I hope this finally settles the never-ending debate about Jacques Lemaire's propensity to neglect his offense in favor of suffocating defense. I also hope Wild GM Doug Risebrough takes a long, hard look at his organization's on-ice philosophy.
This wasn't a humiliating blowout along the lines of the Rangers-Thrashers series, but it wasn't something to brag about, either. As a member of the ultra-competitive Western Conference, the Wild can't afford to stand pat in the off-season.
Â• Interesting quote from Ducks star Teemu Selanne after the game:
Â“Now we can relax and enjoy this,Â” Selanne said. Â“It's good to have a week off because all of us are a little banged up.Â”
Um, Teemu? Remember the 2006 playoffs? Remember how Anaheim had an eight-day layoff prior to the Western Conference Final against the Oilers? Remember the outcome of that series? Be careful what you wish forÂ…
Â• When I took up Marty Turco's cause earlier in the Stars-Canucks series, I got a handful of emails from Vancouver fans who still believed Roberto Luongo outplayed his Dallas counterpart every step of the way.
After Turco stood on his head and led the Stars to a 1-0 overtime win Thursday night, I suspect I won't hear from any of those same people. But if Dallas doesn't ratchet up the scoring, no goalie will be able to stop them from being eliminated.
Â• Funny how all that talk of the Pittsburgh Penguins lacking enough playoff experience and consistency in goal to beat the Ottawa Senators turned out to be true. Why, you'd think certain observers actually had a valid point or two.
Â• Now that the Flames have evened up their series with Detroit, they can focus on the big task at hand Â– nope, not winning on the road, but scoring even-strength goals.
Six of Calgary's eight playoff goals (75 per cent) have come when the Flames had a man advantage. With the series moving back to Joe Louis Arena, they won't have nearly as many of those opportunities.
That means they'll have to produce 5-on-5, or suffer the same fate they did in Games 1 and 2.
Excuse me, but I would point to the ducks as the trapping team in the series against the wild. The ducks also clutched and grabbed wild players like Titanic survivors did to anything that would float. And the final blow, excuse the pun, was removing the wild's best puck moving defenceman via the sucker punch. In game five, the wild couldn't move the puck without Johnsson. While the 3 game suspension of May might be appropriate for the crime, it was insufficient given May's track record as I'm sure Steve Heinze would attest. If thats how the NHL works, I would say its great strategy to have a 4th liner cheap shot the opponent's best players.
- BJ Bonin