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Red Wings Lose Stanley Cup

The puck came to Nicklas Lidstrom with two seconds left. No pressure. Make the shot, we go to overtime.

He didn't make it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, on the strength of two goals from Maxine Talbot, stunned the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win the Stanley Cup at Joe Louis Arena.

Make no mistake: the Penguins deserved to win this game. Their effort was incredible, making brilliant plays, and with Evgeni Malkin's Conn Smythe performance, there is no doubt that the right team skated away with the Cup.

Talbot spent the first period constantly skating past Red Wings defensemen, which set an ominous tone. In the second, he capitalized: after a sloppy play behind the net by Stewart, Talbot swiped the puck away to Malkin, who put the puck back to Talbot.

Osgood didn't stand a chance.

Talbot did it again nine minutes later: after Stuart tried to make something out of nothing in a pinch in the Wings end, it set up a two-on-one. Talbot skated in and beat Osgood wide, putting the puck up in the top right corner. The crowd was deflated.
Jonathan Ericsson's goal in the third gave the Red Wings a chance, but despite the wild finish, the Wings couldn't convert.

So now we reach the end. Banners will be raised next fall, but not the one banner that mattered.

But there are much larger issues coming out of this:

* The non-effort in the first two periods of Games 6 and 7.

* The lack of goals from Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, and Pavel Datsuyk: three leaders of this team.

* The shocking turnovers from a lot of players, including Chris Osgood.

* The boneheaded plays from Brad Stuart that set up both Pens goals.

* And, most of all: Marian Hossa's disappearing act.

No one escapes blame here. It is a bitter ending to a glorious season. One that should leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.