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Detroit Red Wings vs Anaheim Ducks - Game 1
by Colin Van Osch (NHL)
Posted on May 1, 2009, 4:08 PM

Game 1: May 1, at Detroit

Rafalski is out of the line up with a lower body injury. Apparently Chelios is playing tonight, thus invalidating my earlier note and my, quite frankly, pretty weak 'Chelios is old' joke. That worked out.

I'll be doing period updates on this one, unless something major happens. Stay tuned though. I'm on a delay since I keep rewinding the game to double watch plays.

Couple of negatives on the Ducks side. First, Fippula should not be zipping around Beauchemin on a 1-on-1, but that's fine. Erik Christensen should be ashamed of how poorly he played on that first powerplay. Missing a gimme goal AND giving the puck away when there was no pressure on his and neither team had a chance to group in the Wings zone? I like Christensen, but what is he doing on the Powerplay.

Eric Lindros is upset that the NHL only now chose to punish players for hitting each other when one has their head down. I don't support hits to the head. I don't support late hits. The Mike Brown/Jiri Hudler was nothing like the Brashear hit. There was very little time since he passed, and frankly, you don't watch your passes leave you when you're supposed to be in the play. No elbow, no jump, just a solid hit. There was no difference between that and Campbell laying out Umberger 2 years ago. It was a solid hit. I highly disapprove of the 5 and a game.

Additionally, strike 2 to Beauchemin, who appears to have just been made to look foolish again.

For those of you with TiVo or PVRs, go to 3:08 in the first period. Jonathon Ericsson seems to think he is due on the ice, jumps on, but then makes a heroic effort to make sure his feet aren't touching when Lidstrom (his man) gets the puck. Really, just well done.

Francois Beauchemin looks horrible out there. At the end of the first here. Strange to watch, it's like watching a video game. Up the ice, one shot, opposing team goes up ice, one shot, and so forth. I can't say enough about how bad I think that call on Mike Brown was. I understand fully that you do not want hits to the heads. You need to be protecting players from cheap shots. Jiri Hudler had just released the puck, and if he hadn't taken time to watch his pass, that would have been regarded as a clean, monster hit. I don't think that players who are skating off the ice and aren't in the play deserve to be blindsided. Hudler created the illusion that it was a worse hit than it was by admiring his pass for too long. Horrible, horrible call.

I suppose, going into the 2nd, bad form on the refs for that call, and someone get Beauchemin off the ice. Or keep him on longer, depending on who you support.

Hossa and Perry, within about a minute of each other, end plays with weak wristers, beyond the circles, with no pressure on them? I expect a lot more from these teams. I am really concerned, watching the second, about how dominant Detroit has been and how little secondary scoring the Ducks have. They've got good, solid lines, but Selanne really needs to pick this up, soon, and get the rest of that line into some plays, because as good as Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan are, they're easy to neutralize when they're the only threats on the team.

Yesterday, in the Vancouver/Chicago game, I mentioned how Ben Eagers sole job should be to try and get someone worthwhile off the ice for 5 minutes with him. In that vein, good job, Ericsson.

I'm not likely to ever say this again, but Chelios is having a good game. It's not noticable in the grand scheme of things. He's not popping in goals or creating major chances, but he has had a really good, solid game on both sides. If the Wings had seen him sneaking the backdoor when Osgood was going to the bench on that penalty call, he could have had a great chance to score. Additionally, while I'm saying things I would never say, Pronger has had the best game I've ever seen him have, and I don't just mean that he hasn't nearly killed someone yet.

I don't want to have to say this again. Please, Randy Carlyle, keep Francois Beauchemin off the ice. Franzen has had a great game, a lot of energy and great effort.

I cannot believe George Parros has a job. Except as a fighter, he serves no purpose, and now he takes just the worst penalty. It wasn't even that a Delay of Game penalty was completely preventable, and it wasn't even that you had no pressure on you. You didn't even need to play it up the boards. Thank God Detroit evens it up with a bad interference call, but I've been seeing a lot of drifting and I keep looking at the number, and I get more and more shocked every time I see Parros on the ice because there's no need for him to be there.

I'm sorry. I'm watching this 4-on-3, and I had to pause to express my disgust. Pronger is a Left shot. Getzlaf is a Right shot. Henceforth, if you two are going to play the points on a Powerplay, you should be shooting on the inside, not on the outside. This is basic stuff, cross at the blueline. Come on!

10 seconds later they switch, but it doesn't matter because Selanne scores as they're doing it. Point remains valid.

I'm caught up, so Third Period is coming to you in REAL TIME!

Second Period was all Detroit until the 4-on-3 at the end. Anaheim seemed adept at getting it to the neutral zone and that was all. Hiller has been great, I think, and the team owes him a lot for keeping them in at points. Franzen has had a hell of a game so far, outside of the goal. Just the small things he's doing. It's going to be a great finale, but if Anaheim doesn't step it up they're going to lose. The refs aren't going to give you questionable penalty calls all night, you know.

Apparently the Ducks aren't reading my writeup, because if they had, they wouldn't have put Pronger on the Left and Getzlaf/Selanne on the Right during the remainder of the Powerplay. It's not rocket science, is my point.

Every team plays the Imperial March when they get a Powerplay, without realizing how Martin Gerber has destroyed it.

Very even third. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed this, as my good friend Smashmouth on the forums also pointed it out, but Jonas Hillers pads extend a solid 12-16 inches past where they should end, and when he hits the butterfly they kind of close up to eliminate the five hole. It's a strange setup, and I currently question how legal they are.

These boards are really messing with Hiller. There's been 3 times at least that I can count where the puck has hit them and he visibly freaks out as he has no idea where it's ending up.

Wow. Just when you think there is no way this isn't going to Overtime, Lidstrom puts a goal in with less than a minute. It was such a cautious period on both ends too.

I've got to say, I don't care for Corey Perry. He's a fine scorer, but a bit of a dumb player. When they pulled their goalie, he was wandering until Neidermeyer told him where to go. I think he should be missing this and a few more games after his elbow to the head on Cheechoo and he has already been suspended once this year for the exact same thing. Of the big line on Anaheim, he is the worst in all regards. He's a fine scorer, but I wouldn't take him on my team like I would Getzlaf and Ryan.

Detroit takes it down.

End Of Game

Really good game to watch, even though neither team seemed as organized as you'd expect. I thought Hiller was having a great game until that final goal. Anaheim played a great third, as did Detroit. It was a really solid game and short of Francois Beauchemin, I can't think of someone who didn't play 'well'. If I'm disappointed about anything, it's that I don't feel like Anaheim was taking the time to make smart decisions when they actually got pressure, and naturally, I don't think that Detroit should have gotten the 5 minute penalty that led to the first goal and left Anaheim short a player. Osgood played decently, I thought Chelios was playing well but they pulled him for the better part of the 3rd because he was coming down with a serious case of Old Man. Good game, Anaheim showed the defending champs that they were showing up for a series, but they need to improve next game.


3) Chris Pronger. I hate Chris Pronger like I hate few things. He had a good game tonight, he was very solid and made smart plays. I'm not likely to give him credit ever again, but he was a very responsible player tonight and he really anchored that defense.

2) Niklas Lidstrom. It's not enough to score 2 goals, including the game winner, and to anchor the defense. It does get you a star though.

1) Johan Franzen. He was everywhere on the ice tonight. That was just a wonderful game on both ends of the ice by Franzen.

Boston/Carolina is waiting on the PVR for me, so I'll be back with another one tonight.

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