Odds and Ends From Game 6

duckssuck

(Photo courtesy of Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press)

A TON happened last night, so don’t expect these thoughts to go in any chronological order. Onward…

The Effort

Even before this game started, I had a feeling that something was off, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone was ready to move on to the Western Conference Final between Detroit and Chicago. Or maybe it was the fact that Detroit has closed out every playoff series they have won since 2002 on the road. But it seemed like everybody and their brother was ready to write off the Ducks and advance the Red Wings. In the end, these Wings looked like the Wings that we saw at the end of the regular season: bored, disinterested and waiting for the game to get handed to them on a silver platter. Only after Anaheim got ahead by two did the Wings finally decide it was time to shoot like crazy on Jonas Hiller. And, like the end of the season, the Wings rally came up short and this team was victim to their own laziness and lack of determination.

The Extracurricular Activity 

In a move that was a surprise to nobody, the Ducks reverted back to “gooning” it up after the final horn to try and get under the Red Wings skin. Normally, as Wings fans, we’d complain a bit, sling some taunts, and then move on to Game 7.

But last night was ridiculous. It all started with Ryan Getzlaf giving Marian Hossa a hook as the final horn blew. Hossa pushed Getzlaf, who immediately started throwing punches. Meanwhile, a nice pileup was taking place around the two, allowing Corey Perry to jump the recently returned Brian Rafalski. When Hossa got loose to try and help Rafalski, Getzlaf came after Hossa (while probably telling him how to play the game cleanly.) In the meantime, Pavel Datsyuk and Scott Niedermayer  were tied up along the boards, when Niedermayer through a nasty reverse elbow to the head of Datsyuk. Datsyuk went down, popped up and the fight ensued. As the scuffle went on, Todd Marchant showed up and tried to sneak some shots in on Datsyuk, but Nick Lidstrom came in and got him wrapped up, which pretty much ended the festivities.

Now then, what came of this whole mess? Here you go:

Corey Perry

  • 2 Minutes: Roughing
  • 5 Minutes: Fighting
  • 10 Minutes: Misconduct

Scott Niedermayer

  • 5 Minutes: Fighting

Todd Marchant

  • Game Misconduct

Ryan Getzlaf

  • 2 Minutes: Hooking
  • 2 Minutes: Roughing

Pavel Datsyuk

  • 5 Minutes: Fighting

Brian Rafalski

  • 5 Minutes: Fighting

TOTALS

  • Anaheim: 26 minutes, Game misconduct
  • Detroit: 10 minutes

A couple of things here:

  • Somebody please explain how Rafalski getting jumped equals him fighting. I’m not sure if anybody else noticed, but the guy has been out this ENTIRE series, so why bother getting into a fight?
  • The misconduct penalties basically mean nothing here. They don’t carry over to Game 7, so why bother assessing them? Hell, if that’s the case, I don’t see why Hossa didn’t just two hand baseball swing his stick into the back of Getzlaf’s knee. Or better yet, Datsyuk should have just used the butt of his stick to full force jab Niedermayer in the jaw and spill his teeth all over the ice. What does it matter, it’s only a misconduct for THIS game, not the next…
  • Niedermayer basically goes un-punished for the elbow.

Honestly, homerism aside, the NHL has a problem here, and I’m not the only one saying it:

NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell will have some video to watch after Scott Niedermayer elbowed [Pavel] Datsyuk in the final seconds of the game, which led to a fight between the two at the buzzer. But given the fact a precedent has been set allowing players to cold-cock unsuspecting opponents in the face in this year’s playoff tournament, don’t count on anything coming down.

-Ken Campbell/The Hockey News

Hmmm. This is curious, especially for a league that held meetings as the regular season was winding down to discuss how to make the game LESS VIOLENT. But seriously, let’s not kid ourselves: NOTHING will come of this. Why? Because the NHL doesn’t have a clue. All they care about is making a feeble attempt to get TVs tuned into the games, rather than adhering to the guidelines and precedents they are trying to implement. If adding turnbuckles, ropes and metal chairs to the ice surface would increase viewership, Gary Bettman would implement those in a second.

Here’s the thing: I’m all for a scrum here and there after the game. It keeps everybody honest and gives the fans something to think about before the next game. But when two players do enough to get misconduct penalties and another throws a massive elbow, that’s not a scrum anymore. If you want to let Datsyuk and Niedermayer duke it out, by all means let them go for it. But when Marchant sneaks in to try and help, that’s crap and that’s cheap.

The Retribution

The gut reaction of almost every die-hard Wings fan is to come out swinging against the Ducks tomorrow. I couldn’t disagree more. Look, the Wings knew Anaheim was going to throw everything at them in Game 6. They did, the Wings were lackluster, and yet we still only lost by one goal. That should tell you something right there.

So for tomorrow, here’s what needs to happen.

  • Open up the game and have Justin Abdelkader take a run at Hiller. Not trying to hurt him, mind you. Only to send a message. Remember when Mule trucked Hiller in Game 1? Just like that. If he takes a penalty, fine, but the message will have been sent that Hiller won’t have it easy throughout the game, and the Ducks will try and get feisty.
  • Park “Mule”, “Homer” and Cleary right in front of the goal. All night long. Hiller gets in trouble when he can’t see pucks and when rebounds get slammed home. He also likes to cheat hard to his stick side, so having someone over by his glove forces him to be honest, therefore giving up more of the net. The Wings need to pepper him with screened shots all night long.
  • Be physical, but be smart. Grind down the Ducks. Force them to take dumb  penalties.
  • Control the neutral zone with a solid forecheck and backcheck. When the Ducks can’t gain the line, Detroit thrives.

Final Thoughts

This has been an incredible and intense series. Tomorrow night should be no exception. Detroit needs to bring it, and needs to bring it for the full 60. This is where championship teams step up and make plays. Are we a champion or will the cup be leaving Hockeytown for good tomorrow night?

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1 Comment

Filed under This is a rant

One response to “Odds and Ends From Game 6

  1. I think that the misconduct is simply because if it had been 5 minutes earlier, he’d have been kicked out.

    I don’t know how I feel about the double standard from the East to the West. If KidCrosby or Ovie had been viciously elbowed like that, there would have been hell to pay.

    I know the Wings are true champions and that they will prevail. (And then we won’t have to look at Chris Pronger anymore….)

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