Red Wings – Ducks: More Random Babbling

I was going to recap the Wings-Ducks tilt from this afternoon but, especially with the way it ended, I decided I wanted to do something a bit more editorial.

Over at Abel to Yzerman, Bill’s got a piece posted called Screwed. It’s his opinion of what happened to the Wings on the potential game-tying goal late in the third.

I’m torn on agreeing or disagreeing with sentiment.

Part of me that says that on a day that saw Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik take a skate to the throat, arguing about a goal seems insignificant. We all remember Jiri Fischer here and when things like this happen, we’re all reminded that there are bigger things than the game itself in hockey.

That said, the events of a Buffalo-Florida game that hadn’t happened yet were not at the front of Wings fans minds this afternoon.

I spent most of the afternoon pretty upset, which is why I’ve kept my comments limited. I’ve tried to give myself time to calm down and gain perspective.

The non-goal at the end of the game is just the exclamation point on a game that was horribly-run from the beginning. It’s huge but it shouldn’t be the focus.

At 7:15 of the second, Chris Pronger was called for tripping Mikael Samuelsson and Sammy was called for diving. After the whistle, Chris Kunitz threw a couple punches at Samuelsson that went uncalled. In the ensuing four-on-four – which should have been a Detroit power play, whether by not calling the dive or by calling the roughing – the Ducks scored.

The officials spent the rest of the day trying to make up for that, calling cheap penalties on Anaheim that the Wings couldn’t capitalize on.

It made for an awful game. Wings fans will complain about the things that weren’t called, Ducks fans will complain about the things that were, and the national TV audience will have missed a chance to see a great game.

I don’t agree with calling extra penalties to “even things up.” It cheapens things. If the refs really cost a team a goal, they need to be able to own up and rectify it, but there’s no way to do that.

The funny thing is that the easiest way to even things up would have been to allow Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game at 3-3 but that didn’t happen.

Do I believe that Tomas Holmstrom interfered with Jean-Sebastien Giguere‘s ability to make the save on that goal? No. From my replay, Giguere’s stick was impeded by Holmstrom’s leg only after the puck was in the net. Giguere couldn’t see the puck through Holmstrom’s screen and that wouldn’t have mattered if he was three more inches out. The video for that will go into my archive for if I ever start HolmstromCreaseWatch.com to archive these incidents.

Does that matter? Of course not. We’ll never hear what the Red Wings organization really thinks of that play. We’ll never hear what the NHL has to say about it. It’s done to them.

My thinking a few hours after the game? Forget about it. The whole game was a mess, might as well write it off and move on.

Red Wings Claim Game One Win over Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings scored two power play goals on bounces off Anaheim defenders, carrying them to a 2-1 win over the Ducks on Friday night in the first game of their Western Conference Final matchup.

Red Wings’ goaltender Dominik Hasek stopped 31 of 32 shots against to hold off the Ducks.

Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin put both Detroit goals in to the net.

With Detroit on a power play at 3:44 of the first period, Henrik Zetterberg threw a shot from an acute angle at the net. The puck redirected off of Beauchemin at the side of the crease and slipped past netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere to give the Red Wings the lead.

Tomas Holmstrom‘s game-winning tally with 4:54 remaining in regulation also went in off of Beauchemin.

On another Detroit power play, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the point that bounced off the body of Holmstrom and hit the ice, rolling towards the goal line. Beauchemin attempted to knock the puck away and ended up putting it into his own net.

Chris Kunitz scored Anaheim’s lone goal at 1:34 of the final period, a wrister from the top of the left circle.

The Ducks were held off the board on seven power play chances, including a long five-on-three in the first period and a four-on-three in the third. The two Detroit power play goals came on their four attempts with the extra skater.

Giguere stopped 17 of 19 shots against on the night.

Game two between the two teams will be at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night.

Power Plays Lead Ducks over Red Wings

The Anaheim Ducks scored three times on ten power play chances en route to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night.

The three power play goals all came in the second period.

After an apparent goal by Teemu Selanne was called back for the net being off its moorings, Ryan Getzlaf scored at 8:46.

Just 1:40 later, Shane O’Brien scored his first NHL to extend Anaheim’s lead.

Chris Kunitz was credited with Anaheim’s third goal of the middle frame, though he later said he thought he didn’t get his stick on the puck as it slipped through Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

Corey Perry scored the Ducks’ lone even-strength goal with 6:20 in regulation but the Red Wings answered with Tomas Kopecky‘s first career goal 44 seconds later.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots against while Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 21 of 22 shots.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday in San Jose. Chris Osgood is expected to start in net for Detroit.

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