Friday, April 27, 2007

Game 1

Random thoughts on the game:

  • Bertuzzi has really lost something. He was a one-man wrecking crew when he had the breakout season in Vancouver, then whole Steve Moore thing and a panoply of injuries. It's strange to see Jiri Hudler being more physical in the Sharks zone than Bertuzzi. Maybe he really is rattled about the Moore incident, and can't conduct his game with the same nasty edge as before.
  • Big Joe looked nervous at first- man, he sure had a bunch of give aways right at the beginning, didn't he? But settled down quite a bit in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Would have been nice to see him rush through the neutral zone a bit more.
  • Vlasic- does anything bother this kid?
Funny, even though the score was 2-0, the big problem for the Sharks was offense. They seemed to retreat a bit into their shell after the 1st, and not pursue dump ins as aggressively, if at all. There were few attempts to carry the puck into the zone, something Michalek and Marleau are fairly adept at. This will increase the number of our power play chances, because Detroit is disciplined, and will not take penalties in the offensive zone.

The defense had a similar strategy against Nashville. Detroit is an even better possession team than Nashville, and the D's job was to keep them on the boards, block shots, and not let any passes through the middle. I give an A+ in this regard. There were a couple of fat rebounds, but the coverage was stellar, not allowing clear shots. The redirect that Lidstrom missed was really the only uncontested open chance I remember. Every other scoring opportunity Nabby was nice and square. It was so good I'm not sure how much of an impact Holmstrom would have had. On several occasions Cleary or Bertuzzi were camped out, but no pucks got through.

No doubt game 2 will be a lot different. If the over-under is 5.5, I'll take the over.


Paul said...

"No doubt game 2 will be a lot different. If the over-under is 5.5, I'll take the over."

Yikes. We agree.

I think both teams looked a little...something. Bored? Unsure? Overly cautious? Tentative? Something about that game last night just didn't look right, from either team.

But I don't think it will last. I think we're going to see some high-scoring games this series. Rest assured, the Wings are going to be working on lateral movement in the offensive zone and getting shots around blockers.

Mike said...

Yikes. We agree.

Must be a full moon or something.

I think this series will be especially interesting because unlike the Nashville series, there will be more creativity from both coaching staffs. I saw Trotz as a guy with a singular plan, and it just didn't work. I didn't really see any different looks from the Preds in 5 games. I think both Babcock and Wilson won't hesitate to try something new, if only for a period, to see if they can get something going.

Anonymous said...

Did we get your attention?

Dan Cleary