Around the Rink – April 20th Edition

Hossa & UmbergerPhoto by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Today’s Around the Rink features a few postgame reactions from Game 2 on Saturday as well as thoughts on the series between the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets so far.

Game 2 Redux

Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily blogged about his postgame thoughts at Red Wings Corner. He remarked on the Wings’ dominance with the man advantage, including this snippet below:

The plays were working so well that the Jacket players could have been counted in the JLA attendance because they were doing little more than watching.

Matt Saler described the game in one simple sentence following Game 2 at his blog On the Wings: “Red Wings dominance interspersed with dumb Columbus decisions and the occassional Jacket scoring chance.”

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom became the first Red Wing to play in 17 consecutive postseasons according to Bob Duff at the Windsor Star. Saturday’s game marked his 216th playoff appearance, which is a franchise high and an NHL best for a European-born player.

Thoughts on the Series

Steph at No Pun Intended points out a great stat, “11 players picked up a point in yesterday’s game, and the Wings’ 8 playoff goals so far have come from 7 different players.” The Wings are such a tough matchup for so many teams because of their incredible depth and offensive potential from their secondary scoring. In Game 1, we saw the third line step up. On Saturday, the big names made the difference. This versatility on both offense and defense from all four lines will certainly pose a challenge for CBJ head coach Ken Hitchcock as he makes the last change on the ice in Game 3.

Kevin Allen of the USA Today writes about Chris Osgood’s playoff numbers, including his 14 postseason shutout placing him in an elite group of NHL goaltenders. Sports Illustrated’s Sarah Kwak comments on Chris Osgood’s play through two games.

Even the Red Wings’ supposed Achilles’ Heel, goalie Chris Osgood, has been outplaying Columbus’s rookie sensation, Steve Mason. The 15-year veteran has made all but one save in his first two games of the postseason, and Saturday he earned his 14th playoff shutout. Osgood said after Game 1 that the playoffs are his favorite time of year, and that perhaps his inconsistency this season was in part due to his anticipation for the postseason to begin. He’s proven it so far, raising his middling .887 regular season save percentage to an otherworldly .978 after two games.

Brian VanOchten of The Grand Rapids Press writes that Marian Hossa seems to be a perfect fit for the Wings. On the Wings’ agrees that Hossa is on the verge of posting a lot of offense numbers. IwoCPO at Abel to Yzerman commented on how badly it looks like Hossa wants to win.

Detroit’s physical play may not surprise Wings’ fans, but it seems Columbus underestimated Detroit’s physicality according to Ansar Khan at MLive.com. Darren Helm has made a noticeable impact in the game while playing on the fourth line. He leads the team with nine hits. Even Pavel Datsyuk is able to lay a hit when necessary.

Craig Custance of the Sporting News believes that CBJ’s best chance may be to hope for the regular season Red Wings to return this series.

Osgood smiled a little sheepishly while making an admission after the game. The regular season is boring compared to these playoff games. “Did we get a little bored at the end of the season? Maybe a little bit. It sounds bad, but it’s honest,” Osgood said.

Well, they’re engaged now and that’s bad news for the Blue Jackets. The best bet for Columbus is to lull the bored Red Wings back onto the ice. Maybe spotting them a 2-0 series lead will do that. Or maybe not.

Helene St. James writes in the Detroit Free Press that the Wings appear to simply want it more. Clint Clark blogs about CBJ for The Cannon has been impressed with the high level of play the Detroit has gone to in the first round.

Looking ahead at Game 3

The Red Wings will face off against the Blue Jackets in Columbus tomorrow at 7 p.m. EDT. The contest marks the first ever home playoff game for CBJ at Nationwide Arena and the home team expects the crowd to be rocking. The Hockey News’ John Grigg believes that the play of both teams’ netminders will determine the outcome of Game 3. Johan Franzen told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that he expects Rich Nash to elevate his game in front of the home crowd.

Both teams realize that the series is still not over, but Hitchcock realizes that the pressure is on Columbus heading into Tuesday’s game. Detroit head coach Mike Babcock is not afraid to remind his players and the media about the importance of not getting ahead of themselves. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reminds readers that the Wings grabbed a two-game series lead against Calgary in 2007 and Nashville in 2008 before dropping the next two on the road.

Around the Rink will return on Wednesday with postgame reactions and analysis from Game 3. Are you heading to Tuesday’s game in Columbus? If so, let us know in the comment section and feel free to share your pictures and thoughts about your experience after the game.

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This entry was posted in 2009 NHL Playoffs, Around the Rink, Detroit Red Wings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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