You have to hand it to San Jose, they are capitalizing on their chances. The Wings put forth a much better effort today, but I don't forgive them for the lack of intensity and hustle in games 1 and 2. The Wings even got the power play in OT and really did nothing with it. I know the refs got a bad rap last year in the playoffs. This year, the Wings have no one to blame but themselves. Especially in games 1 and 2.
I am behind the Wings all the way. Even going to watch Game 4. There was a team last year that won 4 in a row, and maybe the Wings can do that this year. If not, well, there isn't anything that can be done about it by whining or crying. I will put my cheering behind Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Wings are down 0-2 because the Sharks are playing better.
Seriously though, look at the stats. People like blaming the reffing and diving by San Jose, but the stats don't lie. The puck possession, shots, scoring chances, and offensive zone possession are all owned by the Sharks. Sure, the Wings get chances, but the Sharks are getting almost double what the Wings are getting. Our "weak link" was always thought to be Howard. Well, Howard has turned in 2 spectacular efforts to keep us in the games and the team in front of him really has not been able to outplay the Sharks team.
Some people will say the Wings are not playing with enough heart. I wouldn't go that far to insult them like that. What I will say is, the Sharks are skating harder and winning the puck battles in the first two games. Can the Wings do that in games 3 and 4? I believe they can. Its quite obvious that the Wings have to play harder because their margin for error is slim.
I can't take credit for this, but I agree with it 100%
Now... I've been a lifelong Red Wings fan. But after the OT loss to the Sharks tonight, I've seen facebook, twitter, and forum posts pop up with the same opinion being shared, mostly of the following variety:
"zOMG we lost! The NHL has it out for us! We're never going to win!"
"The referees screwed us!! 6 penalties for, only 2 against! This is a conspiracy!!"
So, since I frown on stupidity, we're going to break this down, period by period, goal by goal, penalty by penalty, and educate people as to what actually happened tonight.
P.S. - Penalties were 7-4, not 6-2.
Red Wings come out of the gates flying. Good forecheck, good swarming through the neutral zone causing a lot of dump-ins. Officials seem to be letting the players play rather than get themselves too involved (which in the playoffs, is what should be happening).
Goals: Good pressure by the Wings in the offensive zone. Datsyuk rolls out of the corner with the puck, and Lidstrom, realizing all the Sharks are puck-watching, sneaks down the slot in a perfect example of an umbrella offense, and one-times the puck home.
Penalties: A skirmish after a cross-check by Scott Nichol leads to Nichol heading to the box, as well as one from each team for the skirmish.
Current penalties: DET: 1 SJ: 2
Jonathan Ericsson gets caught on a bad pinch, and water-skis a guy rushing up the ice on the odd-man rush.
Current penalties: DET: 2 SJ: 2
Dany Heatley goes to throw a hit, but his wide stance causes Stuart to wipe out. A very very marginal call (In the Red Wings favor? Are you SERIOUS? That goes against everything our conspiratorial belief stands for!).
Current penalties: DET: 2 SJ: 3
Aaaand here come the Sharks. Shots were 18-9 this period, and how the Sharks didn't tie this game up in the middle stanza, I'll never know. Let's put it this way, when the Zamboni came out between 2 and 3, they only had to clean half the ice, because I don't think the Red Wings sniffed center ice. Jimmy Howard stands on his head in an MVP effort.
Goals: None. Refer to the Jimmy Howard statement in previous paragraph.
Penalties: Jiri Hudler for tripping. When you put your stick on a guy's ankle and YANK, you're probably going to sit for a couple. Sorry bud.
Current penalties: DET: 3 SJ: 3 (SOOO lopsided, right?)
Joe Pavelski snows Jimmy Howard. Howard takes offense. One a piece. Fairly simple decision.
Current penalties: DET: 4 SJ: 4 (OMG, NHL's fault)
There's the goal I called about 45 minutes before it was scored. More of the same in the 3rd. The Sharks dominating and Jimmy Howard bailing the Wings out long enough for them to dump the puck in and get a line change.
Goals: Pavelski late in the 3rd. Drew Miller blows a tire, giving Joe Thornton a lane for a shot that rebounds off Howard, giving Pavelski an opportunity to show off his hand-eye coordination with a baseball bat swing into the net (This is obviously the NHL/official's fault, not Paul Boyer for putting a decent edge on Miller's skates in between periods).
Penalties: Todd Bertuzzi for an OBVIOUS board. I understand the NHL standard is sketchy at best regarding boarding and checking from behind, but you can't hit a guy from behind 2 ft. from the boards. The first thing that hit the glass was his face. At this point, my officiating spider sense started tingling, and I even twitched putting my arm in the air. No joke.
Current penalties: DET: 5 SJ: 4
Patrick Eaves tries to hacksaw a defender's hand off. The least he could have done was slash him low on the stick and make it LOOK like he was trying to play the puck (which was 50 ft. away at the time).
Current penalties: DET: 6 SJ: 4
Same overtone as previous 40 minutes. SJ dominating, Wings holding on by a thread. At the start of OT, I told my brother I would put money on the Red Wings losing the game.
Penalties: Red Wings get a 3-1 odd man rush. Abdelkader doesn't even get a shot on goal, and he expresses his anger by clipping Murray in the face with his stick. It's the right call, you split a guy open with a high stick, it's 4 minutes. No questions asked, no marginality to it, no "NHL conspiracy". You have a problem with it, keep your damn stick down. Problem solved.
