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Injuries, exhaustion finally did in Red Wings

Saturday, 06.13.2009 / 2:29 AM ET / Features
By Phil Coffey
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Injuries, exhaustion finally did in Red Wings
DETROIT -- Chris Osgood was nearly unbeatable during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena. But in Game 7 against the Penguins Friday night, the two goals Osgood allowed proved to be one too many.

Despite the loss, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock couldn't contain his praise for the veteran goalie.

"I think just in the playoffs in general he was excellent for us," Babcock said. "(He) gave us a chance. You know, along the way in the playoffs this year (was) much different than last year. We never were always firing on all cylinders. We always had people missing. And Ozzie was one of our strengths, to say the least, all playoff long.

"I think he deserves a lot of credit. His numbers speaks for himself, he's done a great job."


-- Phil Coffey
DETROIT -- When all was said and done, the Detroit Red Wings simply didn't have anything left to give.

While effusive in his praise of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said by Game 7, his team was simply worn out and playing on fumes

"I thought just with the injuries -- everyone has injuries, but I thought with the injuries and then never really getting to the level we'd like to see our team at, I didn't think we did that in the Final at all," Babcock said after the Penguins' 2-1 win in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night.
 
"Now give them credit, they played good," Babcock said of the Penguins, "so part of the equation is them. But I just didn't feel that … you know what your individuals can do because you've coached them for so long. The guys that were injured on our team this year never got their game back to the level it could be. And they were significant players for us."

The Red Wings missed center Pavel Datsyuk for the first four games of the Final. Another center, Kris Draper, missed the first three games. Then there were the nebulous "upper- and lower-body injuries," along the way coupled with plenty of bumps and bruises that didn't go on the injury list. Still one could surmise from watching the games that a lot of Wings were playing hurt.

"This group, we've basically been taped together all playoffs," Babcock said. "Our guys did a good job to battle through and do the best they could. We weren't in some situations as good as we normally are. But I think when guys are giving you everything they've got, that's all you can ask from them.

"We've found a way to give ourselves a chance. Any time you win three games in a Final, you have a chance. We just didn't have enough to get it done. Like I said, they (Penguins) played well."

So after winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 and getting all the way to Game 7 of the '09 Final, the Red Wings were gassed. You could see that from a quick glance at the stat sheet and numbers like 19-straight games without a goal from Tomas Holmstrom, 14-straight from Datsyuk and 12 from Jiri Hudler, coupled with the obvious struggles of Marian Hossa.

"I thought we looked out of gas pretty much all series," Babcock said. "I thought we competed, and I thought we tried. But I never thought we got to the level we'd have liked to. We started good tonight (in Game 7), took a penalty. Then they took over, I thought, the rest of the first period.

"Then we had two crucial turnovers in the second period, and they scored. In this type of game, it's always tough to recover and use the minutes like you should when you get behind like we did. And it took us a while to get going. I thought we played all right in the third period. But they competed hard. You've got to give them credit.

"They found a way to win. It's a battle of will. I thought their team played hard."

Author: Phil Coffey | NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director

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  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