First off, the obligatory comment on the blown too many men call: pure, unadulterated stupidity on the part of Paul Devorski, Dennis LaRue, Derek Amell and Pierre Racicot. Four about 20 seconds in the first, they missed the most obvious and most black-and-white call of the night, and changed the face of the game. Is that why the Wings lost? Heck no, and the same goes for all the other calls they blew tonight (and there were many). But that miss directly impacted the course of a 2-1 game. The incompetency of the officials in this post-season has been truly mind-boggling. Putting sandbags on skates with little jet engines to move them around would be about as effective as paying any of these idiots to “call” a game.
All that said, the Wings blew it tonight, too. They had a 3-0 series Â lead within their reach, but couldn’t close the deal on so many of their chances.Â Â Too many blown offensive opportunities, and too many blown defensive clears in this one. Their play in their own zone is far too scrambly in this series, and their offensive passing is not crisp enough, or timely enough. Their puck pursuit was solid, but didn’t beat the Pens’ often enough.
They need to make sure they don’t have to look back on this game as the one that got away, which means they have to play much better in Game 4. That means capitalizing on chances, and fighting through all of the uncalled hooks, interferences, trips, elbows, and slashes.
Henrik Zetterberg played out of his mind tonight. Marian Hossa continues to disappoint in a big way. Chris Osgood was strong when needed. Darren Helm is lucky to still be skating after all the high hits he took.
I predicted Wings in 5, and so I knew a loss had to come. This one sucks the way it happened because the Wings should have battled through to win it, but at least now they can clinch at home. Bring your best to Game 5, boys. Pittsburgh’s had their night. It’s time to shut the door and stomp the throat. We have ourselves a series now.