01 May 2007
♦ SJ is a better team than Detroit. There just isn't any doubt. Their top-3 forwards are better (Thronton, Marleau, Cheechoo, vs. Datsyuk, Zetterburg and Cleary) Even when Holmstrom comes back. Thier goalie is slightly better (Nabokov vs 42-year-old Hasek). Thier Defensive Forwards are better (Brier and Barnes looked phenominal last night). And the only clear area Detroit has an edge is Lidstrom on defense.
♦ Putting Marleau on a line with Grier and Barnes is working well, and I think it has the potential to be the move that wins SJ the Stanley cup. Grier seems to be the guy that pulls the puck out of the corners, Barnes plays setup-man, and Marleau is the sharpshooter, with Grier crashing the net for rebounds. They looked unstoppable last night.
♦ Speaking of Grier and Barnes. I don't think enough has been made of the effect their forechecking has had on Detroits puck-possession style game. They were an absolute menace last night, and are a big reason Detroit looks like they can't get it going on offense. How are neither of these guys Selke candidates?
♦ The knock on Joe Thronton was that he always shied up come playoff time. In Boston he was roundly criticized by the media and fans because he wouldn't crash the net with his big body and put in the "tough" goals. Clearly they were expecting him to do soemthing that really wasn't suited to his game. He controls the puck, and is a great set-up man. Oh yeah his backcheck on Datsyuk with 12 seconds left in the game should end any talk of him being too soft for the postseason.
♦ Bertuzzi has stuggled mightily since "The Bertuzzi Incident" hasn't he. I think it's time to say he won't ever be the same (and obviously neither will Steve Moore).
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