OT-Wings vs Sharks

Submitted by SCarolinaMaize on April 29th, 2011 at 8:44 AM

So tonight we get round two of last year's matchup against the Sharks.  The two main points that keep coming up are:

Are the Wings well rested or will the long layoff make them have a slow start?

Does the quick sweep of the Coyotes (instead of last year's long fought series) mean the Wings should handle the Sharks this year?

Personally, I think the layoff will help, and they should come out strong with fresh legs.  I'm hoping they can win tonight, or at the worst on Sunday, to keep the team confidence up.  Has anyone heard if Zetterberg will be in the lineup?


Mitch Cumstein

April 29th, 2011 at 8:57 AM ^

I know the game is on Vs tonight, but is it also on CBC?

Also, I definitely agree the rest is a good thing.  Getting a split in SJ is what I'm looking for out of the first 2 games. 


April 29th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

As a Sharks fan, I have to say that you wings fans have to feel good about the way our D was playing last round, not to mention that Niemi struggled mightily in goal early in games. 

Here's hoping Boyle & co. are smarter with the puck, and Niemi stops giving up so many rebounds. 

As a Michigan fan, I have too many wings fans to place wagers with them all, but in an effort for unity after the dust settles, all of my bets are food based this year.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

Detroit's depth has always been one of their biggest strengths.  I think that the play of Ericsson, Libda, and Kronwall will be key.  If they can contain the 3rd and 4th lines of the Sharks and allow the forwards to forecheck and keep the pressure on Niemi, we can get a lot of pucks to bounce our way.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:10 PM ^

The fact that the Wings have destroyed Niemi (and goalies like him) keeps me from feeling too worried about this series. Detroit just has an advantage with smaller athletic goalies (and a huge disadvantage with 6'4+ butterfly goalies). I know Niemi is 6'2 but he's not a goalie that sets up in the butterfly and doesn't move. For some reason Detroit is normally able to beat up on goalies like this.

My prediction is Detroit in 6.

Also, Z is in tonight (Holland said so yesterday on Puck Daddy Radio) and a couple of the games are on FSD as well as CBC. So minimum Versus coverage is possible.


April 29th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

You mention the possibility of limiting Versus broadcasts, which I assume you're in favor of simply because of the large number of people who don't get it. Availability aside, however, what's the scuzzlebutt 'round these parts on Versus' broadcasts? I've been pleasantly surprised by the playoff games they've shown so far - specifically their generally "no-frills" style (vis-a-vis unnecessary graphics, commentators who care more about hearing themselves than the game, etc.). They do sometimes have a tendency to lose the puck, and will occasionally switch to a stupidly placed camera in situations where the traditional view would work fine, but it beats having to listen to an ESPN crew fellate themselves/each other for 3 hours.

Optimus Hart

April 29th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

Personally most of my preferences for coverage are based on the commentators, and Mickey and Ken on FSD are impossible to beat when it comes to the Wings.  CBC typically has some insightful people too, so I give them the edge over VS by a little bit.  NBC/ESPN are the absolute worst.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

Zetterberg and Franzen are both supposed to play from what I've heard.

I think it's going to be a tough series. Certainly better than last year, where the quick turnaround from a 7-game slog against Phoenix sapped the team, but the Sharks are a very good team, especially up front. I'd even go as far to say they're arguably deeper than Detroit is. Detroit probably has an overall advantage defensively, and San Jose has a slight advantage in net.

Detroit is going to have to play 60(+) minutes each night if they want this series. If they play like they did against Phoenix, where they had some problems in the 3rd period, it could prove deadly against the likes of Thornton, Marleau, Heatley, Pavelski, etc. They also need to fix whatever was wrong with the PK against Phoenix. You can't let a team score on 33.3% of your PKs and hope to win with regularity, and certainly not against a team as good as San Jose.

Niemi shouldn't have a series as bad as what Bryzgalov had in Round 1, as he's proven to be a very good playoff goalie (though Chicago's defense last year was very, very good and helped him out a lot). Datsyuk's magic hands and Holmstrom's magic ass are going to have to be evident from the outset if they want to put enough pucks past him to win. I fully expect Zetterberg to play his normal playoff hockey now that he's had time to heal up, and Franzen should add the few goals you always get from him come playoffs.

