I wish I could say this was unexpected but there's just too much of a script that the Red Wings seem to follow for afternoon games. I've dug up the numbers on losses in the afternoon before but this is more than just a loss. It's a slow start with stupid penalties (whether or not they were deserved or evenly-called), then a furious rally that falls short.
Oh, this time there was the added twist of the Johan Franzen goal that didn't count as the second period closed. That was the right call, clearly the clock had hit zero, but as I mentioned at the time, there should have been an extra second or so on the clock in the first place.
We saw in LA earlier this year that the NHL admitted they need to watch the clock better at the end of the game, but what about the end of the period? How far from the end of the period? No one wants the clock to be questioned on every stoppage but where do you draw the line between when it's important and when it's not? If that faceoff was the end of the third and not the end of the second, they might have reset the clock, in which case the goal would have counted.
But, for the Wings, it comes back to how ridiculous it is that they needed that goal. If they had actually shown some effort in the first, no one would be talking about that one.
What I said before Game Two kind of applies here. The business-like approach Detroit uses is great when they're winning. When they lose, fans want to see some emotion. We didn't have emotion today. Even in the postgame interviews, Barry Trotz is complaining about traffic in the crease and goalie interference but Mike Babcock is talking about not getting the bounces.
Yeah, the Wings didn't get the breaks again but for half the game, they didn't play like they deserved them. Don't talk about the breaks when you didn't create any chances.
So the home-ice advantage they earned in Game Two is down the tubes, the Wings need a Game Four win just to avoid an elimination game in Game Five. I know they can do it, it just depends on which Detroit team we see on Tuesday.