Defense comes naturally for Zetterberg, who was a strong two-way player in Sweden before he came to the Red Wings in 2002-03. When Cleary and Franzen joined the club after the lockout in 2005-06, they honed their defensive game by playing on the third and fourth lines, checking and killing penalties.
"When your top offensive line is also one of your top defensive groupings, there's not more you can ask for," Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart said. "For guys that are on the second, third and fourth lines, they see that top line working just as hard on the defensive side of the puck as the offensive side.
How can that not trickle down to everybody else?"
Back to The Fifth Feather. I think it's cool when people essentially call themselves out. An exhibit of bloggy character, if you will:
Here’s what I said yesterday regarding Mike Milbury’s intermission rant regarding Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s ice times:
"Anyone who was watched the Hawks this year knows this is nothing out of the ordinary."
A weird thing happened when I did a little research, perhaps the oddest trend of the playoffs thus far that no one has really talked about.
During the regular season, Kane and Toews were fourth and fifth overall in ice time per game with 18:39 and 18:37, respectively. They were also first and second among forwards ...
... In the playoffs, though, it is a different story. Keith, Seabrook, and Campbell still lead the team, but Kane and Toews are twelfth and thirteenth with an average of 15:44 and 15:32 just above the immortal Matt Walker.
Then he drops this idea ... I hope Joel Quenneville doesn't read blogs:
With all this being said, there is a pretty easy way to counter all the Red Wings line matching: Double shift Kane and Toews. Not every time through the four line rotation, mind you, but Q shouldn’t make it so easy for Babcock and his staff to anticipate when Lidstrom and Rafalski should be out there.
Exactly. Obviously if Quenneville ramps up their ice time too much it would be suicide, but he needs to mix it up to say the least. It's easy enough for the Wings to hand-pick matchups against the Hawks as it is. Q needs to rub that 'stache a little harder and come up with an adjustment. But since it's within the bylaws of the NHL for the Wings to run through a Quenneville team en route to a Stanley Cup, that won't happen.
I'd get into this, but it's already been torn to shreds. Then it was lit on fire, had the ashes pissed on, then eaten, vomited back up, packaged into a compact ball and put up for sale at Pierre McGuire's house.
(Something to think about, and this isn't limited to just the linked post ... When Chris Osgood loses: forget how shitty his defense may have been, he sucks. When Chris Osgood wins: he has the best team in the league playing in front of him -- he still sucks.)
* Datsyuk will go scoreless once again. It will be revealed after the game that a snake has literally been biting his arm for three weeks. Jiri Hudler will volunteer to suck the venom out.
* Keith Primeau chokes.
* Red Wings 4-3 Blackhawks. Filppula for the game-winner.