You know, I really was going to do a formal write-up of Game Two but now that I finally have time I feel like it’s a bit too late. Instead, here are a few of my thoughts on the game…
The Red Wings didn’t seem awake for the first two periods. They played much better from the third period on through overtime but had they played like that in the openeing forty minutes the extra time wouldn’t have been necessary.
If Detroit’s first line ever gets to scoring, Anaheim will be in trouble. It feels like Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa are still feeling out the Ducks, which I don’t quite understand.
Chris Osgood played another strong game. No one should be pinning this loss on him.
The Wings’ depth showed in OT. The Ducks were using their top guys a lot in the extra periods while Mike Babcock wasn’t afraid to throw Darren Helm out there. Helm played a fantastic game with what time he was given. Of course, that depth didn’t matter, as it was Anaheim’s little-used players that forced the goal.
I’m still really unhappy with the game-winning goal. Niklas Kronwall caught up ice. Todd Marchant allowed to carry the puck in untouched while forwards covered for Kronwall. Just an absolute breakdown.
It feels like something happens to the Wings’ shooters in overtime, going back to last season’s playoffs. Like they try to be too pretty or too conservative. Sometimes you just need a blast from the blue line, just ask Steve Yzerman and Jon Casey. And in all honesty, the game-winner Sunday looked a bit like that, deceptively quick and sneaking in over the goalie’s shoulder. Too bad it came for the wrong team.
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.