The regular season is over and the Wings head to the playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks. Detroit won their last four games to take the 7th spot and in the process recorded two shutouts on their way to outscoring opponents 15-3. Let's take a look at the last week of the season for a player-by-player standpoint and see where everybody fits for the good/bad/neutral perspective.
They'll also be ranked in order of strongest-to-weakest in their category.
People play on their off-wing at a decent-enough clip and NHL.com still doesn't consider Zetterberg a centerman, but this is close enough.
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Valtteri Filppula||Johan Franzen||Daniel Cleary|
|Gustav Nyquist||Joakim Andersson||Damien Brunner|
|Jordin Tootoo||Cory Emmerton||Patrick Eaves|
- Henrik Zetterberg: 10 points in this week's four games brings Z up to perhaps the quietest <1ppg player in the league this season. Detroit's captain came up big when it was most-needed.
- Pavel Datsyuk: With eight points this week, Datsyuk did his best work in the clutch against Los Angeles and Nashville. He might have moved himself up to the #1 Selke spot with this week's performance.
- Johan Franzen: It's a bit weird to see he was *only* the Wings' third highest-scoring forward in those four games, but four of Mule's points were goals. More importantly, his dominance allowed Babs to keep Datsyuk & Zetterberg together. That's huge.
- Damien Brunner: A goal and an assist versus Phoenix and then another assist against LA. Brunner did good work from the third line this week.
- Valtteri Filppula: two goals this week and a beast in the faceoff circle/defensively. I feel dumbfounded when I look at his stats and realize this is the third time in his career Filppula has ended the season with more goals than assists.
- Cory Emmerton: With 13:21 of perfect penalty killing work put in this week, Emmerton did his job exceptionally well.
- Justin Abdelkader: Just the two points this week on Pavs' & Hank's wing? Yeah, I'm not worried about that. The Piano Man did his job this week.
- Joakim Andersson: Similar PK numbers to Emmerton gets him here, but he's ranked lower because he didn't play as well at 5-on-5.
- Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves: I put them together as something of a bad thing last week and I'm doing the same as something of a good thing. Both scored a game-winner and both assisted on a game-winner this week. In four games, for fourth liners to score like that is absolutely huge for the Wings.
- Nobody: woo!
- Daniel Cleary: Six penalty minutes for Cleary dropped him from a tentative good thanks to his work setting up the Wings' first goal on Thursday all the way to a neutral. He's good at mucking and netfront, but he could be better.
- Gustav Nyquist: He drew one less penalty than he took this week and didn't manage to get on the board. The kid's got skill, but this is a neutral week for actually putting rubber to the road.
- Drew Miller and Darren Helm: Booing injured people is more a Wild Fan kind of thing to do.
- Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson: Basically still injured, both have been cleared to play and didn't. One I think was because of the old chemistry argument. The other is because I think management is done with this guy's bullshit and will buy him out over the summer.
Just like with the forwards, there's a bit of room for flexibility on positioning. White has played both sides so far this year and Colaiacovo hasn't played a game on the left yet. In general, the Wings' system sets the left defender as the "mobile" guy while the right-side defender is the "stay at home" guy.
|Left Defense||Right Defense|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Brendan Smith||Carlo Colaiacovo|
|Jakub Kindl||Danny DeKeyser|
|Ian White||Kyle Quincey|
- Niklas Kronwall: Detroit's best defenseman played very well this week and earned a +5 rating to go with his three assists.
- Jonathan Ericsson: One goal, two assists, this week, Riggy might have been Detroit's best defenseman (except I think Kronwall was better. Still... might)
- Jakub Kindl: He didn't get any results on the scoreboards, but he drove possession the right way in the offensive zone. He played very well in three of four games this week.
- Danny DeKeyser: I have trouble stating how happy I've been with his DeKboner-inspiring play. He's smart in his own zone and moves laterally in the offensive zone with great speed. He's very smart with the stick.
- Kyle Quincey: Four straight good games for Q in his own zone. The guy has got to get better at getting shots through traffic, but he was good.
- Nobody: Woo too!
- Brendan Smith: Very very nearly a bad rating thanks to the ten penalty minutes, but I find it hard to rank anybody bad considering how well Detroit's defense played this week.
- Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo, Brian Lashoff: Their perfromances this week didn't hurt the Wings.
- Jimmy Howard: Three goals allowed in four huge wins. What a great week for Jimmah. Absolutely fantastic.
- Jonas Gustavsson: He didn't play and that's telling, all things considered. (I don't have to change this. whee!)
- Chris Mason: He did us some favors, but wasn't trying to.
The Wings being hot at the right time helps.
Here are the career stats for the Wings against the Ducks.
Also not shown on the sheet, Dan Cleary has one career game seven-clinching goal in his playoff career vs. the Ducks.