Kicking off Game Two discussion early ’cause we’ve already got a bunch of news.
The Detroit Red Wings will remain without the services of defenseman Brian Rafalski, out with an upper-body injury. He also missed Game One. It looks like Chris Chelios will continue to play on the third defensive pairing but the Red Wings pretty much rotated five defensemen in the first game of the series anyway so he’ll likely see limited use.
Mike Brown will be back in the Anaheim Ducks lineup, having escaped without a suspension after his hit on Jiri Hudler in Game One. I said after the game that I didn’t expect him to be suspended but it’s still frustrating to see the NHL be so inconsistent on the matter.
Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle says the Brown hit was clean and that it was the Red Wings who were playing dirty. He says that Niklas Kronwall should have been suspended for a hit on Ryan Carter but conveniently failed to produce video evidence of the infraction. Of course, I can’t imagine how hard Kronwall must have hit Carter for Carlyle to think it was suspension-worthy but Brown’s hit wasn’t.
Oh, yeah, a little-known NHL rule says only the big, strong Canadian boys are allowed to hit, so it’s automatically an offense if Kronwall kicks some ass.
Game Two, Sunday afternoon, NBC. Kill me now.