Tuesday night’s Red Wings – Penguins game is another one of those where I feel like I need to find something profound to say but I just can’t get my head wrapped around the sheer ridiculousness of it.
The part of me that’s biased against the officials wants to pitch a fit about this game. It’s not that the refs cost Detroit the game. I rarely say that no matter how much I might want to simplify it down to being the refs’ fault. It’s just that it was yet another game that was unevenly called.
Go back to the video tape and compare the “hook” called on Valtteri Filppula to give Pittsburgh a five-on-three to the takeaway by Jordan Staal on Pavel Datsyuk in overtime. They look the same to me. Neither should have been called but if you’re going to call one you have to call the other, otherwise you’re forcing the teams to play by different rulebooks.
Ignoring the officiating, it’s hard for me to see exactly what the Red Wings did wrong tonight.
Lack of killer instinct? They were still trying to score late in the game.
Poor defense? Yeah, they failed to clear the zone a few times. Look at the goals, though. Pittsburgh clogging the slot on all three of Staal’s tallies. Defensemen aren’t allowed to clear that space anymore, what did you want the Wings to do about it?
Bad goaltending? Ozzie looked out of position on the game-winner but otherwise had probably about the best game you can have giving up seven goals.
Pittsburgh capitalized on every single chance they got. The Wings limited the Penguins chances but that wasn’t enough.
Yes, I want to blame what I think was an ill-gotten five-on-three for turning the tide. In the end, though, it seems like the only thing the Wings could have done differently was have fewer turnovers. I don’t know how to make that happen but the team will have to figure that out if they expect to convince anyone that they’re set to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.