Friday, May 14, 2010
A few thoughts on what has passed and what is to come from the Campbells.
San Jose was both good and lucky to beat the Wings, which is fine, you have to have some luck after all. Except for Detroit's only win any game could have gone either way but if I were the Wings I would rue three events which cost them the series imo.
There was the seventy nine seconds in game one where San Jose scored three goals. If that seventy nine seconds doesn't happen or if San Jose scores one goal instead of three then Detroit's chances of coming out on top in that game are far higher.
The Couture goal to tie game three. An absolutely atrocious goal to allow by Jimmy Howard. Maybe the Wings don't hang on anyways if he saves that but we'll never know. Wings win that game and they're down by one instead of three.
The overtime winner in the same game. An absolute clusterfuck by the Wings. Not sure when Thornton and Marleau jumped on but either the Wings were not aware that they had come on (mistake) or they ignored this fact completely. Thus Ericsson dropped the puck to Williams and then charged the net. Not an awful play if a) someone covers for him and/or Williams hits the net.
Neither happened and so the puck ringed around to Thornton and he and Marleau were away on a two on one that ended up with the puck in the net and the series basically over.
A lot was made of the monkey being lifted off of the Sharks' back. By my eye Thornton had an excellent series. He was aggressive and the Wings didn't seem to have an answer for him. I didn't find that Heatley played any differently and as for Marleau I have been one who has felt that he has played well in playoffs past anyhow. Thornton was the guy who really stood out though. Before the series I opined that he would get outplayed by either Datsyuk or Zetterberg and he was not.
As for Chicago and the Canucks the fact that Kesler was playing hurt certainly damaged the Canucks' chances as did the absence of Mitchell but then again Chicago is missing Jonsson and Hossa most certainly if playing hurt as well imo.
The Hawks were simply the better team. They certainly looked far better than they did against Nashville and if the idea is to get better over the course of the tournament then they are on track. Moving Byfuglien up thanks to Campbell's return and increasing effectiveness really made a difference as did improved play from Versteeg and Bolland and Patrick Sharp has shown why he may be one of the last guys that they might want to move when they cull for the cap this summer. He's a terrific player.
And of course Chicago's depth is what did it for them against Vancouver and may do it for them against San Jose as well. Its a shame that they are going to have to lose some of these guys and of course that is the nature of the cap but no other club can run out such quality forwards. The fact that Brouwer was a scratch for most of the last series speaks to that. With him in the lineup the top nine is Toews/Kane/Byfuglien/Brouwer/Sharp/Hossa/Ladd/Bolland/Versteeg.
Vancouver could not match that and most likely San Jose will not be able to either. Throw in a fourth line that will included three of Kopecky, Burish, Madden and Eager and I think that Chicago's depth up front will carry the day. Niemi has been good enough (and at times great) and as mentioned before Campbell's return has solidified the back end.
I think its going to be a great series and I think Chicago takes it in six. Too deep, too fast, too good.
Posted by Black Dog at 3:45 PM