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 2009 Round 2 - #2 Wings vs #8 Ducks 
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Modmin Dude
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Post 2009 Round 2 - #2 Wings vs #8 Ducks
Considering the history between these teams, this should be a great series!

Freep wrote:
April 29, 2009

It's easy to get psyched up for Wings-Ducks

BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

There's no rivalry without rancor, an animosity born from heartbreak.

Anaheim is the Wings' only true rival now. The mere mention of the Ducks invokes unpleasant recent playoff memories.

"They swept us a year after we won the Stanley Cup," said Kris Draper. "That's something you don't forget, and then they beat us in a hard-fought series in which they beat us here in Game 5 in overtime in a game that could've given us a 3-2 series lead. But they beat us in six. And we made a furious comeback in that sixth game, but we couldn't get it done."

Yes, they remember the Ducks.

Anaheim bounced the Wings from the Stanley Cup playoffs in their past two meetings -- a 2003 first-round sweep and in the 2007 Western Conference finals on the Ducks' road to the Stanley Cup. Only Colorado has enjoyed similar success against the Wings in their past 10 playoffs, eliminating the Wings in the second round in 1999 and 2000.

"It hasn't happened to us a lot since I've been around here," said Kirk Maltby, "but that tells you what kind of confidence they're probably bringing into this series. They're coming off a big win against the Presidents' Trophy winner (San Jose), and we obviously have a history together. It should be a pretty intense battle."

This becomes the Wings' defining playoff moment. Win this series and they're winning the Cup.

Why place so much significance on beating an eighth seed? Yes, the Pistons were the quintessential eighth-seed road kill, but NBA playoff seeding historically follows a more taut script than the NHL.

Anybody who knows anything about playoff hockey knows that seeding is irrelevant. It's now when confidence and experience create that dangerous blend, turning underdog into overachiever. The Ducks aren't intimidated coming to Joe Louis Arena. They've won their past two playoff games in Detroit -- both overtime victories.

"And we've gained some hard experience in losing to eighth seeds," Draper said.

The Ducks became the third eighth seed to upset the reigning Presidents' Trophy winner since 2000. The Wings were the last top seed to fall in the first round, three years ago against Edmonton. St. Louis lost to San Jose in the first round nine years ago.

This also is a rivalry in some minds because it revisits the tired debate of old-school Canadian dump-and-chase, aggressive forechecking hockey against the European puck-possession brand. But Anaheim would be mistaken thinking the Wings will conveniently cower under physical intimidation.

Henrik Zetterberg didn't take the bait when asked Tuesday how the Wings would respond against a more physical team.

"I thought we were the more physical team," he said with straight face.

Let the head games begin between the past two Stanley Cup champions.

"It's a different team than what we saw in the regular season," Zetterberg said. "They're familiar with us, and we're familiar with them. They're getting healthy, and they've still got most of the guys who were there when they won it all. You don't forget the experience that you gained from winning."

You don't forget lessons learned from losing either. That becomes the Wings' motivation in their biggest challenge yet this season.

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


Join Free Press sports writer Helene St. James for a Red Wings chat at 2:30 p.m. Friday, prior to Game 1 of the Ducks series.

http://freep.com/article/20090429/COL08/904290330


I say Wings in 6
Thoughts?

Go Wings!!!
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April 29th, 2009, 9:58 am
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Modmin Dude
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Freep wrote:
April 29, 2009

In Wings' next series, Ducks are no pushovers

BY HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Right off the bat, let's get this out of the way: We're not going to see Pavel Datsyuk fight Ryan Getzlaf over the coming week. The Red Wings, who begin their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday at Joe Louis Arena, aren't that kind of team.

It's a fallacy to define physicality in hockey as fighting. That kind of thinking is why the Wings for years have been accused of not being physical. But the key to the Wings' success is that when they have the puck, they don't back down or get knocked off it easily.

That's the kind of physicality that's going to propel the Wings out of this round.

"It's going to be one of those series that's going to be in the trenches, in front of their net and in front of our net," goaltender Chris Osgood said Tuesday. "Between the whistles, we back off and prepare for the next drop of the puck. We don't involve ourselves with that extracurricular activity. We like to play hard and strong when the play is going.

"I wouldn't say we're not physical. I just don't think we get involved in the ridiculous stuff you see in other series, where you see flying elbows after whistles and some stuff that's needless and doesn't have much to do with the game."

