Game in a Sentence:
Probably the most evenly matched series across the entire playoff landscape saw the Red Wings fall to the Predators in yet another 3-2 game.
- Another one of those games where there was so much tight checking that it was very hard to get a real grip on who’s doing what really well. Both of these teams play the possession game when they’re at their best and they went blow for blow. Would have had this up earlier for you folks but I wanted to go back and review a few moments.
- First things first, the Preds need to get off to a quick start on the road. Joe Louis has been a fortress all season long and you need to get that jab in against it to ease your comfort level. The quick start served them throughout the game regardless of the fact that the Wings drove the play for the most part.
- Shea Weber getting a goal early also set a positive tone for both #6 and the Predators. He looked uncomfortable for most of game two, but was much improved in game three. Two goals helped his confidence levels and made him a much more effective defender.
- Pavel Datsyuk is a marvellous hockey player. I have no better words for it than that. The Wings have Nik Lidstrom on the blueline and Datsyuk is the forward equivalent. It’s not something you can point to and say but it’s there but he is just so much smarter than most offensively skilled guys and he’s got more talent than you’d ever need in the first place.
- I watched Kevin Klein play a lot when he was in the OHL, I have followed his career through to Nashville and that goal was shocking. Like, woah. For a moment I thought Alex Radulov put the wrong jersey on.
- Speaking of which, where has Radulov gone? I noted after the last game between these two that Detroit looks as though they’ve done a great job to throw off his chemistry with his linemates. He only had one shot on goal today despite almost playing five minutes on the power play. The guy needs to be a catalyst for their offence, not a burden.
- Johan Franzen’s incident with David Legwand was bizarre. That’s the extent of my thought. Legwand pulling him was uncalled for but spearing anyone is a little much. I don’t know what to make of that. Has Ryane Clowe made interference from the bench the next market inefficiency?
- The Preds did well to get the Kostitsyns over the last two seasons. They’ve both played well this series.
- More Datsyuk love: Roman Josi should sit down and feel the shame. Pavel made him look silly.
- Hard to fault Detroit for all they did to try and bring this one back. They were absolutely dominant in the third period, they got 15 more shots on goal than the Predators did, they were a headache and a half for Nashville. They just couldn’t break through.
- After last game I posited that pretty much whichever goalie made those extra stops were going to be the victorious one. That’s not to say Jimmy Howard played badly, but Pekka Rinne was outrageous. The guy made 41 saves and several of them were jaw droppers.
- Nashville getting through the Detroit penalty kill fortress is also a good sign for them this series.
- Game four should be more of the same. Another 3-2 final? Seems about right.
My Three Stars:
1) Pekka Rinne
2) Shea Weber
3) Pavel Datsyuk