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Series Preview 1: Red Wings vs. Ducks- Offense, Defense, and Goaltending

We take a look at the offense, defense, and goaltending for both teams.

Duck, Duck, GOOSE!
Duck, Duck, GOOSE!

We did it. The Wings battled hard, dug deep, went in to "Fuck You" mode, and earned their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance. The whole team has been playing some great hockey the last few games, and they're going to have to keep it up in order to win four games against an Anaheim team that's going to battle hard.

Detroit won the season series against the Duck 2-1, losing the first series game on February 15th at the Joe 5-2 with Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson scoring the only Wings goals. On March 22nd and 24th the Wings went into the Ducks' nest and not only whooped their tail feathers twice, but also exposing their leaders for the whiny, bitches they are.

Anaheim came out of the gate flying this season, and built up a comfortable lead in the Pacific Division early on, that allowed them to secure the division title despite their drop off in play in the last month of the season. While the Ducks have been regressing back to where they belong, the Wings have been continuing to improve and piss off all the haters.

Round 1 Schedule:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:30 p.m. NBCSN, TSN, FS-D
Thursday, May 2, 2013 10 p.m. NBCSN, TSN, FS-D
Saturday, May 4, 2013 7:30 p.m. NBCSN, TSN, FS-D
Monday, May 6, 2013 8 p.m. CNBC, TSN
*Wednesday, May 8, 2013 10 p.m. TSN, FS-D
*Friday, May 10, 2013 TBD TSN, FS-D
*Sunday, May 12, 2013 TBD TSN, FS-D

Wings and Ducks Season Totals:

Wings 24 16 8 56 0.58 122 115 34 18.4 30 81.7 3 5
Ducks 30 12 6 66 0.69 134 118 29 21.5 30 81.5 5 5

Let's take a look at how offense, defense, and goaltending match up.


If we break down the goals scored by forwards and defense, both teams are pretty even. Of the 124 goals scored by the Wings this season, the forwards contributed 86.9% of them, and the defense chipped in 13.1%. Of the total points earned (goals and assists) the forwards accounted for 76.4% and the defense for 23%. Although the Ducks scored more goals, their distribution between forwards and defense is very close to the Wings'. Of the 134 goals scored by the Ducks, the forwards accounted for 87.3% and the defense for 12.7%. Total points earned (goals and assists) were 371 and 77.1% were from the forwards while 22.7% were from defense.

G Forwards Defense A Forwards Defense Points Forwards Defense
Wings Offense 122 86.89% 13.11% 213 70.42% 28.64% 335 76.42% 22.99%
Ducks Offense 134 87.31% 12.69% 237 71.31% 28.27% 371 77.09% 22.64%

What's even more interesting is breaking down the forwards offensive contributions by top 6 vs bottom 6. For the purposes of this comparison, I calculated only 6 players from each team in the "top 6" category, and everyone else is calculated in the "bottom 6". Detroit's top 6 are Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Justin Abdelkader, and Daniel Cleary. Anaheim's top 6 are Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Kyle Palmieri, and Nick Bonino. Fittingly enough, both Detroit and Anaheim's top 6 scored 68 goals and had 105 assists. Anaheim scored more total goals than Detroit, so their top 6 carried less of the scoring weight than Detroit's did.

Here's a breakdown of the top 6 vs bottom 6, showing the percentage of the forward offense, as well as the percentage of total team offense.

G % of Forward G % of total G A % of Forward A % of total A PTS % of Forward PTS % of total PTS
Wings Top 6 68 64.15% 55.74% 105 70.00% 49.30% 173 67.58% 51.64%
Ducks Top 6 68 58.12% 50.75% 105 62.13% 44.30% 173 60.49% 46.63%

Detroit's "bottom" players put up a lower ratio of points than Anaheim's over the course of the season, however in the last 5 games, Detroit's bottom 2 lines have been on fire. They're playing great, working hard, and the chemistry that's been missing so much of the season has finally developed.

G % of Forward G % of total G A % of Forward A % of total A PTS % of Forward PTS % of total PTS
Wings Bottom 6 38 35.85% 31.15% 45 30.00% 21.13% 83 32.42% 24.78%
Ducks Bottom 6 49 41.88% 36.57% 64 37.87% 27.00% 113 39.51% 30.46%

Looking at top 6, bottom 6, and defensive contributions in the 3 game series between these two teams, the biggest difference has been the defense stepping up and contributing to goals. The Wings defense has produced slightly more offense than Anaheim's has over the course of the season, but Detroit's defense accounted for 20% of the points against the Ducks.

