I haven't talked about the Red Wings at all on this blog during their playoff run, but I can't hold my peace after this last game.
Last night, the Red Wings were 34.3 seconds away from winning the Stanley Cup. The Cup was being shined up in the back in preparation for what everyone figured would be a celebration in less than a minute. Unfortunately, that celebration never came as Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot scored the tying goal with only 34.3 seconds left, keeping the Penguins season alive. Shock and disbelief set in as the Wings were so close to winning the Stanley Cup. By the time the tying goal was scored, every Wings fan was ready to celebrate or was already celebrating as a goal in that situation came as such a surprise.
Even though Detroit didn't get to celebrate a win after regulation, they hadn't lost yet. Next up for this game was overtime, and if you were nervous at the end of regulation, the feeling during overtime must have been unbearable. Every time Pittsburgh skated down the ice with the puck I was about ready to have a heart attack.
The Red Wings did continue to control the game during the first and second overtimes. Detroit was dominant for much of this game, especially the third period. That's when they erased a 2-1 Pittsburgh lead and went up 3-2 before Maxime Talbot tied the game up in desperation mode. Although Pittsburgh did have some chances, Detroit was throwing the puck at the net and had a countless number of opportunities to end the game.
You could get the feeling that something bad was going to happen as the Red Wings just couldn't convert any of those chances into a goal. Bad luck had happened already as Pittsburgh tied the game with under a minute to go. And on top of that, Detroit's Niklas Kronwall accidentally scored Pittsburgh's second goal by shooting it into his own net. Even without the bad luck, the longer Detroit went without a goal, you just got the feeling that Pittsburgh's chance of winning kept increasing.
Eventually that chance turned into a reality in the third overtime. Soon after Detroit's Jiri Hudler got a 4-minute major for a high stick, the Penguins finally capitalized and score the game-winning goal. The devastating goal meant there would be no celebration, and now we got a series. The Red Wings now have to go back to Pittsburgh for game six, and I can't even imagine how pumped those fans will be. I'm not saying I don't think Detroit can win, but in my opinion it would be a pretty big upset if they did, especially after a three overtime game. Not only will Detroit be greatly fatigued since they aren't as young as Pittsburgh, but the mental aspect is hard to think about. Getting that close to winning the Cup and not doing so hurts so much.
I have faith in the Red Wings for game six on Wednesday, but as I said, it would be a great upset in my mind. Either way, I really hope they get to raise the Cup in Pittsburgh, because if it comes down to a game seven to decide this series, I really wouldn't have a good feeling about things. The referees have been bad during all games in the playoffs, but it is pretty obvious which team they favor. I'm not saying every single call has gone against Detroit, but overall, they definitely are being put at a disadvantage by some of these B.S. penalties. I will say that the bad calls didn't decide this last game as the Red Wings choked badly. However, some of those calls definitely put Detroit in a bad spot. Again, it wasn't the reason why Detroit loss, but it certainly didn't help them win.