Sadly, this will be the second time on the wrong end of a Detroit handshake line: nobody ever says nice things about us. Nevertheless, Detroit won this series fair and square, by which I mean Mike Babcock apparently outwitted Bruce Boudreau, and therefore is deserving of praise.
Anaheim's resident Benedict Arnold. Why u haff 2 switch sides?! Ok, you've coached in Detroit longer than you ever did in Anaheim, but the point is you started here. It's like some man plying his trade at the magic castle, then suddenly setting up shop in Vegas. We all knew how good you were. We wanted Bryan Murray to pay you. Must you subject us to this torture?! You clearly outwitted BB when it came to line mixing and scheme adjustments. You are without a doubt the top coach in the league and it shows in the way your players flawlessly execute your system. If you stick around Detroit for many more years, they'll have to start saying your name in sentences with Bowman, and that's a life accomplishment. Not that you need another one.
Niklas Kronwall/Jonathan Ericsson:
Nikky, you didn't elbow anyone in the face this series, and that's an accomplishment for which everyone is grateful. You and Ericsson also managed to bottle up two of the leagues best offensive forwards. I'm pretty sure Perry knows exactly how much Kronwall weighs from skating around the Wongs' zone with that giant Swede strapped to his back. Aside from Bancock's adept roster management, you guys had the largest impact on the series: bottling up the Ducks too offensive players and forcing this into an even strength situation. You forced the Ducks depth to beat you 5 on 5 and the only ones who consistently came through were Palms and Etem. That's a job well done.
i can't help but feel you deserved it when Perry heel kicked you in the groin. Couldn't let him score one, huh? Being greedy like that creates animosity. I'm sure part of the reason you played so well in games 6 and 7 was because if your team's new found commitment to protecting the house, but you were more than up the challenge. Making big saves to the very last minute.
You two only get initials. Especially you Z, we all know you were lucky in Game 6 living off those screens. Still, your dedication to process and strong hockey carried you through a tough start to the series. You have to win 4 and the offense for two wins can be laid at your skates. As for D, don't you know Murray can't find mobile defenseman?! Why are you always stick handling through theses pylons? Can't shoot from the half boards once? Someday, we will get the better of you. Until then, best of luck with Chicago. You'll need it.