Blog Entry

Battle lines are drawn

Posted on: May 13, 2009 1:48 am

Nothing like keeping things interesting is there?

After being territorially dominated by the Detroit Red Wings through much of the first five games of this Western Conference semifinal, the Anaheim Ducks turned in what was probably their best game of the series so far, yet still had to survive a ferocious third period attack to come away with a 2-1 win.

That forced a deciding seventh game on Thursday, which is compelling enough by nature, but this one between the last two Stanley Cup champions should have an even more distinct flavor after tensions boiled over at the end of the game.

Detroit turned up the heat over the final 20 minutes as it tends to do -- the Red Wings have outscored opponents 11-2 and outshot them 77-23 in third periods of these playoffs -- and finally solved Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller when scoring machine Johan Franzen picked up a power play goal with less than three minutes left. But the real action erupted after the final siren when several of the top Stars from both teams got involved in nasty scraps that aren't likely to be forgotten in less than 48 hours after both teams have made long, cross country trips.

In theory the post game bouts involving Scott Niedermayer and Corey Perry of the Ducks and Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski of the Red Wings could be interpreted as the kind of message sending the NHL supposedly frowns upon and wants to eliminate, although given the way the league has done things through these playoffs, you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for any disciplinary action.

What you should do is appreciate the desperate effort turned in by the Ducks, who avoided elimination thanks to a big night from Hiller and an even bigger one from Ryan Getzlaf, who played like he finally got over the flu bug the team said was bothering him since early in the series. Getzlaf has his most energized performance since spending more than 46 minutes on the ice during the triple overtime Game 2, picking up a goal and an assist to lead the Ducks charge.

Equally important for Anaheim on this night was the shutdown job done by Niedermayer and Chris Pronger along the blue line. The Ducks took advantage of the last change that comes from being at home to match up the former Norris Trophy winners against the line of Franzen, Marian Hossa and Valtteri Filppula, and they kept them in check most of the night.

Until the end that is, when it was too little, too late for Detroit.

"If you start a bit late you don't get rewarded and that as the case for us," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They were more desperate at the start, they got some bounces and Hiller made some saves.

"So here we are getting ready for a Game 7 in what's been a pretty good series that we expect to continue."

And that should be pretty interesting to see.
Category: NHL

Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: May 13, 2009 5:16 pm

Battle lines are drawn

I agree with you Zepplinman.  The Ducks are pretty much a bunch of hacks going after the smaller Wings.  I wish Babcock would sit out Maltby, who has been invisible most of the season, and put it Downey or Mccarty.   Lets see Niedermeyer or Perry go after 1 of those guys.   If you watch, Pronger will never go after a guy his size.  He knows he will get laid out.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 4:55 pm

Battle lines are drawn

overall I have loved the playoffs and this series, but last night the play was sloppy.  I love the new NHL. It is more wide open and players get a chance to use their skills. However I will contadict myself and say that I do miss some old style hockey (Eddie Shore). Enforcers and a good fight here and there really is enjoyable.

Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2009 2:43 pm

Battle lines are drawn


I'm 42 years old and have been watching the game since my early teens.  I don't mind the fighting or the hitting.  I loved the Kocur, McSorley, Probert, Domi fights in the early 90's and wish it was in the game more.  There was just no flow to this game.  It was all muck.  A game with so much riding on it and it was drab until the end.  To me they have ruined this game.  You get all these weasels taking cheap shots now who don't have to pay for it anymore.  All the stick work, elbows, and head hunting by the littlest weasels and can't do anything about because they have taken the fighting right out the game.  I gaurantee Neidermayer would have thought twice about that elbow if Kocur or Probert was standing next him in the early 90's.  Now you just get a bunch a cheap shots artists hacking at the star players all game.  And nothing can be done about it now.  Big man, fighting the littlest guy on the team.  Same thing with Perry.  Checking his chicklits when Ericsson gave him a good right earlier in the series.  Thought he better make up for it by going after little Rafalski.

Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 2:05 pm

Battle lines are drawn

Great posts sportsfan06.  I appreciate a knowledgeable viewpoint on this intricate game.  What do you think of the thuggery at the end of the game?  Game misconducts for Perry and Marchant?  What is that?  So these guys can do stick work all night on Zetterberg - two handers by Pronger as he was going to the net with 2 minutes left and no call. Then they can start a fight hoping to hurt Datsyuk and reinjure Rafalski so they could have an advantage Thursday night.  They obviously knew that the NHL would never suspend these instigators for a game but only give them game misconducts with no game left.

Something is basically wrong here and I don't like the thuggery that Anahiem is trying. 

There is probably going to be a sucker punch throw by Pronger in the handshake line after Detroit kicks their buts tomorrow night.

Just another game misconduct however.  Not a David Stern type decision you think?

Go Wings!

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 1:27 pm

Battle lines are drawn

Hey real DB! I have watched and played since I was 4 I played AAA in Mich and have now been a High school coach for the past 12 years and have forgot more about the game then you have probably ever known. That said it was a sloppy game with not much flow. The play was not the best from either team in my opinion. Overall this series has been much better as have the rest of the playoffs in general. That is all that was being said. It was a slow game compared to the rest.

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 1:09 pm

Battle lines are drawn

I will be at the Joe and I don't believe the the Ducks can pull it off.  The NHL should be ecstatic three out of four semi conference finals going to game seven.  I recall the game two years ago, the Ducks are tough but the Wings should set the tone early and this game should be awesome.  Look for some mismatches on line changes and some muckin in the corners. One game, one shift at a time.  GO WINGS!!

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2009 12:00 pm

Battle lines are drawn

It's a classic series like the San Jose Sharks series was. 8th rated team the Ducks going against the top seeds. It was a great game and some of the games, I've fallen asleep to because they were so late. In the first round of the playoffs, there was over 6 hours of ice hockey on tv and most of it real good. 6 hours, I doubt if they have a lack of ratings, this is the CBS site, not Versus and it is a big story.

Go watch Crosby or go watch Kobe if you want offense. I was noting, these Ducks games are probably higher scoring or as high as the Capitals games are.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 11:46 am

Battle lines are drawn

The game wasn't boring at all.  The Ducks play a very defense-oriented system, as do most Western Conference teams.  The Red Wings, meanwhile, are more of an Eastern Conference team because they obviously want to shoot the lights out.  As much as hockey fans think the more offensive Eastern Conference is better, it is the rough and tumble teams in the west that generally hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.  The same will hold true this year.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2009 11:12 am

Battle lines are drawn

wow really let me get this straight your mad because there wasnt enough action for you? LOL have you ever watched a hockey game. Your probably a skid the kid fan that expects his team to score 20 goals a night. LOL this was diffently the best post i have heard in a way. On the Golf threads your probably saying that "golf was to long and they only hit one white ball around it was really boring to me."


Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 10:18 am

Battle lines are drawn

I actually felt the same way about this particular game, However the playoffs as a whole have been unbelievable. 3 game 7's in this round the Chi/Van series was great action up and down the ice. Ovechkin and mates versus Malkin and Crosby. The ratings thing will never be good. Hockey is too expensive for inner city kids to play, thus they don't understand it thus a huge section of the U.S. population doesn't watch. Add to that the game moves way to fast for most and you get a game that doesn't do well on TV. Americans like the break in action like football, or the easy feel of watching a basketball game, as rediculous of a sport as it is. I have played and watched hockey from the time I was 4 so I understand it and can follow it so I love it. Most can not and thus do not.

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