We still have the West to cover, so let’s get to it…
Jan. 8: at
Feb. 1: at
While there are a few members of the 2001-2002 Red Wing team – the last to face Colorado in the post-season – with the 2008 club, there aren’t many Avalanche from that year with this year’s version of the club (Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Adam Foote, Peter Forsberg), but we still might see some fireworks outside the strict boundaries of the rulebook.
In this year’s season series, though, here is how the Red Wings fared:
Goals for/against: 11/2
Power play goals for/against: 2/0
Even-strength goals for/against: 9/2
Power play: 2/13 (15.4%)
Penalty killing: 11/11 (100.0%)
Record: one-goal games: 1-0-0
Record, 3+ goal games: 1-0
For the Red Wings, their defense – obviously – has been stifling.
Part of this is due, no doubt, to
Looking at the Red Wing’s top scorers this year:
Pavel Datsyuk: 1-5-6, +7
Henrik Zetterberg: 3-0-3, +4 (three games)
Nicklas Lidstrom: 0-1-1, +4
Brian Rafalski: 0-2-2, +2 (three games)
Daniel Cleary: 0-0-0, +2 (three games)
Datsyuk and Zetterberg have done the bulk of the scoring, but account for only four of the 11 total goals scored by the Red Wings, and the other top season scorers were held without a goal. Where did the rest come from? Valeri Filppula accounted for three of the remaining seven goals, four different players splitting the last four. Seven players in all split 11 goals. It speaks to the remarkable balance
If there is one other player, though, who could leave a big red welt on the Avalanche’s playoff hopes, it is Johan Franzen. While he was only 0-1-1, even, in four games against the Avalanche, he was 15-5-20, +5 in his last 16 regular season games and was 2-1-3, +2 in the opening round series against Nashville.
In goal, Dominik Hasek was 3-0-0, 0.67, .966, with two shutouts against the Avalanche this year. And he’s the goalie who won’t be starting. Chris Osgood is likely to get the call; he was 1-0-0, 0.00, 1.000, and one shutout in his only appearance against
For the Avalanche, their top scorers did the following in their regular season contests with the Red Wings:
Paul Stastny: 0-0-0, -2 (two games)
Andrew Brunette: 0-0-0, -1
Wojtek Wolski: 0-0-0, -4
Joe Sakic: did not play
Except for Hejduk, given that Sakic did not play against the Red Wings this year, these are not your father’s – or maybe your older brother’s – Avalanche. And only half of the players (ok, there are only two) who actually scored a goal against the Red Wings will play in this series. Cody McLeod, stand and be counted.
The Avalanche have to get scoring from somewhere in the series, and Sakic is the obvious player to look at for it. Even on a prorated basis though (he scored 13 goals in 44 games this year), it would have been his slowest 82-game goal scoring pace for his career. He was 2-4-6, even, in the
In goal, Jose Theodore received no support from the offense, and he went 0-2-0 as a result, even though his 2.53 GAA and .923 save percentage against the Red Wings was more than respectable. Does Theodore have a shutout (or three) in him for this series? It might take a game (or three) like that to give
The ghosts of playoffs past – the Red Wings have gone past this round only twice in the last eight tries. The Red Wings are a regular season wonder, but they seem to find a way to fall in the playoffs.
In the end…
If the Red Wings do falter again, they will do it to themselves. On paper,
Red Wings in six