- I value stats in hockey because it helps give context to players and events, as well as help present a more complete, well rounded evaluation of the game and individual players. So when I look at the stat sheet from last night, and Abdelkader was credited with a big fat whopping 0 hits, Datsyuk with only 2 and the whole team with only 22 (to Anaheim's 37- which would be a hit about every 2 minutes) I get a little stabby because what good are the stats is they're not accurate!? Screw you Anaheim stat keepers, you suck donkey balls.
- Bertuzzi had 11 shifts and played 7:41 on the 4th line last night and had 1sog and was credited with 1 hit (Since they gave him credit for 1, he probably had more- see above bullet). For his first game back after being injured for 3 months (at one point being so crippled that he had to use a walker), he adjusted pretty well. Before the game, Babcock was asked how he would evaluate Bertuzzi, and replied that he would be watching to see who had the puck after Bertuzzi did. Bert had a quietly solid game, and the fact that he wasn't very noticeable is to his credit. I hope to see him with increased ice time and responsibilities (if he can handle them) and increased visibility and effectiveness over the next few games.
- Nyquist only played 8:45 last night, and I wonder if he was the mysterious game time decision player. The only person with less TOI last night was Bert. Goose's linemates both played more than he did (Brunner 11:38) and (Emmerton 9:53) but Brunner had more PP time and Emmerton had more PK time, so the special teams may throw the numbers off a bit. He only played 17 seconds in OT, but they were glorious.
- Datsyuk Zetterberg and Abdelkader came in to this game needing to do a better job of shutting down the Winnik, Kouvi, Cogliano line than they did in game 1. That line for the Ducks had a combined 2 shots on goal, 1 goal (PP goal with Selanne and Beauchemin on with Koivu) and 1 assist. Conversely, the Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Abdelkader line had a combined 17 shots on goal, 1 goal and 3 assists. Mission accomplished boys.
- After the first period the Wings were only 30% on faceoffs but the Wings got on top of things in the 2nd and 3'd and improved to 62% overall (58% EV 64% PP 83% SH) Winning faceoffs gets you possession, and it's a lot easier to score when you have control of the puck. 2 PP goals for and 1 against reflect the success in the faceoff circle. Datsyuk was 71% in the circle last night, Andersson was 60% overall but won all 6 of his defensive zone faceoffs, including a couple critical faceoffs late in the game Filppula won 56%, and Emmerton won 29%.
- Danny DeKeyser's broken thumb happened sometime around the 12:20 mark of the 3'd period after he collided with Kyle Palmieri.
I've heard complaints that babcock didn't take his timeout, but his reasoning makes sense.
It's hard to settle your team down, with kids on the road, in the playoffs, in a building that is going to be louder when you call a time out,"
"You're not settling them down, you're putting gas on the fire," Babcock said. "So what are you going to do about it? You're hoping your big guys are going to go out there and make a play."
Howard didn't have a great night by his standards, letting in a couple goals he should have had, but he's been the biggest reason we even made it to the playoffs, and he'll shake this off and bounce back.
"Howie, he's our guy, it's unbelievable how he's carried us all year. He had a couple go through him that normally don't go through him."
Ducks reaction makes me smile:
"It was awful, I have no answer for you at this point. Four goals in the first four shifts of the game is pretty amazing, and three of them were on the power play." Bruce Boudreau
Late in the second period, Franzen was struck in a sensitive area just below the midsection that took some time to recover.
"I needed that intermission," Franzen said. "I took the time in here (the locker room) and lay down. "It goes away. I just needed the rest."
Franzen was hit near the head area later in the third period. The blow resulted in Franzen needing to pass a concussion test between the third period and overtime, which he did.
But Franzen wasn't able to get back on the bench in time to start overtime.
"I was on my way back out when we scored," Franzen said. "I had to check my head. It takes time. I have a pretty big head."
"We were playing really well, they got a goal, and all of a sudden we got real nervous and no one wanted the puck. We got a real big lesson: You can't stop playing. You can't not want the puck." Source
I'm proud of this team, especially after last night, because the Red Wings team we saw for most of the season wouldn't have won this game. Sure we let the Ducks come back from a 3 goal deficit that we shouldn't have, but instead of giving up, quitting, or letting the Ducks get in our head, the team came together, dug deep, and won a game they needed to. This year has been full of growing pains, and this one of them. Kindle, Andersson, Brunner and DeKeyser played in their 2nd NHL playoff game ever, and 3 of them are also in their first NHL season. Smith and Nyquist have some experience, but they're still rookies. This game was a great learning experience for them all, and I'm glad their mistakes didn't cost us the game. We're going to have to fight to every single game, and this team is showing that they can fight, and when the pressure is on, they can rise to the occasion. Take today to breathe, for tomorrow we ride to battle once again.
If you'd like to watch the Goose goal and subsequent leap into Riggy's arms, here's the .gif courtesy of SB Nation.
And this picture of Riggy and Goose is awesome. It looks like Riggy is stooping down to scoop Goose up in his arms and possibly eat him.