This is what the Wings have to do in game 6. They have their collective foot firmly planted on the Ducks' collective neck. It helps that Ducks have nice long necks. If they let up, they could quickly find themselves pinned down and eliminated in 7 games by a pissed off opponent. If they keep the pressure on, they should spend Wednesday morning planning for a Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
A few days ago at the BoC, I said the most frustrating part of this series was not as much that the Wings were being really outplayed, but that they were often allowing themselves to be beaten. I gotta think that given the last two games, Ducks fans have got to feel the same now. The last two games have featured improved performances by the Wings, particularly the Hossa/Filppula/Franzen line, but at the same time, the Ducks have also taken a step back, I think. There've been some bad goals. Mental mistakes. A general malaise. Beginning in game 4, as Hiller began to give up a few, the Ducks just seemed to give up. Suddenly their brick wall for the last 20 games developed a couple holes, and instead of trying plug them or cover for his bad night, they just quit. And then quit the next game too.
Despite what Earl Sleek has been saying about playing with house money, I think everyone has to realize that this Ducks team, if it can beat the Wings, has a very good chance to win the Stanley Cup. I'd pick them over Chicago. I'd take them over any Eastern team. When you're that close to getting over the wall, you've been playing this well, and you can see the light, I don't think I believe that whole playing with house money thing. If the Ducks can win two straight, they're (mostly) home free to a Stanley Cup. If they finish rolling over, its a big time opportunity wasted for the Ducks. As much as I'd like to feel sorry for the Ducks, given that its either them or the Wings, I can't. Frankly, its almost the same situation for the Wings, being a team that should win the Cup if they make it through this series.
Hopefully this is our last gameday post of the series. If not though, I won't be surprised in the slightest.