Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ducks Gameday—If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…

Round Three, Game Five: (2) Anaheim Ducks at (1) Detroit Red Wings
(Series tied 2-2, JavaGeek ‘odds’: DET 56%)

The Ducks find themselves in the same position as Calgary and San Jose did in rounds one and two: a series tied 2-2 going back to Detroit for a best-of-three. How did those previous two teams fare?

  • The Flames proceeded to lose both G5 and G6, outscored by a combined 7-2.
  • The Sharks proceeded to lose both G5 and G6, outscored by a combined 6-1.
They both got steamrolled. Yikes.

Well, I think the Ducks can take some pointers from a squad that’s quite used to winning when the chips are down and the stakes are high—the A-Team. The Ducks, like the A-Team, will need solid contributions from four of its key members if they want to win one more in Detroit. If I'm Stephen J. Cannell, here's how I'd cast this episode:

Scott Niedermayer—John “Hannibal” Smith:
Hannibal is the determined leader of the A-Team, the mastermind of all their high-risk maneuvers. He carries supreme cockiness and poise no matter the situation, and is an escape artist to boot. Scott’s play has been up-and-down all this series, but he’s kept his composure and has brought confidence to an aggressive blueline. He’s played more postseason minutes than any other Duck, and brings an offensive element to all situations. Scott's definitely a proven winner; I could have sworn after his OT goal in G2 I heard a faint, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Teemu Selanne—Templeton “Faceman” Peck:
Faceman is an expert at scamming whatever the A-Team needs, especially in tight and desperate situations. He’s a sneak, a thief, and an opportunist. Teemu’s got that deceptive ability to get opportunities behind defenders and cash in on his chances; his ability to produce while being covered will be key. Teemu picked up two power-play helpers in G4 (he only had one in the 13 previous playoff games), so perhaps his offense is waking up; the Ducks might consider leaving an "A" on his jersey for G5. Plus it is really funny when he takes a shot to his pretty-boy face.

Sammy Pahlsson—H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock
Murdock is the institutionalized pilot for the A-Team, providing both relief and support to the squad. Though he is quite insane, in key situations he still manages to be right where the team needs him. Pahlsson is the odd-yet-reliable forward for the Ducks, skating against the top opposition offense in order to buy easier-minute time for his teammates. He’s crazy enough not to be intimidated, and is persistent enough to drive his opponents mad, as well.

Chris Pronger—B.A. Baracus
The violent-tempered muscle for the group, B.A. provides the extra edge in any scrap the A-Team gets themselves into. He’s tough and stubborn, and also provides the metal-armor-welding that keeps the team safe. Pronger’s already shown he's capable of angry violence, but aside from the loose temper, he has also provided the team’s strength; Detroit has yet to score an even-strength goal or a power-play goal with Pronger on the ice in this series. Pronger's going to have to find a way to bring the muscle in G5 without the rage.

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Prediction: Ducks 4, Red Wings 2. Goals by the A-Team.

Go Ducks.


Anonymous said...

ahahahah great job sleek.
There was also that girl that provided some backup for the team and came up with an idea or two once in a while, guess that'll have to be either Giguere or Beauchemin.
Go A-team! Go Ducks!

Earl Sleek said...

Good point. Amy Allen was that reporter, at least of the first season-and-a-half, then she was replaced by Tawnia Baker. This is a pretty obvious casting call: Ilya Bryzgalov as Amy in the MIN series, replaced by J.S. Giguere as Tawnia in later rounds.

Also, I probably neglected Ryan Getzlaf as Frankie "Dishpan" Santana, a fresh face added to the team for season five. He was a movie special-effects technician who brought his own style and attitude to the A-Team, despite being the new guy on the squad.

Daniel said...

The cropping is superb, but something about Selanne and Pahlsson's expressions on those bodies, haha. Now all you need is a picture of the '83 GMC out front in the Joe Louis parking area. BTW, did you know there is supposed to be an A-Team movie in 2008?

Eleanor said...

Wow, Earl. Just... wow. We love it and can't wait to see the action montage (set to that most awesome of TV themes) of them planning their big power play. One question though: will the team be at a disadvantage that the game won't be played in the Anaheim underground?

Earl Sleek said...

BTW, did you know there is supposed to be an A-Team movie in 2008?

Yeah, I'd heard that. At first, I was really excited about the idea, but the more that I think about it, the more I realize that the movie will probably just piss me off.

One question though: will the team be at a disadvantage that the game won't be played in the Anaheim underground?

Perhaps. I'm a little concerned about my A-Team analogy, as the A-Team was not exactly known for their shooting accuracy (well, they were accurate enough when shooting at tires, but frequently missed their enemies).

Still, I can't wait for Colonel Babcock's triumphant, "You're mine now, Ducks" before the tables get turned.

Anonymous said...

wow man you nailed it! Colonel Babcock was really thinking that he had the game after Lilja scored but the A-Team was there to turn things around!; Pahlsson killing penalties, Pronger creating offense, Neids with the tie and Selanne with the OT winner... Oh and Giguere was no doubt the Tawnia Baker of the game ;)

JRE said...


Suck it, Red Wings fans!

Earl Sleek said...

I've called scores right before (not often) and goal scorers right before (not often--crippled by the Pahlsson tendency), but in all seriousness, this was the best gameday post/prediction I've ever made.

What a crazy plan, Hannibal! Get outshot, give up a goal, and then take as many consecutive penalties as possible?! Wait until you see the tips of their smiles to tie the game up?!

When's this movie coming out again?

Niekon said...

Guinness on tap at my place on Tuesday if you're in the area... that is if you aren't going to the game. If you are going to the game, stop by the Guinness stand on the south side of the lower concourse and say hi to Jan for me ^_~

Sean Zandberg said...

Wow. What an absolute upset! I love it! Lilja had said such nice things about Selanne yesterday, I wonder if he is taking that back right now!
Please oh please can Anaheim please close this series out at home on Tuesday! I really hate Detroit that much!
I thought Jackman looked great out there again today. But Giguere saved the day no doubt.

Niekon said...

the game was under par in terms of how the Ducks handled the Red wings... but a win is win right?

BTW: where in the hell did this Motzko kid come from? Last info I have on him is that he played for the Blue Jackets as recently as 19 January... and then no info on him beyond that on NHL.com

Earl Sleek said...

I'm notoriously bad at following the farm team, or basically anybody who hasn't set foot on NHL ice, but yeah, I was wondering the same thing.

"Who the hell is Motzko and why is he playing in the last 5 minutes when the team's trailing 1-0? And why is he taking an idiot penalty in the offensive zone?"

Niekon, I'm shooting you an e-mail tomorrow. I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to G6 (at this point I'm not), but the prospect of Guinness on tap makes me salivate.