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Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
10:11 p.m. ET, 5/20/07

Gettin' Jiggy with 'em!

Posted by Allan Muir
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was solid, if not spectacular, with 36 saves in Game 5.
Moments after his team had stolen yet another game from the Red Wings, Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere summed up his team's good fortune.

"We weren't as good as we could have been," he said rather generously of his team's efforts. "But we found a way to win."

In the end, it doesn't much matter that Giguere's Ducks were soundly outplayed for a third straight game in these Western Conference Finals, or that it took them more than 59 minutes to break through Detroit's determined defense and mount a serious assault on Dominik Hasek.

No, all that matters at this point is that Giguere held the overmatched Ducks in this thing long enough for Scott Niedermayer to tie the game at 1 with less than a minute to play, and long enough for Teemu Selanne to lift a backhander over Hasek for the clincher at 11:57 of the first overtime.

Hey, no one asks how you get to four wins in a playoff series -- just whether or not you got the job done. And with this one, the Ducks take an unexpected, and in many ways undeserved, 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in Anaheim, with just one victory separating them from a date with the Ottawa Senators in the Finals.

If they make it, and at this point the odds say they will, the Ducks will owe it all to Jiggy.

As in Game 4, Giguere wasn't simply the best Duck. He was the best player on the ice, the guy who single-handedly dictated the outcome. While his teammates were being posterized by the creative playmaking of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, or were coughing up the puck under the Wings' diligent checking, Giguere found a way to stop 36 of 37 Detroit shots. Few were of the highlight-reel variety, but his game has always been a triumph of substance over style. By playing a sound positional game and offering up few rebounds, he simply did what he had to do to give his team a chance.

But his efforts likely would have gone to waste, if not for a pair of massive Detroit blunders.

Just seconds before Niedermayer's tying goal, penalty killer Johan Franzen had the puck on his stick just inside the blueline with a chance to clear the zone. Instead, his backhanded clearing attempt went directly to Chris Pronger at the point; and two passes later, the puck was in the back of the Detroit net.

But as brutal as that was, the enduring image will be of Andreas Lilja, the author of Detroit's lone goal, coughing up the puck in overtime to Selanne -- of all people! -- then watching helplessly as he capped the comeback by roofing it over a sprawling Hasek.

Two opportunities. Two goals. And that was the difference.

Meanwhile, the Wings failed to capitalize on their chances, particularly on the power play. They were a pitiful 0-for-7 on the afternoon, blowing chances to seal the game when Joe Motzko went off with more than four minutes left in regulation, and again in overtime when Travis Moen took a brutally lazy hooking call.

As frustrating as those failures have to be, this really was a game that went according to plan for the Wings up until that final minute. They wanted to play a smart, defensive game, and they imposed that blueprint from the opening faceoff. They kept much of the action bottled up between the bluelines and created chances off a strong forecheck that led to far more turnovers than the nine officially credited to the Ducks. A similarly determined effort on Tuesday should earn them a chance for redemption on home ice in Game 7.

Of course, Giguere might have something to say about that.
posted by SI.com | View comments |  


Posted: 10:48 PM, May 20, 2007   by Anonymous
Ducks in 6.
Posted: 11:50 PM, May 20, 2007   by Anonymous
SI.com Hockey Homer Allan Muir: His Contradictions That Amuse

Lucky Ducks

"Moments after his team had stolen yet another game from the Red Wings ..."

"... the Ducks take an unexpected, and in many ways undeserved, 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in Anaheim ..."

"If they make it, and at this point the odds say they will ..."

Reasons Why The Wings Lost

"Two opportunities. Two goals. And that was the difference."

"Meanwhile, the Wings failed to capitalize on their chances, particularly on the power play ..."

Utter and Complete Nonsense

As frustrating as those failures have to be, this really was a game that went according to plan for the Wings up until that final minute. They wanted to play a smart, defensive game, and they imposed that blueprint from the opening faceoff. They kept much of the action bottled up between the bluelines and created chances off a strong forecheck that led to far more turnovers than the nine officially credited to the Ducks. A similarly determined effort on Tuesday should earn them a chance for redemption on home ice in Game 7.

