Monday, November 20, 2006

Best Defence In The League

Earlier this season, I commented how Detroit had a great shots against and would dominate given top goaltending. Recently, Dominik Hasek has provided the top level goaltending one would expect from him. He has won 8 of his last 9 starts allowing only 13 goals in that stretch.

Detroit now leads the league with a 2.05 goals against average (this is a small lead over Dallas at 2.10). Should Hasek stay healthy (and that is a big if), Detroit should allow the least goals in the NHL this season and that will go a long way toward helping them repeat as Central Division champions.

Yes, I know Detroit did well against all divisions last year, but it really helps to play the BJs, Chickenhawks, and Blows as often as they do. I wonder how their figures would look if you adjusted for competition.
By this point last year Detroit had played Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis and Phoenix 9 times. They've only played them 4 times this year. In terms of judging the Wings' defense based on the competition, here's a brief who's who of opponents:

Calgary (2)
Edmonton (3)
SJ (2)

They've given up 30 shots twice. Once to St. Louis, once to Anaheim. Friday, in a loss to Calgary, they gave up 25 shots, only the third time this year Detroit has given up that amount or more.
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