Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Detroit’s looking for a broom

It was some Datsyukian domination in Dallas on Monday night as the Red Wings continued to roll over the competition, dismissing the Dallas Stars by a score of 5-2 and taking a commanding three game to none lead in the Western Final.

Pavel Datsyuk was the key factor in Monday’s contest accounting for three of the Wings five goals and leaving the Stars flustered, frustrated and for all intents and purposes most likely finished in their best of seven series.

The speedy Russian picked up his first career hat trick with his three goal outburst, a stat lost in the night’s commentary over the Stars apparently unsolvable problems in slowing down the focused path of the high flying Wings.

While Dallas came out fired up and seemed to have the Wings rocked a little bit in the first, the veteran squad quickly settled down and returned to the constant motion kind of play that has guided them through nine straight playoff victories with number ten seeming more and more likely when you consider the fatigue of the Stars.

Dallas by the end of each game has looked tired and a little bewildered at what they have to do to try and turn around what seems like a pre-destined role as second best opponent in the West.

Despite their best efforts, it never seems to be quite enough. They’ll gain a goal and shortly after Detroit nullifies the effort. It at times seems as though the Wings are laying in wait, patiently marking time until the most opportune moment to deliver the goal that changes the direction of the game and leaves the Stars shaking their heads in wonder at how they can get so close and watch it all slip away just as quickly as they go there.

Monday night the Wings celebrated more than just another victory and Datsyuk’s on ice exhibition of excellence. The win also moved Wing goaltender Chris Osgood into a tie with Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk, victory 47 pulled Osgood even with Sawchuk and it seems only a matter of days before he pulls ahead for good.

Osgood’s string of nine victories is also proving to be a talking point for hockey fans, marking the first time since the Patrick Roy era that a goaltender has held such a hot hand. Roy’s 1993 record of 15 is within sight, unless the Stars can marshal up one last stand on Texas ice to try and begin the salvage process for their playoff season.

It might be best to hide the brooms in Texas on Tuesday, there may be some sweeping to be done on Wednesday night and the Wings from all appearances don’t need much in the way of help to get into the corners and move the Stars out of their way.

NHL.com-- Stats Pack

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