Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stars prolong the inevitable

Those undertakers and their crazy sense of humour

"Inevitable? Even with the Stars' first win against the Wings, are you saying that they still have a snowball's chance in hell of advancing to the Stanley Cup final?"

Why yes, I am. Or to be more exact, my dog says that even with this potential last gasp, the Stars are still finished. If you've been following Centre Hice, you already know that my dog is never wrong. And TSN's Maggie the Monkey can go to hell for all I care.

The low-down on last night's game, courtesy of the good old AP:

"DALLAS - Maybe it was payback, maybe it was just good fortune. The Dallas Stars aren't going to quibble.
All that matters is Tomas Holmstrom's rear end - and possibly his reputation - cost the Detroit Red Wings a goal and the Stars took full advantage, avoiding the humiliation of getting swept out of the Western Conference finals.

Minutes after Detroit's lead was taken away, Dallas took its first lead of the entire series thanks in part to an officiating non-call. Then, Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow added third-period goals, sending the Stars past the Red Wings 3-1 on Wednesday night. 

Detroit lost for the first time since April 16, ending a nine-game winning streak that was the franchise's longest in a single post-season. Yet the Red Wings can always wonder how differently this game might've played out if they kept the 1-0 lead they appeared to have taken when a shot by Pavel Datsyuk hit the back of the net.

The goal was waved off immediately, with officials telling Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom that Holmstrom's backside interfered with Turco in the crease. Replays didn't necessarily confirm that, but it didn't matter because it's not a reviewable play. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Holmstrom's history of crowding and bumping goalies - as he did to Turco earlier this series - likely factored in. 

Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg tied it just 49 seconds into the third period, but the Stars weren't about to go away that easily. Mike Modano's one-timer on a power play put Dallas back in front, then some great stops by Turco kept it that way. 

Turco beat Detroit for only third time in 21 career starts. But say this about him: He's tough when facing playoff elimination, improving to 5-4. The bigger challenge comes at Joe Louis Arena, where he's 0-9-2.
But Detroit came out defensive, taking only five shots while concentrating on defence. The Red Wings flipped over to an offensive mindset in the second period, but just couldn't get the breaks - or the official's rulings - that they needed."

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