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And then there were 14: Red Wings eliminated

Apr 26, 2014, 5:57 PM EDT

Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Two Getty Images

For more entries in this series, click here.

It was a valiant effort, but the Detroit Red Wings are done in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

  • Bruins fans won’t like this as it’ll sound like excuse-making, but health was a problem for Detroit all season. A less-than healthy Henrik Zetterberg tried to give them a spark in this series, but all season they had to deal with a host of guys being hurt. Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen. Just a laundry list of pain that almost forced Detroit to miss the playoffs.
  • It may sound nuts that depth was a problem for Detroit considering the injuries, but losing Ericsson made the Red Wings blue line dreadfully thin. The forward depth kept them going all season, but one key injury on the blue line proved to be a major problem late in the season and playoffs.
  • As great as Gustav Nyquist was in the regular season, he was silent against Boston. That said, the progress he made this season in establishing himself is something for Mike Babcock and Ken Holland to be excited about. He along with Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan showed that Detroit’s forward pipeline is still working fine.
  • As for Franzen, one offseason question for the Wings might center around what to do with him. His injury issues and streaky production have to be a concern to the front office and with compliance buyouts still possible this summer, it’s a question that might be worth throwing around in Detroit. Franzen has a $3.954 million cap hit through 2020.
  • Series-centric: Detroit’s penalty kill was less-than good against Boston. The Bruins power play was good, but are they that good? Either way, Detroit’s PK failed them when they needed to be great.
  • It may have been a fight for Detroit to make it to the playoffs, but you have to wonder if maybe they’re cursing themselves out for not finding a way to scrape together an extra point or two so they could’ve wound up in Pittsburgh instead of Boston. Que sera sera.
  • With the success the young players had this season for Detroit, a lot of the old jokes might get put on the shelf for a while next season.

  1. billiam55 - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Congrats to the red wings. It was a rough season but they managed to make the playoffs. Should be proud. No question in mind that this team will be back in contention with all those youngsters.

  2. drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    And now the Bruins get to play…one of the cheapest, dirtiest teams in the league. Some reward.

    • bsfan77 - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Get ready for Subban’s antics. Although Marchand wasnt much better in this game. If they keep playing like this the Habnots have no chance. Montreal fans can talk all they want about a sweep against a goalie that was worse than a screen door on a submarine. Get ready Habnots, we are coming!

      • drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        FWIW, the second penalty on Marchand was a total joke. But there’s nobody on Boston who pulls the sort of career-altering crap that, say, Emelin and Bourque do.

      • sabatimus - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Yup…get ready for Subban’s patented Armpit Hooking.

    • bsaures - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      There playing themselves?

    • charlie24zz - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      You are delusional pal…Look at yourself and your team in the mirror!

      • drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        Keep talking….maybe someone, somewhere will actually listen and agree.

      • sabatimus - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        I’m going to assume charlie was replying to bsaures.

    • charlie24zz - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Who proclaimed you the king of Prohockeytalk?

      • drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        You?

    • habs9 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      this from the team with a guy who’s such a tough guy he has to go around spearing ppl in the junk…….yeah troll some more

  3. rbbbaron - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Was basically a 5-game sweep. Even with a completely healthy Zetterberg and Datsyuk and so on, the outcome would’ve been the same as the Bruins completely shut down the Wings’ secondary scoring. That and the Wings have work to do on the back end, there’s no getting around it.

  4. avfanforlife - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Looks like another “no-cup” year for Bertuzzi. – Bummer (heh heh heh)

    • rbbbaron - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Yeah, good thing Thornton, Cooke, and all those other guys with clean records over the last decade are still in the running.

      • sabatimus - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        You do realize that Thornton’s and Cooke’s histories are nowhere even close to each other?

      • rbbbaron - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        you missed the point

      • avfanforlife - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:05 AM

        Or your point missed everything.

      • rbbbaron - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:29 AM

        you too, good fan of hockey

  5. pwshrugged - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Boston was the better team. Kudos to them for a well-played series. They’re a team I can respect and get behind when they’re playing incredibly solid fundamental hockey; they made scoring chances scarce and many of the ones they allowed were routine saves. That’s incredible play, there. When they’re not being physical miscreants (as per Game 2), they truly dominate.

    Game 5 was a mixed bag, with the only real complaint being the inconsistent officiating. Yes, they called the game relatively fairly to both sides, but all of the sudden at the end of the 2nd, everything became a penalty, whereas the series hard largely been a “let ‘em play” series prior to that. Both teams had very valid beefs with some of the calls made.

    That said, the Wings look fine going forward. Some of the hometown media is acting like the sky is falling, but the young players who have come up will make an impact for years to come. Yes, the kids got shut down by Boston – but isn’t that an accepted part of the NHL learning curve? They’ll bounce back.

    If Franzen is eligible for a compliance buyout… that’s a very real possibility, although I think there’s too much fascination/emotional attachment to his past for it to actually happen. But with the Wings so very loaded at forward… well, dumping Franzen’s $4M/year hit looks attractive. I respect him as a player and for what he’s done, but time seems to have taken a toll on him… he no longer looks like the player he once was.

