It shouldn’t have been surprising that the Detroit Red Wings avoided being swept at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
After all, this is the Detroit Red Wings we are talking about. The Red Wings haven’t lost a series in four games since the New Jersey Devils shocked them (and kinda sorta ruined hockey for a little while) in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals. Mere mortal teams must worry about being swept, not the Red Wings. It didn’t hurt that their previous three losses were close on the scoreboard, even if San Jose often carried the play from a shots/scoring chances perspective.
The fact that they nearly coughed up a 3-0 lead was, however, pretty startling. Maybe Detroit stepped off the gas pedal a bit, but the Sharks showed that they aren’t going to make it easy for the Red Wings either.
Last year, the Red Wings earned a much more dominant Game 4 win before falling to San Jose in Game 5. Can they avoid that fate or will San Jose get to rest up and watch the Vancouver Canucks duke it out with the Nashville Predators? The Versus gang breaks down Game 5 of Detroit-San Jose in the video clip below.
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.