Coach Mike Babcock put it more simply, saying, "We don't fight."

The Ducks did in their first-round series against top-seeded San Jose, but that's because the Sharks were willing.

This series is going to come down to discipline, to the Wings keeping cooler heads, because Anaheim's power play -- with guys like Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger on the points and sniper Teemu Selanne down low -- is too lethal to let it appear regularly.

"There are going to be no scrums," Babcock said. "We're going to play between the whistles and we're going to play hard, and we're going to play disciplined and we're going to do everything we can to be as physical as we can be, and yet when the whistle goes, we're going to line up for the face-off."

Pronger, 6-feet-6, 215 pounds, has a knack for what politely can be called questionable tactics, the kind that engender retaliation. The Wings can't get distracted by that -- instead they've got to frustrate him by getting the puck in behind him, by making him spend time in his own zone, and by having their forwards hit him every time he's on the ice.

The same goes for Niedermayer, a smooth skater who loves to lead or join a rush. The Ducks' defense also features Francois Beauchemin, Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski (Canton), all quality players who'll make it hard for the Wings to get to big goalie Jonas Hiller. It's imperative the Wings continue to score the way they did against Columbus, when goal after goal came from players driving to the net.

That's the advantage the Wings will have: They're deeper up front. If the top three lines remain intact, it stands to reason that Henrik Zetterberg and his big wingers, Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen, will be out against Anaheim's top line of Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan, who average 6-3, 213. Zetterberg and company may well score, but if all they do is limit Getzlaf's line, that'd be a success. For offense, the Wings have Datsyuk's line, as well as the third line centered by Valtteri Filppula.

All lines will have to be going against the hard-charging Ducks.

"They're physical, yet they play good defensively," Cleary said. "They know defense is going to get it done. So we have to penetrate their defense and their goaltender, get traffic and second opportunities. We're not built around fighting, we're built for having the puck, for being good on the forecheck. We're willing to finish checks."

Prediction: Wings in six.

Contact HELENE ST. JAMES: 313-222-2295 or hstjames@freepress.com.


Join Free Press sports writer Helene St. James for a Red Wings chat at 2:30 p.m. Friday, prior to Game 1 of the Ducks series.

Additional Facts
A fine-feathered rivalry: The Wings and Ducks in the playoffs

1997

Wings win, 4-0

The teams met in the second round, opening in Detroit where the Wings won two games in overtime and then wrapped up the series with another OT victory in Anaheim. Detroit went on to win the Cup over Philly.

1999

Wings win, 4-0

The Wings opened the playoffs against the Ducks, again sweeping them in four games. Chris Osgood beat the Ducks, 3-0, in the clinching game. Colorado eliminated Detroit in the next round.

2003

Ducks win, 4-0

The Ducks finally got their revenge in the first round as Anaheim won two in overtime. The Ducks lost in the Stanley Cup finals, though goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

2007

Ducks win, 4-2

The teams met in the Western finals. The Wings took a 1-0 lead at home, then lost in overtime. Dominik Hasek got a shutout in Game 3, before the Ducks won three straight and went on to win the Cup.

http://www.freep.com/article/20090429/S ... +pushovers


April 29th, 2009, 10:08 am
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Hate to say it, but I like the Ducks in 6.

I hope I'm wrong.


April 29th, 2009, 10:23 am
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Wings in 7 as long as our goaltending doesn't fall apart.


April 29th, 2009, 11:32 am
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Freep wrote:
April 30, 2009

Lilja joins Wings' practice; Draper out Games 1 & 2

BY HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Big news from Joe Louis Arena today: Defenseman Andreas Lilja is practicing for the first time since February.

Lilja hasn't been on the ice since suffering a concussion Feb. 28 when he was hit in the head during a fight with Nashville's Shea Weber.

I just talked to general manager Ken Holland, and he told me Lilja "is not symptom free. What he's doing is a little exertion - he's no better, no worse. He skated on his own a couple of days ago, felt fine, and today he asked Piet (trainer Piet Van Zant) if he could go on the ice, and Piet said sure."

Holland also told me Kris Draper (undisclosed injury) will miss Games 1 and 2 against Anaheim. Draper has yet to appear in the 2009 playoffs, though he has been practicing all along.

It's way too early to speculate on a return for Lilja, but given that he has been out for two months, he's obviously got a ways to go just to regain his conditioning - and then there's the matter of getting back his timing.

