It may or may not be a popular opinion, Detroit hockey fans are notorious for their opinions on goalies after all, but I’m throwing Jimmy Howard under the bus for this loss.
San Jose’s first and third goals never should have happened and they fall on Howard. On the first goal he got lazy and lifted his pad, giving room for Devin Setoguchi to slide the puck in. On the third goal he was off his post and in a stance that left too many holes open, making it possible for Logan Couture to bank a shot in off of him.
Brian Rafalski deserves some goat credit as well. As the defenseman on a two-on-one, your only purpose is supposed to be to cut off the pass. Rafalski failed to do that and didn’t seem to make that much of an effort.
I can’t decide if it’s funny or not but the Red Wings accomplished pretty much every goal they said they needed to before today’s game and they still lost.
They silenced Joe Pavelski. They didn’t allow a single power play goal. They were better in the faceoff circle and they had more shots on net.
And they still lost.
Some people will continue to blame the refs but – while I didn’t like a couple calls – this was the best-officiated game of the series. That said (and I said it at the time), the penalty shot call in the first period was absolutely horrible.
Which reminds me of the two coaching complaints I have.
One is that Todd Bertuzzi should have taken that penalty shot. He was one of Detroit’s more reliable shooters in the tiebreaker during the regular season while Henrik Zetterberg was inconsistent at best.
The other is wondering how the hell the fourth line ended up on the ice against Thornton, Heatley and Marleau for the last shift of the game. I’m blaming Rafalski for that one but you’ve gotta wonder if it would have happened in the first place if another line had been out there.
I’m not sure what to think going forward. I think the Red Wings have the talent to win the next four but, like too many times in the Phoenix series, I’m not seeing the desire at all. They quit in the third period with a two goal lead tonight. That’s unacceptable and if they’re playing like that they deserve to lose.