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Datsyuk..Lidstrom..Ericsson...Draper all Out for Game 5...does it Matter?

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

Through the first period of play, even with the loss of some key players, the Red Wings puck possession skills are impressive.  Ericsson had an appendectomy this afternoon; the quiet injury of Lidstrom; and an apparent ankle injury to Datsyuk, has left the defending champs short handed and with a little less a little skill, but they are quick in the transition game to overcome such losses.  In the offensive zone the puck protection skills by all the forwards is impressive.  The Hawks have not had the puck through the first 15 minutes, and have been victimized 2x for minors, the latest a blatant too many men on the ice.  Huet looks sharp early, stopping 21/21 in a scoreless first.  The pace was quick and good flow....advantage Detroit.


How about Jonsey and Brian Engblom on Versus?  These are two guys that are having a great time in the studio, competing each night to see who has the “GQ Look” going.  The chemistry in analysis is contagious, but the fun they are having is what it is all about....telling it like it is and bantering is their style and the viewers love it.


The second period starts off with long line changes and quick transition by both teams.  The bodies are starting to fly around the ice as well.  Andrew Ladd looks like his has an attitude with a big hit and an excellent attempt to stuff.  Colin Fraser has had a couple of good chances early, but Osgood is the better.  The Hawks are getting things going by good puck protection through the first 5 minutes, but impressive defensive zone patience has been the difference.  Chelios is seeing a regular shift early in this game and the forwards are still doing a good job with “back pressure” to help out.


Eddie Olyck is simply impressive to listen to while the game is progressing.  He does his homework and he introduces story lines that are human heart felt in nature.  The sensitive side of both coaches, Quenneville and Babcock have bee related in detail to the have to love it!!!


With 11:29 left in the 2nd the Hawks have a 4on3 power play for over 1:10 in duration.  Barker has a “cannon” and is effective, but where is Seabrook on this PP?...this could have been a turning point of the game as the Wings kill it off...then another minor stick penalty.  How about Versteeg on the point on the PP?..that is a first...and what about the PK of Darren Helm?....A standing ovation for killing the clock with speed, want and the ability to protect the to watch.


Battling for a puck Holmstrom takes a “stupid” penalty as the Wings were on the PP....those are the penalties that drive coaches gray.  No damage done.  Both teams have had glorious chances but the goaltending has been very good and the teams are working hard.  Impressive periods by Helm and Hossa but the consistent play by Huet with 31 saves through two periods stands a tall.


As the game continues, Chris Chelios is limited in his ice time and turns the puck over that almost cost them the first goal of the game to start the 3rd.  It quickly becomes the Osgood show, as he makes some key saves.  The Hawks know the Wings are running 4 defenseman and continue to dump and chip.  It is the idea to work them and force them to go the full ice. 


A goal is finally scored.  A typical Detroit goal is scored.  How?.....with traffic in front of the net.  Two consecutive turnovers by the Hawks in their own zone result in a point shot from Brett Lebda and it is Dan Cleary scoring his 5th of the series as it is redirected..... 1-0 Wings...the crowd is standing and contuing to cheer.  Osgood makes a critical save on Ladd with the left leg low on the ice!!  ....another cheer goes up!!....but once a hero, he becomes a goat, as Patrick Kane decided to show up in the series and shelf a backhand high over the shoulder.  It was a great individual effort, but truthfully, that is one that Ozzy has to make....1-1


What a chance with less than 15 seconds to go in regulation!!!.....the details.....Hossa drives to the net...the rebound comes to Franzen and the proper move to try and backhand over a sprawling pad of Huet comes up dry...what a save!!




How does the OT winner find its way to the net?  Hint...Detroit scored...another hint ...shot by the defense and a rebound off the boards...deservedly Darren Helm scores the game winner.  The series is over, 4-1 for Detroit and it will start Saturday night!!  A rematch from last year with the Pens and the Wings will prove to be interesting.  Stay tuned!!!








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