I thought outside of Pavelski's line, whose obvious accomplishments need not be revisited in this slideshow, our energy guys did a great job in Game 1. The three of Nichol, Malhotra, and Couture set the tempo, played hard and fast, and got quite a few Red Wings out of their game despite being shuffled around on different lines at different times during the night.
For a team who had been resting, we came out and looked like an energized and motivated team early. It was also quite obvious there's no love lost between these 2 teams, and only figures to get more and more physical as time goes on.
We did an excellent job finishing our checks, which will pay dividends before the series is out. Detroit looked uncharacteristically flat and sluggish, which lead to some "lazy" penalties and had frustrated Mike Babcock into complaining about Devin Setoguchi's supposed "dive"
"The 5-on-3, it's a penalty, but don't dive and embellish it. If you're from Western Canada, don't do that crap."
And what, if you're from USA its okay?
Uncharacteristic for Mike Babcock to be sure.
Todd Mcclellan's gameplan early on is working great, cycling the lines, mixing up combinations, keeping guys fresh and most of all making it hard for Babcock to find matchups he wants.
Our energy line got under the skin of several Red Wings, Erickson most of all, who should have been penalized after his scrum near the Zamboni entrance, that should have lead to another 5 on 3. Instead, the refs decided Logan Couture would serve 2 for hitting Erickson's fists with his face.
Keep an eye out for Bertuzzi / Nichol, entertaining stuff to be sure.