Sunday, April 28, 2013

Red Wings / Ducks series preview: Ducks vs Dynasty

The Red Wings have made it into their 22nd playoffs in a row by playing their best hockey in their last 5 games of the season, they’ll have to play the same dominating hockey if they want to win against the Ducks.
Since April 12th, the Red Wings have gone 5-1-2 for 12 points out of a possible 16 points. But the most important stats for me is the goaltending: Jimmy Howard played in 13 games in the month of April and finished 7-3-3 with a 1.44 GAA (2nd for goalies who played 10 games or more, only behind Elliot who had outstanding results) and .942 SV% (3rd for goalies who played 10 games or more), plus he had 3 shutouts. In other words, Jimmy is on the top of his game at the right time, and so is the Red Machine. Special teams are firing on all cylinders, with the PP firing at 21 % and the PK stellar, with a 91 %. The standard for special teams is supposed to be PK + PP = 100 %, so the Wings are going strong. And most importantly, the Red Wings outscored their opponents 23 to 11 along these 8 games.

Now enough about the Wings, what about the Ducks?

Since April 10th, the Ducks have gone 4-3-1 for 9 points out of a possible 16 points and were outscored 19 to 17 over that span. The Fasth and Hiller duo did respectfully well, with Fasth starting 9 games and going 4-3-1 with a 2.02 GAA and a .925 SV% with two shutouts. Hiller went 3-2-0 with 1.94 GAA and .931 SV%. Getzlaf (11 points), Perry (8 points) and Palmieri (8 pts) did ok in April, but Selanne and Ryan have been cold.

But enough about the un-sexy stats, what about the head-to-head stats? The Red Wings won 2 out of the 3 meetings against the Ducks this year, with Miller notching the game-winner on the 1st Red Wings win and Datsyuk getting the GWG on the second one. Andrew Cogliano got the GWG for the Ducks on the first meeting of the season. For the all-time stats, Detroit has won the playoff series three times (1997, 1999 and 2009) while Anaheim has won two times (2003 and 2007)

The two teams are evenly matched and have animosity, with the Datsyuk – Perry fight being the best part of it. I really think Detroit's depth matches Anaheim's goaltenders and Detroit wins this one in 6. Here's hoping.