We enjoyed the intensity last night but the game had about as much skill on display as a brawl at a gay club.... tres ugly. Detroit got the bounces and the calls and made the most of it... Marc-Andre Fleury had two goals go in off the back of his legs and then the third one was a infield fly that Jordan Staal must have lost in the lights and then was fluttered in.
For only the third time in 17 games in these playoffs Detroit was outshot (32 to 30) but Chris Osgood stood tall, especially when he stoned Geno Malkin on a breakaway. Btw, anyone else thinking that Ozzie's shoulder pads seem to be expanding?... not quite to Garth Snow like extremes yet but he's definitely got some extra lift there that isn't protecting anything other than the net.
While on the topic of protecting the goalies, anyone else notice that whenever Chris Kunitz is in a scrum around the net he just starts cross-checking the goalie like Dale Hunter against a team of Pierre Turgeons? He got exposed for doing it to Simeon Varlamov back in the 2nd round and that one was pretty nasty but he continues to do it and doesn't get caught.
Johan Franzen had another goal (his 11th of the playoffs) and another game winner (his third of the playoffs) and is our pick to take home Conn Smythe in our new poll (as we're predicting the Wings will take it in 7 games). Franzen gets the key goals and Zetterberg gets the empty-netters and that tells us everything we need to know.
That's goals in three straight for Rusty Fedotenko and he's had six in his last 10 games. He's doing his best to prove that the Penguins have the depth to keep up with Detroit but when guys like Staal, Kunitz, Kennedy, Cooke, Satan and Sykora have only combined for eight goals in 18 playoff games... its pretty apparent who the deeper team is.
... and right on queue, Detroit gets a goal from a 4th liner like Justin Abdelkader last night. This was his first playoff goal and actually his first ever NHL goal period. We like what we've seen from JA, in limited minutes so far, and his numbers continue to show a little edge to his game (52 points and 102 PIMs in the AHL this year)... he should be a regular with the Wings next season.
One non-finals note... Devils prospect Petr Vrana has decided to head back to the Czech league as he appears to be tired of slogging through another season in the AHL (where he's been the past four seasons)... didn't appear as though Lou had high hopes for him so no big loss.
Nicklas Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson were able to return for game #1 last night but still no Pavel Datsyuk... and we're pretty sure that either nobody has any idea when he's going to be ready or he's more hurt than people are letting on and its doubtful that we'll see him in the finals at all.
What's distracting us today? Feels just wrong to have Jim Hughson doing the play-by-play on CBC over Bob Cole... Bob is the man and Bob's voice is hockey and even though he may blow a few calls a game, if you were watching last night you realize that Hughson misses his fair share as well (he kept claiming that Cleary got Franzen's goal despite Craig Simpson telling him otherwise). This scout, for one, hopes that CBC comes to their senses and brings the Bobster back... cause if the Leafs ever do manage to win another Cup and its not Bob Cole calling it, it just won't feel right.