Wings Postgame: Farewell and Goodnight

Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY SPORTS

They tried, they really did. They killed penalties, they, uh, killed powerplays. They had breakaways, they had opportunities. The game was as close as it could get for a solid 58 minutes. But the Detroit Red Wings were finally exposed late in Game 5 and have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Rundown


This was a close, and for the most part, scoreless game, but it still had it’s share of spikes. Notably, the penalty box was a land of curiosity for both sides. The Red Wings got to experiment with some powerplay time early in the first period, even going up two men for over a minute, but the struggling extra-man unit continued to run dry.

What could have killed the Red Wings sooner was their run of infractions going the other way. Starting nine minutes into the opening frame, the Red Wings had a run where they spent 8 of 22 minutes killing penalties, with some timely dumps, breakouts, and saves from Petr Mrazek being the only thing to hold them over. They even had a few chances to go ahead, but on the other side of the ice, Ben Bishop just wasn’t having any of it.

Eventually, the run of brick walls was brought to an end by an unfortunate play. With two minutes to go, Ryan Callahan’s dump into the end boards was played by Mrazek, looking to move the puck out of the zone. Unfortunately, Jonathan Ericsson was set in place, and Callahan beat him to the puck, set up Alex Killorn, and put the puck in the back of the net. Jason Garrison gave Wings fans one last glimmer of hope when he was sent off for cross-checking Henrik Zetterberg in the final minutes, but once more, Detroit couldn’t convert with the man advantage.

Motor City MVP

If we’re grading this from an on-ice performance perspective, one could probably say that Mrazek was Detroit’s best player up until the misplay that led to the series-clincher. But you have to give tonight to Pavel Datsyuk.

There’s a very real possibility that this was the Magic Man’s last game as a Red Wing, as the veteran centre has made it clear that he’s leaning towards returning to Russia to play out his sunset years. If that’s the case, he’ll leave as one of the impactful Wings players of this generation, and easily the most exciting and skilled. The team is going to have an uphill battle in replacing him, both in the sense that he’s an irreplaceable talent and the fact that there’s going to be some cap space left in the way.

But hey, as much as it’s a shame for the league to lose him, one should embrace his time spent.

By the way, since we usually incorporate fancy stats into our MVP designation, he was on the ice for 13 shot attempts for and 13 against at 5-on-5. Fitting, really.

See You In Other Ways

Well, that’s it for games this season. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of things to talk about! Keep stopping by Wings Nation over the course of the offseason, as we reflect on the season, talk about where the team should look next, dial in on the draft and free agency, and much, much more! Thank you all for reading the site in our initial few months, and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling for you all into the summer!