Detroit rock city
Wings rout rival Avs 7-0 to advance to Stanley Cup finalsPosted: Friday May 31, 2002 9:56 PM
Updated: Saturday June 01, 2002 3:45 AM
Detroit scored on its first two shots and knocked out the Colorado goalie early in the second period as the Red Wings eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche with a 7-0 victory Friday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
"We thought it would be a 1-0 game, or go into overtime, or be a 2-0 game," Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. "We were still thinking after the first period, 'This isn't the way it's supposed to be.'"
While Roy struggled, Hasek set an NHL record with his fifth shutout in one postseason.
Hasek didn't care that he set a record while helping the Red Wings move a big step closer to the ultimate prize with the largest margin of victory in an NHL Game 7.
"It doesn't mean anything," said Hasek, who sought a trade to Detroit to complete his resume with a Stanley Cup. "It's nice, but I have other goals and they're not about shutouts in the playoffs."
The Red Wings will open the Stanley Cup finals Tuesday night at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hasek finished strong with 19 saves for his second straight shutout, while Roy allowed four goals in the first period for the first time in his storied 240-game playoff career.
"I didn't have time to feel bad for him," Hasek said. "That can happen to any goalie."
Hasek won his first Game 7 in three chances. Roy and the Avalanche had won their past four Game 7s, including two shutout victories over Los Angeles and San Jose this season.
In a dramatic series highlighted by three overtimes and spectacular play by more than a dozen future Hall of Famers, the Red Wings weren't interested in adding more drama to one of hockey's best rivalries.
Midway through the first period, Luc Robitaille slipped a shot through Roy's pads. Roy kicked the puck out of the net, skated to the boards to his right, then sprayed water on his face during an ensuing timeout as red-clad fans chanted "Pa-trick! Pa-trick!"
It got even worse for Roy and the Avalanche at 12:51 of the first when the Red Wings took a 4-0 lead on Holmstrom's goal off a a rebound of Robitaille's shot.
Roy then rested for a few seconds on his back in the back of the net, probably wishing he was on a bed with covers available to pull over his head.
After Roy let out a big sigh, Colorado coach Bob Hartley replaced him with David Aebischer for the first time this postseason.
"He didn't want to come out," Hartley said. "We all know Patrick, how much of a competitor he is. ... Especially after the season that he gave us, I think that he had seen enough tonight, so it was time to give him a break."
Roy regretted that the Avalanche didn't eliminate Detroit when they were ahead 3-2 in the series and at home for Game 6.
"There's going to be a lot of times we're going to think about that," Roy said. "Game 7s are tough to win on the road."
The Avalanche, along with the rest of the NHL, know that well.
They have lost their last four Game 7s on the road and the home team has won eight of the last nine Game 7s in the NHL.
Colorado became the first NHL team to play in four consecutive Game 7s, dating to last year when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, and joined the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only teams to play in three Game 7s in one postseason.
The Red Wings played in their first Game 7 since beating St. Louis 1-0 in overtime of the 1996 Western Conference semifinals.
These rivals, who have combined to win four of the past six Stanley Cups, met for the fifth time in the postseason since 1996, but played in a Game 7 for the first time.
While the Red Wings appeared fresh, the Avalanche looked understandably haggard because of their demanding postseason and short bench.
"We have no excuses," Colorado captain Joe Sakic said.
Notes: While with Buffalo, Hasek lost both Game 7s he played: the 1994 Eastern Conference finals to New Jersey and last year's conference semifinals to Pittsburgh. ... The seven goals Colorado gave up were the most in the playoffs since a 7-3 loss to San Jose on April 30, 1999. ... Detroit shut out a playoff opponent in consecutive games for the first time since 1992. ... Detroit rookie Pavel Datsyuk added the seventh goal midway through the final period.