16 May 2007

Duck Season Officially Open

Series 2-1 in Wings' favor
(What on earth was I on when this said Sharks? Remind me not to post at 3am)

First off, is that Valtteri Filppula using one of those sticks that Datsyuk's stirred up so much noise about? I haven't noticed it in the games - has anyone else? It's too late for me to feel like looking up pictures and checking right now, but I couldn't help but see at least that he was carrying one in these celebration pictures tonight.

On to the game - that was the kind of thing you don't expect to see in the playoffs. Especially by the time you hit the WCF. In a beautiful 5-0 effort by Hasek and the Wings, we moved up 2-1 for the series and showed that we can not only take a beating, we can dish one out like the best of them.

The Wings' offensive effort was brilliant, especially compared to the past couple games where it would have really been nice to see a little more. Babcock shuffled the line around a bit (and also gave Tomas Kopecky a chance to play, after being out injured since December 19th) and it looks to have worked like a charm - not only that, but once again our potential for scoring depth made a great showing. Franzen broke out with the first goal, followed up with a nice shot by Homer - a wristshot and not the sort of goal we're used to seeing from him, which only made it more satisfying - a tip in in front of the net by Bertuzzi, another Holmstrom goal, and finally to top off the evening, my other rookie Filppula stepped up and knocked one in to bump us up to five. Not to mention the statistic when you factor in assists - of the 18 members of tonight's roster, 10 notched points.

The Ducks, on the other hand, couldn't seem to stay out of the box, which really hurt their offensive chances - I'll admit, Pronger raging at the referees made me a little bit happy.

Make that face all you want, Prongs, it didn't get you your pants back and it won't make the refs take pity on you either.

He and Baby Nieds took a really nasty shot at Holmstrom, knocking him down and sending him back to the lockerroom with two cuts on his forehead. It looked worrisome for a bit, but luckily Homer was back in the third period. I'm skeptical on the call - Niedermayer got a five minute penalty for boarding and a game misconduct, but Pronger, that jerkbag, walked away with nothing.

As for goaltending, Dominik Hasek was brilliant in net tonight, notching him yet another playoff shutout. He made several excellent stops and even using some of his patented wandering out of the net, successfully poking the puck away from a couple different Ducks. The announcers commented that he must have been getting bored - and rightfully so; the Ducks were outshot 13-2 in the second.

J.S. Giguere, on the other hand, looked a bit shaky at the beginning, and (much to my delight) was pulled in the second, allowing Ilya Bryzgalov another shot at playoff glory.

Sure they weren't as cute as Luongo and Sabourin, but what can you expect from Ducks.

Unfortunately, he let in the first shot that was taken on him (though to his credit I don't quite know how the Ducks let Valtteri Filppula get quite so far into the zone to begin with). He didn't look bad, however, which made me happy. Duck hatred I may have, but I really do have a soft spot for Bryz and I'm not the only one:
Me: Okay Ilya like, spins. when he gets back up and they're moving the puck away he just sort of makes little circles and it's really adorable.
Elly: Ilya does this cute shoulder roll thing....so cute.
And there's even a Facebook group dedicated to his Score interview. The poor guy, this must feel like flashbacks to last year's WCF - I can just picture him sitting there in net, muttering to himself about closing the door. (To note, I really wish there were more Knob Hockey happening this year).

Now we just have to wait and see if the Wings can keep this up again in Anaheim Thursday - I have faith!

Speaking of goalies I have odd attachments to, tomorrow could be Ty Conklin's last game of the season - by the looks of things, the poor guy isn't even getting to suit up and stop some pucks during practice over in Buffalo.

Having finally been home for a playoff game, I took a bunch of pictures and was finally able to have something to submit to the Japers' Rink View From Your Playoff Seats project - they were nice enough to feature my favorite on their page, so I wanted to take a minute to pimp the project in general for anyone who hasn't heard about it yet.


Finally in a quick Tigers update just because this is getting called our biggest win yet and I can't help but be happy over it, the boys took on the Red Sox in Boston tonight and upset them 7-2. Verlander had a strong evening, pitching for 7 2/3 innings and and my boy Magglio Ordonez lit up the stadium with a home run that brought in three. Go Tigers!


Elly said...

Ilya is cute, what can I say? It's that stupid helmet interview, damn Ducks...

KMS2 said...

1. When Pronger started yappin' away I kept hoping that he would get an unsportsmanlike conduct.

2. After seeing your picture of JS and Bryz touching gloves, I thought, "wouldn't it be really cute if goalies on the same team wore matching equipment, or at least had equipment in matching colors?"

Steph said...

Elly: I know, I know...every time he's in net I just want to go smush him.

Kms2: OH ME TOO. The jerk should have been glad he didn't get kicked out of the game for that hit on Holmstrom, not whining about a perfectly legal call. And that would be cute! I can't think of any goalies who do have similar equipment now...but if Ilya and Giguere did it, I'd hope they went with keeping Ilya's black and orange pads, for some reason I love them.

KMS2 said...

Bryz's pads are far superior to Giguere's.

And what, no post yet on the Mongoloid being withheld from the next game?

Steph said...

They really really are, for some reason I just love them. Are there any other goalies with dark pads like that? Maybe that's why...

And I just did! In fact it made me so happy that I actually referred to it in TWO stupid spammy posts!