Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 6 (4/20/08)

Wow, the first period was incredible!  The intensity level, the physicality and the pace of the first period were absolutely awesome.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  Both teams had lots of shots and quality chances.  Neither team scored thanks to some great goaltending at both ends.  The announcers never seem to get tired of talking about how great the Predators are, but I think the pace favored Detroit.  The Red Wings were the more physical team.  The energy level and the desire seemed to be about even.

The frantic pace continued in the second period.  The Red Wings badly outshot the Predators but the energy level was still about equal.  The highlight of the period came just after Chelios took a penalty.  In the opening seconds of Nashville’s power play Lidstrom got the puck at center ice.  He tossed it towards Nashville’s net and it bounced in front of Ellis.  It went up and over his shoulder and right into the net for a Detroit shorthanded goal.  After that Detroit took another penalty and they successfully killed off a 5 on 3 power play.

At some point in the period Tootoo had his nose bloodied but it wasn’t clear what caused it.  He played the end of the period with gauze in nose.  Mike Emerick said that Tootoo had broken his nose.  Something tells me that HE didn’t break it.  I’d guess one of the Red Wings broke it for him.  :-)  Too bad they didn’t have video of it.

In the third period the Red Wings continued to pressure.  The fourth line had been creating chances and pressuring the Predators all game long.  It finally paid off when Hudler lauched a one timer past Ellis.  That really took the wind out of the sails of Nashville.  After that the Red Wings put on the clamps.  They locked things down and the Predators were scrambling to score for the last 10 minutes or so.  They pulled the goalie around the 2 minute mark and eventaully Rafalski got an empty net goal.

Osgood got the shutout as the game ended 3-0.  Ozzy has been a rock and I hope they stick with him in the second round.  Nothing against Hasek, but I have more confidence in Osgood.

The best thing is, no more Nashville!  Woo hoo!  On the other hand, it never gets any easier.  As tough as Nashville was, you can bet that the next round will be even tougher.

This 3-0 win finishes this Western Conference Quarterfinal series at 4-2 Detroit.

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