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Injuries, exhaustion finally did in Red Wings

Sunday, 06.14.2009 / 2:22 PM ET / News
By Phil Coffey
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Injuries, exhaustion finally did in Red Wings
DETROIT -- When all was said and done, the 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 finals 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 finals, 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."


 



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
8 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89