I’ll qualify the thoughts that follow by saying that I didn’t see the entire game tonight. As previously mentioned, I joined late due to another appointment.
From what I did see, tonight was the first night since all of the injuries hit that I thought the Red Wings actually looked shorthanded.
Whether it was because they are missing so many players (which they are) or because the Penguins played a very solid game (which they did) – or some combination thereof – I just kind of had a feeling like it was going to require a Herculean effort for Detroit to get a win tonight. That no matter what they could throw at the Penguins, Pittsburgh could stop it.
I don’t have stats to back that up, it’s just a feeling I got watching the game. That the Wings didn’t have enough gas to get it done.
The funny thing is that it wasn’t a lack of depth. The third and fourth lines had some great shifts.
It wasn’t that the top (remaining) guys weren’t performing. Henrik Zetterberg made a hell of a play and Patrick Eaves made a great pass on Johan Franzen’s goal.
It was a sense of sloppiness that maybe comes from unfamiliarity with teammates. Joey MacDonald taking too long to move the puck or Niklas Kronwall taking too much time to make a pass. Turnovers that turned into goals.
The Red Wings weren’t clicking like they can. Against the Blue Jackets last weekend it didn’t matter as much. Against the Penguins tonight it did.