30 April 2008

Keepin' it Going (Wings 4, Avs 3)

Once again I missed the game - this series has really been a disaster in viewing terms, as I was spending the evening with a friend who will be moving soon, and it sounds like it was a good one. The return of Forsberg couldn't save them, either - here are some comments from around the web:

Matt @ On the Wings: Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg had probably their best game of the playoffs. [...] Peter Forsberg had some moments in which he looked dangerous, but the Wings did a great job of neutralizing him. I believe Nik Kronwall got a big hit on him and it was heart-warming to see little Brian Rafalski stand him up in the neutral zone in the third period. [...] The loss of Stastny compounded the loss of Smyth and made it much more difficult for Forsberg to make an impact. It was pretty obvious that he was playing hurt.

Mike @
Mile High Hockey: The Avs failed to take the body on Detroit's forwards as they entered the zone until the 3rd period, which resulted in plenty of opportunities for a healthy Detroit team to take advantage of a depleted Avalanche squad. When they did try to get the physical play up, it usually resulted in borderline hits that weren't called (luckily) or power play opportunities for the Red Wings. Quenneville also seemed to have the caution flag out for long stretches of the 1st and 2nd periods as the Avs looked content not to lose badly at times rather than putting the Red Wings on their collective heals.

Dave @ Gorilla Crouch: Detroit’s Big Three played a role in winning Game 3 last night, and in doing so put the Colorado Avalanche on the brink of elimination. [...] Finally, the Mule kept his improbable goal scoring run on track. He scored another goal last night which brings that remarkable run to 23 goals in 25 games. [...] Anyone who follows sports knows about the old cliche that your best players have to be your best players. Pavs, Hank, Lids and the Mule were just that last night and as a result the Red Wings are one win away from making a return trip to the Western Conference Finals.

Aaron @ The Dog and Pony Show: This Red Wings dominance was not unexpected. They were the best team in the regular season, and they are the best team in the playoffs. Detroit never had a post-lockout swoon like the Avalanche did, and by the looks of it they may never have any kind of swoon any time soon.
Let's hope so. The Wings have moved to 3-0 on the series, a familiar number this round, as both Pittsburgh and Dallas are up on their opponents by the same margin. Thursday night they battle the Avalanche in Denver for the sweep at 10:00 pm - GO WINGS.

(Meanwhile, Detroit sports fans rejoice for another reason - Tigers relief pitcher Jason Grilli is finally gone.)

Update: Mike Babcock has been nominated for the Adams Award, along with Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens and Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals. While the award is all but Boudreau's (and I certainly think he deserves it) for turning around the Caps this season, it's awesome to see Babcock recognized for his third straight 50+ win season with the Wings.

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