Not only is it frustrating, but it’s getting a little eerie too. Exactly like 2010, the Detroit Red Wings enter their two home games down to the San Jose Sharks, and they lose a third period lead and drop Game 3 in overtime. This, of course, after beating the Phoenix Coyotes in the Quarterfinals.
And that’s not all…elsewhere in the League, the Boston Bruins take a 3-0 series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Washington Capitals make a surprisingly early Playoff exit after finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Is the NHL in syndicated reruns with the likes of Sanford and Son, and All in the Family???
If it is, maybe I can follow the TV Guide and find the lost episodes of Family Ties. If it isn’t, then I can venture a few comments on Game 3 of the Wings and Sharks….
What can I say? In Games 1 and 2, the Red Wings had something they can pinpoint which contributed to their loss. It’s been special teams, or not enough traffic in front of the net, or the forwards aren’t rushing enough, or their physical play is minimal. What do you say for Game 3? The Wings out-shot, out-hit, out-faceoff’ed, out-disciplined, and generally out-played their West Coast rivals…and they still lost.
There’s not much left to consider. Maybe San Jose just had that little extra bit of mojo. Probably so, being that they went into their locker room at the end of regulation with a little extra confidence in the knowledge that they’ve never lost in overtime in this year’s playoffs. Plus they had the extra momentum swing with Dan Boyle’s late, tying goal.
The one thing I would do (and would have done after Game 1) is pull Franzen in favor of Mike Modano. After Game 1, Franzen had no shots and no hits. If he’s nursing his sore ankle that much, get him out of there. Modano has stated that this is his last year in the NHL, and has only played in one game in this year’s postseason. He’s ready, he’s raring, he’s ITCHING to get out there. One last shot for a man trying to close his career with an exclamation point. Franzen’s got plenty of years left. Modano would be a much better player in these situations.
Hats off (literally) to Devin Setoguchi for his three-goal night, along with the OT winner. I never liked him…simply because he causes the Wings so much trouble. They seem to be so focused on Thornton, Pavelski, Heatley and Company that this other guy tends to sneak through with the clutch goals. It’s a bit ironic that the Wings could have won the game on Setoguchi’s holding penalty.
Once again, the goalies were outstanding and kept their respective teams in contention all night long, and didn’t let any soft goals. Jimmy’s going to have to keep it up to give his team one final push. Niemi’s got all the confidence in the world now, and nobody’s talking about his less-than-perfect performance against L.A.
The Red Wings now have a very VERY big hole to climb from. Four wins in a row. They’ll have to dig deep to find that mojo. Maybe it’s not that outlandish considering this year’s similarities to the last. The Flyers did it… And if Detroit can grab it before Philly renews its subscription, then they might have a fighting chance.
I’d type a little more, but I’ve found the series finale of Growing Pains on DVR. Whatever happened to Alan Thicke… “As long as we got each other……”
Game 4 Friday night at the Joe!