Well, the Red Wings went from their best period of the series to… Something less.
The first period was amazing. Whether it was due to their backs being up against the wall or the return of Henrik Zetterberg or the other line changes or a need to play better in front of Jonas Gustavsson, who got the start on late notice when Jimmy Howard came down with the flu, Detroit came out strong and had Boston on their heels. Niklas Kronwall’s power play blast put Detroit out in front. Then early in the second Pavel Datsyuk made it 2-0 and the Wings were rolling.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last. We’ve heard all series that the Red Wings can’t let Boston get a chance on the power play. In the second period, the Bruins got 13 seconds. They only needed two. Suddenly it was 2-1. Milan Lucic was left alone cutting to the net early in the third and things were tied up. And Detroit was never really in it again.
Yeah, Justin Abdelkader had his partial breakaway chance in OT but he never really had the puck control that he wanted. Boston outshot Detroit 12-3 in the extra frame. The Wings didn’t really have a chance.
And then the Bruins got the bounce. Off Luke Glendening, off Danny DeKeyser, in behind Gustavsson, it’s over.
I can rant about how I hate that the Bruins get away with getting their sticks up or late hits or whatever but I don’t think that’s been the difference in this series. Outside of Game One, the Red Wings just have not had the ability to play a complete game against these Bruins. Boston has simply been the better team.
Do I think the Red Wings can turn it around? Sure. Do I think they’re going to? Not particularly. It would take them flipping a switch, playing three consecutive games like they did in Game One. They haven’t been able to get one more of those all series, so I don’t see how they’re going to get three.