Who faced who in Game 1
Using Vic Ferrari's Time on Ice tool, here's a look at who some of the key cogs squared off against at even strength in Saturday's Game 1.
The figures are percentage of minutes played against players on the other team (i.e. Lidstrom played 62 per cent of his ice time against Crosby):
The Crosby-Hossa pairing is getting the brunt of the top checking, which makes sense given recent performances.
Here's who Crosby and Malkin faced from the Wings:
|CROSBY|| || ||MALKIN|
|1||B. RAFALSKI||75.00%||1||B. STUART||60.00%|
|2||H. ZETTERBERG||74.22%||2||N. KRONVALL||57.50%|
|3||N. LIDSTROM||73.44%||3||J. HUDLER||44.17%|
|4||P. DATSYUK||68.75%||4||D. CLEARY||39.17%|
|5||T. HOLMSTROM||67.19%||5||P. DATSYUK||35.83%|
|6||N. KRONVALL||22.66%||6||N. LIDSTROM||35.00%|
|7||B. STUART||21.88%||7||V. FILPPULA||35.00%|
|8||K. DRAPER||15.63%||8||B. RAFALSKI||32.50%|
|9||M. SAMUELSSON||15.63%||9||M. SAMUELSSON||32.50%|
|10||D. DRAKE||14.06%||10||H. ZETTERBERG||30.83%|
A bit more revealing here. Note that Crosby saw almost none of his ice time against the Red Wings weaker third defence pairing; if it wasn't Lidstrom and company and the big five, the second-best option (Kronwall-Stuart) was put to use against The Kid.
Malkin gets more of a grab bag, which suggests Mike Babcock wasn't quite as concerned with the match-up there. (That could change if the big guy wakes up a bit in Game 2. Is he injured or what?)
What could be interesting is to see how Michel Therrien changes things come Game 3, when putting Jordan Staal up against Detroit's offensive weapons will be more of an option. Staal faced Brett Lebda and Andreas Lilja, Dallas Drake and Kris Draper more than anyone in the first game, against whom his shutdown talents are wasted. And if he's logging time instead against Datsyuk and Zetterberg, who then from Detroit faces Crosby?
The first thing I'd do to get Crosby away from Lidstrom and friends a bit more? Play No. 87 more in Game 2, as he got only 18 minutes on Saturday.
Detroit's horses up front, Datsyuk and Zetterberg, played 23 and 22 minutes.