What’s the Red Wave? (And other pressing issues)

From the front page of detroitredwings.com:


So, the Sea of Red has been copped by what must be a desperate Hockeytown. And “Douse the Flames” is, of course, just so original as well.

OK. Enough about marketing, we all know who owns red these days. On to tomorrow.

Via Bruce MacLeod at Red Wings Corner, (discovered thanks to Abel to Yzerman), the Red Wings lines at Tuesday’s practice:

Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Tomas Holmstrom
Kyle Calder-Robert Lang-Mikael Samuelsson
Dan Cleary-Kris Draper-Kirk Maltby
Johan Franzen-Valtteri Filppula-Jiri Hudler

Nicklas Lidstrom-Danny Markov
Mathieu Schneider-Andreas Lilja
Brett Lebda-Chris Chelios

Meanwhile, the Windsor Star reports this for the Flames:

For practice purposes, the lines were as follows: Alex Tanguay-Craig Conroy-Jarome Iginla; Kristian Huselius-Daymond Langkow-Matthew Lombardi; Marcus Nilson-Stephane Yelle-David Moss; Byron Ritchie-Wayne Primeau-Tony Amonte.

It seems as though Jeff Friesen’s “torso” still isn’t ready, then — which is a shame, because he’s beome a very useful player over the past two months. He found his niche settling in on that third line. Darryl Sutter made waves that he expected Friesen to be a 20 or even 30-goal scorer when he signed him, and I think that weighed on him during that terrible, no-good-at-anything start. But he’s a damn valuable depth forward now, and guys like him are invaluable at playoff time.

So, how do these lines match up — not against one another, but quality from 1 to 4? I think the first lines are a saw-off, and the second unit is a clear win for Calgary, but Detroit’s third line could be an absolute monster. I’ve been nothing but impressed when I’ve watched the Wings this year with Dan Cleary’s emergence, and the consistency and professionalism of Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby is no secret. Will Yelle, Nilson and Moss be able to match their ice time and effectiveness?

As for the fourth lines, I’m just in love with saying “Filppula.”

Meanwhile, Red Wings Corner (by the Red Wings’ beat writer at The Macomb Daily) also confirms today that Todd Bertuzzi will miss Game 1 with his concussion, and that Robyn Regehr will be out as well with his knee injury. These tidbits are nothing but BAD NEWS for the Flames, who won’t enjoy nearly as many power plays with Todd in the press box, and will be less physical and give up more shots in every game missed by Regehr.

With Regehr out (and I’m not really convinced he won’t skate out there for Game 1 anyway), I’m guessing this will be Calgary’s D:

Roman Hamrlik-Dion Phaneuf
Brad Stuart-Rhett Warrener
David Hale-Mark Giordano

The Giordano thing is hope, really. I was reminded of his capabilities when he showed up against Edmonton. The kid has skills, and I saw them firsthand in his two-goal game here in Toronto early in the season. He brings everything Zyuzin does except size, and has shown better decision-making abilities on the whole.

Crap I’m excited. It’s playoffs baby!

Hey, Eric “Humble Pie” Francis says it’s the Flames in six, just like me! Gee, I feel so much better.


~ by duncan on April 11, 2007.

5 Responses to “What’s the Red Wave? (And other pressing issues)”

  1. i am really skeptical about the flames chances without regehr. not that the team isn’t deep enough on defense to win, but that playfair (in all of his wisdom and experience) isn’t savvy enough to put the right pairs together… i am not at all convinced that phaneuf will play with hamrlik (even though he should, clearly). but if regehr’s not close to 100%, he shouldn’t play –i think 20 minutes of warrener with stuart is better than 10 minutes of regehr. fingers crossed that gio will start. a betting man would put money on zyuzin taking the 6th spot.

  2. And that’s what I’ve been pondering a lot over the last couple of days.

    At the end of the 82 games, all the analysis and agonizing… this is what it comes down to…

    Have faith. Believe.

    Corny, eh?

  3. Im not so worried about the Red Wings 3rd line – largely because Maltby was pretty much terrible this year. For comparison sake, he played more than Amonte, got less points, and was an even worse -9 rating, despite playing on a team that had a GD of +61. I mean, he was less efficient at generating points at ES than Kronvall and Danny Markov during the regular season. Wow.

    Draper and Cleary are decent, sure – but if they get matched up against Iggy, Tanguay and Conry, Im confident the latter will outperform them. Heck, Calgary’s 3rd line could probably outscore a Maltby/Draper combination.

    Defending Datsyuk and Zetterberg are what I’m worried about. Especially with Regehr out of the line-up.

  4. has anyone got pix of this kipper/mccarty black hair business ???

  5. Good points MG. All the same, Maltby was never Mr. Scorer and I’m guessing he was always out against the best players on other teams. Plus he’s playoff-tested, and I’m counting on similar Flames guys like Warrener to pick up their games, too. I agree that Iggy’s line can outperform Detroit’s third line, but I’m thinking of line-to-line quality and I’m not sure the Yelle group is as solid on paper — not that they’re not capable of playing superbly, as they did in that six-game winning streak.

    As for the black hair, I’ve been on the lookout. Let me know if you find anything!

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