As an LA season ticket holder, I do have a small investment in the team...or at least small compared to my hometown beloved Red Wings. And while I was fortunate enough to be randomly be in the Mitten and attend game 2 vs phoenix last series, I was UNfortunate to be in LA for all three of their home games. Not one win. Ugh...
That said, I had ample opportunity to scout, and here's what I'll say:
- 2011 Ryane Clowe = 2010 Joe Pavelski. The dude is playing out of his mind, tough, and that line (with Couture) was really dangerous. Sure Jumbo got some game winners, but the reality is that top line wasn't nearly as dominant as line 2. It would behoove us to shut them down. Of course it would behoove s to shut them all down, but you get my point.
- Watch out for the late-man in the slot. Good gravy it seemed like SJ got all their goals this way. Granted there were far too many 3 on 2's against that LA team, but they executed this very well, and always seemed to find the top corner on a well positioned Jonathan Quick. Quick played very aggressive at the top of the paint, but their marksmen found those corners.
- Beware the 4 on 4. Now obviously on paper Detroit matches up way better 4 on 4 than LA did, but SJ got the better in every one of these situations. I seem to remember this being an issue for Detroit during the regular season. We'd have a really dominant possesion in the zone, Rafalski would pinch at the line; a shot would go wide or get blocked and bingo-bango, 2 on 1 or 3 on 2 the other way. And then it's watch out for the late man coming back. For real.
- Shoot low and away on the rush. Neimi's pads were like spring boards, and this play worked really well. Don't believe me? Watch the game 6 highlights. All 3 LA goals, and numerous close calls came from this exact play.
I'm sure Babs and the gang have better notes than this though ;)
Let's get in there and steal us some home ice! Go Wings!