Sunday, May 25, 2008

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):

1 M. HOSSA 65.13% 75.78%
2 S. CROSBY 61.84% 74.22%
3 B. ORPIK 51.97% 56.25%
4 S. GONCHAR 46.71% 58.59%
5 H. GILL 38.82% 35.94%
6 P. DUPUIS 38.16% 48.44%
7 R. SCUDERI 30.26% 28.13%
8 P. SYKORA 28.29% 21.09%
9 E. MALKIN 27.63% 28.91%
10 R. WHITNEY 18.42% 13.28%

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:




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.

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At 10:10 p.m., May 25, 2008, Blogger I Have Kasparaitis said...

I'm sure you know this already, but the lines have been changed. Malone is playing with Sid and Hossa on top line. Talbot has joined Malkin and Sykora on the second; third line has Staal, Kennedy, and Dupuis. The fourth line has Hall, Roberts, and Ruutu.

Mirtle, Malkin was sick in the last series. I don't know if he still is but I don't think.

At 10:32 p.m., May 25, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

Babcock split Zetterberg and Datsyuk up for a few shifts early in the game. But he changed his mind and put them back together before the end of the first--maybe because he wasn't impressed with their play apart, or maybe because he wasn't afraid of Malkin matching up against Filppula or Draper.

Playing Crosby for only 18 minutes is a crime--don't understand that one. Normally, you double-shift your star players to get them away from checkers, not bench them.

I don't think Babcock will hesitate to split up Zetterberg and Datsyuk in Pittsburgh if he doesn't like how the matchups are going. If Franzen is healthy, that gives him three lines that can (at least somewhat) effectively check and score, but he'll definitely have more trouble hiding his bottom two defencemen against Pittsburgh's third and fourth lines.

At 12:26 p.m., May 26, 2008, Blogger Black Dog said...

Maybe Therrien wants to keep Sid fresh for the next round.

Wait a second ....

If Malkin is sick or injured the Pens are toast.


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