There are plenty of reasons why the Red Wings were no shows for the third period against the Blackhawks. Maybe they were tired. Maybe they exhaustion from Game 7 on sunday finally caught up with them. Maybe all the travel caught up to them. Maybe it was because Chicago was well rested.
Whatever the reason given for the Red Wings horrible performance in the third period, there is no excuse for it.
This third period problem isn’t isolated to this game. The Red Wings have been outscored 15-5 in the third period in these playoffs. In the first series it almost seemed like the Red Wings would lose concentration. Mike Babcock and the rest of the Wings chalked that up to the inexperienced young players learning the playoff ropes. This game however was different. Time and time again the Wings defense left Goaltender Jimmy Howard flapping in the breeze like a nudist in a windstorm.
And it was quiet a windstorm Jimmy Howard faced 41 Shots and stopped 38 of them. Two the goals he “gave up” he had a zero percent chance of stopping. The shots he did stop, most of them in the 3rd period, were one on one after a turnover or defensive gaff. Many times the Blackhawks skated by the Wings defense like pylons at a drivers training course.
Henrik Zetterberg didn’t make many excuses during his post game interview saying “next time we need to play 60 minutes”.
But I think Babcock summed it up best when he said “lets flush this game 1″.
I couldn’t agree more.