A valiant effort by the previously listless Wings came up just short as time ran out on them and there amazing 2007 playoff run.. The Wings just plain refused to skate for the first 36 minutes of this game and as a result found themselves down 3 - 0 coming into the 3rd period.. A quick Zetterberg goal to open the 3rd breathed life into the boys wearing red until the eventual game winner was scored off yet another Flop Boy fat ass rebound by Sammy Pahlsson.. The Wings continued to push and cut the lead to one late.. But alas numerous fanned shots by Homer on wide open nets doomed the Wings..
A quick comment on DET play this post season: they FAR outplayed most experts expectations (which I find funny when talking about a number 1 seed -- time for realignment Gary?).. Hell they far outplayed most fans expectations.. I run a pool full of serious Wings homers and only 2 picked the Wings to reach the conference finals.. They really dismantled an overrated CAL team, buried an out coached SJS team and should have, could have beat ANA in 5.. While it hurts to not have the home team still playing I have to say I am pleased with the result.. This is all Wings fans have been asking for the last couple years: a team that plays good hard nosed playoff hockey.. They DON'T have to go to the finals every year.. But it would be nice for them to sniff the conference finals every year.. For 2007 I will raise a glass of Labatts to the team that FINALLY got it (and man was it glorious to see it work)..
knee jerk reaction: to me this should be the swan song for the 1997/98 Stanley Cup winners.. You have a team full of youngsters who are ready to take the reins.. That means it is time to say good bye to some old friends (ie. Maltby/Draper).. Maltby has been reduced to a one dimensional special teams player (Penalty Killer) and Drapers 30 goal days (not that he had a whole lot of em) are over.. Trade Lang and Samuelson and you have a whole new line.. I can't believe I am saying this as I hate people who say it, but the Wings need to get bigger.. The major weakness I saw in this playoff year was that bigger teams could cycle against them at will for long periods of time.. I'm not sold on the fact that Calder and Bertuzzi should go yet. If Calder was indeed hurt (rumors abound that he was trying to play with a broken hand) then I give him a free pass.. If not then you traded a streaky scorer for an even more streaky scorer that can hit.. I would like to see if Bertuzzi can get to full strength.. If when he does he still can't skate past my 3 year old son, dump his sorry ass..
The Wings will need a goalie eventually.. Why not this summer when you have 2 teams with four #1 guys? Ilya Bryzgalov and Vesa Toskala are #1 guys in back up roles.. Flop boy was amazing this year, but his infuriating style has got to go.. You can argue that 3 of the Ducks 4 goals tonight were the result of his refusal to stay on his feet..
So Ken Holland and Mike Ilitch: I make this plea every year.. Please for the love of all that is good -- make some CHANGES!!! Make this team a 4 line threat again.. I love Mike Babcocks style of play, but the man needs a few more horses to play with..
Boys in red: enjoy the golf course.. GO Whalers and GO SENS!!! (I think)..