What if? Have you played that game lately? There is less than a minute left in Game 5 on Friday night at Honda Center, with the Ducks clinging to a one-goal lead over the Nashville Predators. The standing-room-only crowd is on its feet and yelling, already celebrating the Ducks seizing a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 playoff series. The Nashville net is unguarded. The scoreboard clock is flashing 0:38.6 as Ducks center Saku Koivu prepares to take the faceoff against Predators center Mike Fisher in the circle to the right of Ducks goalie Ray Emery. If Koivu wins the faceoff, the puck will soon be rifled to the other end of the ice and all but extinguish the Predators' hopes. Except Fisher, who is better known in Nashville as the husband of singer Carrie Underwood, wins the faceoff cleanly and sends the puck back to defenseman Cody Franson. Franson quickly sends a cross-ice pass to fellow defenseman Shea Weber, who immediately unleashes a long wrist shot toward the crowded goal area. Somehow, the puck whizzes past Ducks defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky and Toni Lydman, then threads its way between Predators wingers J.P. Dumont and Sergei Kostitson, who are camped in front of the crease trying to screen Emery. The puck winds up in the top of the net. Tie score, 36 seconds left. Honda Center suddenly goes silent. We all know what happened after that. The Predators pulled out an overtime victory in Game 5 and won Game 6 on Sunday in Nashville to end the Ducks' season.
What happens if Koivu wins Game 5 faceoff?
Orange County Register | Apr 27