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Game 7 Post Game Thoughts

Jeff Gross
  • I will never get tired of watching Datsyuk be Datsyuk. I have the honor of watching him every single game, and yet he still blows my mind. Datsyuk is beyond amazing offensively, and he mesmerizes on a regular basis, backchecks, and plays defense better than some defensemen! Pav led the forwards in ice time again, had 6 shots on goal, 2 takeaways, and was 55% in the faceoff circle. It boggles my mind how so much talent, skill, and pure awesomeness can be contained in one corporeal form. I just.... I don't ever want to not be able to watch Datsyuk blow my mind.... Ever.
  • Zetterbeg had a goal, an assist, 6 shots on goal, and a takeaway. And yet his stats STILL don't do him justice. Zetterberg's leadership has surpassed even my expectations, and they were pretty high to begin with. Just.... wow.
  • Justin mother f'ing Abdelkader. 19:17 toi, 2 shots on goal, 1 short handed goal (oh it was purdy), 5 "official" hits (Anaheim stats keepers have consistently under reported for Detroit and generously tallied for the Ducks), and 1 takeaway. I was a big Abby fan when he was 4th line Abby, I got into more arguments defending him this season than I have over any other topic, and now I can't get this permanent Abdelboner (thanks for the term Kevin) to go away. He's become a key top line player, and I commend him for all the hard work and dedication it took to get where he is. Just another piece of evidence that this season has been crazy and unpredictable.

What went through Abby's head?

"Pavel was putting pressure on him and I knew he wanted to go D-to-D," Abdelkader said. "I just kind of stayed up high there. Got my stick on it and was trying to get off to the races there. I was just trying to make a good play and get a good shot off whether it was a shot or a deke," he said. "Once I got in free there I knew that I could make a good play. I was going to shoot it at first, but decided to deke and the five-hole opened up."

What did Abby's teammates and coach think about his shorthanded goal tonight?

"From start to finish it was a great individual play," said Kyle Quincey, who saw the play develop from his sit in the penalty box. "He was standing still pretty much (and) to go to full-speed by the red line is just a great show of athleticism. Finishing it off like he did was unbelievable. That was the game right there."

"It was nice to see him score that one," said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the game’s first goal. "He had a few of those chances before. He has a lot of speed and I think it helped that you’re playing against a goalie for six games and you’re seeing what he does and kind of moves he has. He made a nice back-and-forth move to get it through the legs, so it was nice to see."

"What a great move," said goaltender Jimmy Howard. "Abby, he's a very hard worker. He stays out after practice working on that sort of stuff with the goalies and it paid off for him. He's playing great and that's what you need in the playoffs. He's definitely right there for us. It's great to see. He's been our back-stopper all year so we expect nothing less."

I got a chuckle out of this revelation from Mike Babcock

"I was giving Fil an earful on the bench, well, not an earful, but 'Fil, how come you weren't the first guy out there on that penalty kill situation? And then he started to laugh when Abby shot it in the net, so it just goes to show you sometimes good luck is better than good management.''

The ducks really liked Abby's goal as well.

"I was sitting on the bench saying, 'Let's just get out of this period 1-1.' I thought we'd be good then," Boudreau said. "The shorthanded goal came about 20 seconds later. It was a goal that hurt..."Them starting out so good and taking it to us in the first seven minutes and then us coming back and starting to take the game away a little bit. Then to get the goal scored, it settled them down and sort of rattled us a little bit for the period."

