Posts Tagged ‘Game 7’

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7 (5/14/09)

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Tonight it was finally game seven in Detroit against Anaheim. The lineups were mostly unchanged from game six with one exception. Draper was back in for the Wings. His speed and toughness should be a big plus in this game.

I’m still sour over the way the Ducks attacked our guys at the end of game six. The Red Wings handled it very well. Mike Babcock was angry but the players didn’t really even acknowledge it. It was a classless move by the Ducks for sure. The best answer would be to destroy the Ducks on the ice like the Penguins destroyed the Capitals last night.

The game started with little bit of an edge. Zetterberg made a big hit on Perry early on that set the tone.

Later Zetterberg was called for holding the stick and then a minute later Kronwall was called for hooking. The Wings did a great job killing off the 5 on 3 and then 5 on 4 power plays. Osgood was looking fantastic as usual. Stuart also made an excellent diving poke check to stop a breakaway and prevent a scoring chance.

Then a few minutes later Getzlaf was called for hooking Hossa and the Wings went to work. They had a couple of good chances on the power play but didn’t get anything by Hiller. The Ducks did a pretty good job of being in the way and blocking shots.

Later in the first period Getzlaf was penalized again, this time for slashing. The replay showed that it was just a tap and Franzen dove terribly. I hate to see the Wings diving like that even when it results in a power play. Nothing makes a player look more like a wuss than collapsing after being tapped. Cut the crap, boys! I don’t mind the referee calling such a minor slash. He’s sending a message to knock off the piddly garbage. I do think he should also call the dive though in that case. Getzlaf wasn’t happy but he had only himself to blame because there was no reason for even a light slash. The dive was definitely unsportsmanlike but he didn’t have to give the opportunity to Franzen in the first place. These dives are a league-wide problem and they need to go away. That’s a topic for another time though.

On the power play Zetterberg sent the puck across to Franzen and then Wisniewski stayed with Zetterberg to check him into the boards. That was a mistake as it left Hudler alone in the slot. Franzen sent a hard pass towards Hudler and he tipped it into the net. It was one nothing Red Wings.

For the rest of the period Detroit looked really good. They played hard and fast but didn’t score again. The period ended with the Wings up by one.

Early in the second period the Ducks won a faceoff in the Red Wings end. Selanne had the puck along the wall but he turned it over because he was being rushed by Lebda. The puck rolled into the neutral zone and Helm came flying after it like he was shot out of a cannon. He picked up the puck, blew by the defense and went in all alone against Hiller. He ripped a pinpoint shot that burned Hiller for the Wings second goal. What a play by Helm! You gotta love that guy!

A bit later Pronger hit Hossa behind the net. The hit was fine but afterwards he grabbed Hossa and tackled him right in front of the referee. I can’t understand how that wasn’t holding. I guess that makes up for Franzen not being called for a dive.

The Wings were really buzzing. They flying around and winning all the small battles. Then Whitney high sticked Cleary and the Wings went back on the job. During the power play Beauchemin batted the puck out of play and over the glass so the Wings had a 5 on 3 for 22 seconds. They had a glorious chance on the 5 on 3 but Pronger blocked the shot. The Wings continued on the power play. After just a few seconds of the second penalty Hossa was called for high sticking so it was 4 on 4 for a while. During the 4 on 4 Stuart crushed Selanne into the boards. Selanne went down and stayed down. The hit came well after the puck had left Selanne’s vicinity and Stuart was called for interference. So then Anaheim had a 4 on 3 power play for 1:02. They killed that off and then it was 5 on 3 for a little over half a minute. After killing that off it was 5 on 4 for 20 seconds or so. Then it was back to 5 on 5. Whew! What a great job by the Wings to kill off all of that. Osgood was spectacular during the kill.

With about five minutes to go in the second Whitney took a shot from the point. Osgood made the stop but Selanne tapped in the rebound. Osgood didn’t have chance to stop Selanne’s shot from going in because Carter had run into him and was basically sitting on his lap. I cannot understand why that wasn’t goaltender interference. In any event it was two to one Red Wings.

The Ducks got a boost from that and the Wings had some trouble keeping the puck out of their own end. They finally did though and Wisniewski tried to take it at center ice but he missed. Filppula went by him and they both dove for the puck. Filppula got up first and took it. He passed it to Datsyuk who was streaking up the slot. Datsyuk took a shot and the rebound came back to him. He went behind the net and got absolutely clobbered by Marchant. Before getting hit though he managed to pass the puck back to the slot. Samuelsson moved in and put it in the net. That made it three to one and quickly nullified the Ducks goal. Just what I was hoping for! What a setup by Filppula and Datsyuk!

A few seconds later Pronger crosschecked Hudler in the back and forced him into Hiller. Hudler was called for goaltender interference. Hudler was actually driven to his knees by the crosscheck. There was no way he could have stopped himself from running into Hiller. I can’t believe how bad that call was. Just imagine if the Wings had scored. They would have taken away the goal. I was angry enough as it was so it’s a good thing that didn’t happen.

On the power play Selanne handed it off to Pronger in the slot who one timed it. Osgood stopped it but Perry was on the doorstop and smacked it in. It was another gift from the officials.

The second period ended with the Wings up two to three. Osgood made some incredible saves to prevent the Ducks from tying the game at the end of the second period. As well as the Wings had played, it was still a one shot game heading into the third period.

The Wings continued playing very well in the third. Nearing the midpoint of the period Ericsson had the puck behind his own net but he got tangled up with a broken stick that was laying there. It caused a turnover, things got crazy and Ryan ended up scoring to tie the game. Even though the Red Wings had played much better than the Ducks in this game and this series they could be eliminated with one shot. It was maddening.

Then Selanne was called for hooking and the Wings went on the power play. The Wings didn’t score on the power play and time was winding down with the game still tied. They got the puck into the Anaheim end and started taking shots. The Wings were moving the puck all over the zone. Zetterberg ended up with it along the glass behind the net. He chipped it to Cleary who was standing in front of the crease. Cleary put it on the ice between Hiller’s knees, then gave it another tap and it slid between Hiller’s legs and into the net to put the Wings back on top. It was a classic hard-working Cleary goal.

The Wings continued to apply pressure. The Ducks pulled the goalie as soon as they could. The Red Wings fought hard and so did the Ducks but Detroit was able to shut them down. The good guys won!

It was such a relief. There were so many bad calls in this series. I don’t normally find too much fault with the officiating but this was bad. There was at least one game that the Ducks won without earning in my opinion. The Wings played so well in this series but it seemed like they had to beat the Ducks and the officials, too. Well, they did it! I don’t buy into the conspiracy theories. I don’t think the officials had it in for the Wings or anything like that. I know how hard it is to get the calls right when the game is so fast. I think it was just bad luck. That being said, it would have been a huge tragedy if the Wings had lost this series after outplaying the Ducks so badly.

None of that matters, though. It’s over, at least for now.

I’m really excited to watch the Red Wings and the Blackhawks. What a classic matchup! I can’t wait for that series. Chicago is a great team that plays well against the Wings. It should be a great one!

This 3-4 win finishes this Western Conference Semifinal series at 4-3 Detroit.