If he is able to return, he'd bump Brett Lebda from the lineup and be on the third pairing opposite big Jonathan Ericsson.

Brian Rafalski is missing from practice but Holland said it was "just to give him a day off." Dan Cleary also wasn't on the ice; Holland said that's because of flu (and no, no fear of swine flu - I asked).

Holland said he expects both Cleary and Rafalski to be ready for Friday's Game 1 against Anaheim.

Wings beat writer Helene St. James will answer fans’ questions in a live chat at 2:30 p.m. Friday at freep.com/sports. And be sure to come back that evening for Shawn Windsor’s live blog of Game 1 of the Wings-Ducks series.

http://www.freep.com/article/20090430/B ... ames+1+&+2


April 30th, 2009, 3:48 pm
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Rafalski is out for game 1. Hopefully Chelios has some juice left, I think he's gonna pair up with Lebda.

Kick some Pronger BUTT!!!!!

GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!

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May 1st, 2009, 12:18 pm
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What a first game. THat hit on Hudler scared the crap outa me. Reminded me of old Claude whalen on Draper 10+ years ago.


Great game for Lindstrom and Homer. :idea:

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May 1st, 2009, 11:52 pm
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I'm still kind of steaming from the officiating in game 3. Anyone else feel the same way about that game?

For example, one power play goal they got was on an interference penalty. Mike Brown crushes a Wing in game 1 almost a second after the puck is gone, we do the same thing (smaller hit, less time not having the puck) and get called. That was pretty rediculous, to me.

The goal getting called back when the ref's thought the puck was dead was a bad bad break, too. I know its hard to keep your eye on the puck, but calling it dead before it was dead cost us a chance at that game.


May 7th, 2009, 6:16 am
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faulkn22 wrote:
I'm still kind of steaming from the officiating in game 3. Anyone else feel the same way about that game?

For example, one power play goal they got was on an interference penalty. Mike Brown crushes a Wing in game 1 almost a second after the puck is gone, we do the same thing (smaller hit, less time not having the puck) and get called. That was pretty rediculous, to me.

The goal getting called back when the ref's thought the puck was dead was a bad bad break, too. I know its hard to keep your eye on the puck, but calling it dead before it was dead cost us a chance at that game.


As they say on SI's Extra Mustard, the Wings got Hochuli'd.

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May 7th, 2009, 8:37 am
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DetNews wrote:
Friday, May 8, 2009
Bob Wojnowski
Wings give a forceful response to get the series back to even

This time, no doubt. This time, Marian Hossa ripped one shot into the net, and then another, and the only whistle was the low phew of relief by the Red Wings.

No controversy and no contest.

The Wings stopped waiting around and finally unleashed Thursday night, and with a terrific performance by a new line combination, they found their scoring stars. Hossa and Johan "Mule" Franzen each scored twice and the Wings rebounded nicely with a 6-3 victory over the Ducks to tie their playoff series 2-2.

This was the response the defending champs absolutely had to deliver after the crushing loss the other night, when Hossa's apparent tying goal was waved off after the ref lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle. It was a staggering call that could have altered the series for good, if the Wings let it.

Not this night. And frankly, I expected this forceful, poised response because it's hard to imagine the Wings digging a 3-1 deficit, and hard to imagine Hossa staying quiet for much longer. I don't know if the Wings seized control of the series -- the games have been too tight to say that -- but they sure appeared to solve some issues heading into Game 5 Sunday in Detroit.

Hiller solved
For one, they solved Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller, who was very weak before getting pulled in the third period. And thanks to a savvy line juggle by Mike Babcock, they addressed the riddle of their scoring woes. Babcock put Franzen alongside Hossa and Valtteri Filppula and the result was stunning.

The Mule was tremendous again, and with six goals this postseason, he has become the Wings' premier big-game gun. He scored their first two Thursday night after yet another inexplicable slow start by the Wings. (Hmm, they did get the memo about start times, didn't they?) The Ducks' Corey Perry scored 42 seconds into the game, and if I'd opened a window in my house and listened closely, I'm sure I'd have heard the gurgle of throats tightening across Metro Detroit.

The Wings didn't buckle and Franzen and Hossa took over, helped by Filppula's deft passing. It was a sight the Wings had to see, as Hossa collected his first points of the series. And trust me, if he gets going and Pavel Datsyuk follows, the Wings could start rolling.

