The Detroit Red Wings are out of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. It sucks that it ended the way it did for Red Wings fans. Many had visions of the “Magic Man” dancing in their heads. Alas, the offseason has officially begun but before we get too deep into it, let us take a look back at the series that was.
1. The damn offside challenges
One of the first big challenges of the postseason ended up going the Wings way, shortly after though it didn’t matter much as the Lightning came right back and scored. The challenge set a tenor for the series and the playoffs, something no one really expected from this silly rule.
2. Alex Killorn doing Alex Killorn things
The physicality of the series was plentiful and it put some players in some pretty interesting spots. One of those players was Dylan Larkin. While not called upon to fight ever in the series, this hit from Killorn let everyone know from Game One on that the Bolts weren’t going to take any guff. Which leads us to our next moment.
3. Brian Boyle and Justin Abdelkader dance off
Out of all of the moments of the series, this will be probably be the one most fondly remembered by both sides. Coming off of a loss, the Lightning were pissed off and unsure of themselves for the first time in the 2016 playoffs. Abdelkader decides not to fight Brian Boyle much to Boyle’s chagrin but out of all of the chippy moments thus far, this is one of the best of the postseason.
4. Kyle Quincey lands huge hit on Tyler Johnson
Coming off of a victory, the Red Wings looked poised to possibly take the series over in Game 4, a fact the Lightning knew quite well. Kyle Quincey knew he needed to make a difference and with the defense not stepping up offensively, he figured he could do it with his brute strength. He sent Tyler Johnson flying, a move normally reserved for a circus trapeze act. I give Johnson a 7/10 for the dismount.
5. Larkin, so close
Have you ever felt like you’re up 3-2 late in the game, to realizing the puck never crossed the line.
Ouch. This one was a stinger. Had the puck gone in, we’d be looking at a drastically different series.
This leads well into the next moment… or terribly, depending on your viewpoint.
6. Jonathan Drouin…Playoff Hero?
The game decided at two a piece, this was the moment that was going to likely decide the entire series. What onlookers weren’t expecting was the fact that Jonathan Drouin would be right in the middle of it all. Drouin, plainly was a difference maker in this series and has put himself in a very good position going forward. While an enviable position for Drouin, he may now be a lifelong villain in Detroit. Good luck with that, kid.
7. The dagger…Series over.
While I knew the series wasn’t in the Red Wings favor, I had a little twinge in me that still felt like they could pull it off. So when I saw this play, it was like someone put a stake through my heart. The well-performing Mrazek was beaten here, but he did show everyone throughout this series that moving forward this offseason, he can be a goalie that can be trusted come playoff time, that is all anyone wants, right?
It stinks and the pain will last for a few days. The long offseason awaits, and all the Wings fanbase can do is hope for better next year. A tough proposition for any front office, let alone the Red Wings. After some mourning, get ready for a different kind of fun, the draft which is coming up in June. Take a deep breath.