I'm leaning towards saying Detroit in 6, as I think Detroit is going to have a big advantage in the games at Joe Louis when they can nullify the Sharks top forwards. I think they grab one of the first two games at the Shark Tank and clean up at JLA.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

It truly is something to behold. For a guy in the NHL, his skating, shooting, puckhandling, etc. are all terrible. But he's so good at screening goalies and getting his shit kicked out in front of the net that he's carved out a place for himself amongst the best hockey players in the world. He's one of the few players that is hated by the other 29 teams for reasons not associated with world-class skills or dirty play.

Blue In NC

April 29th, 2011 at 9:51 AM ^

I will disagree in that I think Homer's puck handling skills are way underrated and above average.  Between the tips and the way he controls the puck behind the net, his skills with the puck are pretty good.  Plus he has had some beautiful moves but they rarely show up because of his lack of speed and shiftiness.  

But your general point is correct in that he is below average in all those other areas but still an impact player because of his will and his role.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:17 PM ^

I think missing Z really hurt the PK. It seemed like most of the goals on the PK were scored in the final 20 seconds of the PK which either is due to fatigure or the 3rd forward pairing not doing it's job. Having Z adds PK depth and lets our 7th PK forward option sit on the bench from now on.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:20 AM ^

I think that the long rest will be a huge help to the Wings. I'll be at a concert tonight, so I have to miss the game, but it's nice to have them back on again after such a long break...

GO WINGS! They're the only red team that's okay.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:40 AM ^

I was hoping this thread would already be started i've been waiting for the wings to resume playing again. The wings should come out rested and fresh i don't see them starting slow. With Hank and Mule returning to the lineup it should give everyone a boost. They always have the feeling of going out last year against the sharks in their minds. They already know that there going to have to match or out do the sharks energy. The problem is can the sharks keep that up for a 7 game series. There a big size team that doesnt have elite endurence. The play of Helms line should be a huge difference. The sharks roll 3 lines. While the wings can roll 4. Everyone on detroit can contribute while the sharks are extreamly top heavy. Last year the wings went 7 games in the previous series and detroit got one day of rest while still being on the road. They got shafted by the NHL on that one. While the sharks got 5 days of full rest and didn't have to travel anywhere. Also a thing of note from last years series. Detroit had 23 total power play chances while San Jose had 31, 8 more chances in a 5 game series that seems a bit much. The wings gave them 10 PP in game 2. While Detroit had 4. Seems extreame. The wings actually out scored the sharks in the series 17-15 thanks to a huge game four effort from the mule. Detroit also never lost a game by more than 1 in that series. Pavelski was the sharks hottest player comming into the series and helped them get off to a extreamly quick start. 


April 29th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

No San Jose does not roll 4 lines there 4th line plays an average of 5-7 min a game. Thats like 10-13 shifts. Darren Helm and Co. Also play more than 10 a game and are the Main PK's. And as for your "depth" You have 7 doubble digit scorers. The wings have 13. Collectively the wings socre more goals as well. The Sharks are extreamly top heavy. The sharks will go as far as Big Joe can go. That team really gets bogged down when he cant get going. Also is Nemi your goalie or Niittymaki? Teams who have lack of goaltending usuallyend up golfing about a week later.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

...but, I have a bad feeling about this matchup. I am just thinking that this might be SJ's year to push hard enough to win it all. They are a good team, well balanced, and their coach is pretty good too. I think these two teams match up pretty well, it could go to 7 but I think SJ pulls it out. I hope not, so GO Wings!


April 29th, 2011 at 9:45 AM ^

is on Fox Sports Detroit; it will be blacked out on Versus- I personally like watching the game on FSD because Ken Daniels is the best play-by-play man in hockey today.


Detroit and San Jose are nearly identicial teams minus their team colors. They both can rol4 lines, strong and skilled offensive forwards, consistent defensive players and decent special teams.

I believe that the difference in this series will come down between the pipes. Jimmy Howard has been solid in net for the Wings through the first four playoff games. Sharks goaltender Anti Niemi has been very inconsistent for San Jose. He has been pulled twice in six games by an LA offense that was missing their best player. As long as Howard remains consistent between the pipes for Detroit, RED WINGS WIN IN SIX.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

Technically it's called a preemption and it's not a blackout. Blackouts are only in and around where the game will be held and are put in place to encourage ticket sales.

Preemptions are where the national coverage won't be shown in a local market where the local network will cover the game. Fox Sports Detroit will cover this game so Versus cannot show the game in the FSD region. Anywhere else in the country (except SJ) the game will be available on Versus. 



