I was at the game tonight and the reason we lost is simple. Too many people took the night off. Even pavel had an off night. Our passing was off, no one was moving their feet, no one supported each other in the offensive zone and always gave boston an easy out, we were far too loose defensively, made bad line changes and just all around lacked energy. From the players to the coaches, the Red Wings were simply not prepared for this game. There is no one person to blame for this loss, but rather the group as a whole. This game really defines the idea that you win games as a team and you lose games as a team and, tonight, we lost this game as a team.
Mike Babcock for the first time in a while, was completely out coached tonight. We started game 2 with his original lines, went down 2-0 and he switched the lines up and the Wings woke up and started to compete. So what does he do? Starts game 3 with his original lines again and we go down 2-0 and lack energy. That is on Babcock for not knowing when to give up on his awful lines. Franzen NEVER EVER EVER works with Pav ever. I never want to see that again. Not only that, but the kids have been far too quiet so far in this series and are lacking their usual energy. I think it is time to COMPLETELY change the lines for game 4, which is a must win game.
I thought the best player on the ice for us was Brendan Smith, by far! He was skating magically tonight and was one of our few players that had energy each shift. Yet, the only Dman to play less then him was Lashoff! That is a joke. Babcock needs to wake up and stop playing freakin Kindl so much as he is by far our worst player almost every game. I want to see more Smith and less Kindl, and Smith on the PP as well! Also, we have scored 2 goals in 3 games. We have no one going to the net and everyone seems to be timid out there. I say Abby is absolutely not working well on Pav's line so we need to bring in Bert. Say what you want about Bert, but he plays well for us in the playoffs. He is a big body, always uses his size well when playing with Pav, isn;t afraid to go to the net and the dirty areas. I think we absolutely need to play him with Pav. Here are the lines I would go with for game 4:
Bertuzzi- Datsyuk- Tatar (Tatar has looked way too off so far, putting him with Pav will do wonders and will get both him and pav going along with bert)
Franzen- Legwand- Nyquist (This is when Nyquist was at his best, so go back to it. Also, makes no sense for Legwand to be on the 4th line, this gives us a much more consistent 2nd line)
Jurco- Sheahan- Alfredsson (Solid 3rd line along with the veteran Alfie to chip in with some scoring)
Glendening- Helm- Miller/ Abby (solid 4th line)
Bertuzzi- Datsyuk- Tatar (Tatar is a SHOOTER and thus makes sense to play him with Pav)
Alfie- Kronners (No reason why Alfie was ever taken off the 1st pp unit)
Franzen/Jurco- Legwand- Nyquist
Dekeyser- Smith (NO MORE KINDL. Smith has soooooooooooo much more talent it is not even funny)
I think this would give the red wings the best chance against the bruins in game 4. We are not out of it as you can never say never with this years Red Wings team. Babs just needs to make the right changes moving forward.