We're almost there. The Playoffs are so close for the Wings that I can almost taste it.. We've looked at some of the stats, broken down the Bruins lineup, had some fun proving Datsyuk is better than Bergeron, covered predictions, given our "expert" analysis as to what the Wings need to do to win this series, and a whole lot more. There are a few things left to look at in preparation for this series to begin and one of those things is to take a look at how the top and bottom six match up statically.
Our own Bruins
mole expert wrote an informative breakdown of what to expect from the Bruins forwards, and you can read what Jeff wrote here.
The Wings have had a lot of fluxuation in lines throughout the season due to all the injuries, but we expect to start the playoffs with the following top two lines of
Going against Botson's top two lines of
As you can see from the chart below, Boston's top 6 carried a higher percentage of their team's production than Detroit's did. However when you take into consideration the fact that the Wings top six players (as listed above) missed a combined 132 games due to injury, it's not surprising that their production was down. Plus, these top six numbers exclude Henrik Zetterberg's 16 goals and 48 points, since he's not expected to play in this round.
|DETROIT||TOP 6 MATCH UP|
|99 (45.62% of team total)||Goals||148 (57.36% of team total)|
|51.68%||Avg FF% Close 5 v5|
|51.68%||Avg Time Weighted EV Qual Comp||56.05%|
|39 (23.78%)||EV Goals|
|13 (26.0%)||PP Goals|
Since so many of the Wings top six missed to many games, let's compare points per game instead of just total points.
|David Krejci||80||69||0.863||Gustav Nyquist||56|
|Jarome Iginla||78||61||0.782||Pavel Datsyuk||44|
|Patrice Bergeron||80||62||0.775||Johan Franzen||54|
|Milan Lucic||80||59||0.738||Daniel Alfredsson||68|
|Brad Marchand||82||53||0.646||Darren Helm||42|
|Reilly Smith||82||51||0.622||Justin Abdelkader||69|
There, that's much better. Aside from Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader, the rest of the top six match up pretty evenly in points per game. If we can keep our top six healthy, this should be a very good matchup.
I noted the average Fenwick% Close 5v5 in the first chart, here's a breakdown of each player and what their 5v5 quality of competition is when weighted for time on ice.
|Brad Marchand||60.9||29.6||Gustav Nyquist|
|Milal Luci||60.3||30.1||Pavel Datsyuk|
|Reilly Smith||59.6||30.0||Johan Franzen|
|Jarome Iginla||52.2||31.5||Darren Helm|
|Patrice Bergeron||52.2||31.7||Daniel Alfredsson|
|David Krejci||51.1||31.0||Justin Abdelkader|
Boston has a little higher average Fenwick percentage( 56.05% compared to the Wings at 51.68%) while the quality of competition is much closer (Bruins average of 30.73% and the Wings averaging 29.68%). Again, I think the massive amount of time injured to the Wings top has an effect we can't ignore.
After breaking down the top in this manner, I'm less worried than I initially was.
Hey look, an entire line of top six (for most of the season) is now in the bottom six. The Wings are expected to at least start the series with a bottom six lineup of
who will be playing against a Bruins bottom six of
Detroit's bottom six have a total of 39 fewer points but only 9 fewer goals, but their percentage of the team totals are pretty evenly matched.
|DETROIT||BOTTOM 6 MATCH UP|
|48 (22.12% of team total)||Goals|
|63 ( 17.4%)||Assists|
|51.62%||Avg FF% Close 5 v5|
|51.62%||Avg Time Weighted EV Qual Comp|
|40 (24.39%)||EV Goals|
|8 (16%)||PP Goals|
As we did with the top six, let's look at a breakdown of points per game for the bottom six
|Carl Soderberg||73||48||0.658||Riley Sheahan||42|
|Loui Eriksson||61||37||0.607||Tomas Tatar||73|
|Chris Kelly||57||18||0.316||David Legwand||21|
|Gregory Campbell||82||21||0.256||Tomas Jurco||36|
|Daniel Paille||72||18||0.250||Drew Miller||82|
|Shawn Thornton||64||8||0.125||Luke Glendening||56|
Drew Miller and Luke Glendening bring up the rear, but they also play more time on the penalty kill per game than anyone else in the lineup, averaging 2:43 and 3:00 per game respectively. Chris Kelly (1:51), Loui Eriksson (1:25) Daniel Paille (1:28) and Gergory Campbell (1:51) are the Bruins PK'ers.
Looking at the Fenwick% Close 5v5 and Time Weighted Quality of Competition, the Bruins bottom six average 51.28 FF% and 27.01% Qual Comp compared to the Wings 51.62 FF% and 28.25& Qual Comp. That's a pretty even matchup, with the Wings actually holding the slight advantage thanks to the Kid Line.
|Chris Kelly||56.5||29.2||Riley Sheahan|
|Loui Eriksson||53.0||28.2||Tomas Tatar|
|Carl Soderberg||51.8||28.2||David Legwand|
|Gregory Campbell||49.4||25.7||Tomas Jurco|
|Shawn Thornton||49.1||25.9||Luke Glendening|
|Daniel Paille||47.9||25.2||Drew Miller|
If we actually have the luxury of having the Kid Line in the bottom six, we match up much better against the Bruins bottom six, and we may even have a slight advantage. The 3rd line matchup may very well be the most exciting one to watch.
Sure the Bruins have the advantage in numbers in pretty much every category, but the Wings are playing what I think is their best hockey all season, we have an actual top six and Datsyuk back, and we're a better team than our stats indicate. We also have quite a bit of speed, energy, and youth in the lineup and that can be a significant advantage for the Wings: as long as that youth can minimize their mistakes.
Up Next: How do the defense and goalies stack up? *spoiler* you may need a little rum for that one.