On Tuesday the Detroit Red Wings were supposed to close out the Ducks in Game Six and then fly back to Detroit to prepare to face the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead they lost in a mind-numbing 2-1 debacle.
A Game Seven will face both on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. Even though the Wings will have the crowd and the talent, they played so bad on Tuesday their fans might need their own EMS staff.
In a game that saw the return of Brian Rafalski to the Wings lineup, his presence seemed to be not needed. Only one goal by the Wings was done by Johan Franzen on a nifty pass by Zetterberg halfway in the third period only seemed to prevent the chance of a shutout by Jonas Hiller.
The goal did nothing to alleviate the sting by the Ryan Getzlaf and Craig Perry goals. Another rally was staged to close the game, but nothing came of it and material littered the ice as the Ducks went after any Wings player they could.
A classless maneuver anyway you look at it as come Game Seven regardless who wins, they better not try it in Detroit.
The refs for once were not an issue in a game this series as the Wings could not get anything started anyway. They played on their heals, assuming the game was in the bag when in fact they were in the bag being beaten by the Ducks.
The Red Wing star players had enough talent to skate the pucks into the Duck end but a combination of a sense of urgency and smart checking by the Ducks would not allow the Red Wing juggernaut to get up to speed and pepper Hiller into submission.
It is these kind of games that scare Red Wing fans the most. They walloped the Ducks so easily on Sunday 6-3 but come Tuesday, they were so flat it makes the fans wonder will the real Red Wings team show up on Thursday?
The Ducks effort Tuesday night does create wonder if the Wings lost focus again. Even though they are hosting Game Seven back in Detroit, the Ducks have played so scrappy this series, it is not a sure thing.
The key to victory for the Red Wings is a beat-down of epic proportions on the Ducks. They must hit and hit often on anyone in a Ducks sweater. They must shoot every single puck at Hiller with as much speed and mustard they can muster. They must not let up until the final buzzer sounds.
Game Seven for a trip to the Western Conference Finals to face the Chicago Blackhawk's youth movement is on the line now. The Red Wings must focus on the plane ride back to Detroit that they will have to prove whose ice it is in Joe Louis Arena.
The hunting season for Ducks has gone on long enough. It is now time to close it out and keep the defense of the Cup going on to the next round.