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Strader's Blog: Observations in the West

Monday, 05.14.2007 / 12:15 PM ET / News
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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!

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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