Home > NHL, Playoffs, Western Conference > No Chance For Third Straight Rematch

No Chance For Third Straight Rematch

For those of you who were hoping for a Wings/Pens Stanley Cup rematch, you are now out of luck. The Detroit Red Wings are no longer in the running for Lord Stanley’s cup after getting eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in a 2-1 Game Five loss Saturday night. The Wings went down 3-0 in the series to a team well known for their choking in the playoffs. Being on the brink of a sweep not in their favor has only happened five other times in franchise history, and with this loss the Wings have increased their record of not being able to come back when they go down three games to none.

Despite a phenomenal effort in a 7-1 win in Game Four, and a tied game up until way passed the halfway point in the third period in Game Five, the Wings just couldn’t do it this time. Patrick Marleau, who is the longest tenured player on the Sharks roster, broke the tie with a little under seven minutes left in regulation. With under a minute left, Dan Boyle was whistled for holding and the Wings had the chance to tie it up with two extra attackers and rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard riding the bench. The short-handed Sharks were able to hold the Wings off and advance to the next round.

Thought of as one of the best teams in the NHL due to their high caliber performers, nearly solid goaltending, and superior coaching staff,an early exit is not something the Wings are used to and they certainly didn’t go down without a fight. For a team that is dominated by veterans, they were plagued with injuries for most of the regular season and had to fight their way into the playoffs after making it as far as the Conference Finals for four straight seasons. Their first round went to seven game, the only team that had to play that many in the Western Conference, and each loss to the Sharks was only a one goal deficit.

Where does this leave their future? Nicklas Lidstrom has to make the choice between continuing his career and retiring. On top of that, over half of their active rosters hits free agency, and nearly 70% of that list will be unrestricted.  Who stays and who goes? Could this be the end of a franchise dominance, or will a long summer of rest allow a team who has won 11 Stanley Cups bounce right back to being that team you love to hate.

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