It may have taken 3 more games than they would have wanted but the Sharks finally knocked off the Wings in a great Game 7 last night. Before I continue I just wanted to thank the Wings and Sharks for providing us the with entertaining hockey in a second round that clearly lacked it. The Sharks and Wings played to 6 one goal games and if it hadn’t of been for Drew Miller’s empty netter at the end of game 6 it would have been a clean sweep. The hockey was fast paced, highly energetic, skilled and still physical; I can only hope that the rest of the playoffs can live up this standard.
The Sharks had Ryan Clowe back in the line-up however Johan Franzen wasn’t able to suit up for the game. The injury problems only got worse for Detroit as this game progressed as Todd Bertuzzi had to leave only 10 minutes into the game after hitting Dany Heatley and Bertuzzi did not return. Only 3 minutes later the Sharks found the back of the net with Jonathan Ericsson sitting in the penalty box for holding. Joe Thornton completed a perfect no look pass from the corner to a wide open Devin Setogouchi who did not miss from the far wing. With only 1 minute left in the first Logan Coture helped the Sharks open a 2-0 lead as a rare turnover from Henirk Zetterberg landed on Coture’s stick and he rifled one high glove side past Jimmy Howard.
The second period saw the Wings cut the deficit to one as Henrik Zetterberg put home a backhand from the slot after a pass from Valterri Fillpula. The goal came on an odd man rush for the Wings and although Pavel Datsyuk did not get an assist on the play he deserved one. Datsyuk started the play off by lifting the stick of Heatley right before he was going to fire the puck at Howard.
With a 2-1 score heading into the third you had to expect the Wings to come out firing but it was actually the Sharks that beat them to the punch as they widened their lead to 3-1 with about 8 minutes left in the third. Although it was a tap in that even Tiger Woods could have finished off Patrick Marleau drove the net hard and cleaned up the garbage to find the score sheet for the first time in this series. The goal would be the eventual winner and although it wasn’t flashy he did manage to the monkey off his back for the time being. The remainder of the period of saw constant pressure by the Wings who did manage to close the gap to 1 off a beautiful backhand goal from Pavel Datsyuk who beat Niemi high blocker side.. it was a perfect shot and not even Greg Millen and Glen Healey playing nets at the same time would stopped it.
Prediction Review: Sharks in 7
Although my prediction was spot on I can’t take all of the credit. The Wings deserve a tremendous amount of credit for fighting back in this series after falling behind 3-0 and the character and heart they displayed should be admired by hockey fans alike. This game and this series was everything that hockey fans dream of and we all should thank the Wings and Sharks for entertaining us for 7 great games.
About the Author
Written by Kirk Butler
Born and raised in Murray Harbour - PEI. Like many Canadians hockey is my religion; as a kid I had the pleasure of playing my minor hockey with Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning. I played competitive hockey until the age of 21 which included stops in the American Prep School System, Canadian Junior Hockey and the CIS. I now get my competitive fix on the golf course as a scratch golfer. More to come: Kirk Butler PEI, Canada