Typical Wings Loss at Home
That just happened. You've seen it before, just in different styles, but Game 3 in Detroit was a typical playoff home loss for the Red Wings. The Nashville Predators came into the building and took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 win.
The fact of the matter is the Wings played another incomplete game. They were lackluster the first half and dynamite the second half. For those who are wondering what a 'typical Red Wings playoff home loss' is, here it is, step by step, and most Wings fans will concur with this.
1. Start the game off slowly, letting opponent score less than five minutes into the game, usually a hated player
2. Sit back and let the opponent come at you even harder, get a few chances to keep the crowd interested
3. Don't score for the first half of the game to effectively take your home crowd out of the game.
4. Let in another goal with your worst defencemen paired together for some reason to a player that has little to no scoring capabilites
5. Someone will wake up and score a strange goal to make it a close game
6. Some type of controversy will arise
7. Dominate the opposition and almost double their shot totals
8. Let in weak goal to dig yourself a deeper hole
9. Effectively troll your fans by scoring with a minute left to keep them from leaving the arena
10. Make no push to score the next goal and lose
Points 1-10 would have checks on them today, so let's explain.
Shea Weber, the villain of the series, scores on a powerplay 2 minutes into the game. He's obviously being booed by Red Wings fans. The goal didn't energize Detroit, who instead let the Predators keep coming. They had a couple chances in the first, but nothing to note. Brad Stuart and Jonathan Ericsson showed why they are the worst defencemen on the Wings letting Kevin Klein (who?) breeze by them and snipe on Jimmy Howard. Detroit didn't score for the first half of the game.
They finally did when Pavel Datsyuk decided to work some magic and steal from Roman Josi and surprise Pekka Rinne. Then the controversy came; Johan Franzen scored at the buzzer, but was 0.1 seconds too late, erasing a tie game.
The third period was all Detroit, but the shot selection was pitiful. Rinne saw everything on the ice and shut down the forward attack. Sergei Kostitsyn ended up scoring on Nashville's fourth shot of the period on a three on one. Detroit fans get up to leave, but wait! Henrik Zetterberg scores to make it 1-0 with 52 seconds left. Maybe there's still hope! But no. Absolutely no push from Detroit, who don't even get another shot on net and lose the game 3-2.
All in all, the Wings were fantastic the third period and the end of the second. The problem is that is not a complete game. If they carry that paly into Game 4 they'll win easily. The problem is their starts and their shot selection. They had 40+ shots on Rinne, but most were child's play. Anything down low is easily stopped and they need more traffic and garbage goals. Some bounces didn't go their way, like Cory Emmerton's wide open net and Pavel Datsyuk's wide open net and....a lot more of the same.
Don't blame Howard. One goal is not enough. I'm not even going to count the Zetterberg goal since it was pointless. Their urgency level was there, but guys like Ian White need to learn when to shoot and when not to. Every time he gets it he shoots. It doesn't matter where it is. Now, there is such thing as a bad shot, despite evidence to the contrary. A shot that Rinne can easily stop is pointless. They need more passes into the slot, someone in front and for Howe's sake, make Rinne doubt himself.
Game 4 is in two nights in Detroit. It's do or die. A loss will effectively end Detroit's season.