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 Wings series basically over 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Wings series basically over
Freep wrote:
April 21, 2009

Wings series basically over

BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

COLUMBUS — Poise only comes with seasoning. It isn’t coached or concocted out of thin air. It’s the exclusive byproduct of learning from prior playoff mistakes.

The Wings have a vast encyclopedia of such experience.

Columbus is only working on its first page.

That’s why this series is mercifully over.

The Wings aren’t simply the more talented team. They’re the smarter team. They’re the more composed team. The electricity surrounding the Blue Jackets’ historic first home playoff game Tuesday didn’t rattle the defending champions. If anything, it more tightly honed their focus.

The Blue Jackets, however, lived down to their playoff neophyte reputation, mentally unraveling in their last realistic chance of making this a competitive series.

Following the Wings’ 4-1 victory, this football-obsessed city is but a Game 4 home loss away from dropping the charade of hockey hysteria and returning to its normal springtime routine of counting down the days until Ohio State’s annual Michigan November beatdown.

“It was exciting for us being a part of this,” said Nicklas Lidstrom. “We knew that it was a big deal for them and the city. But we’ve been through enough and seen enough in all these years not to let all the excitement intimidate us. That’s why experience is important.”

The Wings deflated the crowd’s spirit, scoring barely a minute into the game. And then they deflated the Blue Jackets’ mettle with ferocious checking and the newly impenetrable Chris Osgood flicking away almost everything he sees.

“(The Wings) play a mature game,” said Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock. “And that was discouraging for us.”

The poised don’t seek retaliation.

The Blue Jackets became unhinged when Brad Stuart lowered his shoulder and slammed R.J. Umberger with a monstrous, teeth-shaking check in the second period. Mike Commodore immediately sought vengeance, attempting to impale Dan Cleary against the boards, but Commodore instead flew over the boards and onto the Wings’ bench. He went back onto the ice and targeted Johan Franzen for assault behind the Columbus net when he should have paid more attention to the puck.

Henrik Zetterberg capitalized on the frustration, scoring the first of his two goals.
The Wings had a 3-0 lead and the Blue Jackets learned a valuable lesson that maybe they can apply to future playoff appearances.

“There is something about experience,” mused Wings coach Mike Babcock. “In life, when you have it it’s good, and when you don’t have it, it’s overrated.”

The home crowd tried rattling Osgood with patronizing chants of “Os-good!” rather than the celebratory “Oz-zie!” But they’ve got to do better than that considering the barrage of verbal slings he’s endured during his days as one of Detroit’s favorite piñatas.

“I was unpopular just a week ago,” Osgood said following another brilliant performance. “But I guess everything is fine now.”

Goalies are like quarterbacks. They get far too much credit in good times and far too much criticism in bad times. But such logic isn’t compatible with the hot/cold extremes of the Chris Osgood Evaluative Society. He’s either deity or dog in that club. Both judgments are ridiculous.

What’s wrong with him simply being good?

Why is that so hard for people to accept?

There were 16 teams when these Stanley Cup playoffs began a week ago that would’ve happily accepted the promise of good, steady, veteran goaltending.

“Our goaltending has been real good and yet it’s not like we’re that surprised,” said Babcock.

There’s nothing surprising about the Wings sitting at the cusp of a four-game sweep. This series was over before it began because there’s no more valuable weapon in hockey than playoff experience. And there is only one team properly armed.


Contact DREW SHARP: 313-223-4055 or dsharp@freepress.com.

http://freep.com/article/20090421/COL08/90421088


I didn't get to see the game (because apparently the NHL doesn't think the defending Stanley Cup Champs deserve to be on national TV :evil: ) but I did see some highlights and was following on Wings Live. Seems like is was a great game for the Wings; hopefully we can finish them off tomorrow (and maybe it will be on national TV) and waiting for the 2nd rounds to start.

Go Wings!!!
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April 22nd, 2009, 10:31 am
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I happened to watch the first two periods, and it was pretty fun to tune in. We were up 1-0 within the first minute or two and that shut the crowd up immediately. It was pretty much down hill from there with the defense we've been playing lately.

I'm proud of them for all the talk there was about them dragging themselves into the playoffs. When you dominate the first round series, it should make you feel good about your chances the rest of the tournament.

Our goaltending stays solid and we'll keep looking like Hockeytown.


April 22nd, 2009, 10:36 am
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Even ESPN didn't bother to talk about the last Wigns win. I watched the show for 2 hours and not one mention about the Wings. Is this intentional or do they just think the Wings are not news worthy? :?


April 22nd, 2009, 2:51 pm
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Post Wings wear out 'Jackets
DetNews wrote:
Friday, April 24, 2009
Bob Wojnowski
Wings wear out 'Jackets

Columbus, Ohio -- On the last night of this first-round series, the Red Wings weathered every last thing the Blue Jackets and their fans threw at them -- even the water bottles and beer cans. It got harried, it got ugly, it got wildly entertaining and needlessly nasty, and in the end, the Wings didn't duck.

