- The general sentiment around Red Wings nation has been quiet optimism. This loss wasn’t nearly as devastating as any of the three in the first round. Sure, I left Hockeytown angry, but my bad mood had more to do with that 5-on-3 than anything else. The Wings are by no means out of this series.
- The back-to-back joke calls were bad enough on their own, but the fact that they led to the game-winning goal makes it that much worse.
- Franzen apparently went to the box for the rarely called “two minutes for being high-sticked” penalty. We did, however, have a good laugh when he was shown on the bench during the third with dried blood still on his face. My brother, who was attending his first ever #redwingscommune meeting, said, “I didn’t think it was possible for Franzen to get any sexier.”
- If I were one of the referees, I would be legitimately angry at that dive Setoguchi took. I mean really, have some self-respect.
- The frustrating thing is that we have to spend the two-day break banging our heads against the wall, haunted by the series of blown calls (which at this point should really just be a regularly scheduled part of your routine). The good new is that except for that minute and a half in the first period, this was not a bad game at all. San Jose did a better job capitalizing on mistakes, but by no means dominated.
- I had a blast with the Commune again. You guys make my life. Even getting evicted from our H2H nostalgia fest was better with you crazies around. Ugly sweaters, sitting IN the TV, collecting free stuff, and hating our waitress together made the night fun despite the loss. And I left with this, thanks to another trivia victory assisted by Commune members with some backup from Twitter. We never did find out if 99 was the right answer to the unofficially retired numbers question, since they didn’t give us the answers.
12. The most important thing for Game One is to keep up the momentum from the last round. The Wings played one of the best games we’ve seen them play in a long time, and they need to keep it up.
They didn’t exactly get off to a blazing start. It goes without saying that the first period left a lot to be desired. That being said, they carried the play for most of the game. That’s encouraging.
11. Coming out strong and aggressive is going to be really important. They can’t afford to be tentative and passive at the start of the game.
I should probably just copy/paste the last answer.
10. The Wings’ stars led the team in a big way during Game Seven. They’ll need to keep shining to take the team past the more threatening Sharks.
They really weren’t bad, aside from those breakdowns. This wasn’t one of those games that was lost because the stars disappeared.
9. This is going to be Zetterberg’s first chance at a real shut-down assignment. Watching him frustrate opposing stars is a thing of beauty. Who is Babcock going to assign him to? My money’s on Pavelski.
I’ll admit that I was a little distracted with #redwingscommune festivities so I wasn’t really watching matchups. I do know that Pavelski had way too much room last night.
8. Make no mistake: special teams won Game Seven. The powerplay and PK need to keep clicking and avoid any Game-Six-like disasters.
Yeah, about that…
7. The Wings need to solve Nabokov early and keep him from getting into a groove.
He made some good saves, but he looked beatable.
6. This is a battle between the fresh-from-the-first-round Wings and the well-rested Sharks. Who is going to look better?
The Sharks definitely got off to a better start, although I’m skeptical as to the extent which fatigue impacted the Wings’ play. We’ve seen those kind of starts consistently all season regardless of how much time they had off between games.
5. Now that Jimmy’s got a whole round of playoff experience under his belt, he just needs to settle down and do his thing.
You can’t pin this one on him, but I’m sure there were a couple of goals he’d like back.
4. Here’s hoping that Franzen’s been stockpiling all of his goals for the later rounds. Assists are nice, but he makes the big bucks to score goals.
He ripped a nice shot past Nabokov. Here’s hoping that goal plus anger over the missed high stick are enough to wake him up for real.
3. Don’t let the Sharks carry the physical play.
This didn’t seem like an issue to me.
2. The second defensive pairing needs to get things under control. I want to see fewer turnovers and at least one Kronwalling.
Alas, there were no Kronwallings.
1. Start Round Two off on the right foot, boys. We’re all counting on you.
Well that didn’t happen.
Hero: Pavel Datsyuk
Best player on the ice again. He does things with the puck that just shouldn’t be done every single night.
Villain: Devin Setoguchi
That was just embarrassing. Seriously. Even for a guy whose wikipedia page lists one of his nicknames as Dive-O-Guchi. (Not sure if that's a recent addition or well-established.)
It should not be this frustrating to love hockey. Thanks, NHL.