Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
  • RSS

Strader's Blog: Observations in the West

Monday, 05.14.2007 / 12:15 PM ET / News
Florida Panthers
Share with your Friends

Strader\'s Blog: Observations in the West
Hello Panther fans….

It’s Monday morning in Detroit and both conference final series are headed to game three. While Ottawa has grabbed a 2-0 series lead with a pair of road victories in the East, the Red Wings and Ducks are all knotted at 1-1 heading to Honda Center in Anaheim.

I’m covering the Detroit-Anaheim series for NHL Radio. Here are some observations after the first two games at Joe Louis Arena:

  • The Ducks have been the better team for most of the first two games. Coach Randy Carlyle and his staff came into this series with a game plan and they have executed it to near perfection. The Ducks have used a relentless checking and hitting formula to limit the highly skilled Wings to ZERO goals at even strength. The Wings’ 5 goals in the series consist of 4 power play tallies and a short handed goal. Anaheim has pounded the Wings with the hope of wearing down some of Detroit’s smaller and older players. While Detroit has stood up well physically to this point, Anaheim’s hope is that the Wings won’t be able to respond as the series progresses.
  • Dominik Hasek and Chris Chelios are amazing athletes. The NHL has become more of a “young man’s” game in recent years. Yet these two forty something players not only continue to compete, but they’re still making significant contributions. Hasek was the number one star of Detroits’ 2-1 win in game one (31 saves) and was brilliant again in game two. Chelios has seen his playing time go up since the injury to Mathieu Schneider in the last round. When Chelios goes into the corners against an opposing player, he’s still the one who usually comes out with the puck.
  • Ryan Getzlaf is the best player in the NHL that no one knows about. In the last series against Vancouver, Teemu Selanne was singing the praises of Getzlaf as a young player who would rival the likes of Crosby and Malkin if he played in the East. The 6’3 200 pound center has the skills to be a 120-130 point player according to Selanne, but “this team is not built to have one player score that many points”.
  • The game I’m watching in this series bears little resemblance to the game I covered in the East with the Florida Panthers all season. I know that officiating is a subjective thing and perhaps no other officials in pro sports have a tougher job, but if this series was called with the same obstruction standards that I witnessed during the season, there would have been 15-20 power plays in each of the first two games….maybe more. In most instances when  Detroit has dumped the puck into the Anaheim zone and attempted to retrieve it, the Ducks’ defense simply wouldn’t allow it. Sometimes it’s a subtle nudge…other times it’s a blatant push…but Detroit players could not take a direct path to the puck. The Ducks hold the line better than any team in the NHL and as long as they can get away with this tactic, it’s not going to change. All I know is that anytime a defending player moved out of his lane to impede a potential forechecker in the games I saw during the season, it was a penalty.
  • Congratulations to Hockey Canada on their gold medal at the World Championships in Moscow. Panthers’ GM/Coach Jacques Martin was an integral part of the management group that assembled the team that not only won the gold, but they became the first team in about 70 years to run the table. Congrats also to GM Steve Yzerman, Coach Andy Murray and all involved.
  • I visited with David Booth of the Panthers after game one at Joe Louis Arena. David is a Michigan native and attended the game with his brother. He’s looking forward to playing these types of intense playoff games as a Florida Panther!

Now it’s off to the airport and a flight to southern California….I’ll be back between games four and five of this series!




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01

FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd.
NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as a
ll other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.