Monday, April 23, 2007

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.

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At 1:11 a.m., April 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So long idiots!

At 1:19 a.m., April 23, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

good game, some crappy calls both ways, but glad the wings can take some days off. Hopefully lebda heals up and Holmstrom's head is ok... Apparently he was taken to the hospital after that stick to the head during the first overtime.

At 2:05 a.m., April 23, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I hope they're both okay, too. It sounded as if the problem with Holmstrom was that the cut was near the eye. My guess is that stitching it up was problematic. That would mean that whether he can play depends upon whether a visor would be sufficient to protect the wound.

That said, I thought Kyle Quincey played just fine tonight.

At 4:36 a.m., April 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan Vigneault's comments surprised me not at all. The Canucks' pathetic display in game 6 was utterly disgraceful.

At 9:04 a.m., April 23, 2007, Blogger Matthew Macaskill said...

The Wings won the series 4-2, not 4-1. Gotta love late OT games, eh? hehe

At 3:15 p.m., April 23, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

It's no wonder that Darryl Sutter hates college hockey players, and thinks they can't develop there. They don't teach players how to try and injure your opponents with vicious cheap shots once the game is lost in the NCAA.

At 3:50 p.m., April 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sutter drafted two college players in the last draft. Moss, a college player, made Kobasew expendable. Don't let facts get in the way of your diatribe.

At 8:28 p.m., April 23, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

One of those picks, Aaron Marvin, was advised by Sutter to go to the WHL, and the other was a 6th round draft pick, which isn't exactly a huge commitment on the team's part.


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