Friday, May 15, 2009

Red Wings prevail over tenacious Ducks

The played seven comlete games, plus and with a few more bounces the right way, perhaps they would have probably played a little more.

The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks provided another fascinating bit of drama, played out in front of an boisterous and ultimately ecstatic Detroit crowd, the end result of which brings back to of the most tradition steeped franchises to the Western final starting on Sunday.

The defending Stanley Cup champions eliminated their hard fighting challengers on Thursday night, as Daniel Cleary scored the winning goal with but three minutes remaining in regulation time.

Cleary's marker secured the hard fought victory for the Wings, a 4-3 cliff hanger which could very well have gone the other way if not for the Wings Chris Osgood, a few blocked shots and one or two bad bounces for the always attacking Ducks.

The winning goal, was quasi controversial, with Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller suggesting that Cleary had pushed his sticks into the goaltenders pads before hitting the puck, the on ice decision awarding the goal was never overturned and with the expiration of time the victory was the Wings.

It perhaps was justice for the Wings, who had watched a two goal lead disappear on the strength of some penalty calls that had many wondering if the Wings reign as champs was near an end.

The Ducks, who refused to be put away by the Wings without a battle, played hard right up to the final horn. Throughout the series, the tension was high, the speed was fast, the hits were hard and the atmosphere in the crowd intense.

The Detroit crowd, battered by economic storms this year, were clearly in the mood for a party, singing during commercial breaks, chanting and creating a symphony of noise that only added to the event.

The Wings, will have little time to recover from their grueling match with the Ducks, the surprising Chicago Black Hawks are due in town on Sunday for game one of the Western Final. Chicago, featuring youth and speed, have made many a believer this spring with their handling of both the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.

They may be one of those teams too young to feel the pressure, almost still a junior A squad that seems to relish each and every shift of every game they have played so far.

The Wings hopes for a repeat appearance in the Stanley Cup final now will take a detour to the Windy City, they will underestimate the Hawks at their own peril...

Globe and Mail-- Defending champs move on
National Post-- Pulling it out
Toronto Star-- Cleary lifts Wings to conference final
Detroit Free Press-- No Datsyuk, no Hossa, no problem for deep Wings
Detroit Free Press-- Take stock in Wings' success
Detroit Free Press-- Dan Cleary scores his 'biggest goal ever'
Detroit News-- A clear win for Red Wings in Game 7 thriller
Detroit News-- Dead Ducks! Red Wings, Dan Cleary deliver knockout blow
Detroit News-- 'Relieved' Chris Osgood turns in another big-time playoff performance
Orange County Register-- Ducks run out of time, fall to Red Wings, 4-3
Orange County Register-- 'Grinding goal' dashes the Ducks' Stanley Cup hopes
Orange County Register-- Ducks like Detroit’s repeat chances
Los Angeles Times-- Ducks come up a little bit short
Photo above from Detroit News website

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