Okay, let’s get the caveat out of the way: The refs did not cause the Red Wings to lose tonight. That said, I feel like every game between the Detroit and San Jose can be summed up by two calls tonight.
For the Wings, it’s Holmstrom’s no-goal in the first period. We’ve seen worse allowed around the crease (and cleaner plays called back) but that doesn’t make any of it right. It’s a reputation call and it’s a play that I am just f*cking tired of seeing.
For the Sharks, it’s Brent Burns in the final minutes. In a scrum around and behind the San Jose net, Burns throws a closed-fist, gloved punch to Holmstrom’s face. No call.
It’s not okay to get bumped by the goalie but it is okay to punch someone in the face. I can handle one or the other but when it’s both, it just sits wrong with me.
As for the parts of the game that didn’t have to do with officiating… The goat tonight is former Shark Ian White. He got burned on one goal and jumped out of position on another. The second one (third San Jose goal) wasn’t as bad because, really, Lidstrom or Cleary should have been with Thornton, but White has to know where they are and that he has to be available to cut off the pass.
There were a lot of positives to take from the game, though. Jimmy Howard looked solid, even with allowing three goals. He kept the Wings in it early.
As much as I liked the Abdelkader / Helm / Bertuzzi line, Abdelkader looked good back at center on the fourth line. I feel like I didn’t hear Eaves’ or Miller’s name much.
In all, it was a much better effort than the previous two losses. Pretty easily could have been a different game, which you can’t say about Washington or Columbus. Malik just called it a “template game” and he’s right, there’s a lot done right and a lot left to learn from on that game tape.