Detroit Red Wings: Backs against the wall

detroit red wings

Henrik Zetterberg played over 19 minutes in his return to the lineup. So much for “limited minutes”.

The Detroit Red Wings went into game 4 optimistic that they could turn the series around and even it up heading back to Boston. They were sadly mistaken.

Not even the return of Captain Zetterberg was enough to prevent the Bruins from pinning the Wings against the boards in this series. The Red Wings now have to win three straight elimination games against the best team in the regular season and the defending Eastern Conference Champions to keep their Stanley Cup dream alive.

Many will say it’s impossible. Many will say it’s hopeless. Many will say it’s over.

While they may be right; it’s not completely over until the Bruins take the 4th and final victory and the Red Wings have to accept defeat by shaking their hands after the game.

I could continue to run through all the clichés, but I’ll let the statistics do the talking.

  • Teams have trailed 3-1 in a best-of-seven series a total of 229 times and have come back to win the series on 20 occasions (8.7% of the time).
  • The Red Wings have come back from a 3-1 deficit twice (1987 and 1992).
  • The Bruins have blown a 3-1 series lead twice. The last time was in 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals when the Philadelphia Flyers fought back from the dreadful 3-0 hole to win the series.
  • The Red Wings were last down 3-1 in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Nashville Predators used home ice to their advantage to bounce the Wings out of the playoffs in game 5.
  • In the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs the Wings nearly completely the historic 3-0 series come back against the San Jose Sharks but fell short on the road in game 7 losing 3-2.
  • The Red Wings have stringed together 3 or more wins this season on 5 occasions.
  • 2 of those 5 occasions occurred after losing more than 3 consecutive games before starting the winning streak which is exactly what the Red Wings are facing right now.

So to keep this brief, the odds aren’t in the Red Wings favor. But, there is still a chance.

Notes for Game 5

Saturday, April 26 @ Boston / 3:00PM EST on NBC

– Jonas Gustavsson is getting the start in net again with Jimmy Howard battling the flu.

– Daniel Alfredsson is expected to make his return to the lineup, although it’s not clear who is going to be a healthy scratch if Alfredsson is ready to go.

– Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be ready to go despite not practicing today.

Puck drop for what could be the last Red Wings’ game of season is less than 24 hours away. Bittersweet, but it’s not over just yet. There is still a chance. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless. Go Wings!

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  • 547984

    I think Z said it’s impossible to “reaggravate” his back, so that’s why I wouldn’t mind him playing lots of minutes, it really helped out our powerplay a lot.

    All I ask is that we play a full game, and if we do that and we still lose, I won’t even care, because Boston would’ve deserved it.

    • Alex Eisen

      I think it’s not so much his back injury but his fitness. It’s impossible to sit out for two months and come back good as new. I’d bet he loved to play more minutes, but I don’t think his body can handle it. Overtime in game 4 certainly didn’t help his cause.

      By now I think most Wings fans have accepted your last statement. Boston is the better team, but the future is bright for the Wings. All we can ask is to end the season on a high note, at least go out fighting.

      • Shane Sullivan

        boston doesn’t deserve it the ducks do they finished well and the bruins finished terrible for the best the red wings should’ve beat them just to show them they ain’t the best