With the playoffs on the horizon, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, and little splash of opinion for seasoning. This is my attempt at providing that.
2) Anaheim Ducks vs. 7) Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head in 2013: 2-1 Detroit
A stat: Henrik Zetterberg is riding a streak of four straight multi-point games.
Goal differentials: Anaheim +22, Detroit +9
Shots-per-game: Anaheim: 28.1 (21st), Detroit: 30.1 (10th)
Shots-against-per-game: Anaheim: 27.9 (9th), Detroit: 27.5 (7th)
DET: Jimmy Howard: .923 save percentage, 2.13 goals-against-average
ANA: Jonas Hiller: .913 save percentage, 2.36 goals-against-average
Viktor Fasth: .921 save percentage, 2.18 goals-against-average
DET: Pavel Datsyuk, 49 points in 47 games
ANA: Ryan Getzlaf, 49 points in 44 games
Reason to watch: There’s no shortage of offensive star power – Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Selanne, Datsyuk, Zetterberg – but also, we could be looking at an upset. After their hot start, the Ducks are limping into playoffs.
Lately: Ducks: 5-4-1, Red Wings: 5-2-3 (four straight wins)
Injuries (via NHL.com): “Darren Helm (back) and Drew Miller (finger) are out for the Red Wings, while Mikael Samuelsson (pectoral) and Todd Bertuzzi (back) are questionable. … Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower body) is questionable.”
News: Some of the older gents on the Ducks – Selanne, Koivu, Souray and so on – know this could be their last chance.
First game: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EST
Flippant barstool opinion: Upset potential, if you can call the Red Wings beating the Ducks an upset. Also, this is probably the series I’ll watch the least.
My best hope for this series is that both team’s deficiencies, of which there are a few, come to the forefront and we see some defensive meltdowns and fun goals. In reality, I think Mike Babcock is going to coach a team with less talent past the Ducks because he’s one of the games foremost tacticians.
Prediction: Red Wings in six.
Your NHL.com preview: