What Went Wrong: The Detroit Red Wings
This is a continuing series that will explore why the various teams that fall by the wayside did exactly that.
For most of the season, the Red Wings were exactly what everyone expected them to be: not as good at driving play without Lidstrom and Stuart, sketchy on defense at times, and a year older. Towards the end of the season when the playoffs were in jeopardy, they found another gear, reverting to form and burying opponents with shots and superior possession play which carried over into their series with the Anaheim Ducks and part of their series with Chicago.
Then Chicago’s superior talent and better players simply won out.
Thankfully for much of the playoffs, we can point to the better team asserting themselves as the better team and that was the case here. The Blackhawks outshot the Red Wings (238-199), directed more shots towards the net (397-345) and were better on special teams to boot (4/26 vs. 1/26 on the power play). Chicago’s stars, who are in the prime of their careers, largely outplayed Detroit’s stars, who are getting older, with the Red Wings’ young guns starting to take over (Damien Brunner led the team with 5 goals). It will be interesting to see how well the torch passes from Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg to whoever comes after.