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04-06-2008, 01:13 PM
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Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
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thoughts about the series

ok, the euphoria of simply making the playoffs should be starting to wear off for most people by now... now is the time to begin thinking about the first series, and how and if this team could pull off a miracle type upset.

the season series was about as close as you can get.. 3-3-2 from our perspective of course... 19 goals scored, 20 goals allowed.... the team that scored the first goal wound up winning 6 of the 8 games, a little lower percentage than the entire seson, but still a huge indicator of who's going to win more times than not.

scoring by period against each other this year;
1st period... preds 6, wings 7
2nd period.. preds 4, wings 9
3rd period... preds 9, wings 3
OT period.... preds 0, wings 1
so, we've played them very even in the first, have sucked in the second (as we have against eveyone), and then dominated the third... part of the reason we've been so strong against them in the third admittedly was several of the games where they held big leads heading into the third and we fought back to make it close, but it's still been a general trend.

detroit has outshot us badly all year. in fact they outshot us in all 8 games, 6 of those games by 7 shots or more. overall they have averaged 36.5 shots per game against us, while we've only averaged 26.7 against them. (292 shots compared to 214). which lets you know, we simply have to get great goaltending to have a chance against this team, becuase they're going to get more shots, probably lots more. of course, this shot discrepancy is a little misleading i think, in that we have done a great job of keeping them to the outside and forcing low percentage perimeter shots against them even strength.. tons of their shots have come on their pp's against us honestly, we've simply not been able to stop them form entering the zone and getting set up with our pk all year really.

on the bright side, we've fairly well dominated the wings all year ever strength. we've outscored them 13-6 five on five. here's a goal breakdown by all types in the eight games;
4-on-4.. preds 0, wings 2
5-on-5.. preds 13, wings 6
5-on-4pp.. preds 4, wings 7
5-on-3pp... preds 0, wings 3
empty netters.. preds 1, wings 1
penalty shots.. preds 0, wings 1
4-on-5sh... preds 1, wings 0

...shows we must make them play us even strength. do that, and we have a chance.
...note how they've killed us on the pp. 10 pp goals in 8 games.
...note the 3 5-on-3 goals they've scored against us. critical thing for us to avoid of course.

special teams favor them heavily of course. they're 10 for 53 against us on the pp, 18.9%. while we're only 4 for 45 against them, only 8.9%. we have the only shortie, but they have killed us all year with their pp... note they've averaging more than 6.5 pp's per game against us. something we have to reduce in this series to have a chance...

of course, they draw so many pp's because they put so much pressure on us with their puck control. when a team is generating 36.5 shots per game against you, you're probably going to be forced to take some penalties. and the tremendous ease that they've gained the zone on their pp is what has caused us to take many 5 on 3 penalties as well.. add int he fact, that some of our main penalty killers, like smithson and nichol are very penalty prone, and you're playing with a loaded weapon here against their pp.

as a team, we're heavily to the plus side in plus/minus against these guys even strength.. player by player our plus/minus against them to identify trends;
erat +4, arnott +5, radulov +2, legwand +3 (4 games)
nichol +1, hlavec, +1, tootoo +1, fiddler even, dumont +1
...note bonk is our only minus forward at -3

hamhuis +3, zanon +4, weber +3, devries +3
zidlicky even, suter -2

as a team we're a total of +30 against them this year thanks to our even strength dominance. note zetterberg is a -5 against us.

our leading scorers against them, are pretty much as one would expect;
erat 8 points (4g/4a)
radulov 7 points (4g/3a)
dumont 7 points (2g/5a)
arnott 6 points (1g/5a)
we certainly need more goal scoring from arnott and dumont than this in this series however.

against us;
franson 8 points (6g/2a)
datysuk 6 points (3g/3a)
hudler 6 points (2g/4a)
zetterberg 5 points (1g/4a)
so we've done a good job on zetterberg, yet franson has killed us.

will start trying to think of how we best approach these guys and how we have to play over the next few days

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