Red Wings Hit The Wall
Did that 7 game series first round knock the stuffing out of us? Did the short turnaround between game 7 and game 1 of the new series leave us fatigued? Did the effort of hauling through against the Coyotes leave us too drained to motivate against the Sharks? Did you leave the oven on?
I think in all honesty, there’s one reason why the Wings find themselves 0-2 in the series. They’re being outclassed. The Wings know the Sharks, they’ve played them many times, and have a promising record against them in regular season games. However, this isn’t regular season, and history, form, on-paper ability means nothing (just ask Montreal fans!).
The Sharks look to have found that form they require in the playoffs. After several years of choking in the first round, they’re finally looking like a team that could make it to the final. If Pavelski continues to play the way he is, there’s a Playoff MVP award heading his way, despite some of Nabakov’s outstanding saves.
In answer to the questions at the top of the article, I think it’s yes to all three. The Phoenix games were really, really tough, and all the players looked tired and sluggish in game 1. However, this is no excuse. This is playoff hockey. If your series gets to game 7, then the plans for the next series are going to be last-minute. They’re going to be rushed, with little time to rest and prepare. The Wings know this, as they’re no stranger to playoff hockey. They have had a couple of days back in Michigan before the home games, so this excuse, should it be used, no longer holds any water.
If the Wings want to get back into this series, they’ll have to beat a side that has been better than them in the last 2 games, win both the home games and pull it back to 2-2. If they lose one, then I fear it’ll be goodnight Detroit.
And if anyone’s worried, no I didn’t leave the oven on…