  • Samuelsson played a total of 4:20 last night, had 4 shifts in the first, 1 in the second, and 1 in the third (1:34 was on the PP). However, he did have the important job of keeping a warm spot on the bench.
  • For comparison, Bertuzzi played 7:58 (all even strength) and Eaves played 7:00 (2:35 short handed). I suspect part of the reason the 4th line played so little, is because Babcock rotated centers through the 4th line, and so he needed to make sure that those players getting an extra shift, weren't too tired to play their shift on their actual line. Also, our 4th line didn't always look great, but I still prefer it to the 4th line from game 6. Bertuzzi had the lowest corsi on the team (-10) Samuelsson had the next lowest (-5) despite playing the least time, and Eaves tied for the 4th lowest (-2).
  • Some context is needed for Patty Eaves, because of those three players, only Eaves was killing penalties AND he spent more time on the ice against Perry, Getzlaf and and Ryan than he did against any other forwards. Todd Bertuzzi also spent more of his time on ice going against Ryan, Perry, and Getzlaf. Sauelsson had more ice time against the Ducks' 4th line, when he was playing that is. We're better with Eaves in the lineup, and though it usually takes a lot for me to be angry about a lineup decision.... I'll be furious if Eaves is scratched in the playoffs (or possibly ever).
  • Will Samuelsson play at all on Wednesday? Will he dress but sit on the bench? Will he be a healthy scratch? If he is a scratch, who come in? Tootoo? How badly is Emmerton hurt, can he play, and would he still be better than Samuelsson? Who's the top 6 player Babcock is concerned about, and is he still concerned enough to keep Sammy in the lineup? How much more abuse can Daniel Cleary's body take before he's unable to dress himself? If he's unable to dress himself, will someone help him so he can still be in the lineup? Why do I have so many questions and so few answers?
  • Keep calm and Babcock on... Yesterday afternoon, Boudreau said he was whipped after games trying to match wits with Babcock, so what does Babs do? He mixes the lines up so much that at times I think he and the players were the only ones who could figure them out. Split up the euro twins, rotate centers through the 4th line, don't play Sammy, mix and match and keep the Ducks guessing. Boudreau didn't have an answer all night, and what makes Babcock's coaching victory even sweeter is that the Wings were on the road, and the home team is supposed to have the line matchup advantage. Hahahaha. I think Babcock is the best troll coach ever and I love it.
  • For a few seconds, I thought that move by Bertuzzi to knock Perry's stick down to touch the puck so we could play it without being offsides, was going to work. Eaves didn't touch it because he knew he'd be offsides, then the Ducks all refused to play it, Bertuzzi skated up, assessed the situation, and took his stick and whacked Perry's stick so it touched the puck. I was kind of in awe. Go Bert.
  • When the team gather around Jimmy on the ice last night after the win, they all huddled together and laid their heads on each others shoulders/backs and sort of had a moment of reverence. It gave me goose bumps and I'm still in awe of that moment.
  • Filppula was looking for redemption last night after his costly turnover in game 6, and scoring the series winning goal went a long way towards achieving it.The Detroit News shed a little light on what led to Flip's painful turnover.

Filppula said a Ducks player called for the puck in Game 6, which led to him dropping a pass behind the net to an opponent. It was a bad play, Obviously it wasn't our guy. It was a tough play and I'm glad Hank took care of it (in overtime) and we got a win today."

"You hope you wouldn't make those kind of mistakes, but you try to forget them quickly. Obviously, you want to do your best all the time to help the team and I'm glad I could do a little better today in that department.''

"It was nice to get a goal, I haven't scored too much."

"Always when you play a lot and play on the power play, you hope you can help the team out more. I don't think I played bad, but you need to score or create scoring for your linemates and I wasn't able to do that. So it felt good today to get a couple (from his line).''

Fil also said he isn't letting contract thoughts cloud his mind.

"You always try to play as well as you can and when it's time to think about contract you do that. Playoffs definitely are not one of those times you think about your contract.''

Babcock said

He wasn’t very happy with himself the other night, the great thing about competitors is they bounce back, so good for him and good for us. We need him to be a huge factor, Chicago has big time depth.

  • Real quickly on the Zetterberg delay of game penalty. He called it a stupid penalty and said it was tough for him to sit in the box and see them score right away. George Malik said it best

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Leadership is admitting you did something dumb and then making up for it by playing like a captain should. Leadership is not bitching.</p>&mdash; George Malik (@georgemalik) <a href="">May 13, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Here's the best of the rest...

