So the Wings played the last 2/3 of the game like they were playing for an ice cream cone. They played without passion after the first. Howard let in a soft fourth goal he should have had. Hell, Shane Doan wasn't even there for half the game trying to wreck all of our players and we still couldn't do anything!
Is the answer Chris Osgood? I don't know. Ozzie will always be my #1 goaltender, but I'm not blinded by my love; I can see that starting him when he's only had one start in two months might not be a good idea. Yes, he has that switch he flips to make him play like a brick wall has been built in the crease, but is he fresh enough to do that right away? He's reliable in the playoffs when we need him, but do we really need him just yet? He plays when he needs to, but I don't think he needs to play yet.
Ilya Bryzgalov did not play fantastic, contrary to what the media is saying. Everything down low was covered, and I mean everything. Up top? Did you see how easily Franzen flipped that puck past him? Bryz hasn't been outstanding this entire series. The Wings need to treat him like Luongo: shoot at his glove and in that general area.
I hate to say it, but I was actually more nervous when Lidstrom was out playing defense for this game. I guess my nerves were right since he was a -3 rating. And when you're cringing when you see Mr. Norris out there, you know you're not in for a good game. I literally almost left for the last ten minutes of the third, but it would have been too weird not watching a Wings game when I know it's on.
Could I take the paranoid schizophrenic Wings fan side and say the refs were out to get us, blowing down two goals? That Gary Bettman was against us and obviously wanted his team to win on their first nationally televised game? Of course I could say all of that, but I'm just pointing the blame at the abstract things that had no effect. The Wings played lackluster. You would think they would have learned their lesson from Game Seven and the majority of this season.
The Red Wings' entire season has been exactly this: They play fantastic for a game or two and crush their opponents and in the following game, they play like crap. They're a bipolar team, but I thought after the Olympics we had found our path yet again. Apparently not quite yet...
With all of that said, there's no way we'll lose both at home. We lost two games in round one in 1997. We were down 2-1 in the first round to Phoenix in 1998. We were down 2-0 to Vancouver in the first round in 2002. We lost two games in round one against Nashville in 2008 and won nine in a row after dropping those two. Can we come back from this? Absolutely. But we need heart and soul.