Goals: Saw this one coming. The Red Wings, after successfully killing off the 4 minute power play, are pinned in their zone. Ferreiro puts a lazy shot on net, that hits a defenseman's stick and befuddles Jimmy Howard. Those are the kinds of goals that win OT games in the playoffs (I reference Burrows' knuckleball clapper to eliminate Chicago in Game 7 this week).
You get outshot 45-26 in the playoffs, you're not going to win many (if any) games. There were three people that showed up in white jerseys to play today, and they wore 5, 13, and 35.
The referees didn't screw anybody. Neither did the NHL. Neither of these entities have sticks in their hands, sticks that fired 46 shots in just under 70 minutes of play. The reason the Red Wings lost is the 20 guys in black jerseys that wanted it more, and were the more talented team tonight. So drop the conspiracy/poor officiating crap, before you give yourself an aneurysm. It's only hockey, after all.
Reffing aside, the Wings were not prepared for the Sharks tonight. The Sharks played better across the board. They had more shots, more scoring chances, and good puck luck tonight. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The refs didn't decide the game, the players did. The Wings only have themselves to blame for this loss. I suppose that Wings fans here will find the refs good targets to blame in a few embelleshed calls were the reason that the Sharks won that game. Look at the stats across the board first and you will see the truth.
Sharks led in shots 46-25 and had the puck in the offensive end for a bulk of the time in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Give the Sharks some credit. They came ready to play.
Gotta give Howard some credit too. He was a steady goalie. He didn't need to come up with game saving stops all the time, but he did have to play solid which he did. I was watching some of the goals he allowed and I can count one softie he probably should have had. The rest were deflections, uncovered players on the other side of the net, and so on. If the defense plays this well and the goaltending is solid, then the Wings are going to go far. Especially considering 13 different players scored in this series. Talk about depth!
ESPN wouldn't shove the NHL down the throats of anyone.
You have to follow the money with the way ESPN treated the NHL when it was on. They simply do not give hockey enough attention to warrant such a substantial difference in a contract offer.
Hire Gary Thorne to NBC, and I guarantee you half of the criticisms of this deal would go away.
I agree with Doc Holliday.
I remember numerous occasions that the NHL games would be cut off if they went over their time or they wouldn't go over to the game if something else was going on. People here may not remember what it was like back then, but I was furious during the playoffs back in 1996 and 1997. I remember a few Wings games getting cut off for some golf tournament and there was no where else you could see the game. I know, just one example, but its a good one.
I was glad when Versus picked up the NHL. They give the NHL more exposure than ESPN ever did. Less homes? Thats fine. More specials, hockey shows, and so on is what I want to see. With the NHL Network now, I am a very happy camper.
I want Gary Thorne!
NHL Home Ice on XM Radio had a great interview with Gary Thorne and Bill Clement together. Gary pretty much said his existing contract to do baseball was more lucrative and NBC and Versus couldn't pay him enough. ESPN did volunteer to let him out of his contract, but they sweetened the deal to keep him around. Who knows what the future holds though. He has not ruled out a return to broadcasting hockey. Gary also said that the thing he misses most about hockey is the playoffs. The two month run is nothing like anything else in sports.
I love what I see from the Wings. Power play aside, they are generating traffic in front of the goalie and shooting a lot. This worked on the first two goals and works a lot in all levels of hockey. They should be doing this more often instead of looking for those fancy plays. Hell, as a goalie, its always harder to stop a shot that you don't see rather than some fancy play that you see develop in front of you.
He just seems to lack heart. He doesn't really try out there, and almost every interview he gives always sounds like he's ready to leave any day now and is just finishing out the year.
Its these kinds of posts that really irk me. Modano hasn't had a great season thats for sure. I really feel if he was not injured for 3 months, he would have contributed a lot more. This being said, to say the guy lacks heart is really a punch in the balls. This guy had to go through a lot of physical therapy after a skate blade cut through his arm and severed a tendon. It takes a motivated man, a man possessed even, to go through that hell and be ready to play professional hockey in three months.
Modano and the rest of the Wings are going to play their hardest in the playoffs. This much I know of. As for him retiring, I surely hope he does as well. Modano is playing Dallas Drake minutes, and Drake knew his time was running short as well in 2008 when the playoffs started. It takes a real man to look on the career he has had and to make tough choices when it comes to moving on. The game of hockey could use a great retired player like Modano. Either working with Shanny at improving the game or working with the Stars as they rebuild.
Any forum member that considers themselves to be a Wings fan pointing fingers at the players and saying they have no heart is not a real fan. Back your team, players, and management. They have given the fans everything that they have wanted and then some. No other professional sports team has the record the Wings have had in the last 20+ years.
Hossa played hardball with Holland and Kenny went with his backup. It's too bad (for us) Hossa did not start out with what he eventually signed with the Hawks, as he would have been a Wing.
I think Franzen still could wow us in the playoffs, so I'm really not crying too hard over it.
I agree with this. I also want to say that it is easy to look in hindsight and say we should have never made that decision. At the time when Franzen was signed, it was a great decision. I would have much rather taken Franzen and another player like a Drew Miller than take Hossa.
Everyone wants the Wings to get 2nd place, but they want to rest their starters. Personally, I say rest the starters and lets go in at 3rd place. The Hockey gods have not been nice to us the last few years with all the injuries. Winning a cup takes a healthy team.