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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.   

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89