- - - - -

An effort in Game 6, like they had in Game 5 will result in a loss. Why do you not understand that, Muir? The Wings do not WANT to win.

Their smart, defensive game resulted in only one goal. This was by a guy a that has never scored in the playoffs before. Maybe you didn't notice that a former Norris-winner and Richard-winner scored goals for the Ducks. If the Wings game-plan was to NOT score, then they acheived that. Great game plan, huh?

Muir ... if you hate the Ducks ... just say so. At least you'll regain some credibility (the little you ever had).

Go Ducks!
Posted: 12:28 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
The Ducks did deserve to lose. Yes, Detroit missed opportunities, but when you get that many, odds are you usually capitalize. Detroit got very unlucky and the Ducks got lucky.

First, the pucked rolled on Franzen as he tried to clear it, then the puck bounced off of Lidstrom's stick and into the top corner. I'm sure that's just how he planned that pass to go.

The Ducks were terrible in every facet of the game, except the "getting lucky" category. They didn't play good defense, were out shot, out chanced, out hit, had more penalties, won less face offs, and had less puck control. They didn't win in any category. Except getting lucky.

Their game plan wasn't to score, they had plenty of chances to score. If their game plan was to not score, as you suggest, why did they get more shots AND more scoring chances than the Ducks?

Should the Ducks slip by the Wings, the Senators are going to destroy them. The games won't even be remotely interesting.
Posted: 2:52 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous

Detroit is the only team in the league to counter the style the Ducks play.

Regardless, they are finding ways to win. The scoreboard is all that matters.

If the Ducks make it to the Finals against Ottawa, I don't think they'll have any problem at all running their gameplan and style.

Posted: 4:40 AM, May 21, 2007   by Orange County Native.
10 stanley cups Detroit has. 0 Anaheim has.

Time for someone new to take the glory instead of the *Cough* New York Yankees *Cough* oops I mean Red Wings.

Jiggy is a better Goalie than whatever the Senators have and Jigs has been the better Goalie than Hasek.

Senators will not walk all over the Ducks like the critics say. Defense and a good Goalie will keep them in the game long enough for Selanne, Penner, Getzlaf, Macdonald, Pronger, Niedermayer to score goals.

There is no Norris caliber defense on the Senators and no top notch goalie like Luango, Jiggy, Backstrom and Brodeur etc.

They didnt want our Anaheim Angels to win in 2002, but we did it even though the Yankees and the Twins were the better teams.

Ducks are walking a similar path.
Posted: 5:49 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
It was the Detroit who failed to keep the one goal lead and finish it off on many oppertunities. The Ducks staye din the game thanks to the heroic goaltending of Guigere. I cant see Detroit recovering from this.
Posted: 5:52 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
It's funny how you say the Ducks got lucky. It was pure talent and skill that lifted the Ducks to victory in this game. If you have been following Teemu Selänne's career you should know by now he scores because he knows how to do it.

Also the Ducks' goalie was superb, definitely better than the goalie at the other end of the ice. Is it 'luck' that makes a goalie always get in the way of the puck? I don't think so. It all comes down to how much skill the players have and how much will they have to achieve victories.

