Sunday, May 10, 2009

As the Series Turns


It's easy now to say Detroit will win its series with Anaheim after a thorough 4-1 win Sunday, but the series began to shift during the third period of Game 3, and the quick whistle had nothing to do with it.

Starting with that period, the Red Wings have simply taken it to the Ducks over and over. Jonas Hiller and the quick whistle stole Game 3 for Anaheim. Game 4 was a rather one-sided performance by Detroit, which is able to maintain incredible pressure in the Anaheim defensive end. Conversely, the Ducks have struggled to mount much of an attack at all, let alone sustained possession with multiple chances. Much of the same in Game 5.

Chris Osgood has been good when needed, and Hiller has held the fort as long as he can. But he can't do it alone, and that's been much of the story over the last seven periods.

Pittsburgh fans are sitting back and sending sympathetic thoughts towards the Ducks fans, as Ryan Whitney - who became quite the whipping boy with the Penguins - has been struggling the last several games. But he's not the only one. Ryan Getzlaf has been a shell of his old self since the three-overtime game, but he is still one of the most dangerous Ducks, along with Corey Perry. But that's basically been it.

Anaheim hasn't been able to generate much of a forecheck, allowing Detroit easy breakout after easy breakout, and can't keep Detroit out of its defensive end. Randy Carlysle needs to make some big adjustments to get the Ducks back on the winning track. But he's running out of time.

I used to think Anaheim was capable of knocking off the Red Wings, but that changed after Game 4. Now I doubt the Ducks can win Game 6, though theoretically they'd get a boost from it being an elimination game and at home.

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