Oh, the Ducks won't go away, and Perry, who scored twice, and Ryan Getzlaf are still causing all sorts of problems. Anaheim pressed hard in the third period, but all of a sudden, Chris Osgood looks like the hotter goalie, making several huge saves and stopping 25 shots overall. He was clutch.

Mule and Hoss
But this night was about a Mule and a big Hoss. Franzen has 19 goals in the past two playoffs, the most of any player in the NHL. He scores so many ways, it's hard to stop him. His goal late in the first period, which put the Wings ahead 2-1, was a perfect deflection of a Niklas Kronwall shot, and that's the underrated element of Franzen's game. It's not the Mule's big feet; it's his quick hands.

This is Hossa's first trip through the postseason with the Wings so no one could be sure how he'd react to adversity. He had the tying goal wiped out in Game 3 on a horrible call and he was scoreless in the series. And he was getting banged heavily by the Ducks.

What Hossa did was clutch and telling. He got up off the ice and kept firing, and his whipping shot on a power-play late in the second period was classic, and gave the Wings a 4-2 lead.

Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg (empty-netter) scored in the third period, completing a response by the Wings that was thorough and timely. Enough of the bells and whistles, right? After three tight games in which their stars hadn't scored much, the Wings put away the pop shots and loaded up the big guns. If they plan to wear the Ducks down, this was exactly the way to do it.

bob.wojnowski@detnews.com

Find this article at:
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090508 ... ck-to-even


Great game last night!
Wings in 6
Go Wings!!!
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May 8th, 2009, 3:14 pm
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Freep wrote:
May 8, 2009
Wisniewski: If Pronger had thrown the elbow, the outcry would be different

BY HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- James Wisniewski told his dad to stay Tuesday night, to get back to his seat at Honda Center and watch the rest of the game. He did.

The duo from Canton both were to be spectators Thursday night as the Red Wings took a 2-1 series deficit up against Wisniewski's Ducks, as Wisniewski continued healing from a bruised lung suffered two nights earlier when he was hit beneath his right armpit area by Pavel Datsyuk's shot.

While that was a fluke injury, Wisniewski lambasted Tomas Holmstrom for then elbowing him in the head.

"I was just hunched over coughing up blood and I get a blatant elbow without even battling or anything," Wisniewski said Thursday. "Shows a little bit of a gutless play by one of their players."

Holmstrom said he had no idea he hit Wisniewski because, "I have no eyes in my back, so I didn't know he was behind me. I had two guys on my back."

Wisniewski scoffed at the claim.

"I saw three different replays, and if you look at it, he looks over his left shoulder and just gives a nice little elbow right when I was just hunched over, not even doing anything," Wisniewski said. "So, I mean, if he says he didn't, I'm sure you have to believe him, but ... if it was Chris Pronger, I think all you media guys would make this a big deal about how dirty the Anaheim Ducks are. But since it's the Detroit Red Wings, I guess it's all OK."

Despite Wisniewski's fighting words, he was in excellent spirits. While he was under orders not to exert himself for 48 hours after the incident, he hopes to play in Sunday's Game 5, possibly in front of his mom, Sharon Donehue.

Wisniewski finally got to talk to her Wednesday, after spending the night at UCI Medical Center for tests and observation. Wisniewski was carted off on a stretcher, which prompted him to point out he had no way of reaching anyone.

"I didn't have any of my stuff because I was in my skates and my hockey pants," he said, laughing. "I didn't put my cell phone in my pants, or my jockstrap."

His dad, Jim, meanwhile, stayed at the game.

"Don't put that down like he's a bad dad," Wisniewski said, smiling. "He was probably the most worried guy in the rink, but I told him, 'I'm fine, stay here.' There wasn't any room in the ambulance, anyway. He came and visited me later."

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle pointed to Wisniewski's hardiness as one of the reasons Anaheim acquired him in March from Chicago, saying that, "when you can surround yourself with players that have that intestinal fortitude, that bodes well for your team."

http://www.freep.com/article/20090508/S ... +different


Bulliten board material anyone?


May 8th, 2009, 3:24 pm
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Ozzie, and the D in general, were in good form tonight. Only 17 shots on goal in an entire game? That's just sick.

The Mule takes his game to another level in the playoffs. He has been absolutely amazing.

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May 10th, 2009, 10:15 pm
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O YA BABY!!!!!

BRING ON THE HAWKS!!!!

GO HOME CRYING PRONGER!!!!!!

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May 14th, 2009, 10:40 pm
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