Game 4: Wings 1, Predators 3

The Goal: If the Wings do end up going out of the playoffs to the Predators, Nashville’s second goal last night will be the moment I’ll go back to as The Moment. In a year full of plenty of bad defensive plays, that one takes the cake. It’s honestly hard to imagine a positive way forward from there. That’s the kind of play you see during a pee-wee intermission scrimmage, not from men collectively making $14.2 million.

Not far behind it is the way three Wings flow to the left side of the ice on the Predators’ first (counted) goal.

Fruitless Dominance: The Wings owned this game territorially pretty much from start to finish. At least, they owned everything but the homeplate in the Nashville end.

And it counts for jack. Because they couldn’t crack Pekka Rinne, who they’ve turned into a composite of the NHL’s all-time goaltending greats by taking the majority of their shots from the outside. Take a look at the Ice Tracker (take out the Predators and check just the Shot box). If that doesn’t make you said, you’re a disgustingly cheery person.

The Predators were on the road to victory every minute of ice time it was tied at zero.

Zetterberg: Followed not too far back by Jimmy Howard, Z is the one Wing to consistently show up on virtually every shift so far in this series. I hope this at least shuts up his detractors. Though I will say I was pretty annoyed by the late penalty. That was unfortunate.

Quincey: Had his best game of this tour as a Red Wing. A pity it was wasted.

Lidstrom: Looked disturbingly human. I don’t want my last sight of him on the ice to be him losing the puck at the blueline. Please bring back android Nick, Nick.

I’ve Got Nothing More: I don’t know what else to say about this game. The Wings need to find a way to dominate Game 5 in a way that’s actually fruitful. Or get dominated in the same way the Predators were and squeak something out. Anything else, and they’re done. And we’ve got some big questions.

Filed under: 2011-2012, Game Reports

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Comments

  1. John W says:

    "Followed not too far back by Jimmy Howard,"

    After the 3rd period, I'm not so sure I agree with that. I don't know where he was, but his head wasn't in that game in the 3rd period. After watching his team dominate and get stoned by Rinne the past 4 periods, Jimmy's mindset should of been, 'nothing is getting past me, nothing.' Instead, he lets in an absolutely inexcusable goal that was only saved by horrible refereeing. That's a goal that can't go in in September, let alone April. Then on the 2nd actual goal, he was one of all 6 guys on the ice to lose his mind. I'm not sure what he was covering while Erat was practically in the corner, but it wasn't the net. There were 3 Wings between Erat and the goal, so the only thing he should have been playing was the pass. Then the final goal, yes Cleary made a dumb move, but again like the waived off goal, you gotta cover the holes with the puck down low like that. There was a lot of shit that went wrong that period, but Jimmy shares a lot of the blame there. It's exactly what I was talking about after Game 3, this is his 3rd postseason and he needs to elevate his game when his team needs him most, and he hasn't, except for Game 2, which they won which proves my point. Against a goalie like Rinne, you can't afford to give up any soft goals and expect to win.

    Beyond that, pretty much every Wing had plenty to do with that debacle of a 3rd period. I'm not sure what was said in the 2nd intermission, but it's almost like they knew what all of us fans were thinking: "We've dominated this game and have nothing to show for it, we're going to lose." And they played like it. The waived off goal was all Jimmy, the 1st actual goal was Stuart (for the umpteenth time this series) along with Kronwall, who were both 15 feet from the net covering absolutely no one while Bourque waltzes in. Jimmy had no chance on that 1. The 2nd goal, as you've pointed out was just a clusterf*@$ of suck. For the 2nd time this series a Predator walks right thru 3 Wings, then for some reason all 3 Wings decide to follow him all the way across the ice, when, if just 1 Wing peels off and stays in the middle, the coming pass is likely broken up. Then there's Flip, who doesn't even try to get back until it's way too late. Then the final goal, where Cleary and Jimmy team up for a fitting end to the game.

    I know I'm probably still being to harsh on Jimmy, but the guy has the skill to steal some of these games, we've all seen it, we know it's there. And I know he's not even close to the main reason we're in the hole we're in, but he could have been the reason we won the series, and that's what I expect out of him, it's what we should all expect. And hey, there's still time.

  2. Matt Saler says:

    No, I think you're right—I'm being too easy on Jimmy for at least Game 4. He needs to steal us a game for sure.

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