Henrik Zetterberg had no goals through the first give games of the Ducks/Wings series, but with his team down 3-2, Zetterberg showed up when it mattered most and potted 3 goals and 5 points in the final two games as the Wings upset the Ducks.
There is no doubt you need depth to win in the playoffs, but if your star players don’t produce, it is unlikely your team will win. The Ducks got great production from depth guys like Emerson Etem, Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri (combined for 9 goals and 14 points), but their leading goal scorer in the regular season, Corey Perry, had no goals and only two points.
Zetterberg elevated his game when the Wings needed it, while Perry couldn’t deliver for the Ducks. In his previous 43 playoff games Perry had 18 goals and 40 points, and he proved he could produce when it mattered most, but he couldn’t this year and it cost the Ducks.
Perry has proven he can produce in the playoffs, but usually when your big guns don’t show a pulse offensively it is difficult for a team to win. If Perry had produced in either of the final two games, the Ducks likely would be facing the LA Kings instead of planning tee times.
For me, the difference in this series came down to Zetterberg elevating his play in games six and seven, while Perry struggled offensively.
- Boston gave up a 3-1 series lead vs. Habs in 2004, and a 3-0 series lead over Flyers in 2010. They lost both game sevens on home ice. Will they "choke" for a third time in nine years again tonight?
- Toronto has comeback from a 3-1 series deficit once in franchise history. In 1942, they trailed Detroit three games to none, before winning four straight.
- Speaking of struggling. The Marchand/Bergeron/Seguin line has combined for one goal and three points in six games while averaging 18:05 of TOI a game.
- The Washington Capitals hold the NHL record for surrendering the most 3-1 series leads. They’ve done it four times. They lost to the Islanders in 1987, Penguins in 1992 and 1995 and to Montreal in 2010.
- Stu MacGregor gave me his thoughts on the potential to trade the #7 pick as well as a report on a few draft prospects here. I’ll have full chat with MacGregor up tomorrow on the Nation.
- It was a great comeback win for the Red Wings, but the Blackhawks will be too much for them to handle. Hawks in 5. The Kings/Sharks series should be very competitive, but I picked Kings to repeat so I’ll stick with them. Kings in 7.
- Nova Scotia banned hitting for all levels of peewee, but they also banned it in Bantam and Midget for B and C level players? I’m not a fan of the latter considering the studies show there are more concussions in higher level peewee and bantam than there is in the lower levels. What if your son is a first year bantam and he is the final cut on the "A" team. Now he plays "B," but he doesn’t play with body checking, so I’d think he’d be at a huge disadvantage when trying out for the "A" team as a second year player. That is a concern for me.
- Some will argue that a kid playing Bantam "B" they isn’t going pro so it shouldn’t matter. Is hockey only about playing pro? I sure hope not. I suggest having two leagues. A non-checking and a checking league. Let your son decide at 13 if they want to play with checking or not. For many it is a fun part of the game, and many players never suffer a concussion. Rather than just ban checking overall in bantam and midget, come up with options for those who want to try checking. Just a thought.
- The Blues/Kings series was a prime example of the game being over-coached. It was all about defensive awareness and tight checking. For the sake of hockey I hope the Blues never win anything if they plan on playing that style.
- Ty Rattie finished his WHL career with a bang. He had a hat-trick vs. the Oil Kings last night and finished his career with 50 WHL playoff goals, the most in WHL history.
- Look for Oiler draft picks and Oil Kings’ David Musil, Travis Ewanyk and possibly Mitch Moroz to head down to OKC for the remainder of the AHL playoffs.
- A polite reminder to help support the MS Society and get your tickets for a great party this Friday night. Strudwick just returned from Sweden with some extra tight pants, and he said he’ll be rocking those on the Karaoke stage on Friday. We need to sell 80 more tickets, so try to make it out. Info here.