Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
By Allan Muir, SI.com
1. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim - The way the Ducks have been playing -- very, very badly -- Giguere had to be the best player on the ice for them to steal a win. For the second game in a row, he was, propelling Anaheim to an improbable 2-1 OT victory and a 3-2 series lead. While his teammates were being whipped up and down the ice, Giguere calmly stopped 36 of 37 Detroit shots and improved his playoff overtime record to 12-1.
2. Daniel Cleary, Detroit - It was another gritty effort from Cleary, who provided a consistent physical presence in all three zones. He also set up Detroit's lone goal with a clever play to create some space inside the Anaheim blueline before dishing the puck to Andreas Lilja.
3. Teemu Selanne, Anaheim - The Finnish Flash was muzzled much of the afternoon but finally created an opportunity for himself in overtime to score the biggest goal of Anaheim's season. Throwing common sense to the wind, Selanne chased Lilja behind the Detroit net and rattled him sufficiently to force an ill-advised pass attempt. After the Wing whiffed, Selanne picked up the gift in the right circle and took three strides before beating Dominik Hasek with a backhander for the game winner.
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Best Team Didn't Win Game 5
When is everyone going to realize (including SI Hockey-Homer Muir) that it doesn't matter who plays better? It only matters who wins. Plain and simple. Lets not delve into why this happens ... as it just does.
(Note: I like these Three Stars.)
As a Ducks fan, I still say the officiating is HORRIBLE. It should have been a too-many-men call on the Ducks, but they shouldn't have called Sean O'Donnell for tripping Mikael Samuelsson in the 2nd Period. Even the guys in the NBC booth conceded that Sean was hosed on that call (which was amazing they said that).
Detroit lost today because they couldn't convert on the numerous chances Anaheim gave them. How many 5-on-3s have the Wings enjoyed this series? Too many. The Ducks have just about handed the series on a silver-platter to the Wings, but the Wings just don't want it. They went 0-for-6 in regulation and 0-for-1 in overtime on the power-play.
The Wings just don't want to win. No Wings fan could say otherwise, because even though the Wings have consistantly played better overall, they don't want to finish off scoring chances. This is why the Ducks are a better team. Teams that are good ... control the game. Teams that are great ... find ways to win. < See Ottawa >
Attendance: 20,003 (99.7% full)
Another ugly stat. Biggest game of the series and some Michaganders stayed home. C'mon Detroit ... show us you're Hockeytown!
Game 6 Prediction?
The Wings have to come out and out-play the Ducks in Anaheim. Problem for the Wings is, the team that plays better ... loses the game. So what game-plan can Babcock actually implement? This is a TERRIBLE but true equation for Babcock: Play better than the other team = lose the game.
Carlyle has the benefit of making the last shift-changes at home. This is something he won't take lightly this time, but you never know with Babcock's line make-overs.
One last thing: Anyone want to change their "Wings in 6" prediction, because I'm still good with "Ducks in 6."
I got my tickets ... so break out the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl ... while I'm waving my Fowl Towel! Hockey is alive in SoCal.
Thank you Mr. Bettman and the NHL. After 17 years, I have had enough. As a (former)fan all I wanted was one thing, consistency. If a team lost fairly, so be it. But it gets old when year after year there are 2 sets of rules...one for the regular season, and one for the finals. Many obvoius penalties (especially obstruction) are ignored, then all of a sudden, something that has been let go all game is called. The NHL doesn't get it. People aren't going to follow a sport that doesn't follow its own rules. There was such a big deal made last year with the rule changes. Then what happened....EVERYTHING was called early in the season , then nothing in the playoffs (as usual). Things are no different now then the Sabres left the finals (one game early) because someone scored while in the crease (something against the rules at the time). The NHL will tell you how good things are going. If that is the case why is it that they are reduced to being aired on Versus, and NBC won't air games to their completion unless it suits their fancy. How can you expect to grow your fan base when you alienate your current fans. Before you say it....no I am not whining, just pointing out the facts. Rules are only rules if you follow them. Letting them "play it out" in the finals is fine, as long as you allow the same during the regular season. Say what you will, but many have come to the same conclusion that I have. I hope that things change. If they do, I'll be back. If not, there is always poker and tennis.
Here we have a great comeback thriller game not only once in regulation, but also in OT. Instead of giving the Ducks credit for their clutch victory, the NBC commentators actually sound disappointed that the Red Wings lost. One has to wonder, if the shoe was on the other foot for Detroit, how the biased reporting would have played out. Yes, the Ducks were outplayed most of the regulation game, but in OT they had 8 shots against Detroit, while the Red Wings only had 3. Bottom line is the Ducks dug down deep and got the win, something that Detroit has failed to do the last 2 games. Momentum is now all with the Ducks. They will close out Tuesday night at home. Go Ducks!
Well the better team won... Red Wings was not able to make it a victory.
It's great to see one of the greatest players, who has practiced the move for his whole life, to make The Goal in the overtime. That's Teemu at his best. I remember the times a couple of years ago when he played in Finnish national team and he actually did similar goals back then, too. Many times when Teemu got the puck middle-ice, the opponents simply couldn't keep up with his pace. Even his team mates were often not able to keep up with him, so he was forced to try and score alone. And he often did the very same move as now against the Red Wings.
It's great to see him do the same move in NHL playoffs in overtime :)
Nuff said - Ducks 2 Wings 1 - NBC though should be embarassed and enraged at the unprofessional comments at the end of the game by their commentators that were so clearly pro Wings and pro East Coast. Sometimes West Coast Teams are better - and remember in Pro Sports its not how you play the game - - its whether you win or loose. GO DUCKS !