I don’t want to hear anything about how the leadership group of the Detroit Red Wings won’t let the team’s playoff streak end on their watch.
In 2013, much was made of captain Henrik Zetterberg leading the Red Wings to victory in the final game of the season against the Dallas Stars. Zetterberg factored in all three Detroit goals that night as they clinched a playoff spot for the twenty-second consecutive season.
With the twenty-fifth season of that streak on the line, the Red Wings came into Philadelphia and were completely embarrassed in the first period. Against a team trailing them by just three points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Detroit was outshot 23-3. After twenty minutes they trailed 2-0 and would never recover.
The 4-3 final score was closer than the Red Wings deserved. Perhaps more terrifying is that the team seemingly believes they were in it all night.
Zetterberg’s first postgame comment? To call it a “back and forth game.” He followed up praising the team’s start.
Yes, the start that left them down a pair of goals and outshot by twenty is apparently praiseworthy.
The Red Wings could be up five points on the Flyers right now. Instead they’re up one. It’s entirely because the team did not come out prepared in the first period tonight.
That falls on team leadership. That falls on coaching. And with how tonight went, I don’t think we can count on that group to carry the team to the postseason.