Red Wings: Detroit's Game 5 Win Will Spell Trouble for the Sharks
Red Wings Rally to Take Game 5 From Sharks, Put San Jose On Hot Seat
For two periods on Sunday night, the San Jose Sharks looked poised to put the Detroit Red Wings out of their misery once again. After falling 4-3 in Game 4 to see their series lead slim to 3-1 instead of 3-0, the Sharks looked to have the Wings dead to rights. They held a 3-1 advantage early in the period, and had outplayed Detroit in every facet of the game.
But a funny thing happened on the way to elimination for the Wings: They woke up. They finally exploited San Jose's shaky blue line and blasted through Antti Niemi for three third period goals, reminding everyone what they were capable of. By the time the dust settled, Detroit owned a 4-3 win, had cut their deficit in the series to just one game, and looked to have completely transformed the feeling of this series.
Consider that on Friday, Detroit's looked hopless, trailing 3-0 in the series and being generally outplayed by San Jose. Now, they trail the Sharks by a single game, heading back to Detroit with a chance to even the series and suck the last of San Jose's momentum out of their sails.
If you're the Sharks, this is not what you wanted to see. By blowing a winnable Game 5, the Sharks managed to let Detroit back into the series. After the game, the Sharks seemed slightly shellshocked by what had just happened, their energy and confidence gone.
Considering San Jose's collapses in years past, I'd say Game 5 makes the Sharks underdogs going forward, even if they still hold the series lead and home ice advantage.
Suddenly, the Red Wings are awake and fighting. Suddenly, Jimmy Howard is stopping 39 shots and looks virtually unbeatable.
The fact of the matter is that Detroit is not the kind of team you can afford to give these kinds of second chances to. They're a veteran team capable of riding this kind of momentum, and by coughing up back to back games, San Jose has re-opened the doubts of fans everywhere.
That's not to say the Wings are a lock to win; the Sharks still have an explosive offense, and a goaltender in Niemi capable of getting on a phenomenal run.
In the end, this series is now Detroit's to lose. They hold the momentum, they have the chance to tie the series, and they showed us all on Sunday that they won't be intimidated by San Jose's raucous crowd. The Sharks are officially in trouble, and unless they can win in Game 6 in Detroit, I don't think they have what it takes to finish the job in Game 7.
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