Tweet of the Night:
... was unfortunately deleted by the Anaheim Ducks twitter account. But it was nice to see them shoot back when Detroit tried to brag that Palmieri got "Kronwall'd" last game. Though admittedly saying Howard got "Beleskey'd" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Maybe some form of a flow comment next time?
Scoring: Matt Beleskey joined Nick Bonino and Ryan Getzlaf as the only Ducks with multiple goals so far this series. Captain Baldy continues to lead the pack for Anaheim with four points through the first four games. The Ducks' depth continues to shine though. Every player who has played all four games thus far has recorded at least one point.
Damien "Homestar" Brunner continues to lead the Red Wings with four points, including the OT game winner in game 4. I'm still convinced that Ahlers and Hazy poked the bear that is the hockey fates last game by pointing out how much the Ducks had shut Pavel Datsyuk down. Sure enough he comes back and scores his first goal of the season, making it look extremely easy. Let's hope that's all he gets.
Goaltending: His name is Jonas.... Hiller. And his numbers continue to sparkle this playoffs. A .929 save-percentage and 2.10 goals against average continue to be among the league's best. As bad as the Ducks have been at times, he's given them a chance to win every single game this series.
Jimmy Howard on the other hand hasn't been the usual Duck slayer he is. Sporting a 2.82 goals against and an even .900 save-percentage, Howard has been nothing more than average this series. While a lot of that can be blamed on the team in front of him, the old addage says timely goaltending is necessary to win in the playoffs. So far it hasn't really been there.
Who's Hot? If there was any question as to the value of Nick Bonino as a part of this team, he has answered it this series. Still the ultimate utilitarian, Bonino has found himself in the right place at the right time to score twice so far this series and has been huge on whatever line Bruce Boudreau puts him on.
Likewise, Emerson Etem is showing what kind of an amazing young man he truly is. Etem nearly had his second goal of the series twice, nearly getting a stick on what wound up being David Steckel's first playoff goal in a Ducks uniform, and burning the Detroit defense, only to shovel a backhand shot past Howard and off the post. His speed has given the inexperienced Red Wings blueliners fits.
Brunner leads the Wings in points but not a lot of attention has been paid to Daniel Cleary, who sits tied for second with three. The seasoned veteran has been a threat nearly every shift he's been on the ice, and was arguably one of the best players in the Wings performance in game four. His ability to find the open ice in the offensive zone has generated a ton of chances. Johan Franzen may have two goals, but he could have far more. The big net-front man has registered 13 shots on goal this series. Only Henrik Zetterberg has logged more (18).
Who's Not? Corey Perry is still completely missing in action for Anaheim, with only one point thus far in the series still. He's registered 11 shots on goal which means so far Jimmy Howard has just had his number. Oddly enough despite his strong play, Daniel Winnik is tied for last place on the team with a -2 rating with Luca Sbisa.
Henrik Zetterberg remains goalless with one point this series thus far, in addition to a -1 rating. And as stated above he leads the Red Wings in shots on goal this series with 18, so in all reality he's getting his chances. Jonas Hiller has just not allowed any of them in.
Well it comes down to a best-of-three now. The Ducks did well to win back home-ice advantage but tonight they have to capitalize because this game five now has monumental importance that I can't understate. At the end of the night one of these teams will have their back to the wall heading back to the Joe, the other will have a chance to end the series there.
It was only a matter of time before Datsyuk scored and the Ducks will have to immediately revert him to his barren, pointless ways if they want to pull off a critical win tonight.
And for the love of Pete will someone PLEASE tell me how the hell this guy is leading the Wings in scoring?!
Homestar Brunner's typical weekend hobbies. via images.fanpop.com
Fearless Prediction: StrongBad shows up, but ultimately has his plans foiled when he can't figure out which one of the Honda Center concession stands is Bubs' shop. Pavel Datsyuk is confused with The Cheat at least three times. Souray finally gets his name on the scoresheet, and I jam out to my StrongBad Techno ringtone.
True story... that actually is my ringtone.