Ducks Lead Series 2-1
Game 3 Tweet of the Night:
Think about this guys. One of the Detroit fans has to go home with an octopus still in his pants!— Dark Knight (@ShadowOftheBat) May 5, 2013
Scoring: Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with four points (2-2-4). Nick Bonino is the only other Duck with multiple goals on the series. Damien "Homestar" Brunner surprisingly leads the Wings with three points (1-2-3) whileJohan Franzen is the only Red Wing with multiple goals (two, both in Game 2).
Goaltending: Jonas Hiller's Game 3 shutout boosted his numbers to a 1.99 GAA and .922 Sv%. Meanwhile, Jimmy Howard is languishing at 3.33 GAA and .885 Sv%.
Who's Hot? Aside from the Ducks listed above, that Teemu Selanne guy isn't bad. His assist to Emerson Etem in the third period of Game 3 was a thing of beauty, which brings me to the point I actually wanted to make. PLEASE let Etem stay up on the second line with Teemu and Bones. This was the first time in a long time that he's been free of the fourth line and it immediately resulted in a goal. Also the Penalty Kill was pretty damn good in Game 3 going 6-for-6 with a shorty. Still, it would be nice to see the PK called upon a little less going forward since they're only at a 75% success rate in the playoffs.
Hopefully that Game 3 shutout cooled off everyone in red, but don't bet on it. Striking out on the Power Play on Saturday dropped Detroit down to fourth in the playoffs, with a still very high conversion rate of 25%. The Wings have nine players with at least a point on the PP.
Who's Not? Corey Perry still only has one point in the series, an assist on Bonino's game winner on Saturday. While we need him to step up offensively in order to make any kind of real run this postseason, I'm not too concerned with his lack of production yet. Anecdotally, he seems to be getting some chances but more importantly he is contributing by getting all up in Jimmy Howard's grill. Speaking of which....
Holy shit, did you see Jimmy Howard's numbers up there? Robby's series preview on Howard was all doom and gloom. He'd completely owned the Ducks with a career GAA of 2.00 and .933 Sv%, not to mention a .942 Sv% against Anaheim this year, including a game where he got lit up for four. In this series he has been a sieve. Particularly in the third period of Game 2 pucks were going through him like Slimer through Peter Venkman. Is anyone else afraid he's going to become the bastard child of Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek soon?
The obvious story line going into Game 4 is Justin Abdelkader's two game suspension for charging Toni Lydman. On top of it being a turning point in Game 3, the losses of Abdelkader and Lydman figure to shake up their respective lineups a bit. As Eric Stephens reported via twitter yesterday, Sheldon Souray will be in for Lydman, despite calls around here for Sami Vatanen to see his first playoff action.
The Detroit situation is a little more complicated. Winging it in Motown suggested in their morning skate post that Todd Bertuzzi get subbed into Abdelkader's spot on the top line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, despite him being largely ineffective in Game 2, his first since Feb. 7 (back injury), and being scratched in Game 3. But according to the line rushes Stephens posted (paywall) Bert will be inserted on the third line and Mikael Samuelsson get's bumped up to the top line. Also, Samuelsson's going to get it, and Pavel better tell him. Oh, and Pavel's going to get it too.
On a more whimsical note, my friend Brett texted me yesterday asking whether I was concerned that this series is shaping up as a mirror image of the 2007 WCF between Detroit and Anaheim. The higher seed won the first game, then the lower seed stole home ice in overtime of Game 2, followed by a blow out from the higher seed in Game 3, including a suspension for one of the lower seeded players (Pronger one game for elbowing Tomas Holmstrom). My reply was that the '07 Ducks were MUCH better than this year's incarnation of the Wings, but let's hope the similarities end with the number of games on the suspension.
Also, full magumbo disclosure: I DVR'd a Hallmark Channel made for TV movie about Gordie Howe last night, but I refuse to watch it until the series is over.