Thursday, April 17, 2003

Guest writer game report Sergei Fedorov battles for the puck box score The Red Wings went from "Red Storm Rising" to "Red Storm Crashing" as they lost to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in O.T. 3-2, ending their defense of the Stanley Cup with a 4 game sweep. A four game sweep.... Mitch Albom in the Freep-
"Swept. Days from now, months from now -- maybe even years from now -- these moments will come back to the Red ings, haunting them with the worst kind of echoes. The clanged posts, the missed defensive moves, the goalie straying from the net -- all those false little stitches in the fabric, coming unraveled in one gnawing realization: You only get so many chances at a Stanley Cup.
This chance is gone forever. The Red Wings hadn't gone out this early since 1991. Mike Babcock- "the hockey gods reward the hardest workers". Sums it up in one short sentence. The hockey gods were no where to be found for anything/anyone wearing the Winged Wheel. Sergei may have given some hope but I thought one of the defining moments of the entire series was watching Dandenault stop skating on a delayed penalty call allowing former Wing Adam Oates to grab the loose puck, hit Kariya, and then watch him skate in and blow the puck past Joseph. I knew then and there that it was over. As Babcock said-"the hockey gods reward the hardest workers". There were few hard workers wearing the Winged Wheel. What really is the point of calling games one specific way during the regular season, make a big issue about it, claim "things" will be different this time, and then suddenly all of that changes as soon as April rolls around?? It isn't occuring just in the Wings series either it's the league norm. Clutch, grab and interfere are back, skating and flow are gone again. The Wings caught one break, Fedorov's goal and that was that. They were hauled down all game long and that was that. They won the Stanley Cup last summer, now that is that-history. As might the Wings depending on how Illitch handles the $$ losses which are inherent with a 4 game sweep. This may be that as well. Two mistakes made, underestimating the Ducks, while overestimating the Wings desire to win. The fire was gone and now it has to be hoped it's not gone for another 42yr wait. Everything comes to an end. No team in any sport stays on top forever. We've had a great run with this team. As was said the last report, I appreciate the Red Wings and what they've given all their fans over the last 12 years. In some ways it's been bright going all the way back to Demers and the two WCF's against the Oilers of the 80's. I still appreciate them sweep or no sweep. It wasn't to be this time around and that has been clear since Shanahan scored the PP goal back in game one. It's been downhill ever since. I'm convinced that Chelios will have knee surgery shortly. I thought it was painfully obvious that his knee has some damage. Reports are it's his ACL. He and Schneider struggled mightily throughout the series-emphasis on Schneider. I'm convinced Yzerman will be back. I thought he got better every game and showed some of his old moves last night. Too bad there weren't any other players around to pass the puck to that weren't 40' from the net. 40' shots low to the ice are not going to beat most goalies in the league much less a positional goalie like Giguere. I'm convinced it's a sad day today but I think and believe there will also be a tomorrow. The Wings will be back. I don't believe this is the end. Some changes will be made no doubt but some of those changes are needed. Congratulations to the Mighty Ducks. They worked hard, took advantage when the opportunites arose, and frankly deserved to win the series. I just wish I/we didn't have to watch the Mighty Red Wings go down without a fight. Three series stars- 1. J.S. Giguere 2. Steve Rucchin 3. Rob Niedermeyer Three goats of the series- 1. Matt Schneider 2. Brendan Shanahan 3. Curtis Joseph-I want to make it clear, I do not pin the blame on Cujo. His failure was hardly solitary. The Red Wings lost as a team. Gerry Brierley-who thinks the road to Stanley just got a whole lot clearer from the Colorado Avalanche.
Lines- Maltby-Draper-McCarty Yzerman-Fedorov-Shanahan Zetterberg-Datysuk-Hull Robitaille-Larionov-Holmstrom Maltby-Fedorov-McCarty Robitaille-Fedorov-Holmstrom Yzerman-Larionov-Shanahan Draper-Larionov-Hull Defense- Lidstrom-Dandenault Schneider-Chelios Woolley-Bykov Woolley-Scheinder Woolley-Chelios Lidstrom-Chelios 4 on 4- Fedorov-Hull Yzerman-Shanahan Schneider-Woolley LIdstrom-Woolley PP- Holmtrom-Yzerman-Shanahan Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull Draper-Larionov-Shanahan Draper-Larionov-Hull LIdstrom-Schneider Fedorov-Lidstrom Woolley-Schneider PK- Yzerman-Shanahan maltby-McCarty Fedorov-Yzerman Draper-McCarty Maltby-Draper Fedorov-Shanahan Zetterberg-Hull Lidstrom-Chelios Lidstrom-Dandenault Woolley-Dandenault Net- Curtis Joseph


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