May 2, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Johan Franzen (93) is in position against the defense of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy (6) an goalie Jonas Hiller (1) during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ducks-Red Wings: What I Learned From Game's 1 & 2

The Anaheim Ducks can win this series. The Detroit Red Wings can win this series. The Anaheim Ducks can lose this series. The Detroit Red Wings can lose this series. There is distinct difference between winning and losing a series. A team can go out and outskate and outwork an opponent and win a series, and a team can go out and be flat and not work hard and lose a series. I feel like in the first two games of this series, we’ve seen that from both teams. In Game 1, the Ducks were the better team for the much of the game and, deservedly so, won the game. In Game 2, each team dominated for times and either team could’ve won, but despite the Ducks furious comeback and the Red Wings standing tall and overcoming the comeback to win, did either team really deserve to win?

I’m going to be brutally honest, I thought the Ducks were cooked when Johan Franzen scored in the third to make it 4-1. But, the Ducks made a furious comeback, as we have seen them do a couple of times this season. However, my quarrel with the Ducks is everything that happened before and after the comeback. The Wings were the much better team for the majority of the first period and a half. The Ducks just weren’t in it. It was arguably the worst defensive performance I have seen from this team all season long. I lost count of how many turnovers the Ducks committed, just 10 minutes into the game. Overcommitting on plays along the boards, leaving guys wide open in the slot, like on the Gustav Nyquist goal that was the game-winner in overtime. It could’ve been much worse than 4-1, let’s be honest here. Jonas Hiller kept the Ducks in it until Saku Koivu tallied on the powerplay in the second period and ultimately until the comeback. Despite allowing 5 goals, Hiller played well and was left out to dry way too many times.

Another thing that happened too many times was Ducks players being called for penalties. You can blame the refs, as many Ducks fans already have, or you can blame the players, which is the road I have taken. The Ducks took a penalty in the final minute of every period. WTF. What is going on in their brains? Koivu a needless and dumb charge at the end of the first period. Sheldon Souray a needless and dumb cross-check/boarding/or whatever you wanna call it at the end of the second period. Souray, again, a needless and dumb slash at the end of the third period. Just dumb. I get its the playoffs and emotions are high, but those are two veterans who should know better than to do idiotic sh*t like that in those situations. So infuriating. So, in the end, I can’t honestly say with 100% certainty that the Ducks deserved a win in that game last night. They did some things well, and did some things god awful. No, they didn’t deserve to win, despite almost winning.

I also found out that you can beat Jimmy Howard. In his last four regular season games, it didn’t look like you could. Now we know. Now, did the Red Wings deserve to win? Well, when they had as many powerplay opportunities and takeaways as they had last night, why wouldn’t they? Now, they did do a bad job in the third of just sitting back and pretty much allowing the Ducks’ comeback to happen. However, they rebounded well in overtime, very quickly. However, that was a result of a terrible penalty by Souray. So, did they deserve it? Well, the goal was setup by a sick toe-drag by Valtteri Filppula. However, thats a result of bad defense getting caught watching the puck and not the logo on the guy’s jersey. We could go on and on. In the end, the Wings deserved it more. So, they won. However, this series is still wide open. If anything, like I said before, all the first two games have told us is that both teams can win this series AND both teams can LOSE this series. Game 3, saturday.

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Tags: 2013 NHL Playoffs Anaheim Ducks Detroit Red Wings Gustav Nyquist Jimmy Howard Johan Franzen Jonas Hiller Saku Koivu Sheldon Souray Valtteri Filppula Western Conference Quarterfinals

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