Your excuses are pathetic. They got lucky. Oh yes... that's what bad losers always say after a loss. Try to deny the skill of the opponents by saying 'they got lucky', as if you are actually better even when a fact is you lost!
Lucky or not the Ducks are ahead 3-2. Why they don't deserve? The wings failed to score, Jiggy kept them alive(remember the 60+ saves in OT win, game 1 against the wings in 04/03?) and turnover or not Teemu scored a buity. The name of the game is scoreeeee!!! You Muir, "the boss" on XM radio and several others wrote the Ducks off after game 3. We found a way to win without Pronger. Lucky again?? I hope the puck bounce one more time Ducks way. Remember that the Ducks is the youngest team in the NHL and the toughest!!!!
Posted: 8:03 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
the red wings got lucky in the first game..hockey has a funny way of coming back around....and the 4th game keeps getting said over and over that the ducks were overplayed? why they scored 3 goals in the first period...they werent outplayed the whole only in game 3...a bunch of haters....from the media on the internet and especially nbc's broadcast yesterday...and thats fine with us...give us all your hate....well just use it for motivation
Posted: 9:00 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
This is the time of year when you want to see the 2 best teams play for all the marbles. I wouldn't mind seeing the Ducks in the Finals is they were playing well, the article is absolutely correct... Jiggy has been tremendous while the Ducks have been weak offensively and hideous defensively. Not fun to watch at all. This team does not deserve to beat Detroit.
Posted: 9:27 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
To 11:50 PM, May 20, 2007 by Anonymous... don't you have a bridge you should be guarding somewhere? It was obvious to anyone that watched the game objectively that the Wings controlled the game and the ONLY reason it wasn't a blow out was that Giguere put on a clinic in net and bailed the Ducks out for a second game in a row
Posted: 9:57 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
Face it, the Ducks are not loved by the so-called experts like the Wings are. I've read so many biased articles it's not even funny. Holmstrom is the greatest...Lidstrom can't be scored on...Hasek is unbeatable...the Swedes are so creative with the puck. And when the Ducks roll to the finals, the experts will still be talking about the Wings. As a Ducks fan, I'm used to it (2003, NJ).

By the way - Teemu made Hasek look stupid last night! GO DUCKS
I gotta tell ya, I really chuckle when I see a jounalist go homer. The only undeserving thing about the ducks VICTORY was you're inability to write an objective story concerning the game they played, AND KEPT PLAYING to the very end.Perhaps you should make room in your closet for that wings sweater, bubba. "Lucky victory"? Smells like sour grapes to me pal, check the final score and give a good team thier due. They did'nt make it to the conference finals by mistake...
Posted: 10:34 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
I don't understand the hate Muir is getting here. If you look at the stats it's pretty obvious Anaheim was massively outplayed. They only category that they were not trounced in was Goaltending. Jiggy was fantastic.

The rest of the Ducks need to step it up if they're going up against Ottawa.
Posted: 10:44 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
did anyone of you actually feel like the ducks were in control of yesterdays game at any point. They have been outplayed the whole series except on the scoreboard. (which is what matters.)As a redwings fan my whole life and hockey fan the reason everyone makes a big deal out of if is because the ducks are a better team then they have been showing. All year i have watched both teams and as far as i see it with the defense the ducks have there is no way jiggy should have to be doing that much work. that is why everyone is saying the wings are outplaying them.so don't count the wings out just yet. You all keep saying ducks get no respect like in 2003 but you have to earn it. the wings have been in this situation before. Another thing who ever does win this series should be able to handle the Senators if they can shut down the main line. And one more.Watch for Jiggy and the wings next year after you let him go.
Posted: 10:50 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
Sounds like a frustrated Wings fan.Too bad the winning in every catagory except on the score board doesnt get you to the finals. And with the same logic you have, if the wings get past the ducks, The senators will destroy them as well. Take it easy man, Your team is playing well but they are not getting it done. Atleast your team is there. You guys should get behind them. I cant believe that you cant sell out the joe! Thought this was hockey town?
Posted: 11:20 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
If the Ducks play the same way in game six as they did in game five they will lose. That type of incredibly fortunate lightning never strikes twice. I don't understand the comment about the Wings strategy being not to score. They were simply stymied by a hot goalie. Its similar to saying the Ducks game plan was to rely on a questionable penalty in the last minutes of the game to score an incredible fluke powerplay goal after being dominated for the entire game, then score the OT winner on a crazy giveaway. That doesn't make much sense either. Anyone who believes the Ducks deserved to win this game should have thier head examined. Suddenly Jiggy has found his game. Remember game three. He stunk. He could stink again. The goal scored by Niedermayer was brutal. Off a stick and over the goalie's shoulder. It looked like an infield popup. Any number of skill guys could have scored on Hasek in overtime, he had no time to prepare for such a untimely miscue. Let's not give Selanne too much credit for scoring his fifth goal of the playoffs on a gift from the Wings defense. The Wings should have put this game out of reach in the second period. But that's hockey. Deserving has nothing to do with it. I'm not a fan of either team, but the Ducks have been outplayed in every game except game one. Sometimes the better team gets defeated through fluke and timely goaltending. Lets not start making plans for Ottawa and Anahiem. Lets see how the teams respond in game six. Allan Muir isn't rooting against the Ducks, he is simply making observations based on things we all saw with our own eyes. The Ducks got lucky. Sometimes you need luck to be great.
This comment is aimed for Allan Muir. "Why are you so negative against the Ducks?" Is it because you chose Detroit vs. Buffalo to go to the Stanley Cup, and so far it's looking like it's gonna be Anaheim vs. Ottawa? Just admit, seeing Ottawa already in there probably gets you upset, considering that you chose Buffalo to go for the Eastern Conferrence. And now, Anaheim is on the brink of representing the Western Conferrence.
Posted: 11:28 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
In games of this level and magnitude, no team "deserves" to win or "doesn't deserve" to win. The team that takes advantage of the opportunities given to them will win. In Game 5, it was the Ducks who took advantage of the opportunities given to them. All of this stuff about "don't deserve to win" are utter nonsense and are just used as fodder to make a short article longer for the reading pubilc. Look at any professional sport where two very good teams play - take advantage of opportunity and you will most likely win.
Posted: 11:36 AM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
The Ducks did get lucky. They got all the good bounces, and Detroit didn't. That's how hockey works. Hopefully Detroit will get the lucky breaks next game. Lets be honest the way the Ducks are playing, even if they do get past Detroit, the Senators will sweep them in the finals. At least with Detroit it will be an interesting match up.

