Game Four: The Hangover

The good thing about the panic in my Twitter timeline last night is that it means folks give a damn, right?Wild at Detroit Recap

 - 19:05...the amount of ice time Jonas Brodin played last night. Overall he looked like he fit in very well; there were the rare instances where he erred, but I've certainly seen worse debuts *cough*Maxim Noreau*cough*. He looks every bit of 172 pounds (soaking wet) so he will be taken advantage of in physical battles because of his slight frame.
- 60...shots attempted by Minnesota, but only 26 found the net, while 10 missed the net completely.
- 24...blocked shots by Detroit.
-  How bad is the second line playing? The team is better when they are off the ice. Look at the Goals For/60 min and Goals Against/60 min- Matt Cullen looks like the weak link too. The line struggles to produce shots on net despite the "scorer/playmaker/savvy veteran" combination, and is habitually outshot at even strength- a result of finishing in the offensive zone less than half of the time.
- On the contrary, the fourth line of Torrey Mitchell-Zenon Konopka-Darroll Powe are all increasing their zone finishes, despite starting their shifts buried in the defensive zone; Mitchell, in particular, had finished in the neutral zone or offensive zone in 14 of his 20 shifts- now that's what we call forward progress (62% Off. Zone Finish, despite 25% O-zone start. Crazy.)
- Now, on to Ryan Suter. I don't disagree that he's struggled some, which is to be expected with the indoctrination into a new system (and deprogramming numerous years of involuntary reaction from Nashville) and new defensive partners, but he is playing the toughest minutes on the blueline. The problem is that when he's on the ice he's backpedaling- and that's also reflected with the partners he's had this year; Jared Spurgeon and Tom Gilbert.
- However- Spurgeon and Suter have been "unlucky" so far, especially Spurgeon who's nursing a bruised foot. A shortened season may be a bit wonky, but the expectation should be that things should turn around both both offensively.
- Mikko Koivu continues to pass up shots; he had a number of opportunities to shoot last night, whether it was Even Strength or on the PP, and he chose not to- eight shot attempts might seem like alot, but honestly its not enough.
- Our best defensive pairing? Nate Prosser and Justin Falk. Not only are good things happening when they are on the ice, when they head off for a change, they leave their fellow blueliners more on the north end of the rink than south.
- Finally, I don't think we're that far off from really clicking; just looking at the numbers it may just be a few tweaks; however, the goaltending needs to stay sharp while things begin to click. That said, this team is struggling to score 5 on 5, and if it goes dry on the PP, it could be trouble. HOWEVER...our top line is doing what top lines should do- control the play.

3 comments:

  1. Possible Zucker call up to put in Cullen's spot on the second line?

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  2. No, I think you'll see PMB get moved up to Cullen's spot- which I think would be a huge boost to a line struggling to create shots.

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  3. good stuff Daniel....keep it coming buddy. My NHL ticket is a piece of junk.

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