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Will Detroit’s Inexperienced Defense Be An Issue In The Playoffs?

from Bill Roose of DetrotRedWings.com,

Brendan Smith has no Stanley Cup playoff experience. The same goes for defensive partners Jakub Kindl andDanny DeKeyser.

Though their lack of postseason participation certainly sends a red flag to some, their inexperience isn’t much of a concern for the Red Wings on the eve of Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals series against the Anaheim Ducks.

“We’ve really improved drastically in that area, probably the most improved part of our team,” coach Mike Babcock said. “With Howie playing the way he and the D able to get the puck going, we’re spending a lot less time in our zone. That allows you to be much better up front.”

continued

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Comments

Primis's avatar

Of course it’ll be an issue.  Guys are going to have miscues and brain-dead moments like they have all year long.

The bigger question is if the offense can possess the puck enough and get enough goals so that it won’t all rest on the shoulders of the shakey D.

Posted by Primis on 04/29/13 at 12:19 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

it might be an issue for some of them, but I don’t think Del Keyser.  from shift #1 he has shown poise and calm, which is astounding.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/29/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

“I’m excited to jump right into it. I can’t wait to jump into that situation.” - B. Smith

I like our team!

Posted by Zqto on 04/29/13 at 12:31 PM ET

Avatar

Of course they’re inexperienced but they got you this far so you have to roll with them.  I will be steaming mad if they bench Dekeyser for “experience” in the form of Ian White or Colacaivolo (sp).  DeKeyser has been one of the big reasons why this team has found their grove and has played very well.  He has added some speed to this team and their transition game.

Posted by bababooey on 04/29/13 at 12:47 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

The experience has to come from somewhere.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/29/13 at 12:50 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Jonathan Ericsson played the best hockey of his career in his first playoffs.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/29/13 at 01:03 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

But I thought “The Red Wings are old!”

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/29/13 at 01:09 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Dekeyser for “experience” in the form of Ian White or Colacaivolo (sp).

No chance, I dont’ think.  Kruppa (I think it was) was reminding us today that the addition of DeKeyser allowed the Wings to have three pairings each with a puck mover and a homer, which has allowed them to move the puck more smoothly out of the zone and take some pressure off the forwards.  The last thing they want to do right now is upset that.  Those guys are strictly injury replacement pieces.  I do expect that we will see Bert sooner, tho.,  I could see him giving Gus a night off if he struggles.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/29/13 at 01:11 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

It isn’t just him, but since Dekeyser joined the team the musical chairs on the blue line has settled down and so has the entire team.  His quick fit at the NHL level has been remarkable and was none too soon for the Wings.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/29/13 at 01:37 PM ET

Avatar

I could see him giving Gus a night off if he struggles.

I could see him going in for Cleary, period.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/13 at 01:44 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I could see him going in for Cleary, period.

Me too, but Babcock is not going to do that because he wants Cleary available for the PK.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/29/13 at 01:50 PM ET

harken23's avatar

I love all the “WHY DIDNT WE GET <X> PLAYER HOLLAND IS A MORON AND SHOULD BE TRADED FOR A USED PUCK BAG! whatever that means.

Very quietly signs Dekeyser, after 29 other teams wanted him, too, and
BAM defense is stable. Dude is GOOD right off the hop. Lucky us!

Posted by harken23 on 04/29/13 at 02:46 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Very quietly signs Dekeyser, after 29 other teams wanted him, too, and
BAM defense is stable. Dude is GOOD right off the hop. Lucky us!

Posted by harken23 on 04/29/13 at 02:46 PM ET

KH didn’t have a whole to to do with signing DeKeyser.  The guy was offered the same money by everybody and chose the Wings because he’s from Michigan and likes the Wings.  It’s not like Kenny went out and found the guy, everyone knew about him.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 04/29/13 at 03:35 PM ET

Avatar

SHOULD BE TRADED FOR A USED PUCK BAG! whatever that means.

Actually, it’s for a bag of pucks.  I don’t know what a used puck bag is either.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/13 at 03:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

  I don’t know what a used puck bag is either.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/13 at 03:57 PM ET

Might be a redolent issue.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/29/13 at 04:03 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Counting the chickens before the eggs hatch.

I love how the Wings were put in a must win situation and squeaked into the playoffs the last week after sitting 9th coming around the corner, and because we made it everyone seems to think the Wings were “right” for not moving 2 UFA’s we’re not likely to resign, who aren’t known to produce in the playoffs, regardless of breakout years.

If the Wings make it to the second round on the backs of Cleary, Filpulla, White or Colaiacovo, then I’ll concede that.