To the person who dissed Detroit fans for not selling out the Joe, you obviously aren't from Michigan. People can't pay $99 for standing room tickets when they have lost their jobs or are on the verge of losing them. Just because we can't afford tickets doesn't mean that the bars aren't packed and that there isn't a sea of red around the area in support ot our team.
Posted: 12:53 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
I hate to talk about fan/commentator bias or preferences but this is a little interesting.

The Ducks played poorly, not even close to the way they played during the regular season, yet were able to squeak out a victory. And the commentators and fans speak about Detroit dominating the game and deserving the win. The Ducks got lucky and the better team didn't win.

What would they have said if the Wings had played poorly and still managed a win? They would have talked all night about how it's the sign of a good team. A good team finds a way to win even when they don't play their best game. I'm tired of all the bias towards the Wings. They are a great franchise, but they haven't always been that! Anybody remember the "deadthings"?? Other teams can represent hockey in this country besides everone's beloved Wings! Move over Detroit your time just might be up.
I don't care for the Ottawa Senators even though I live in Ottawa but I certainly want Anaheim to win this series just so Dominik Hasek, who bailed out on the Senators last year with the same schtick he pulls so often when he's not happy, is denied a chance to win another Cup. Doesn't matter how Anaheim plays the games as long as they record Ws. I can't Detroit pulling this out.
Posted: 2:02 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
Duck Fans enjoy while you can and about not selling out the joe,we also have the pistons & tigers playing at the same time it is a little hard to fill up every seat at each site.But I guess that is what happens when you are good in everything.
Posted: 2:29 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
Who gives a crap about a California based hockey team? Saying that the Mighty Ducks deserve a cup because they don't have any is pure nonsense. Face it, they have been outplayed 4 out of 5 games, and they haven't won a game on their own. The only reason this series is even close is because of mistakes made by Detroit, not due to the Ducks playing anything that remotely looks like playoff caliber hockey. The Ducks are a joke, nothing more than a group of goons. Fitting, seeing as Brian Burke is the GM...I remember seeing something similar to the Ducks in Vancouver a few years back....
Posted: 2:42 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
It's funny to me that so many Anaheim "fans" have watched so little hockey to realize when they've been completely outplayed, and that being so outplayed isn't necessarily reflected in the score. What the Ducks have been is STEAMROLLED, and Giguere and the bounces have completely held them in it. Such is the nature of hockey, the goalie and the mind of the puck being such a huge factor. If you insert this kind of dominance into a basketball series, the Ducks are hanging out at home by now.
Posted: 2:53 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
To: Anonymous at 2:02 ....

Quote: "But I guess that is what happens when you are good in everything."