This wasn't exactly what they wanted, a 6-5 no-defense thriller against a desperate, outmanned opponent, but it was pretty much what the Wings needed. They finished off a sweep of Columbus Thursday night and did it with third-period calm and yet another classic playoff goal, the kind they'd scored all series.

This time, it was Johan Franzen standing right where he needed to be, in front of Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason, as Jiri Hudler raced to the net. Franzen stuffed the puck in with 47 seconds left, eliciting ugly frustration from the fans.

The Jackets had protested vehemently a too-many-men-on the ice penalty, which set up the winning power-play goal. But the call was correct -- Columbus' Fredrik Modin played the puck before the sixth skater left the ice.

The fans had been tremendous but the closing display was ridiculous, and a few Wings said they narrowly dodged flying debris. Coach Mike Babcock was miffed, saying he got hit in the shoulder by something. It was a stupid show by the fans -- hmm, maybe a few card-carrying Buckeyes in the stands? -- but perhaps an accurate reflection of how annoying the Wings were to play against.

'A good measuring stick'
Every time Columbus gathered a little burst, the Wings responded, and it turned out to be a solid test in a noisy environment. Oh, no one in the Detroit dressing room was happy with blowing a pair of two-goal leads, but everyone was pleased this thing was over. And no one was surprised how it ended, with Franzen in Mason's face, where Wings constantly camped.

"We've found out over the years how to score playoff goals," Franzen said. "We were not too happy with the way we played, but we've been through it before, it happens. They wanted to show the home crowd what they're made of and they fought hard. After 4-1, 4-0 games, it was about time we got a good measuring stick."

Yes, the Wings finally were tested, and Chris Osgood finally was human. It was a strange one, especially after Marian Hossa scored his first two goals of the playoffs to give the Wings a 5-3 lead.

But there's a reason first-round sweeps are so rare for the Wings, who hadn't recorded one since blasting Los Angeles in 2000. The feisty underdog usually has the energy to avoid a complete humbling, and the Blue Jackets summoned fumes from somewhere.

Maybe after spending so much time teaching the green Jackets about poise, the Wings received an important lesson right back. It was easy to forget while dominating the first three games by a cumulative score of 12-2, but here it was: Don't ever let up.

The Wings' defense let up a bit. Osgood let up a bit. And the Jackets kept coming because they had nowhere else to go. They tied it at 5 late in the second period when Modin scored, and the crowd sent them to the dressing room with a thundering ovation.

"When they tied it up, we didn't really get rattled," Osgood said. "I thought it was a great test for us, especially the last five minutes (of the game). They were pressuring us pretty good. It was different from the regular season -- we stayed real composed."

'A significant step'
For most of this series, the Wings looked like an absolute machine. So it was a bit startling to see them spring a defensive leak, especially after they came out looking sharp again, and the Jackets looked discombobulated again.

The notion that the Wings wouldn't get physical or tread in all the dirty places was silly, as they kept crashing the net. Rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson was challenged by Columbus' Derek Dorsett early, and Ericsson went ahead and dropped the gloves. No fists were exchanged but the Jackets were assessed an extra roughing penalty. The Wings made 'em pay when Nicklas Lidstrom scored on the power-play less than three minutes in.

"Detroit plays the game the right way," Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "For a skill team, they get their noses dirty. They were going for the throat."

That's what the Wings did at the end, when they scored again from their favorite place.

"This was a good series for our team," Babcock said. "We engaged physically early, took control of the series right off the hop, and we didn't give them much room to breathe. I don't know what happened (Thursday night), maybe our fans in Detroit expect more, but to me, we took a significant step."

Actually, a significant stomp. The Wings dodged everything in the clincher, more than they wanted to, but enough to remind them how tough the road can be.

bob.wojnowski@detnews.com

http://detnews.com/article/20090424/OPI ... t++Jackets


Great job Wings! Way to finish off the series; now it's on to round 2

Go Wings!!!


April 24th, 2009, 11:09 am
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Good job Wings!


Quote:
The fans had been tremendous but the closing display was ridiculous, and a few Wings said they narrowly dodged flying debris. Coach Mike Babcock was miffed, saying he got hit in the shoulder by something. It was a stupid show by the fans -- hmm, maybe a few card-carrying Buckeyes in the stands? -- but perhaps an accurate reflection of how annoying the Wings were to play against.


Go to Columbus and you should expect this type of display...

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April 24th, 2009, 12:10 pm
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Was wondering if there was going to be any Wings playoff discussion going. Glad to see there is...

Go Wings! :idea:


April 25th, 2009, 11:23 am
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The FO has managed to sign some of their top players. I would still love to see them sign Marion Hossa to a long term deal. These guys could be talking.

Exactly what the city needs, something to gather round.

Man I love the Wings :idea: :idea: :idea:


April 25th, 2009, 1:01 pm
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How do the wings have the cap to sign Hossa???

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April 25th, 2009, 3:53 pm
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