When are we going to call a spade and spade and start labeling Teemu Selanne a witch?
The man is 42 years old and still has a shot that was quick enough to beat Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard to win Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between his Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings. It was Selanne's 42nd career playoff goal, and his 18th career power play goal in the playoffs. It was also Anaheim's second goal with a man advantage of the game. That and an empty netter gave the Ducks a 3-1 victory over a Detroit team that a lot of people are putting the potential upset label on.
The Red Wings only goal, courtesy of a deflection off of Dan Clearly, also came on the man advantage, suggesting (obviously) that this is going to be an extremely even series 5-on-5. The Ducks went 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Red Wings went just 1-for-4, and there's your difference.
Detroit looks to even things up in Game 2, and seeing as they played well 5-on-5 in Game 1, that's a reasonable goal. These two teams do appear to be as evenly matched as the prognosticators suggested, so unless Anaheim comes out and blows the doors open in Game 2, it's hard not to see this series lasting a little while.
1. Will someone score a goal 5-on-5?
That's the biggest question. Until we see a goal at even strength, it's hard to really hedge your bets on one team or another in this series. Maybe that's for the best, as the Wings and Ducks played to a really entertaining stalemate for parts of Game 1. That said, logic would dictate that somebody's going to score at even strength at some point in Game 2, so who's it going to be?
2. Does Jonas Hiller play well enough to keep the starting gig?
Unless the Ducks sweep the Red Wings, the Ducks goaltending situation will probably remain a storyline this post-season. Jonas Hiller made some really good saves in Game 1, but only faced 22 shots, stopping 21. Viktor Fasth awaits on the bench, so will Hiller keep his hot streak going, or will Bruce Boudreau face annoying questions about his goaltending for the next two weeks?
3. Who steps up for the Red Wings?
Jimmy Howard also played pretty well for the Wings on Tuesday, though Selanne's goal was probably a stoppable shot. Somebody on the offensive side needs to come through for the Red Wings. Henrik Zetterberg missed a pretty open chance in front of Hiller in Game 1, and Pavel Datsyuk was kept off the board as well. Those two play an excellent two-way game, but the offensive side is the one Detroit needs them most on in Game 2.