Sunday, April 15, 2012

Puck Luck Keeps Tilting Nashville's Way, Wings Drop Game 3

The Hockey Gods can be a cruel bunch, and currently that reality is applying to the Red Wings' series against the Nashville Predators.  Detroit was denied a tying goal at the end of the 2nd period and, despite a continued push well into the 3rd, fell short in a 3-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena.  Nashville now leads this 1st round series 2 games to 1 and the Wings are now forced to once again find a way to win on the road to take this series and advance.

Pavel Datsyuk got Detroit's offense going, cutting into a 2-0 deficit with a FILTHY steal from Roman Josi.  Dats was able to bring the puck back around to the front and stuff the puck in the net past a napping Pekka Rinne for the Wings' 1st goal of the game.  Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit, but what really hurt the Wings was the calling back of what seemed like a goal from Johan Franzen at the end of the 2nd.  After review, the clock has turned to 0.0 a moment before Franzen's shot crossed the goal line.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, Nashville did not win either of their 2 victories by skill.  Fortunate bounces in this series have been almost exclusive to the Predators.  Granted, a win is a win, but Detroit needs to play more consistently and apply more pressure on Nashville's skaters.  If we stop letting Nashville into our zone so easily, for instance, some of the bad bounces never have a chance to surface in the first place.

The penalties also need to stop.  Seriously.  The Wings' skaters need to try to minimize opportunities for the referees to call penalties, because it's obvious that they are going to be back-breaking all through this series.  We don't have to like that fact, but a fact it certainly is.

Game 4 goes on Tuesday, and if Babs drills one thing into the boys' heads, I hope it's go get bodies to the crease area and get in Rinne's face.  We've been too soft on him in regards to net presence, and it's showing.  He's made game-changing saves all series and it's burning us, we need to work for rebounds and accept the fact that garbage goals may be the difference in winning or losing this 1st round.

We'll see what happens, and I'll be there to rant about it, you can count on that.

Let's Go Red Wings!!