Archive for May, 2008

Western Conference Finals, Game 3 (5/12/08)

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Dallas started this game with a lot of energy.  Detroit had to weather the storm for the first 5 minutes or so.  The Red Wings held the Stars off the board and then scored the first goal in a four on four situation.  Datsyuk created a turnover at the Red Wings blue line that turned into a rush in which he got the puck back and scored.

Then Detroit got trapped in their own end on a really long shift.  It was so long that Babcock used his timeout after an icing to give the guys a breather.  They still couldn’t get the puck out of the zone but they were keeping Dallas to the perimeter so it was pretty ineffective.  Dallas had the puck for a long time in Detroit’s zone but for the most part they were just sitting on it.  Eventually, they did get the puck moving around a little bit and were able to score.

Detroit answered back just a few seconds later when Datsyuk caught Turco moving and scored through the five hole.  The first period ended with Detroit up 2 to 1 but they took  a penalty at the end of the period so Dallas had a power play to start the second.

Detroit was able to kill off the early penalty in the second period but Dallas evened up the score anyway not too much later.  They took a shot that hit the skate of Brad Stuart and deflected in past Osgood.  There was nothing that could be done about that one.

Later in the third, McCarty made a nice outlet pass to Kronwall who got it ahead to Hudler.  Hudler ended up on a breakaway, one on one against Turco.  Hudler went high with a backhand and beat Turco to give Detroit a 3 to 2 lead.

Very early in the third period Holmstrom was penalized for goaltender interference.  During the penaly kill Zetterberg stole the puck and brought it in with only Brad Richards back for the Stars.  He burned Richards easily and then out-waited Marty Turco.  When Turco commited Zetterberg picked his spot and burned him.

After that the Wings shut the door.  They played keep away for most of the rest of the game.  Detroit scored one more goal to cap things off.  Zetterberg made a brilliant pass through half the Dallas Stars team to find Datsyuk for a one timer.  That gave Datsyuk the hat trick.  Way to go!

Detroit continues to look fantastic.  Hopefully, we can get Franzen back for the next game but it’s great to see how well they can compensate without him in the lineup.  They haven’t missed a beat.

This 5-2 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 3-0 Detroit.


Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Well, I’m amazed at my own stupidity.  I left for a week long Caribbean cruise secure in the belief that when the Western Conference finals started my TiVo would record the games, like it’s recorded every game this season (except one when the Center Ice schedule changed at the last minute).

Unfortunately, I shut down my home network before I left so the TiVo was not able to download the updated schedule so the games did not record!  !@#$%  I can’t believe I forgot that the TiVo needed the internet.  I’m really angry right now.

So, I’ve missed the first two games and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I did watch the highlights and I’m impressed with how great the Red Wings look.  They really seem to have found another gear that I haven’t seen all season.  Let’s keep it rolling!  I’ll continue writing game recaps after game 3.

Round 3: Detroit vs. Dallas

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Detroit will face the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals.  The series will start on Thursday.  As luck would have I’m currently on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Mariner of the Seas.  Sadly, this ship does not receive either Versus, or NBC.  I’m going into a media blackout on Thursday and will watch Thursday’s and Saturday’s games when I get home on Sunday.  They should be recorded on TiVo automatically.  Consequently, I’ll be a little late with my game recaps but I’ll get caught up as soon as I watch the games on Sunday.  I’m looking forward to a great series!  Let’s hope Detroit can keep up the work ethic they’ve displayed for the last 6 games.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4 (5/1/08)

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Detroit was attempting to close out this series with a sweep in this game.  Colorado continued to be plagued by injuries.

Detroit opened the scoring with a very soft goal scored by Samuelsson.  It looked like Theodore had it but it trickled through.  He looked behind him just as the puck was about to cross the line.  He dove for it but it was way too late.  Not long after that Holmstrom was called for a very questionable tripping call and Colorado converted on the power play.   They used some good puck movement and caught Lilja napping in front of the net and beat Osgood.  That seem to give the Avs a lot of confidence and they had the momentum for most of the rest of the period.  However, with about a minute and a half left in the period everything fell apart for the Avs.  Zetterberg got the puck on a breakaway with Holmstrom.  He passed the puck and Homer nailed it.  Then, a few seconds later It happened again, this time Filppula and, who else, Franzen.  The period ended with the Red Wings leading 3 to 1.  To add insult to injury, Colorado took a penalty in the last few seconds of the period, so Detroit started the second period with a full 2 minutes of power play time.

Not surprisingly, Colorado started the second period with Budaj in net instead of Theodore.  In the minutes he’s played, I think Budaj has been the better goalie.  Theodore just doesn’t seem to be on his game for whatever reason.

The goalie change didn’t slow down the Red Wings.  They started with a power play goal in which Lidstrom set up Zetterberg for a one-timer with Holmstrom screening Budaj in front.  I don’t think Budaj ever had a chance to see the shot.  Then Zetterberg scored again this time shooting backwards as he was falling down; a truly incredible goal.  A bit later Colorado was on the power play when Zetterberg stole the puck and started a 2 on 1 shorthanded rush with Franzen.  I wouldn’t want to be Budaj in that situation trying to decide who’s going to be the shooter between Zetterberg and Franzen.  Zetterberg passed and Franzen scored making it looked really easy.  Colorado was obviously very demoralized at that point since they had needed a goal on that power play just to get started on the road to getting back in the game and instead Detroit scored shorthanded.  The score at that point was 6 to 1.  Near the end of the second period Detroit got another power play goal.  Lidstrom took a shot from the point and Franzen redirected it.  That’s Franzen’s second hat trick of this series.  Colorado continued to play hard and Osgood had to stay sharp but the period ended with Detroit leading 7 to 1.

In the third period the Red Wings continued to shake their Budaj.  About half way through the period Hudler made a sweet pass to Samuelsson who scored a nice tap in out of mid air.  Detroit took a  couple of stupid penalties in a row and Colorado got a power play goal in a 5 on 3 situation.  That was the end of the scoring for the game.

I have to hand it to the Avalanche.  They continued to play with heart and pride right to the final buzzer even though the game winning goal was scored in the first period.  It’s pretty clear that with all the injuries that Colorado had they were hopelessly outmatched.  This was not the best that the Avs have to offer.  We’ll have to thank Minnesota for softening them up for us.  The Avs are a great team and they’ll be back next year and hopefully stay healthy.

As for the Red Wings, we’re moving on.  We closed out the first octopus, now we start on the second one.  Eight more wins to go!  Now it’s just a matter of holding this intensity level until the conference finals start.

Great job, Red Wings!

This 8-2 win finishes this Western Conference Semifinal series at 4-0 Detroit.