Ducks Stat-urday: An Epic Series, Who Has The Edge In Game 7?

I want the puck on this guy's sick in Game Seven - Jeff Gross

How did we get here? And who has the edge in Game Seven?

After Friday night’s OT win (again, ugh) by the Red Wings, Detroit and Anaheim find themselves knotted at three in what has arguably been the best playoff series of the year. Let’s take a statistical look back at the first six games to see how we got here and who might have the edge in Game Seven.

Scoring

1st Period


2nd Period


3rd Period


OT


Total


Ducks

3

4

11

1

19

Red Wings

5

2

5

3

15

Advantage

DET +2

ANA +2

ANA +6

DET +2

ANA +4

There’s a reason these games keep going to OT. Detroit is consistently getting ahead early and the Ducks are using the rest of the game to roar back. Unfortunately, they’re losing OT 3-1, which is why we’re heading back to Anaheim tomorrow instead of preparing for the Kings.

Goal-scoring in this series favored the Ducks early on (especially after Game Three), but with the last three games in the series (and four of six overall) needing OT to decide things, the overall totals are expectedly close. The Ducks are currently clicking at 3.2 goals per game, good for 6th overall in the playoffs, while Detroit’s 2.5 goals per game puts them squarely in the middle of the playoff pack at 8th.

Advantage: Anaheim, by the slimmest of margins

Special Teams

PP Opps


PP Goals


PP%


PK%


SHG


Ducks

21

6

28.6%

73.9%

1

Red Wings

23

6

26.1%

71.4%

0

Advantage

DET +2

Even

ANA +2.5%

ANA +2.5%

ANA +1

As much as we bitch and moan about PP opportunities (and I’m one of the most guilty), the fact that the Red Wings only have two more penalties than the Ducks is fairly remarkable. And it’s because of those two extra PPs that Anaheim’s special teams play looks slightly better. The Ducks and Red Wings have both connected on 6 PP goals throughout the 12 games (an average of 1 per game per team, yay simple math), though the Ducks have edged the Red Wing shorthanded. Now, there’s no way to measure the timeliness of these penalties or goals that are scored immediately after they end (like the Detroit’s goal last night). Overall though, I expected the numbers to say that the Ducks’ special teams play to be worse than it has been.

Advantage: Anaheim, again, by the slimmest of margins

Puck Possession

Shots For


Takeaways


Giveaways


Hits


FO%


Ducks

192

22

44

181

47.9%

Red Wings

186

27

62

143

52.1%

Advantage

ANA +6

DET +5

ANA +18

ANA +38

DET +4.2%

Yet again, we get a set of really closely matched stats. Shots are so close that statistically, the difference is negligible. The only major areas of difference are giveaways (my eyes bugged out at our +18 advantage there, don’t we always turnover the puck?), hits (not a surprise), and faceoff percentage (sadly, also not a surprise). It’s hard to say exactly which of these is most important, but as we’ve had three OT games decided within the first few minutes, faceoffs won and lost have been pretty well magnified in this series. That 4.2% increase for Detroit works out to be 16 more occasions where they’ve started out with the puck than we have. In a close series like this, that could be a pretty big deal.

Advantage: Detroit, barely, because they keep winning faceoffs. Jerks.

Star Power

Goals


Points


+/-


Shots


Ryan Getzlaf

3

5

2

11

Corey Perry

0

2

0

20

Teemu Selanne

1

3

2

15

Bobby Ryan

2

4

1

14

Total


6


14


5


60


Goals


Points


+/-


Shots


Pavel Datsyuk

2

7

1

17

Henrik Zetterberg

2

6

1

24

Niklas Kronwall

0

1

-2

5

Johan Franzen

3

3

-5

20

Total


7


17


-5


66


First off, if you’re a bitchy Detroit fan and you want to say I picked the wrong people, too bad. I’m not an expert on your stupid team and I don’t pretend or want to be one. That said, this is another pretty close area. Datysuk and Zetterberg are absolutely driving their team through the playoffs, with both of them having recorded more points than any Duck has in the series. Shots are pretty even (though admittedly, I included a defenseman for them instead of four forwards), but the +/- is sort of surprising. As annoying as Franzen has been on the PP (and seriously, move that guy’s ass), he’s been a total liability at even strength.

For the Ducks, it’s pretty sad that Getzlaf has as many goals as the other three star forwards combined. Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne have both been non-factors in this series and Bobby isn’t shooting enough. Unfortunately, when he does score, we promptly give up the next goal, which ends up being a back-breaker. So unless you’re scoring a hattie Bobby, no more goals for you in this series. Not because I don’t want you to succeed, but because it puts some weird hex on this team where they just stop playing afterward. I don’t get it, either.

Advantage: Detroit

Overall Advantage: Even

I really wanted to not have this end up a tie, but it pretty much is. The Ducks have done some things better than Detroit, but the Red Wings are doing a better job of maintaining puck possession at key moments and their star players are leading the way. I expect a pretty evenly matched Game Seven, but if Teemu and Perry decide to wake up, anything could happen. For the Ducks, they’ll need to neuter the Detroit power play and find ways to win more faceoffs.

My heart says that the Ducks have played an outstanding series and that they probably deserve to advance. My head says that this series shouldn’t even be this close, given that two of our stars haven’t done much of anything yet. At this point, I’m just hoping the every-other-game trend holds, and that the Ducks win tomorrow.

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