Saturday, May 19, 2007
What a great time of year!
I'm really quite busy these days. I will be attending the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan, today. Since I judged for the competition, I want to see what the winners were and especially, the Best of Show! Tomorrow I will be taking the BJCP exam (during the Wings game...). Wish me luck!
Tomorrow the Wings play the fifth game of the Conference Finals against the nasty, brutish Anaheim Ducks. The series is all tied, though the play of the Wings has improved steadily, as befits a championship caliber team. Pronger missed the last game due to a suspension, rather the the normal way he's missed the other games (by just not being an important factor!). Ducks fans are all fired up about his return, supposedly rested, fit and angry. I hope he is angry. It will be his anger that sends the Ducks into repeated penalty-kill situations, giving the very potent Wings PP a chance to show the Ducks what fer!
It has been reported that Pronger was upset at the officiating, especially the suspension handed down against him for boarding Homer, along with fellow goon Rob Niedermayer. Tough luck, buttercup! Don't hit from behind and don't lead to the head with your elbows! The five inch differential between the two players had nothing to do with the nature of the hit, either. Pronger aimed for the head and that's that!
All-in-all, this has been an exciting series. I do agree with Pronger that the officiating has been inconsistent. But that's no different from any of the regular-season games. If the refs begin calling all of the cheap obstruction penalties that Anaheim commits, this series could be over in two games, but don't bet on that!
For my money, the Ducks best player has been Getzlaf, the 22 year-old phenom forward. Even Selanne has glowing words for this kid. Still, none of the Ducks is as impressive as the young Detroit stars, like Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Fillpula. Look to these rising stars to raise their level of play even higher in the remaining few games.
As noted in the article from the Globe and Mail above, Detroit coach Mike Babcock muses that the best teams get better with each game in a series. If he's right-and he is-the Red Wings are looking at the Cup Finals in two games.