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Three Questions: Wings-Penguins

DRW.com analyzes Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals

Friday, 06.12.2009 / 11:29 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Penguins
What went wrong?

In a winner-take-all Game 7, all it takes is for one strange bounce to completely change the series.  And that’s what happened early in the second period, when an attempted break-out pass from the Wings hit Evgeni Malkin’s stick and ricocheted into Maxime Talbot’s stick right in front of goaltender Chris Osgood.  Talbot made no mistake with his seemingly unlimited time in front of the goal, beating Osgood to give the Penguins the all-important first goal.

All of a sudden, the Wings were playing catch-up, and were forced to start pressing.  That’s what led to the second goal, when Brad Stuart pinched and someone missed a coverage assignment.  Talbot once again was in the right spot at the right time, and he rushed down the ice.  On a two-on-one, Talbot saw that Niklas Kronwall took the passing lane away, so he fired the puck top-shelf to beat Osgood and give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. 

The Wings made a surge in the third period, outshooting the Penguins 7-1.  Jonathan Ericsson scored with seven minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late for the Wings.  Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made the saves down the stretch and frustrated the Wings’ offense.

Who was the Wings’ unsung hero of the postseason?


Goaltender Chris Osgood turned in a phenomenal postseason, and will get the recognition he deserves.  But Darren Helm was one of the reasons the Wings got as far as they did.  Helm didn’t score many goals for the Wings (four goals and one assist), but his energy lifted the team.  Helm led the entire NHL in hits in the postseason, with 118.  He flew around the ice, causing problems night after night on the forecheck.  He would go after any opponent, even gigantic 6’7” Hal Gill.  And the goals that he did have were huge momentum-swinging plays for the Wings.

What’s next?

The Wings will go home and rest up for the 2009-10 season, but it will be a busy summer for general manager Ken Holland.  He locked up Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen to long-term deals before the playoffs began, but now he has to figure out a way to keep as many of the Red Wings as he can.  Marian Hossa will be the most talked about of the potential free agents - will he stay for another shot at a Stanley Cup?  But Holland will also be on the phone with agents for Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samuelsson, Chris Chelios and Ty Conklin.  It might be a slightly different team when the Wings head out to training camp, but Holland and his staff have done a great job of building a team that will be competitive year after year.   

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59