The Wings have once again fallen prey to the lottery that is the shootout. They deserved to win this game and they played like it too.
I'm split between being mad at the team and being mad at the NHL for having the shootout in the first place (excuses, I know).
We still can make the playoffs. We are a point behind Lumbus with a game in hand and we have one more point than Dallas with the same number of games played. So basically, we need to win the remaining games although we maybe can afford to go to OT in one of the games (math may be wrong, it's late).
Here's how it all went down:
The Canucks found themselves on an early 5-on-3 power play after a pair of penalties to the Wings. Despite some fantastic PKing by the Wings, Alex Edler would find an opening to score. Just as the Wings were about to press the panic button, trusty forward Daniel Cleary got a breakaway. A pair of slick moves later and the puck was soaring towards the net with nothing between it and the sweet glory of victory. Except for Schneiders pad of course.
One of the worst things that you can do when you're down by a goal is to carry that deficit into the intermission. You either want to be ahead or be tied. If you have watched any Wings game this season you can tell that they don't comply with this rule. Enter Damien Brunner. The Swiss superslumpingstar shoots a puck at net that goes in after taking a deflection off of Cory Emmerton's stick.
Except for a few iffy calls and non-calls the 2nd period was event-less. The Wings pressured and so did the Canucks. Just much of the same. Also, a little note to Brendan Smith. I love you man but sometimes you have to take a chill pill. We can't afford to have guys taking stupid penalties right now.
Sensing the pressure of potentially missing out on the playoffs, the Wings put the petal to the metal during the 3rd period. Great play and constant pressure which included out-shooting the Canucks 17-2! But to no success. A scoreless 3rd followed up by a scoreless OT brought the Wings to their newest arch-nemesis, the shootout.
Misses by Kesler, Datsyuk, some Canuck player and Zetterberg kept the two sides equal. Up to the plate steps Maxim "Not Max" Lapierre. Before you could yell "Knew It" the Wings were down by 1. A Brunner miss later and the Wings left western Canada with a total of 1 point. Good Job...
Like I said before, this game sucked for so many reasons. The Wings played so good yet couldn't capitalize. It frusterates me that we can be this competitive against one of the best teams in the league and then go and shit the bed against a team who just lost its two best players.
We WILL still make the playoffs. You can bet on that.
Your player of the game is Cory Emmerton. Some great penalty killing and a goal to add to that is enough to give him this award. Remember how it always was Everybody > Emmerton? Now it's Emmerton > Yay-Kub Kindl > Jan Mursak> 50 feet of crap > Dan Cleary's puck handling skills.
Next up for the Wings are the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.
Let's Go Wings!