April 29th, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

it's easy to have a snap reaction and say "oh shit - Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski ".  But on the other hand a Sharks fan says "oh Gosh - Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen".

This is going to be a whale of a series.  


Wings in in a hard-fought 6. 


April 29th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

Agreed. Ken Daniels is fantastic, and the shameless homerism from Mick is hilarious. Objectivity is a four letter word in the Redmond house.

I also see alot of similarites between SJ and Det., but I think Niemi, plus their physicality and speed gives them a bit of an edge on D. I expect to see alot of disruption in the neutral zone and some frustrating dump and chase. SJ having home advantage makes me a little nervous, but offensively, if the Wings can get some of the matchups they want especially at home, I don't think SJ's got the depth to keep up. Now if the Wings bench stays hot like they've been, I see Det. in 6. What were there, 13 or 14 different goal scorers against Phx?


April 29th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

Howard has looked far from good.  Phoenix is not a talented team--I get respecting your opponents but no, sorry just doesn't work.  His rebound control is still abysmal.  SJ has finishers around the net that can bury those loose pucks.  That's what scares me.  Oh and SJ getting a two 2 minute 5-3s every game.  Those too.  I always found it hilarious how the Wings go from one of the least penalized teams in the regular season to one of the most in the playoffs, especially the past couple of seasons.  If I wasn't such a Wings fan, I'd quit on this league.  NHL officiating is as big of a joke as the NBA.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

Rebound control is a BS quality. Rebounds that go directly to an opponent can be trouble but just as often having a small rebound can lead to a goal. Sometimes by allowing a huge rebound Howard is actually making a smart move by letting the puck leave the scoring hot zone around the net and often the puck goes by the forward who is flying to the net. 

By definition a small rebound is going to stay in a more dangerous spot than a long rebound. I can't count how many times in a game a long rebound goes flying past the forward crashing the net because the forward assumes the rebound is going to stay in front of him. 

I never played goalie but my sister (who splits the starting goalie job for a team that just finished runner's up in the D-III playoffs) told me her goalie coach encourages them to sometimes allow a big rebound if their defense is being beaten back to the net. It's safer than allowing a small rebound when nobody but the goalie is around to compete with the opponent who's looking to tap in the loose puck.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:52 PM ^

I've played goalie--I'm not saying I'm a great expert and all but we were always taught long rebounds to the boards.  Howard's rebounds tend to stick around the goal area, which is why it's a level of concern.  What you said is right, but Howard isn't great at directing his rebounds away to the boards like a Legace was, for example. 


April 29th, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

That's what "rebound control" as a quality actually means.  The goalie determines where the rebound goes.  On a low pad save, it is impossible to hold the puck so a goalie will direct it to the corner if possible.  Same with blocker shots.  With anything to the chest or glove, control means there is no rebound at all.  I think Luongo actually struggles a lot with rebound control off his pads, but then again he also turns in awesome shut out performances in the playoffs. Jimmy has a long way to go.  


April 29th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

Rinne's got alot of teams' numbers. Dude's just that good. That said, I was really hoping for Nashville cuz I don't see a whole lot of winning lines for them against Det. That and just too much depth for the Wings. Rinne can be lights out, but he doesn't have enough offense playing in front of him.


April 29th, 2011 at 1:36 PM ^

yeah.  Against a healthy and well rested Wings? Rinne can steal a game or two but not a series.  Not having to travel to SJ would be real nice, especially IF (knock on wood) we have to play Vancouver next round too.  The light travel and home ice would be real nice.  SJ is gonna go 6-7 and I think Nashville would go 6 games easy so yeah, Nashville wins out too in my mind.


April 29th, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^

fired up and ready to play some strong aggressive hockey. I'm taking it Zetterberg is back in the lineup tonight or is there no word on his status as of right now? Howard will play solid in net like he always does but one thing that drives me nuts about the Sharks is how much they love to goon opposing goalies and it pisses me off and Howard will be reminding them "this is my crease buddy." Clowe, Pavelski, Thorton and Marleau will be key in shutting down their scoring game. Big Joe always gives me a bad chill down my spine when he has room to work. Niemi knows this Wings team all to well but I guarantee you Datysuk will throw some moves at him as will Helm and Franzen. Were veterans in this league so we know how to get the job done. Detroit wins tonight.