Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7 (5/12/11)

The Red Wings epic comeback and their season came to a heartbreaking end tonight in San Jose. The Wings played well overall but the Sharks owned the first period and it proved to be too much to overcome for Detroit.

Jimmy Howard and Antti Niemi continued to play incredibly well. The defense was phenomenal both ways. It was hard for both teams just getting the puck out of their own end let alone into the other team’s end. It was another very tight game.

Setoguchi scored first and then Couture scored a last minute goal at the end of the period. The Wings were playing alright in the first period but the Sharks were really pumped up and, with the crowd behind them, they had lots of jump.

The Red Wings mostly dominated the second and third periods and had a lot of scoring chances. Zetterberg scored with a great backhand shot in the second, but then in the third Marleau scored to give the Sharks the two goal lead again. Datsyuk scored a few minutes later and from then on it was a flurry of scoring chances for the Wings but they weren’t able to get the game-tying goal.

It didn’t help losing Bertuzzi early in the game and then losing Cleary in the second period. It was later announced that they both had concussions. Bertuzzi was hit in the chin with Heatley’s helmet and Cleary collided with Hudler catching his elbow in the head. It was some bad luck for the Wings as those guys could have really made a difference in this game.

It was a disappointing outcome considering that a win would have been absolutely historic.

It was also tough to lose this series because overall I thought the Wings were the better team. Detroit won three games in regulation. San Jose won only two in regulation and their two overtime wins both came from goals that deflected in off Red Wings’ sticks. These are two very good teams and they’re very evenly matched. It made for some great hockey but it would have been a lot more enjoyable if the Wings had come out on top.

That does it for another season of Red Wings hockey. It was a great year and the Wings are in good shape to be a top contender again next year.

Now we can all root for the Tampa Bay Lightning and hope to win vicariously through Steve Yzerman.

This 2-3 loss finishes this Western Conference Semifinal series at 3-4 San Jose.

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