Jonas Hiller may have the save percentage (and he’ll probably still lead the save percentage for the playoffs by the end of the Stanley Cup Finals), but Osgood’s save percentage of only 88.89% in game 7 was enough to advance the Red Wings to the conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, where they’ll have home ice advantage again.
The Ducks looked sluggish for much of game 7, but still managed to fight back from a two goal deficit to tie the game at 3 goals apiece at 7:37 in the 3rd period. Near the end of the third period, it was obvious that the next goal would win the game. Unfortunately for the Ducks fans and team, the next goal was scored by Dan Cleary with exactly three minutes left in the 3rd period. It was the game (and series) winning goal for the Red Wings.
Detroit is a tough team and the Ducks should be proud of what they accomplished this post season. Game 7 of the series could have easily gone the other way. It was a very close game (unlike the Penguins/Capitals game last night) and to keep the game that close in Detroit is very impressive.
I think the Red Wings are beatable largely because of Osgood’s poor play in the regular season and playoffs, but not this time. It’ll be interesting to see how Detroit fares against Chicago.
As a side note, though it was frustrating last night, the fact that FSN West/Prime Ticket didn’t have their act together ended up saving me and allowing me to watch the entire game. Since they had the game listed on none of their stations (HD or otherwise online or in DVR guides) and I only get one of their two HD channels, I recorded the game on FSN Prime Ticket and FSN HD. Since the Angels game went into extra innings, but first period of the game was only available in southern California on Prime Ticket. I guess that’s the advantage of Versus as a channel – they don’t air anything else right before the games that can’t be cut off to move on to a hockey game. I guess that’s the up side of being on a network a lot of people don’t get. True, most carriers offer Versus now. Of course on the down side, Versus is a paid channel for most, so people who don’t purchase the sports package probably don’t have Versus. This is most noticeable when traveling and trying to find Versus in a hotel.
Tags: Blackhawks, Capitals, Chris Osgood, Ducks, fans, fighting, FSN, game 7, HD, Hockey, Jonas Hiller, NHL, Penguins, playoffs, Red Wings, Versus
Corey Perry tied the Ducks’ franchise postseason record for the fastest goal scored at the start of a game (Sykora scored 42 seconds into game 5 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals in New Jersey on June 5, 2003), established a career high for points in a postseason game with 3 (2-1), & had his first career postseason multi-goal game. However, his first goal of the game was probably the highlight for most Ducks fans at Honda Center tonight. Perry’s goal gave the Ducks their only lead of the game, which they held until Hiller gave up a soft goal to Franzen at 11:49 in the first period.
Ryan Getzlaf extended his league-leading postseason point streak to 8 games. He has 14 points in those 8 games (2-12) and has regained the solo lead in postseason scoring (he was tied with Sidney Crosby going into tonight’s game). Chris Pronger & Scott Niedermayer also extended their point streaks (to 5 & 3 games respectively), but overall the Ducks looked pretty bad tonight in front of their announced attendance of 17,601 (including 427 standing room only tickets) breaking the record set this season against the Philadelphia Flyers on January 2, 2009 (17,597). One of my friend’s who was at the game joked that it was all Red Wings fans, but the Ducks fans were well represented in the crowd, in spite of the “Let’s go Red Wings” and “Ozzie” chants that could probably be heard by watching the game on TV near the end of the game almost as well as they could in Honda Center.
Another bright side for the Ducks is that they managed to continue their power play goal streak, scoring one goal in their 3 power play chances. For a while, it seemed like the Ducks didn’t want a full power play, since they took a penalty 31 seconds after Detroit’s first penalty and only 6 seconds after Detroit’s second penalty. They scored to end their third power play opportunity after only 12 seconds. Obviously, that’s the way the Ducks would prefer to end a power play early. I’m sure the Ducks will aim to spend less time in the penalty box in games 5 & 6, even though Detroit only scored one goal in their 5 power play opportunities tonight.
The Red Wings clearly didn’t start game four as they’d planned. Mike Babcock mentioned in his post-game interview that they’d talked a lot about starting the game stronger, since he feels the Ducks have out-skated the Red Wings for about the first ten minutes in every game this series and that the Red Wings have improved as the games progressed. The plan was to change that tonight and start stronger, which they obviously didn’t accomplish. Babcock also mentioned that he thought the first period of tonight’s game was their worst period they’d played in a long time and that he’s not sure how they managed to come out of it with a 2-1 lead.
The Ducks and Red Wings have two days off to rest up before playing game 5 in Detroit on Sunday. The series has become a best of 3 series and whichever team can come out of it winning 2 of the next three will advance to the conference final against the Vancouver Canucks or Chicago Blackhawks (also tied at 2 a piece after tonight’s overtime Hawks win).
Honda Center will surely be packed again Tuesday night for game 6, since everyone already knows the series cannot end earlier.
Note: Hiller was pulled for the first time in his playoff career (his 10th playoff game). I’m sure Hiller will still start game 5 for the Ducks, since he started tonight’s game as the number one goalie in the playoffs and was in the top for the regular season, as well.
Tags: attendance, Blackhawks, Canucks, Chris Osgood, Chris Pronger, Corey Perry, Ducks, fans, Hockey, Honda Center, Jonas Hiller, Mike Babcock, NHL, Petr Sykora, playoffs, power play, Red Wings, Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Niedermayer, Sidney Crosby
Game one in Detroit was very close and if it weren’t for the Red Wings’ goal in the last minute of the 3rd, it would have gone into overtime. The Ducks knocked the Presidents’ Trophy winning Sharks out of the playoffs. Still, everyone seemed to be acting like it was surprising and the Ducks didn’t really belong. After today’s win in Detroit in the 3rd overtime, will the Ducks be treated like they belong? There has been a lot of talk about Osgood not getting the respect he deserves. That may have been true in many past playoffs, but this season he was near the bottom in save percentage and goals against average. Sure, he won a lot of games, but that was because of the team in front of him, for the most part. The idea that the Ducks aren’t getting enough respect doesn’t even seem to cross the minds of those broadcasting the NHL playoffs nationally. My guess is that this is because of the fact that the Ducks are on the west coast, so they’re still an enigma. Most east coast broadcasters don’t seem to watch the Ducks’ regular season games (in spite of the fact that they’re not always at night on the west coast. They won the Stanley Cup two years ago, but still get very little credit I don’t think beating the Red Wings in game 2 will change that, but perhaps some will start to realize that the Ducks’ knocking the Sharks out wasn’t a fluke and didn’t surprise those of us who saw both teams a lot in April.
I expected this series to be one of the best (if not the best) in round 2 and that’s definitely proven to be the case so far. The first game was decided by one goal in the last minute of the game and the second was decided in the 3rd overtime. If you haven’t been paying attention to this series, you might want to start.
In other great news, NBC did NOT kick the game off the network (as it did for horse racing a couple years ago). The entire game aired on NBC. It’s good that the first 3OT game of the playoffs this year was for a morning game. That would have been a late night if it had been game 3.
The series is tied as the Ducks head home to Anaheim for game 3 on Tuesday. FSN is airing the game in HD, so Ducks’ fans unable to make it to the game will still be able to see it in high quality.
Tags: Chris Osgood, Ducks, fans, FSN, HD, Hockey, Jonas Hiller, NBC, overtime, playoffs, Presidents' Trophy, Red Wings, reporters, Sharks