COMMENTARY | Lesson learned: Never say never when it comes to the Detroit Red Wings.
I wrote the Red Wings would win Game 6, but fall short in Game 7. They did anything but fall short. They came out with energy and made sure the Ducks couldn't establish any momentum to open up Game 7.
Even though this team has a lot of young talent that is inexperienced when it comes to playoff hockey, it still has a lot of veteran leadership. It still has Zetterberg, it still has Pavel Datsyuk and it still has Jimmy Howard.
Zetterberg and Datsyuk may be in their 30s, but they looked as good as ever during the past two games.
Zetterberg, especially, had been struggling as he hadn't scored in this series until he got two goals in Game 6. He added another one in Game 7 and looked like his Conn Smythe winning days in 2008.
The way the Red Wings played in Games 6 and 7 reminded me of how they played in the final four games of the regular season. Knowing they needed wins to keep their season alive, they got the job done with their backs against the wall.
Not only did they grab the lead from the beginning in Game 7, but they didn't relinquish it like they had in Games 2 and 6.
Even after the Ducks scored their second goal -- a lucky bounce that went off of Jonathan Ericsson's skate and in the net -- the Red Wings regrouped and continued to put the pressure on the Ducks.
Their road to the Stanley Cup doesn't get any easier as they will faceoff against the top-seeded Blackhawks, who swept the Red Wings in the regular season this year.
Three of the four games were competitive, but there's no doubt in my mind this will be another great series between these division foes.
This season has been different for the Red Wings. They struggled to start the year, and their youth and inexperience showed many times during the course of the season.
But winning the last four games of the regular season coupled with this series win against the Ducks proves this team has no plans of giving up anytime soon.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can find Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.
- Ice Hockey
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- Detroit Red Wings
- Henrik Zetterberg
- Anaheim Ducks