Well, this was certainly a much better result than Game 3. After how brutally treated the Ducks were on Tuesday night, I was quite apprehensive about how the officiating would be.
It was great to have the initial goal scored so soon in the contest. The fact that the Wings tied it up shortly thereafter did not seem to take away from the emotional lift that 1st goal gave the team. It was great to see the defense stand up and take care of business in the absence of Chris Pronger. Teemu Selanne finally breaking his slump was huge, and Jackman's goal in his 1st game back was just amazing! 3-1 Anaheim? Who knew???
I was very, very surprised when the Ducks were not called for any penalties in the 1st period. How the heck did that happen?!?!?!?!?
However, when the 2nd period began, it seemed as though we were in for a repeat of Game 3. There was a bogus hooking call on Rob Niedermayer, and then a repeat of the Ducks parade to the penalty box, including a 5-on-3 situation, which fortunately, the Ducks were able to kill off.
I wondered aloud to friends during the 2nd period intermission.....What was it that someone somewhere didn't like? Had it been the 3-1 Anaheim lead, or the fact that no penalties were called on the Ducks in Period 1? Since Detroit had gotten back into the game, tying it 3-3 in the 2nd, I was quite anxious to see how the 3rd period would be called.
When Rob Niedermayer was called for cross-checking at 2 seconds of the 3rd period, I thought the worst was coming. The Ducks were already on the penalty kill, with about 1:40 left on a penalty from the 2nd period. Again the Ducks had to kill a 5-on-3 situation, and again, they were very successful in doing so. After that, the refs seemed to lose their whistles!!
Period 3 had some of the most exciting, wide-open play that I've ever seen! Both teams were flying up and down the ice, with no one on either side doing anything stupid with their sticks or bodies. The fore-checking was awesome, and the checks were clean; nothing even bordering on illegal. It was great to see the Ducks creating so much havoc in front of Hasek. The only way to really get to such a veteran net-minder is to put as much traffic as possible in front of him and just keep pounding the puck toward him.
All in all, an excellent game for Anaheim. Which leads to one question: Where the hell was this in the first 3 games of the series??? I can only hope that the Ducks will continue this kind of disciplined, hard-working play when Pronger returns, and not count on Chris and Scott Niedermayer to do all the work.
Good luck in Game 5, boys!!!