North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

A Game Of Inches

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Golf is usually referred to as “A game of inches” – which is true, but that term could very well be applied to any sport; Football has the 4th and Inches, the strikezone in baseball is supposed to be about 18 inches wide and last night in Anaheim, it was proven that hockey is too…

Both the Mighty Ducks and the Oilers came within inches of goals – hitting posts, pads and the glass behind the net. Edmonton hit three posts by the mid-point of the third period and the Ducks winged one off the post with just under 30 seconds left to play. If either one of those had gone just one – maybe two – inches towards the net, the game would have been completely different. If the Ducks had forced overtime, perhaps they could have won the Cup… if the Oilers had gone ahead by two goals in the third period, the Ducks would have fallen flat.

But it didn’t happen… Selanne, Peca, Lupil and Smyth all missed shots that would have changed the flow of the game… And we ended up with what we got: a game with excellent penalty killing (the Ducks went 1/11 on the power play) a nerveracking final five minutes and some questionable calls (no call on the hit on Giguere at the end of the first? Or when he was shoved into his net?) that really didn’t ruin the game – but won’t be forgotten by Ducks fans anytime soon.

The Ducks lost because of themselves. They lost three games at home this series; they couldn’t produce on the powerplay and they had nobody to blame but themselves. In game four (their only win of the series) they proved that Roli can be scored on in numbers greater then four – and that the Oilers can be beaten. But they were unable to post that same momentum at all in game five, not even with six skaters in Edmonton’s zone on a 6 on 3 at the end of a close game on home ice when they had the momentum in the game. They proved that hockey is a game of offence – even if you have two great goalies you can platoon, you still need to score goals, especially on the powerplay. And in the end they came close – within inches – but never close enough.

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Written by M.

May 28, 2006 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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