Sorry for this, but stick a fork in the Wings, I believe that we're done. I'm all for the 4 games in a row comeback, and I'll be watching on Friday the same as the rest of us - right now, I'm from Missouri (not Detroit) in that you're going to have to show me.
Just a few thoughts this morning...
1. Jimmy has got to be better - I know, I know - .952 save percentage in the first two games - um, Niemi was better. The two goals in OT - he's got to have those, I don't care if they got tipped by our sticks. Ozzie in 2008 would have had at least 1 of them, probably both, and it would still be a series, or we'd be up 2-1. Jimmy is 1-7 against the Sharks in the playoffs - he's got to find a way.....so far, the last two seasons, this ain't it.
2. Sustained pressure that results in something. Wings had it at times last night, but what did they get out of it? - any penalties?, any goals? - that 2 shift possession late in the 3rd last night - sure we looked dangerous, but we got Nothing. You can bet that if that's the Wings on the other end of it, the puck would have been in our net - see Game 1 OT after the penalty kill if you don't believe me.
3. Mule plays disappearing act. He might have a bum ankle, but geez dude - in the high slot all by yourself and you try a backdoor pass to a guy who's covered?? - Shoot the puck big fella! 100% of the shots that aren't taken don't go in the net. Look at the other side of the equation - Setoguchi had 1 goal in 8 games going into last night - Hello?, Hat Trick!, don't talk to me about slumping or lack of confidence - Shoot the Puck!
4. I love Darren Helm, but these are the playoffs. The Playoffs. You've got to have your head (as Mickey says) "on a swivel", Boyle can't be that open! He can't be, not if you stop puck watching and hold up your defensive responsibilities. Jimmy had literally no chance - shit - Boyle could have pitched a tent, started a fire and cooked up some well done steaks in the time that he had on that 3rd goal. Ok, sit back, play careful all you want - but that means you have to cover people. And don't talk to me about a lucky pass either, that's where you're supposed to send the puck when you're looking for a goal to tie the game - right out in front of the net, so that one of your guys can find it and shoot it.
5. Rafalski and Ericcson. God I just cringe when that pair is out there. E has to stand up and drive Thornton into the boards on the game winning play - something other than get half-walked around and watch the pass go to Setoguchi. I know Big Joe has reach like no other human, but man - he can't have free entry into the zone and freedom to make a pass like that (right on the tape!), hassle him, drive him, do something, but he can't be allowed to make that pass. Raffi - great first pass out of the zone, but not when he's hurried. Great on the PP, but he's lost a step or two and isn't the player he was a few years ago. Can't take that penalty after we score - just can't do it. That was the killer to me last night - Wings work hard and go up 2-1 after finally scoring 2 goals in the same game, Raffi takes the penalty and boom - it's tied up again. Can't take that penalty - find another way.
That's it, rant over - sorry if I offended anyone, frustrated but realistic this morning.