2008 NHL Playoffs:Detroit Survives Round 2 Game One

The Captain -Brian KatesSenior Analyst IApril 26, 2008

Was the rink tilted to the left during the Detroit Red Wing/Colorado Avalanche game or what? Five out of the seven goals that were scored were on the left side of my TV screen. 

A left, a left, a left, right, left...

My life took another left turn on Friday and I've been exhausted when I get home from what I call my "it pays the bills" and "it's better than standing in an unemployment line" job. Maybe one more left and I'll be alright (all right, LOL). But let's not dwell on that. Let us instead look at what happened in Detroit's victory over Colorado.

I do believe the ice was leaning left, Thursday night, as the Wings took the first of four and defeated the Avs 4-3. Some will say that the Red Wings just got lucky, had a few good bounces, "it's a game of inches". Aren't all sports like that? Team or individual games are all "a game of inches".

I first heard the term when I was playing baseball as just a wee tyke. I hit a fly ball one time that landed just foul of the baseline and my Dad said, "It's a game of inches." Golf, tennis, baseball, football, hockey, darts. You name the sport, and "it's a game of inches". If you know of one that is not, I'd like to know.

The puck goes here and the puck goes there...

In looking at the game highlights, some will say, "Detroit got all the breaks and that why they won. It'll never happen again." I would say what game were you watching because both teams got "lucky" breaks. The "game of inches" was alive and well during the game and for those who choose not to watch the highlights here's a brief description:

Colorado opened the scoring at the 11:07 mark of the first period and silenced the Hockeytown crowd. Paul Stastny of the Avs got a backhander past Chris Osgood giving Colorado their only lead in the game. Then Detroit answered right back.

Four straight goals by the Red Wings found their way to the back of the Avs net-minder, Jose Theodore. You really have to look at the highlight reel to figure out how Detroit managed these goals. It was truly amazing.

Henrik Zetterberg of the Wings, started Detroit's scoring barrage moments after the Colorado goal tying the game at one. Then Dan Cleary bounced the puck off Theodore that landed behind him and bounced into the net. Watch the highlight!

Later in the first period, Johan Franzen gave the Wings a 3-1 lead on a tip-in during a power play. Then got his second goal of the game early in the second period with a slap-shot from the top of the left circle. Seriously, watch the highlights!

Colorado tried to make a tremendous come-back with two goals in the third period. The first one was a slap-shot by John-Michael Liles and you want to talk "inches". Osgood thought he had come out far enough from his crease to cut off the angle but the puck made a strange move and found an "inch" under Osgood's elbow to score. The net-cam really showed a good look on this one. (Sorry, couldn't find the highlight reel on that one.)

Milan Hejduk finished the scoring for the night with a beautiful almost empty netter. Stastny caught Osgood leaning to the right side of his goalposts and shuttled a pass to Hejduk who scored before "Ozzy" could recover. It really was a beautiful play and was executed perfectly.

The "Wizard of Oz" managed to hold off Colorado's last attacks to end the game giving Detroit a 1-0 lead in the series.

We're on our merry way, we're feelin' light and...

Here's a quick summary of what's happening around the rest of the country during the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs...we've got highlights.

Philadelphia @ Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime 4-3 giving the Habs a 1-0 series lead. Highlights

New York @ Pittsburgh

The New York Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period before imploding in on themselves. Evgeni Malkin scored the game winner on a power-play goal. Hightlights.

Dallas @ San Jose

The San Jose Sharks dropped the series opener in the Shark Tank (sob, sob) giving the Stars a 1-0 game lead. Highlights.

Where do we go from here, now that all of the children (Alan Parson's)...

Game 2's start this afternoon with the Wings taking on the Avalanche at 3pm EDT (2pm CDT) and tonight pits the Habs against the Flyers at 7pm EDT (6pm CDT).

Sunday's games will have the Penguins hosting the Rangers and the Sharks will try to tie their series with the Stars.

And, of course, we'll have............highlights!