Top 10 Red Wings Rivals: #7 Anaheim Ducks
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part 4 of 10 in a series on rivalries. Red Wings 101 will count down the top ten current rivals of the Detroit Red Wings. Fans are encouraged to comment with memories from past games that they may have seen in the past.)
This next rivalry has been more of a blood feud on the ice in recent years. Checking in at lucky nember 7 on our countdown: Anaheim Ducks.The Ducks and Red Wings have had a rivalry that heats up much more in the playoffs than the regular season. The teams have met five times in postseason play, with the Red Wings taking three out of five contests. The Red Wings swept a 4-games-to-none series in the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals en route to the Stanley Cup, and again in the 1999 Conference Quarterfinals.
The Ducks (then known as the Mighty Ducks) swept the Red Wings in the 2003 Conference Quarterfinals behind the stellar goaltending of Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Giguere would lead the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils that year, eventually losing the series in 7 games, Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The man behind the bench for the Ducks during all three meetings was none other than current Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock.
Fast forward to 2007, and the Ducks (sans the “mighty”) and Red Wings met again in the Conference Finals. While the Ducks would win the series 4-2, the series was marked by Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger receiving a one-game suspension for a blatant illegal hit on Red Wings’ forward Tomas Holmstrom in game 3 of the series.
In 2009, the teams would meet once again in the Conference Semifinals, and both would play a hard fought series that the Red Wings would eventually win in seven games. There were plenty of wild and crazy moments in the series, from Jonathan Ericsson and Corey Perry fighting in Game 1, to a line brawl at the end of Game 6.
DEFINING MOMENT: There are plenty to choose from, including the aforementioned. However, it was October 8, 2010, the season opener for both teams at Joe Louis Arena. It was here where Pavel Datsyuk recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, and a fighting major). Datsyuk is not one to drop the gloves, but on this night, he fought Ducks star Corey Perry. The Red Wings would win the game 4-0.
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