First let me say this was at least a good effort. (minus the minute twenty of pure goal scoring hell) Aside from Game 7, it was probably the best game they had played all playoffs. They just let down for that time period and the Sharks capitalized. And yet the positive, the Wings clawed and scratched their way back into it. They ended with a 4-3 loss that could have been much much worse.
My other thoughts you ask? Jimmy Howard didn't really play badly. During that goal spurt and essentially every penalty kill he was pretty much left to fend for himself. I don't blame Jimmy for the loss and yet he's probably pretty pissed off with himself. Which is a great thing for Red Wings Nation because Howard seems to relish in a little adversity and bounces back well. Tell me if you could think of a better mind set for a Red Wings goalie?
Welcome to the 2010 playoffs Johan Franzen. I see someone noticed his face on the fan sponsored milk carton and sent him back to the team. Whoever returned the Mule can collect their prize any time now. It's a trip (sorry a no expense paid trip) to Brazil to see Herm...I believe he did however offer up a room at his place for free...so there you go. Thanks Herm.
Dan Cleary had a great night. Which probably explains why half the male population in Michigan now have undescended testicles as a direct result of watching him lay on the ice hurt. But as the true grinder he came back out and finished the game. I'm just crossing my fingers he'll be ok...
Alright since Franzen seems to be back with the team, can we pool the remaining money and put Kronwall's face on the next round of milk cartons? Where the hell has he been? And why does he continuously seem to be possessed by Pierre McGuire's favorite Swede, KronVall? It's time for a milk carton campaign and an exorcism. As the future of the Wings blue line, he needs to start playing to the level we've all seen in the past. And as one of my favorite players it's getting really fucking old complaining about him.
Special teams needs to be better. Period. The penalty kill and the power play have had moments of billiance. But they need to start being more consistent.
Alright, I can't have a "recap" without mentioning the Franzen penalty. How is it that two blatant high sticks have been ignored during the playoffs. My understanding was, this penalty is one call that's black and white. A high stick doesn't have to be intentional. If a player doesn't have control of his stick, he goes to the box. There's blood, he goes for 4 minutes. Pretty fucking cut and dry. Especially considering Franzen was hit before either player fell. If they were going to call Franzen for tripping, at the very LEAST, San Jose should have gotten 2 minutes for high sticking as well. Leave it as a wash. The irony, Filppula was called for a high stick or slash, during that pk and the Sharks had a 5 on 3. Inexcusable. Sure the Wings didn't capitalize on the power plays they had, but that was a huge glaring mistake. Very similar to the Lidstrom high stick in the Phoenix series. Below is what Babcock had to say:
"But on the 5-on-3 penalty, it's a slash for sure but don't dive on the ice and embellish it. You are from Western Canada, don't do that."
I'm looking forward to Sunday. I anticipate a rested and re energized Red Wings team. I still stand by my original comment, if they can split the first two games, I like their chances. However, going down 2-0 to the Sharks, very well may be too deep a hole. Sunday is in many ways a must win.
And as a side note, I feel a little off being so freaking positive after a loss. My whole world seems turned upside down. Roses smell fresher, the Phoenix smog is less intense, and the sun is shining brighter. I hope the Wings don't take this loving feeling away with another loss on Sunday. I can't be Positive Polly after two losses. No matter how hard I try.