Red Wings-Ducks, Game Three: The Whistle Heard Around the World
To look upon the whistle by Brad Watson that called off Marian Hossa's goal with about a minute to remain as the only reason why the Red Wings lost on Tuesday is wrong.
The Red Wings did not play well in a clash when they are the much more talented offensive team.
The goals the Ducks scored on the Red Wings were both on breakdowns on the defensive side of their team.
Teemu Selanne's goal in the first period came when Ryan Carter saw an opening and let loose a perfectly-timed pass to Selanne, who shot past Chris Chelios in for a breakaway goal.
Scott Niedermayer's goal came when Niklas Lidstrom hit the rebound from Ryan Getzlaf's shot away from the net right to Neidermayer. He shot it to the goal, and fell onto Osgood as it went in.
The Zetterberg goal was a rebound on the power play in the second period. The Red Wings did have other chances, but none of them went in. Instead, Hiller was ready for everything coming his way.
The Hossa goal that was waved off with minute to go was a bad call. The ref was out of position to blow his whistle. The proof was that when he blew, the puck had already crossed the line. True—if the ref loses sight of the puck, he should blow the whistle. However, it is his responsibility not to lose sight of the puck.
Regardless, the game is in the past. If the Red Wings do not starting playing better, they will be in the past as well. It is not just that they are not scoring—they are also being bullied. After the horn sounded to end the game, the Ducks went after Franzen and Datsyuk.
In order for the Red Wings to rebound, they have to come out in Game Four with no mercy. They need keep up the shots and those shots need to be of the stinging variety if Jonas Hiller decides to stop them.
The Red Wings need to change their offensive strategy to get quirky as well. Not all shots can come on ornate formations. They need to throw everything at Hiller from all angles.
In terms of defense, they need to play the Ducks' strategy and keep checking the Ducks to wear them out. They need to hit—and hit hard whenever possible. Niklas Kronwall cannot be the only hitter. Everyone—including Hossa—needs to go after people.
Also they will once again not have Brian Rafalski on defense. Quite possibly, Anaheim will not have James Wisniewski either, after his stay in the hospital after getting a shot to the chest from the puck and being hit from Tomas Holmstrom in the same play.
The Red Wings need to get their swagger back. They have been playing flat and complacent. They need to be playing the same way the Ducks are, mean and ornery. They are too good of a team to fall apart this badly.
Game Four is of the must-win role for the team. They need to make the game, their show. They must make the Ducks pay for thinking that they are in control of this series.
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