Probably the best opponent that the Wings could realistically get.
Anaheim seemed to slow down a little at the end of the regular season, going 5-4-1.
They are still a good team, had 22+ goal differential, second best in west. 8th in GF, 11th in GA. 5th best team in the league in 5-on-5 hockey. 4th best PP, 13th on PK.
There has been much talk about their fenwick/shot differential; it's not good. They get outshot, usually not indicator of good team. But imo by eye-test, they are good team. I'm no expert with Ducks, but I like they way they play. When I saw them, they were mostly very relentless. Just kept coming at you, checked hard, played very physical.
Ducks have good depth, 15 players scored 10 or more points; 10 with Wings.
They have good balance of vets (The Finns, Souray), prime aged players (Perry, Ryan, Beauch, Getz) and kids (Fowler, Etem, Palmieri).
Their lineup is probably something like (from Ducks board)
Ryan - Getzlaf - Perry
Maroon - Bonino - Selanne
Winnik - Koivu - Cogs
Beleskey - Steckel - Palmieri
Souray - Beauch
Lydman - Fowler
Allen - Vatanen
With Hiller on net
With the possibility that Palmieri is on the second line. And Sbisa on D.
3rd line seems to be more of a shutdown line, getting most starts in d-zone. Steckel gets a lot too, bc of his face-off ability.
Perry and Getz don't get 'Sedin treatment' in a sense that they play against the toughest competition and start slightly more at D-zone. They are def. the big guns, scoring a lot, but also getting scored on a fair amount; but they still outscore the opposition by around goal per 60min.
On D, Beaucheamin-Souray is the clear top pairing. And they played well against tough competition. Both were +19. All pairings play a lot in a sense that Beauch got the most ice time with avg of 23:27, the least got Lovejoy at 17:49 or Vatanen at 15:49.
Ducks don't draw a lot of penalties; 5th last in the league at home, 3rd last on the road. Wings drew 2nd most and 4th most respectively.
But Ducks take the 13th most penalties at home, and 15th on road. Wings at 8th and 18th respectively.
Hiller vs. Howard is pretty fair battle. Howard had better numbers but I still think they are pretty close. Hiller's start wasn't that great either.
Nice breakdown, but the Wings have a decided advantage in net in this one. Hiller has not been the same players since getting hurt in an All-star game.
There D is not that fast except the guys that make frequent mistakes. I like this matchup a lot, wonder if Bruce will try desperately to get Getzlaf and Perry away from Datsyuk and Zetterberg, if not I like this even more.
Also on those numbers a couple of those depth players had a lot of points during their hot start and have cooled. Will be interesting to see what they look like in terms of matching up with us, they haven't been overly impressive the last couple times I have seen them. They want to counter attack, so if you keep them hemmed in they get in to trouble. They don't dictate the game or tempo like most heavyweight seeds which is in our favor in my opinion.
i think you guys summed it up stats wise and i agree with both of you absolutely our best match up .....one thing you never mentioned about the ducks is they re emotion..i think if we get the pressure on them early they collapse perry getlaf and even ryan who is usually pretty cool broke down hard when we pressured them and got ahead ...breaking sticks fighting we have to take it too them early and too too is gunna be important as well
The main thing to me is the Ducks are good at blocking shots and Detroit likes shooting the puck into people. I would love to see the Wings turn the table and beat them like the Ducks did when Giggy beat us that series.
i wouldn t say chicago owned the wings considering 3 games went to ot and 2 of those they scored with less than 3 minutes less to take it to ot....chicago smoked us in an afternoon game in whick statistically the wings are horrible not to mention anything that could go wrong went and everything they touch bounced in....typically this year anyway detroit played better against tougher teams and i think they had something to prove with chicago granted the ducks is a softer matchup but we would have played the hawks tough and they knew that
i agree they are easily frustrated and as in most playoffs that are defensively sound the first and second lines will cancel each other out ...our gus brunner andy line has looked good im just worried about they re size and getting worn down by much larger bodies
Anaheim's had a great supporting cast this season, especially one of the better third lines out there. I don't think they have any intimidating factor, but it will be key for our 3rd line to match theirs. In order to do that I'd probably bump Nyquist up and put Filppula down to center the 3rd line, with Samuelsson and Brunner on the wings. Put Andersson on the 4th with Emmerton and Eaves/Tootoo.
You can also hope to create a goalie controversy for them, lit Hiller up early in the series and they might turn to Fasth who has never played in the NHL playoffs. Once that ball gets rolling..
I'm expecting 6 or 7 games. Gonna be interesting to see if Wings can embrace the underdog role.