Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wings Lose, Pistons Win: Some Quick Thoughts

Even though Game Four of the Detroit Red Wings-Anaheim Ducks series and Game Six of the Detroit Pistons-Chicago Bulls series was just a day and a half ago, it seems like a lifetime. You put off writing a blog entry on the games for one day, then another because of a trip to Comerica Park (more on that in my post on Andrew Miller's Major League debut) and suddenly, the games are old news. Oh well. So before the stories become really old news and nobody cares, here are some quick thoughts.

** Even with Chris Pronger out, it didn't surprise me that the Ducks played as well as they did. Sometimes losing a great player like that becomes a rallying point, and you knew after getting pulled in Game Four, Giguere was going to come out especially fired up. When the Ducks scored in the first two minutes of the game, I thought it was going to be a long night, but Dan Cleary's first goal of the game (he scored two) tied it up and it was a back-and-forth battle the entire game. Typical of this series. Hasek gave up more goals then we are used to seeing, but everyone is entitled to an off-night. Game Five is Sunday afternoon (I'll see most of the second period and beyond as I'll be at the Tigers game in the early afternoon) and I can't even venture a guess as to who will win. Both teams have won a game on the road, and while the Wings should be tough at home, the Ducks have been the better team for more of the series (though, if the Wings play as they did in Game Three, they'll win hands down).

** And the Detroit Pistons put the Chicago Bulls to bed, finally. About time. I thought the Bulls were going to give the Pistons a series, but I figured it would be from the start, not once they fell behind 3-0. But, they gave the Pistons a scare, and the team responded when they needed to, closing out Chicago on their home floor. Not coincidentally I think, Jason Maxiell had more playing time in this game then he did in the games the Pistons lost. I think there's a connection there. Maxiell beings emotion and energy when he plays and hopefully he'll continue to get minutes against Cleveland.

As for Rasheed Wallace, he has to play more in control then he did the final three games against Chicago. I know his emotion works for him in some ways, and his technical fouls, while endearing in the regular season, are going to kill the Pistons if he isn't careful. Tayshaun Prince was NOT happy with Wallace when he got a "T" late in the 4th quarter of Game Six against Chicago and good for him for letting Wallace know. Prince is showing a real emotional side of him this playoff and that's a very good thing and he's turning into one of the Pistons most consistent performers. And don't get me wrong, I love Sheed's fire. I would like just a little bit more self control with LeBron James and Cleveland next week.

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