Detroit dumps Calgary in double OT
Red Wings 2, Flames 1 (2OT)
Detroit wins series 4-2
Well, given his team was outshot 55-21 tonight, you'd be hard-pressed to blame this one on Miikka Kiprusoff.
These silly overtimes games are making for late, late nights on the sports desk.
UPDATE What that means is that Detroit will host either San Jose or Dallas in Round 2, depending on if the Stars win tomorrow's Game 7 in Vancouver. If the Canucks win, they'll be off to Anaheim to play one of the league's top teams on little rest.
UPDATE This game, and this series, sort of typified what's happened in Round 1 this year: Despite all the predictions of just how tight every series would be, only the Dallas-Vancouver match-up has really been a coin toss (and even then, the Stars have carried the balance of play for the most part).
Five of the eight first-round series ended in four or five games, and in the two that went to six, the team on the losing end never dominated its opposition. None of the seven teams that have advanced so far were out shot in their series, and more than a few heavily outchanced their opposition (think the Rangers, Red Wings and Senators).
Another trend has seen every team — save for the Ducks — that has advanced take far fewer penalties than their opposition.
The Globe and Mail's Al Maki and Eric Duhatschek were both at the game, filing pieces here and here just in time for the newspaper's remodelled edition tomorrow.
UPDATE Did Jim Playfair's profanity-laced tirade directed at the media make sense to anyone else? He's got to at least expect a few comments regarding the game's lopsided shot totals.
"Was it good enough?" Playfair offered. "Not tonight. I think our team competed hard. It's a draining time, an emotional time — and I'm $25,000 poorer."I've been surprised at just what coaches have been saying postgame so far in these playoffs, including a dejected Alain Vigneault's deriding comments for his own club after a particularly odorous performance on Saturday. Or how about Tampa's John Tortorella talking earlier today about his netminder appearing as though he was ready "to wet his pants" in Game 1.
The amount of pressure on these guys is immense — and it appears some are cracking as the stakes raise.
UPDATE The thing with the Red Wings is that they allow their opposition so few scoring opportunities that it's really not difficult for their games to appear lopsided.
Detroit's game plan of limiting shots against — they were first in the category during the regular season and remain at the top so far in the playoffs — has been the same since Dominik Hasek's first go-around in goal, when he and the team won the Stanley Cup in 2002 with what was, at times, one of the more underwhelming goaltending performances by a Cup-winning netminder. Detroit allowed just 24.6 shots per game against that year, something no team that has advanced to at least the conference finals duplicated that season or since then.
In the series against the Flames, Hasek faced just 21.5 shots per game — 3.1 fewer than Detroit allowed during the season.
The Red Wings' potential opponents, San Jose and Dallas, are two of the league's weakest teams when it comes to shots on goal — barely ahead of the Flames among playoff teams in the category.
UPDATE Calgary's shenanigans in Saturday's Game 5 were not indicative of a team that was going to win this series, especially not against a team as talented as Detroit. Maybe that kind of nonsense worked with the Dayton Bombers against the Huntington Blizzard — but it doesn't wash in the NHL.
I wouldn't be surprised if Playfair was one of a couple of coaches let go this off-season.