Detroit Anaheim

Top 6 6 6 12 4 6 10
Bottom 6 3 5 8 3 4 7
Defense 0 5 5 0 0 0

Anaheim have scored more total goals this season than Detroit, but against the Wings, Anaheim couldn't get their ducks in a row and Detroit outscored them, out worked them, and beat them.

Advantage: This is the closest of the three categories, but weighing the head-to-head offense more heavily than season stats, and considering Detroit has greatly improved recently while Anaheim has struggled, I'm going to give the edge to Detroit.


In the 3 games we played against the Ducks, the Wings allowed 7 goals; 5 of them were against our bottom 6, and the other 2 were against our top 6. Anaheim allowed a total of 9 goals, 5 of them against their bottom 6, and the other 4 against their top 6. Detroit had almost equal success scoring against the Ducks regardless of which lines they had on the ice, while 71% of Anaheim's goals were scored against our bottom 6.

Brunner(6), Cleary(5) and Emmerton(2) were on the ice for the most goals against of the forwards. Kronwall and White were each on the ice for 4 goals against, and Ericsson and Kindl were on for 3. While 7 of the 8 goals against came with different Wings defensive pairings, since Kronwall and Ericsson have consistently been on either the 1st or 2nd pairings, 6/7 goals against came with our top 2 D lines on the lce. Anaheim Winnik(4) Cogliano(3) Koivu(3) and Holland(3) were on for more goals against than any other Ducks forwards, and Luca Sbisa was on for 7 goals against.

As you can see in the chart below, 5 of Detroit's goals came when Detroit had their top 6 on the ice against Anaheim's bottom 6. Anaheim's top 6 scored more goals against Detroit's top6 than we did against theirs, however our bottom 6 scored 3 goals against Anaheim's top 6.

DET t6 vs ANA t6 1
DET t6 vs ANA b6 5
DET b6 vs ANA t6 3
DET b6 vs ANA b6 0
ANA t6 vs DET t6 3
ANA t6 vs DET b6 2
ANA b6 vs DET t6 1
ANA b6 vs DET b6 0

Detroit's bottom 6 scored more goals than Anaheim's did and depth scoring is going to play a very important factor in this series. Factor in how well Detroit's bottom 6 have played against Anaheim, how well they've been playing lately and the the fact that Detroit allowed 3 fewer goals this season than Anaheim; despite having a Lidstrom-less and Stuart-less defensive corps and you get...

Advantage: Detroit


Anaheim has had the luxury of splitting time evenly between two good goaltenders. Since Jimmy Howard has played 42/48 games for Detroit, and will play every playoff game unless something goes horribly wrong, I'm only going to use Howard's stats for the head-to-head comparison.

Jimmy Howard season stats:

Jimmy Howard 42 21 13 7 87 1129 1042 0.92 2.13 5

Anaheim goalie season stats:

Viktor Fasth 25 15 6 2 52 661 609 0.92 2.18 4
Jonas Hiller 26 15 6 4 59 675 616 0.91 2.36 1
Team Total 48 30 12 6 111 1336 1225 0.92 2.28 5

Jimmy Howard has played 6 fewer games than Fasth and Hiller combined, yet still has a better GAA than either one(HA!). Jimmy's SV% is about the same, but he faced almost as many shots as the two Ducks goalies combined and Howard has as many shutouts as both Fasth and Hiller combined as well.

In the head to head series, Anaheim scored 1 empty net goal, and Jonas Hiller was pulled in the 2nd meeting between the teams.

Vs Ducks Decision GA SA SV SV% GAA TOI
Jimmy Howard 1-1 6 104 98 .942 2.01 179

Vs Wings
Jonas Hiller 0-1 4 33 29 .878 2.50 96
Viktor Fasth 1-1 5 39 34 .872 3.61 83
Total 1-2
9 72 63 .875 3.05 179

These season stats pretty much speak for themselves. Jimmy Howard bested BOTH of Anaheim's goalies, who aren't slouches. Howard faced more shots, made more saves, allowed fewer goals, and didn't get pulled.

Advantage: Detroit

Next up: A look at special teams and coaching