The Anaheim Ducks roll into Joe Louis Arena tonight. They are currently dead last in the Western Conference and 27th overall in the NHL. Detroit occupies the 11th spot in the West, as everyone else in the West seemed to win on Wednesday. These are two teams that slugged it out in the Western Conference Semi-Final last year to determine the Stanley Cup Champion. If Anaheim had won game 7, they would have beaten Chicago and destroyed Pittsburgh. Detroit won, but were so banged up after the series that their play-off run ended up one game short of a repeat.
Anaheim boasts two of the games most talented players who also happen to be two of the biggest d-bags in the league. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will carry the bulk of the offense for the Ducks, and do a lot of chirping along the way…or is it “quacking”? The Ducks currently sit in 15th place in the league as far as G/G average with 2.80. Detroit’s recent scoring woes have destroyed their G/G average as they fell to 19th in the NHL with a measly 2.67. Advantage: Anaheim.
Despite their inability to score goals, Detroit’s goaltending has been solid. Anaheim on the other hand, has seen both of their netminders, Jonas Hiller and Jean-Sebastian Gigure have inconsistent play. The loss of Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin seems to be hurting the Ducks worse than they had hoped. Anaheim currently ranks 26th in the league with a 3.17 G/A average. The Wings are sitting 11th in the league with a 2.67 G/A average. Advantage: Detroit
Anaheim has had a very strong power-play so far this season. When they can get their big guns out there with the man advantage, they’re converting 23.4% of the PP chances, good enough for 3rd overall in the NHL. Detroit's power play has gone completely stagnant over the past few games. I don’t know what it is that has gone wrong, but it’s currently 11th best with a 20.7% conversion rate. Advantage: Detroit
The Ducks’ penalty killing seems to be suffering along with their inconsistent goaltending. Apparently the aging hipster (Scott Neidermayer) hasn’t been able to take the team on his shoulders once Sasquatch bolted for Philly. They are currently ranked 24h in the NHL, with a 77.8% effectiveness rating. Detroit, has been improving on the PK and thank God for that. Their inability to score either power-play or even-strength goals, means that if their PK was clicking, we’d be getting blown out. The Wings are currently ranked 19th in the league with a 79.2% kill rate. Advantage: Detroit
So if we pull ranks and take the average for GA/G and G/G...
If you combine PK and PP percentages to get an overall effectiveness rating:
The key for a Red Wing's victory tonight will be SCORE A FREAKIN’ GOAL. The Wings have gone 1-5-1 in their last seven games at the Joe. Time to show some pride in that jersey you get to put on almost every day. Hopefully, Ville Leino has had a fire lit under his bum and be a spark on the team tonight.