Friday, May 09, 2008

Red Wings take Game 1

Western Conference final
(1) Detroit v. (5) Dallas

Red Wings lead series 1-0
"We have to get skating. Before you can talk about tactics or anything else, we've got to get our legs moving. We did a lot of standing in that game tonight, and that's the bottom line.

"Whether it was fatigue or whatever the reason, we weren't at the level we needed to be at."
You could tell early on which way this one was headed, and the Red Wings didn't let the Stars off the mat. The Canada-Norway game was more heavily contested.

Now? Dallas absolutely has to put forth a better effort in Game 2 on Saturday night or this could easily be a short series. The Stars went down a man five times in the first 26 minutes in this one, and were heavily outplayed on special teams (a surprise given they were the second-best shorthanded team during the season).

Three days off should have been enough to recover from the seven-period marathon of Sunday, but evidently not.

I thought Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were terrific. Both had seven shots in this game to combine for nearly 50 per cent of the Wings' total.

As far as matchups: Datsyuk and Zetterberg mostly saw the Mike Ribeiro line, and almost never went up against Brad Richards (who got Johan Franzen as his buddy). Tippett also either wasn't concerned about keeping his young defencemen away from those two or wasn't able to match them properly, as rookie Mark Fistric, Nick Grossman and Trevor Daley all saw decent time against them at even strength.

Fistric was on the ice for Detroit's last three goals; he played under 15 minutes.

Nick Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski saw Ribeiro-Morrow-Lehtinen a lot, which isn't a big surprise. Detroit used three consistent defence pairings; Dallas's seemed to be all over the place (although that may have been due to the penalties).

Sergei Zubov and Matthias Norstrom seemed to get the bulk of the PK duties.

Going down 0-2 heading to Texas, in a situation where they'll have to win four of five to win the series against the best team in the league, will be the end of the Stars.

Game 2's a must win.

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At 4:02 a.m., May 09, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I thought that the Wings played well. but the most important aspect of the game was the grounded charter jet that was supposed to fly the Stars to Detroit. With the weather so . . . something, the flight was canceled, and the Stars had to rent a beer league team from Northville to play the Wings.

We can only hope that the mechanical difficulties in Dallas are fixed by Saturday morning.

At 9:25 a.m., May 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how easy it was for Red Wings. And I still don't believe it would be easy down the road. Dallas in 7 (not that I am rooting for Dallas)

At 9:28 a.m., May 09, 2008, Anonymous baroque said...

The second game will be a better gauge of how the series will go, think.

Dallas was still sluggish from their last series (mentally if not physically), I suspect, and Detroit was probably sick to death of practicing and antsy to play somebody.

At 11:45 a.m., May 09, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

I got tickets to game 3 on monday, I can't wait. Anon, do you honestly think that Detroit can't take dallas in less than 7?


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