Filpulla has got to be the least physical player there is in the NHL.  I don’t think he’s ever registered a hit.  As physical as the playoffs are, no wonder he always disappears.  But Hollands a genius and Filpulla is Con Smythe winner already and we’ll pay him 5+mil to produce his 40points and nothing in the playoffs.

I’d happily take the bag of pucks C-bus got for Brassard and whoever else they sent.  Brassard is like a slightly more physical, more determined version of Filpulla with a little less skill but more drive.  What was the bag of pucks name again?  Anyways, also managed NOT to give up any one of their 3 first round picks for said used “puck bag” either.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/29/13 at 04:59 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Is there any place on the internet we can see # of hits for Filppula or any player? Takeaways and giveaways to see where Datsyuk sits? I’ve tried occasionally but can never find those stats for a player.

Posted by Bugsy on 04/29/13 at 05:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Help, maybe?

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/29/13 at 05:30 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Thanks SYF.  Fil’s tied for 389th in hits with 16.  Almost as many hits as points, 17. (on pace for a stellar 36 point season)

Z only has 20 but he plays with his stick a lot more too.  Filpulla skates in on them then swoops away 5’ out.  Applies ZERO pressure on the forecheck.  DOES NOT force the play, hence why he needs catalysts on his line vs. being one himself. 

Remarkably skilled, REMARKABLY and can only average 40 points a season?  I chalk that up to work ethic.  He might hhave tons of it but it’s misused/guided.  He’s the poster-boy for “playing too pretty”

He had issues producing in Jokerit earlier this year as well.  Was being out-played by his brother even, the one we never even called up.

There’s something up with Fil for sure.  If he played how he could I’d give him 5m in a heartbeat.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/29/13 at 05:44 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

  Very quietly signs Dekeyser, after 29 other teams wanted him, too, and
  BAM defense is stable. Dude is GOOD right off the hop. Lucky us!

  Posted by harken23 on 04/29/13 at 02:46 PM ET

KH didn’t have a whole to to do with signing DeKeyser.  The guy was offered the same money by everybody and chose the Wings because he’s from Michigan and likes the Wings.  It’s not like Kenny went out and found the guy, everyone knew about him.

Yeah, I think a phone call from Lidstrom did just as much towards Danny wearing the Wheel as Holland’s pitch.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/29/13 at 06:26 PM ET

Avatar

Looking at those stats….

Of all regular face-off takers, Filppula leads in FO% (55.4%).  That being said, he was only a hair above Datsyuk (55%)  and Datsyuk took FAR more faceoffs. 

Abdel. leads in hits (120), surprisingly Miller was 2nd in hits (81).

Datsyuk lead both giveaways (38) and takeways by a fair margin (56).

Detroit had 4 players play all 48 games, cleary, kronwall, emmerton and Abdelkader.

Detroit had 366 giveaways this year and 285 takeaways.

Detroit should have the faceoff advantage against the Ducks if regular season numbers mean anything.

This stuff likely interests me more than you.

Posted by neffernin on 04/29/13 at 07:51 PM ET

SYF's avatar

This stuff likely interests me more than you.

Posted by neffernin on 04/29/13 at 07:51 PM ET

Nerd.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 04/29/13 at 07:55 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Jonathan Ericsson played the best hockey of his career in his first playoffs.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/29/13 at 01:03 PM ET

Very true.  Though his last game disagrees with you.  I’ve never, EVER, seen that out of him.  Even that first playoffs.

Posted by Primis on 04/29/13 at 09:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Filpulla has got to be the least physical player there is in the NHL

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/29/13 at 04:59 PM ET

There’s this whole other conference called the East that has loads upon loads of those players.

Fil actually takes a decent amount of punishment.  He doesn’t dish out for sure, but he does take his beatings like most Wings do because they’re wearing red and white and the refs suddenly misplace their whistles…

Posted by Primis on 04/29/13 at 09:08 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Eastern is the only other hockey i really watch.  Hate most teams in the west since they’re an allience of arch rivals of the Wings evidently.

Maybe Leino is less physical.

I know he takes punishment, my beef is when he’s on the forecheck and instead of applying pressure he swoops past the game making a half-assed effort at the puck.  No other forward forechecks as lousy as him.  He RARELY forces the play, turnovers, opportunities on the forecheck.  I don’t even necessarily want physicality but I want pressure, legit pressure on the puck on the forecheck.

Also, his entering the zone and sweeping to the sidewall, even when a CLEAR lane is open to the net, is infuriating.  I think because he doesn’t like taking the abuse or imposing himself on the opposition, I don’t know what his deal is but he’s literally pissing away his talent.  17 points man.  come on.

I wanna see a Franzen-style playoff break-out from Flip this year.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/30/13 at 02:04 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.