How 'bout those Lions? 3-13 was it? That's okay ... my Chargers choked in the playoffs, despite the 14-2 record.
Posted: 3:06 PM, May 21, 2007   by Machiara
It's kind of ironic that the Red Wings did the EXACT SAME THING to my Sharks in the Conference Semifinals. Sharks led 2-1 in the series (and should have been up 3-0), led 2-1 in the game going into the final minute, and gave up a goal at home with :33 left on the clock. Sharks then lost in overtime.

The Sharks never recovered. Will the Red Wings?
Posted: 3:28 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
It would stink to have the most undeserving team win the Stanley Cup, but it appears that might become reality. I wouldn't count out the Wings just yet. They are a veteran team that is more than capable of rebounding after a disappointing loss. I say this series goes 7 and if the Ducks' offensive stars don't play on a consistent basis, Detroit will play for the Cup. All else fails, I just want to see Ottawa win the Cup. Canada deserves to have their trophy back and with all the lame southern teams in the NHL, hopefully Bettman can bring the game back to Canada where it belongs. You can start with Nashville and Florida. The fans in Winnipeg and Hamilton will make these boring teams fun to watch again.
Posted: 7:22 PM, May 21, 2007   by Anonymous
regardless of how it happend or what was the cause of it, The fact still remains that we won at the end thats all that matters you guys could analyze all you want break down every play every hit every whistle blow and make an argument for it but guess what Detroit lost theres no going back theres no fixing it a loss is a loss talk about how we got the lucky bounces etc you guys werent complaining in game one when the bounces went off of our own defense men and if the roles were reversed you would be saying the same thing
Posted: 5:31 AM, May 22, 2007   by Anonymous
The question still remains.....will the Ducks fans ever quit whining?
Posted: 10:59 AM, May 22, 2007   by Anonymous
yeah because Red wIng fans aren't big babues because of their sense of entitlement...shut up and score goals
Posted: 12:59 PM, May 22, 2007   by Anonymous
The ducks are awful. they are not even a one line team...they are a one player team. darren eliot should be fired for the articel he wrote about how good they are.

plain and simple, the wings couldnt finish. the ducks , if they make it past detroit, will be embarrassed by the senators.
Posted: 1:06 PM, May 22, 2007   by Anonymous
Jiggy has been the best goaltender in the playoffs. Sorry, Emery, but he's play has been outstanding. The Ducks have been outplayed in the last 3 games, but have found a way to win. That's the bottom line, winning the damn game. Ugly or not. Not any uglier than the clutching and grabbing with the left wing lock garbage that plagued the late 90's.
Posted: 2:17 PM, May 23, 2007   by Anonymous
The better team won!

"The ducks are awful. they are not even a one line team...they are a one player team." One player team? Which game were you watching? Four different players scored last night and you know... From my seat it looked like most of the game the DUCKS gave the WINGS a class on how to play Hockey and WIN!!!

All we hear from most media is Wild is going to win, Luongo is going to beat the Ducks and Detroits the best. They're all gone home to play golf.

Detroit was given more than enough give-me's on power plays and just couldn't produce. When you're hand fed penalties taking up the whole 2nd period in the games 3-5, they should have won hands down. especially with 5 on 3. Then to top it off back to back penalties in the third last night. LMAO

During those times the Ducks outplayed the WINGS defensively down a a man or two. The old men, Crutch Wings, got man handled and shown how to play defense.

I would like to give Red WIngs the respect, but when you have former players uhmmm, Brett Hull, rip the Ducks when the Ducks win games. It proves which franchise has a classless Hall of Famer(s) representing their team. ALso having someone who's won the Cup several times, Chellios, you'd think he would be a man and shake hands at the end and congratualte the opponet. Lost respect for both Hall of so called Famers. They need some lessons in ettiqute and being good sports, not arrogant sniviling cry babies. What kind of role models do they make.

The Ducks won with Heart, Passion and determination with their fans behind them. Even our announcers at the Jack Daniels No.7 club didn't bring up the Brett Hull announcer it's the fans, who don't like someone who is so biased and out to lunch.

Here's to the Finals and THE ANAHEIM DUCKS brining it home to the POND!! GO DUCKS!!!
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