What's the excuse this time?
It can't be fatigue. The travel hasn't stopped the Red Wings from championship caliber hockey in the past. It wasn't an excuse then, it's not an excuse now.
It can't be bad officiating. The only bad call was possibly the interference on Holmstrom, and even that one wasn't that bad.
And I'm sure a Sharks fan will tell you that the Wings were absolutely gifted a penalty shot that probably shouldn't have happened.
As much as Detroit fans hate to hear this, the bad calls have been pretty equal on both sides.
The rest were the Wings playing the same undisciplined, ill timed, bad hockey, that has garnered at least six penalties in every game of this series.
The disallowed goal?
The officials gave Zetterberg another chance with a bad penalty shot call on the Sharks... and he didn't convert.
There are no more excuses. There can't be.
Not with a 3-1 lead going into the third period.
Not with Howard giving up a bad angle goal that tied the game.
Not with a defense that was falling apart as early as two minutes in the game, giving the puck to the Sharks right in front of the net.
Even the staunchest Wing-Nut has to start putting these losses on the Wings' shoulders.
This is not Red Wings hockey.
The Red Wings don't let up in the third period of games; no matter the score.
The Red Wings don't make the sort of bad decisions with the puck that they have throughout these playoffs.
And they certainly don't take out their frustrations in retaliation like Holmstrom did to end one of the Wings two Power Plays seven seconds in.
I don't care about disallowed goals. Don't give up a bad goal like Howard did with six minutes left in regulation, and the ref taking a tally away doesn't matter.
Or even score on a penalty shot.
Or basically do something, anything, better than they have been, and none of the whistles matter.
If the Wings played their game for sixty minutes, they would have won.
They didn't, and they lost.
They did some good things, but not nearly enough, and certainly not for long enough.
No more excuses.
The Wings are down 3-0, and had they played hockey they are known the world wide for, they wouldn't be.
That is the story of this series, no matter the static that surrounds it.