of hope was quickly pierced in the OT. But this time, we cannot complain about the officiating.

      • bc says:

        I don’t know cz, I missed the game but caught the video and NHL Network report. Did Detroit play a penalty free game, including OT?
        Their best players, Datsyuk/Zetterburg were certainly more successful than Getzlaf/Perry.
        Coach said, “We played not to lose.” As can happen our guys crossed that line between strong positional play and playing back on their heels bb and I chatted about above.
        I have to admit I just don’t get why this Chicago-lite squad is giving us so much trouble? Is it more us than them cz?

  5. czhokej says:

    By my judgment, the referees missed one call against Detroit and 2 against us. Without going into deep and detailed analysis, I would say that again the Wings played a puck possession game, well organized, and with good positioning. We were more improvising and scrambling. But the main difference was the goalie screening. Since the time of Thomas Holmstrom, the Wings developed this part of the game into an art. The Ducks put somebody in front of Howard only occasionally and most shots from the points were without any screen. All Detroit goals except one were from the distance (Datsyuk scored from the low slot, but also there was somebody screening. Hiller did not see these shots.

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