Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings Cruise to Victory

Well so much for the Chicago Bulls giving the Detroit Pistons a series. And so much for the San Jose Sharks having the Detroit Red Wings on the ropes. After two great performances by two great Detroit sports franchises on Monday night, the Detroit Red Wings are moving on to the Western Conference Finals and the Detroit Pistons are two games away from the Eastern Conference Finals (yes, there is something weird about the Wings and Pistons playing in different geographic conferences, the NHL really needs to fix that).

Starting with the Red Wings, well, because their game started first, I still go back to Robert Lang's goal in game four with just over thirty seconds to go. The Wings were about to fall behind 3-1, and the series would have been over. Instead, Lang scores, the Red Wings go on to win in overtime, and the will of the Sharks was just snapped. Two games later, the Red Wings are moving on to the Western Conference Finals for a date with the Anaheim (no longer Mighty) Ducks, which should be a very tough series. Credit to Dominik Hasek, who despite almost handing the game away on a awful clearing pass in the first period, continues to play like a goalie half his age.

It is only going to get tougher with Anaheim, and without Mathieu Schneider, the other defensemen will have to pick up their game. But, as the Wings have shown throughout the playoffs so far, they are determined to prove that they are not going to fold in the playoffs like their history has been, and so far, they haven't. And if they do make it past the Ducks, nobody can say they didn't earn it, as Calgary, San Jose, and Anaheim may be the toughest road to the Stanley Cup Finals the Red Wings have taken in a long time.

AP Photo

As for the Detroit Pistons, well, there isn't much to say other than the Chicago Bulls just look completely out matched. The Pistons could make shots at will last night, and the Bulls looked completely overwhelmed. The passing of the Pistons, led by Chris Webber, left Chicago in a daze, and the Pistons continued to get quality minutes from their bench, including Jason Maxiell. The Webber acquisition is looking very very similar right now to the Rasheed Wallace acquisition which put the Pistons over the top and helped them win an NBA title in 2004, and right now, there is nobody in the East that can stop the Pistons. Perhaps Chicago will wake up when they get home, but I think it may be too little, too late. The Pistons have momentum now, and with the way they are dialed in and focused, there may be nothing that can derail them until they get to the NBA Finals.

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