Thoughts on Game 3 SCF (3-2 loss in Pittsburgh)
-- The defensive-zone turnovers by Detroit were the Red Wings' biggest problem. Stuart had one and Andreas Lilja. So did Kirk Maltby. Stuart's and Lilja's went off teammates' skates (Stuart of Henrik Zetterberg and Lilja off Darren Helm). I've got to add that there is blame on the intended receiver as well much like in football. If you can't accept the pass, it becomes a faceoff situation where you have to tie up the opponent if possible. Zetterberg, Helm and Mikael Samuelsson all looked dazed on plays where passes were intercepted going to them.
-- Coach Mike Babcock started with Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski mated with the Zetterberg line. With the Jordan Staal line often on the ice against Zetterberg, Babcock put Lilja and Brett Lebda out with Zetterberg. I wonder if the lack of a puck-moving defenseman hurt the Zetterberg line.
-- Babcock criticized Datsyuk and Zetterberg for taking long shifts. Instead of 40-second shifts, they took 50-second or more shifts. He's right. They didn't have as much jump as usual.
-- Forgotten is how well this game started fot the Red Wings -- a 9-1 shot advantage through 15 minutes.
-- A wonderful game by Johan Franzen. His goal wasn't just impressive, it was something that he hasn't done much of even in his 27-goals-in-27-games streak. In other words, he's showing more than he did even when he was at his previous best.