Western Conference Semifinals, Game 2 (4/26/08)

There was a bit more animosity to start the first period.  McCleod of the Avalanche picked up the octopus after it was thrown on the ice.  He held it up and taunted the Red Wings with it and then threw it into the tunnel.  It was a pretty bad throw and he almost put it into the stands.  It hit the wall right above the usher who was standing in the tunnel.  He had to duck to get out of the way and not end up smelling like octopus all day.  I thought that was kind of a jerk move by McCleod.  I don’t mind him picking it up and tossing it off the ice, but leave the poor usher out of it.

The attitude didn’t seem to carry over into the game for the Avalanche.  The Red Wings pretty much dominated the first period.  The only goal was scored by Franzen who continues to be unstoppable.  He was in front of the net and made another beautiful redirect that Theodore never had a chance to stop.  Filppula hit Foote from behind at the end of the first period and drove him head first into the boards.  I don’t think he was trying to hurt him, it was just a case of Foote turning just as Filppula got to him.  Foote and the rest of the Avalanche were very upset about not getting a power play out of it. 

In the second period the Red Wings broke this game wide open.  It started with Franzen again.  He came around the net and when he got to the front he sort of faded backwards then roofed a backhand shot over Theodore.  Next, Drake took a shot from the point and Theodore directed it to the back boards.  It bounced quickly back to the front of the net where Filppula arrived at the perfect time for a quick goal.  Finally, on an odd man rush Zetterberg carried the puck in and crossed in front of the net.  He waited for the right moment and popped it in.  That was the end for Theodore as he was once again pulled and replaced by Budaj.  Things really started breaking down for the Avs at that point.  There was a fight between McCarty and McCormick.  McCarty probably threw more punches but McCormick got the takedown.  I’d call it a draw.  It didn’t seem to add much life to Colorado.  They continued to take one penalty after another for most of the rest of the period.  The one positive for the Avs was that they were able to kill two 5 on 3 power plays.  Budaj has been solid in the minutes he’s played.  It’ll be interesting to see if he or Theodore starts in game 3.  The second period ended with Detroit winning 4 to 0.

In the third period the Avs came out with a little more jump and put some pressure on the Red Wings.  It led to a goal when Chelios got trapped in his own end with no one to pass to.  He tried to clear it but it was intercepted by the Avs and they scored.  A short time later the Red Wings took a penalty and it looked like things were starting to go Colorado’s way.  The Red Wings got the puck and Zetterberg took it in on net shorthanded.  Budaj stopped the shot but gave up a rebound and Franzen was following the play.  He took a whack at and then stopped in front of the net.  Budaj stopped Franzen’s first attempt but it popped up in the air.  Franzen was still there and he punched it in from mid-air.  That Franzen’s third goal of the game and his first career hat trick.  Franzen has really stepped up his play over the last couple of months and it’s great to see his streak continuing in the playoffs.

The Red Wings are looking great right now and the Avs seem really down.  I’m sure it has something to do with losing Forsberg.  He skated during warmups today but was unable to play because of a sore groin.  If he’s able to go in game 3 I think we’ll see a much better performance from Colorado.

This 5-1 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 2-0 Detroit.

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