Kronwall on Pav and Z

It’s unbelievable how good they (Hank and Pav) are. They’re not only good offensively, but they’re so good defensively as well. In my opinion, probably the two best two-way centers in the league. That’s how good they are. It’s not like they show up once in a while, they do that every night. They’ve been our best players all through the regular season and again in the playoffs; coming up with huge goals for us, making big plays and getting the job done.

Babcock on splitting up Pav and Z:

I thought I should have last time in here and I didn’t. I met with the guys and told them we were going to do it until the 10 minute mark, just to get through the first bit, then get them back together, but I liked what was going on so much, I just kept them that way.

Babcock on how the defense has improved:

I think we’ve just been getting better and better. You look at our group, we wouldn’t’ even have made the playoffs if we hadn’t had Danny DeKeyser, in my opinion, he kind of settled us down, then we lost him and it took us a little bit to get organized again, but I thought we played good. E and Kronner are good every night for us, it’s just steadying the rest of the group and as they get more comfortable and more confident in themselves, they get better.

Babcock on the growth of the team

Even this team coming in, without the growth of Andersson, Brunner and Nyquist, we couldn’t beat this team. Early in the year we didn’t have that, so the growth of those guys allowed us to matchup. Even on the road here, Bonino and that group couldn’t eat them up, whereas early in the year, we didn’t have a matchup or an answer for those guys.. We’ve got a whole bunch of kids on our team. Anytime you get to play a 7 game series, and you play a lot of overtime, that’s what it’s about. I said "being hard between your ears", that’s just being mentally tough, that’s what playoff hockey is. The best players in the world, if they’re not mentally tough, they’re for the regular season.

Babcock on Jimmy Howard

Howie was really good for us. He was solid, played well, and was competitive. If you’re a competitor, you’re having so much fun come playoff time, you just get better. If you’re a real competitor, and you’re hard between your ears, you just get better at this time of year.

Abdelkader on Zetterberg

He’s been a great leader for us all year and especially of late here… when you don’t think he can take it to another level, he did. He’s already at a really high high level, and he put us on his back and we rode him here. He’s been great.

  • I am so proud. Proud of this team for never giving up, for never letting all the adversity, criticism, and lack of faith from many fans stop them. I'm proud of Zetterberg for continuing to be the amazing leader he is, and for always finding a way to come through for the team when we need him the most. I'm proud of Jimmy for continually saying a big F you to the Ducks, and especially Cory Perry. I'm proud of Abby for stepping up big time and working his buns off to become the player we needed him to be. I'm proud of Babcock for being the genius coach that he is, for knowing how to guide this team through it's most difficult year in quite some time, and for remaining steadfast and calm no matter what. I'm proud of Ericsson for becoming the defenseman we needed him to, he's been fantastic all season. I'm proud of Patty Eaves for being the strong, dedicated, determined, unflappable person that he is. I'm just proud of everyone. I don't think I've ever been this proud of any team. They've done more with less, and overcome a whole lot this season, and yet they keep pressing on when many doubt they can do it.

I'll leave you with a couple final thoughts from Jimmy and Abby.


People have been doubting us all year, especially with all the injuries and all the young guys we have in the lineup, but it just shows that we’ve grown as a team throughout the season and we knew that we’d get better as the season went on; and if we can get in the playoffs, anything can happen. ..We came through, pulled it out, and this is a great learning experience for our team , especially for all our young guys in the locker room.


You could tell before the game how focused all the guys were, we just knew we weren’t going to be denied.

There’s no quit in this dressing room. The belief in here is that we can play with anyone. Now we can enjoy this here tonight and then start getting ready for Chicago.

Our team may not always be pretty, but we come to work every single night. When you do that, you stick to your game plan, and you stay focused, good things happen for you.