Well, well, well … We’ve got a series on our hands.
The Red Wings and Sharks fly back to Detroit this afternoon with little time to rest those aching bodies. It wasn’t easy, but there is still a pulse in Hockeytown after all.
Here is George Malik’s lead:
“The Detroit Red Wings basically did everything a team fighting for its playoff life shouldn’t on Sunday night, surrendering the game’s first goal, 2-0 and 3-1 leads and three consecutive power plays to the San Jose Sharks, all while allowing Jimmy Howard to be peppered by an average of 14 shots per period, but Howard did his best to bail his teammates out for the first two periods, and his teammates backed him up in the third period, scoring three consecutive goals and staving off elimination via a 4-3 win over the Sharks.”
The Red Wings nearly stole Game 1 at HP Pavilion, and then watched as San Jose walked into the Joe and snatched away Game 3. With Johan Franzen hurting, Pavel Datsyuk out of the face-off circle and the boys in red getting outshot by a 2-1 margin, there is little doubt that the Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings went ‘Grand Theft Auto’ in Game 5.
“Jimmy stole us the game tonight,” said Danny Cleary. “They had a lot of good chances to put this game away, but he’s really battling in there. He’s really stepped up in these playoffs and proven himself.”
The Sharks were in a position to win, taking a 3-1 lead less than a minute into the third period. They held Detroit to just six shots in that final frame and controlled the first 40 minutes of play.
It wasn’t enough to put the final nail in the Red Wings coffin.
“We didn’t play a poor game. That’s hard to swallow. We didn’t give up many opportunities,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. “They took advantage of some of our mistakes and they put it in the net. We get five minutes to feel sorry for ourselves, hang our heads and start the recovery process. If we play that game again, we’ll give ourselves a good chance to win.”
Patrick Marleau now finds himself in the biggest controversy of the series, at least as far as pointless distractions are concerned, as former teammate and commentator Jeremy Roenick offered up harsh criticism in describing his play during the post game. While JR’s rant sent the social media world abuzz, he didn’t back down from his comments after the fact.
“Marleau has his fans and that’s great! I am not one of them and won’t pretend to be,” Roenick tweeted. “I love the Sharks with a passion and think the fans deserve a better effort than Marleau has given in this series!”
Roenick, to his credit has responded individually to numerous Tweets posed by fans.
Winging it in Motown has their ‘X Ways to Change History.’
Chris Hollis at The Production Line notes that “the Wings finally found that elusive extra gear that they’ve been missing ever since the calendar rolled from 2010 to 2011.
The Nightmare on Helm Street has heaps of praise for Jimmy Howard, who was instrumental in the Game 5 win.
Your DetroitRedWings.com Game 5 breakdown.
NOTES: Game 6 will start at 8:00 P.M. EDT and will be broadcast locally on FOX Sports Detroit. The game will be carried on VERSUS for those outside of the Detroit market … Happy Birthday to Steve Yzerman, who turns 46 today … Babcock said that Johan Franzen will make the call on his Game 6 status. “He’ll just tell me if he’s going or not. If he can go, we’re going with him.”
YOUR TAKE: What did you think of Game 5? Leave your take in the comments below.