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Red Wings vs Bruins: Games 1 & 2 By The Numbers

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With two games behind us, the Wing need more from two of their forward lines.

There's always time for human jenga.
There's always time for human jenga.
Jared Wickerham

While we wait for the afternoon to drag by and game time to finally arrive, let's take a closer look at how Detroit and Boston are are matching up so far according to the fancy stats. There's was some line shuffling by Babcock in game two, but i don't think it's enough to cause an issue looking at the line match-ups.

For analysis purposes, I'm going to focus on even strength play in close situations.

Top 6

With the first two games being in Boston, Coach Claude Julien had his choice of line match-ups, and he chose to put Bergeron's line out against Datsyuk's, and from a possession standpoint, Datsyuk's line has had the advantage. Bergeron has 1 assist and Reilly Smith has a goal. For the Wings, Datsyuk has a goal and Franzen an assist.

Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV% Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV%
Johan Franzen 53.3% -6.1% 60.9% 8.8% 29.4% 29.1% Brad Marchand 43.3% 1.3% 34.8% -15.2% 30.4% 28.7%
Pavel Datsyuk 57.1% -0.7% 63.0% 13.0% 29.4% 32.3% Patrice Bergeron 51.9% 13.0% 42.9% -3.1% 30.6% 26.7%
Justin Abdelkader 58.6% 1.5% 66.7% 17.7% 29.2% 26.9% Reilly Smith 41.4% -1.5% 34.8% -15.2% 30.6% 25.7%

The Wings Modified Kid Line has been going head to head with Boston's top line and despite a rough game 2, they did very well in game 1. Overall, they're driving possession at even strength almost as well as Datsuk's line, despite playing a little less time at even strength and facing the toughest competition among Wings forwards. Lucic has a goal and Iginla has 2 assist. No one on the kid line has a point yet. That needs to change, because where it really counts, Krejci's line has won that match-up so far.

Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV% Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV%
Gustav Nyquist 60.9% 4.3% 53.3% -2.0% 30.2% 25.6% Milan Lucic 37.0% -7.4% 38.9% -8.3% 29.1% 30.4%
Riley Sheahan 70.8% 17.5% 66.7% 14.9% 30.4% 24.0% David Krejci 36.4% -7.8% 42.9% -2.8% 29.2% 31.1%
Tomas Tatar 64.5% 10.1% 61.9% 9.9% 30.4% 26.7% Jarome Iginla 36.7% -8.3% 38.9% -8.3% 29.2% 30.7%

Bottom 6

This is a match-up that the Wings need more out of. Jurco, Helm, and Alfredsson as a unit haven't been as effective as they should be, nor as they need to be. Watching them on the ice just seems meh most of the time. To be fair to Helmer's line however, Boston's 3rd line is better than a 3rd line on a lot of other teams, and this is where we start to see Detroit's depth run a little thin. Florek has a goal and Eriksson has an assist. For Detroit, Darren Helm has this line's lone point in the form of an assist.

Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV% Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV%
Tomas Jurco 63.6% 7.8% 60.0% 6.4% 28.5% 21.3% Justin Florek 56.5% 18.4% 68.8% 30.6% 26.7% 20.4%
Darren Helm 52.4% -6.6% 46.7% -10.5% 28.4% 25.5% Carl Soderberg 50.0% 10.0% 61.1% 21.5% 26.8% 23.8%
Daniel Alfredsson 55.0% -3.2% 50.0% -6.1% 27.9% 22.8% Loui Eriksson 57.1% 18.7% 64.7% 25.8% 26.9% 24.6%

The 4th line battle seems to be a pretty close one, but more importantly than the numbers below, is the fact that none of the Bruins on this line have a point yet, while Glendening has a goal and Drew Miller has an assist.

Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV% Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV%
Drew Miller 45.5% -15.6% 33.3% -27.4% 27.5% 21.8% Shawn Thornton 38.9% -4.3% 46.2% 1.3% 26.5% 16.6%
Luke Glendening 50.0% -9.7% 37.5% -22.5% 27.3% 22.6% Gregory Campbell 29.6% -17.6% 33.3% -15.7% 27.1% 22.0%
David Legwand 57.9% 0.4% 38.5% -20.2% 27.1% 20.1% Jordan Caron 33.3% -11.1% 42.9% -2.8% 26.6% 16.2%


The defense head-to-head match-ups were a bit more jumbled up, so it didn't make sense to me to try to analyze them that way. For the most part, the pairings in the following order were going head to head at even strength. In game 1, Danny DeKeyser and Kyle Quincey were our best defensemen, and through two games they've faced the toughest competition and have an incredibly impressive series leading 69.6% Fenwick. It seems to be a theme throughout the year, that whoever plays with DeKeyser plays well. I think the DeKeyser effect requires more research.

The Bruins have 3 points so far from their defense, Chara with a goal and Krug with 2 assists. I haven't compiled the data yet, but during the regular season, it seems like the games where the Wings score multiple goals, they were getting production form their defense, even if they weren't scoring goals, they were chipping in with assists. I think one of the keys to winning this series is going to be getting more offensive contributions from the defensemen. When the D get the puck to the forwards and help set up plays and goal, everything runs smoother and we score more goals.

Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV% Player CF% CF% rel FF% FF% rel 5v5 QoC TmEV%
Niklas Kronwall 43.8% -20.4% 44.4% -16.9% 29.2% 38.3% Zdeno Chara 34.1% -14.1% 32.1% -21.3% 30.2% 34.7%
Brendan Smith 43.6% -23.1% 43.8% -20.4% 29.6% 37.6% Dougie Hamilton 37.1% -8.2% 30.8% -22.6% 30.5% 27.3%
Danny DeKeyser 68.4% 17.6% 69.6% 21.6% 29.8% 34.3% Johnny Boychuk 48.5% 9.1% 60.9% 23.4% 27.9% 39.0%
Kyle Quincey 68.4% 17.6% 69.6% 21.6% 30.0% 35.7% Andrej Meszaros 53.6% 15.5% 59.1% 20.3% 28.0% 32.7%
Brian Lashoff 60.9% 4.3% 52.9% -2.6% 26.5% 24.2% Torey Krug 38.7% -5.4% 45.5% 0.6% 27.3% 33.8%
Jakub Kindl 59.3% 2.3% 55.0% 0.1% 27.0% 29.2% Kevan Miller 0.0% -55.6% 0.0% -50.0% 28.1% 39.1%
Corey Potter 50.0% 11.0% 55.6% 12.7% 26.9% 29.0%

*All numbers taken from ExtraSkater


  • With games 3 and 4 in Detroit, Babcock will have the opportunity to get different line match-ups if he so desires. I wonder if we'll see Glendening's line go up against either Bergeron or Krejci in a shut down role so Sheahan or Helm's lines can try to take advantage of a "lower" Boston line. If Glendning's line could keep Boston's 1st or 2nd line (depending on how you define the lines) from scoring, or render them at least mostly ineffective, the mismatch could work out well. I'm not sure if I think they can do it well enough though, but Babs could always try it to start the game and see how it goes. If it doesn't look like it's working in our favor, we at least have last change so Babcock can make whatever changes he wants to.
  • If I'm calling out lines we need more out of, I'm looking at the 2nd and 3rd lines. As I mentioned above, those are the two lines that, to me, we need to get more out of to win this series.
  • Is it game time yet?

Let's Go Red Wings!!!