Friday, May 09, 2008

Red Wings Draw First Blood

After one game of the Western Conference Finals, we know one thing: the Dallas Stars have to stay out of the penalty box.

An early goal on a two-man advantage started an onslaught for the Wings, who scored three times on the power play. Was it simply a case of the Stars feeling tired after their four-OT marathon to close out San Jose? They'd better hope so.

It was only one game, but Dallas has some daunting history to overcome if they want to pull off the upset. The Stars have never beaten the Wings in a postseason series - they are 0-3, though they haven't met in the playoffs for 10 years. And goalie Marty Turco is 0-8-2 in his career at Joe Louis Arena, something that will clearly have to change unless Dallas plans on playing someone else!

I realize I'm biased, but it seems to me Detroit has the two most talented forwards in this series (Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk), the best defenseman (Nicklas Lidstrom - sorry Sergei Zubov) and with all due respect to Brenden Morrow, the best power forward (Johan "Mule" Franzen). The one place the Stars may have an advantage is in net, but it's hard to even say that right now since Chris Osgood has yet to lose in the playoffs.

Your move Stars!


The Dude said...

when did Marty Turco steal the job from Eddie the Eagle?

And it's Brett Hull the best power forward in this series?

What about Shawn Chambers for best defensiveman?

Head Dude said...

I like that the Dude can pull out the Chambers reference.

Frankly, you're right about the talent level -- there's no question the Wings are more talented. What the Stars have to do is extend the series long enough so their defense can assert itself -- because Zubov just returned from injury, Boucher may be back for Game 3, and Fistric/Grossman/Daley are all young, they should be the fresher team as the series goes on if they can get their legs back. But you have to be competitive and win games to extend a series.
At the end of the day, the fact remains the Stars haven't been competitive against Detroit since relocating to Dallas, either in the playoffs or regular season, and even though rosters have changed (except Modano!), the deck definitely is stacked against them.
Franchise, you book your flights? Our tickets arrived in the mail yesterday.

Big Daddy said...

I know this blog is about the Wings-Stars series but I wanted to take a moment to note a momentous occasion that takes me back to the halcyon days when I still cared about hockey. The long-assumed yet still sad retirement of Olaf Kolzg.

Not only was Ollie the Goalie, a fixture on the Caps teams that i loved during the late 90s (peter bondra, joe juneau, adam oates, sergei gonchar to name a few) but he almost singlehandedly put the Caps on his shoulders to lead them to the 98 Cup finals (where they were obliterated by one of Dudespin's own the Red Wings, if memory serves me correctly)

But not only that. Kolzig was a fixture in the great Playfest series of the late 90s. In Playfest 98 and 99 with Kolzig in the net for me, I could almost always eke out a 1-0, 2-1 win against most of the other high-powered teams selected by friends and foes alike. And perhaps just as impressive was his .643 SV% against the nearly invincible "Joel-goal" (before it was outlawed)

So to Ollie... thank you for the memories. I salute you.

Head Dude said...

Maybe against other foes, but when Modano was racing down the left side ready to find the exact spot for a Joel goal, Ollie's save percentage dropped to about .054. Man, the Joel goal really ruined NHL '97.

Big Daddy said...

What you weren't a fan of those ridiculous 13-11 games??? I can't believe the man responsible for both Joel goal's discovery and thus its proliferation actually admitted to its harmful effects.

Playfest definitely was better, and was able to return to its more wholesome roots after the Joel goal was banned, when Ollie ruled the ice, and Modano could only skate and shoot in frustration (assuming he wasn't already laid out by Gonchar)

Big Daddy said...

Whoops should have known better than to trust the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Apparently Olie is only leaving the Caps but may eventually decide to retire depending on the offers he receives. that only i care about but i figured i should at least be accurate (as possible)

Head Dude said...

Yeah, but even after the Joel goal was banned, my goal was still to skate Modano down the ice every time and try for a breakaway. He must've sustained about 593 cross-checks a game. Only rarely would he pass the puck to Lehtinen, and even more rarely would he head off the ice in favor of Broadway Joe Nieuwendyk.