    Otherwise, the Wings will grow and continue to see their youth mature. There’s not a lot the lineup needs beyond time and seasoning, and hopefully the fans are patient to see that through. The Streak continued this year, and the lineup looks set to carry it on for years to come.

    Boy, though, I gotta say… that Boston/Montreal series coming up is going to be something. I’m sad to see the Wings eliminated, but there’s some great hockey yet to come.

    • rbbbaron - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      I think all this talk about buying out Franzen is overblown. What other players making less than 4mil per season have such expectations on their shoulders? Even with his inconsistency and spotty health, he’s a very fair deal given what some of these GMs, including Holland, are doling out these days (watch Callahan draw 6.5 for at least the next 6 years). The only issue is the length of the contract. Otherwise if Franzen has fallen from Holland/Babcock’s good graces, then the right thing to do from a management standpoint would be to trade him and get something in return, not pay him for the next decade to play somewhere else…

      • pwshrugged - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        I agree, the rationale for buying out Franzen isn’t great. I also agree that $4M/year for Franzen isn’t bad. The Wings have a lot of cap space going forward, and absorbing $4M/year for a guy who’s an injury-prone 15-goal scorer but also provides veteran leadership and is part of the core-three elder forwards (Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Franzen)… yeah, keeping him around makes sense. However, with the sudden onset of a bunch of young forwards… well, that’s what makes me think that hey, maybe the Wings will buy him out – not so much as a cap move, but because of dwindling roster space and the horrific length of his contract.

        Truly, though. while I do think the idea has -some- merit, I’d be quite surprised if it happened, and I’m neither for nor against it. I like Franzen, whether he’s scoring bunches or not. He’s one of the steady veteran presences on the team, and as we both agree, $4M for him isn’t bad at all. However, he’s becoming increasingly prone to injury and his body clearly cannot produce like it used to. There’s risk/reward to both sides, but I think it’s not high enough either way to get too worked up about.

        The bigger priority going forward is getting Nyquist, Sheahan, Tatar, and DeKeyser locked up long term and grooming Nyquist, Sheahan, and DeKeyser to be the next-generation leaders of the team. And getting Tatar to deal with frustration better.

      • muttonmark - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:03 AM

        I think that what the issue with Franzen is that currently, he is needed to play the role of “power forward”. In the past, Detroit played a game more focused on Speed and Skill, as seems the way in the Western Conf. Franen has the size and the skill, but speed and grit have never been the case of a player with a 220lb frame. This is needed to compete in the larger, more physical game in the East. His size was needed desperately against a team like Boston, but he was a complete non-factor for most of the series. Who knows, maybe the concussion that kept him out of a big chunk of the season has him gun shy, but his inconsistent play is a killer.

  6. sabatimus - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    What’s the soundtrack for the upcoming series? I think any Cannibal Corpse song will do.

    • shutton83 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Funny comment but I hope the B’s focus less on being overly physical and getting mad and instead just stick to the sharp technical forechecking game that gives us success. If we get to angry and take dumb penalties we’re in trouble.

  7. charastein - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Montreal hate Chara.

  8. stratomaticfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Tired of all the Detroit injury excuses. Bruins without Seidenberg, McQuaid, Paille and Kelly. Still won President’s Cup and dominated series and held Detroit to 6 goals in 5+ games.

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      Funny that’s all I heard from Boston after last years cup. Hypocrite

      • rogersjd16 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        Oh really? Love to see some proof of this. Actually almost everyone in Boston knew they lose to a better team. Hilariously stupid comment.

  9. hammertownhabsfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    It’s hilarious how bruins fans always describe the Habs as dirty, cheap shot artists. The hits like the hip check on Lucic by Emelin are clean. The shots aren’t cheap they are going right at Rasks pads that I think may be made of the same rubber that pinball machines use. The Bruins, a team that has always held true to the “they can’t call them all” logic always find a way to piss and moan when they get beat. Historically most often by the Habs. I cannot wait for this series to begin.

    • charastein - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      What? Chara hear chipmunk or Smurf saying something?

      Such small voices. So tiny. And petty.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      Where to begin with a post so full of head-scratching fail…

    • charlie24zz - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:49 PM

      How the pot calls the kettle black, eh B’s?

  10. malcolmsbeard - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Where’s hockeyblow? Surprised he isn’t on here chortling for the Bruins like the classless ninny he is.

  11. muckleflugga - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    bruins versus wings is the bust of the 2014 playoffs … hands down

    a series with potential to be the one everyone talked about in years to come

    dominating headlines instead we were treated to milan lucic, embodiment of the poor-sport half-wit bully, dealing slashes and hacks out like an animal but never able to take even a routine body check like a man … poster boy for what’s wrong in the game –from thuggery on the ice to incompetence on and off the ice by the league itself

    clearly, the big bad bruins are suffering for having played and lost to les canadiens too too long … they’ve become bad losers, bad whiners and and superlative divers … go near a bruin, they go pirouette, flip, flop and fly, only to come up whining and woggling their sloped heads in disbelief and the affront … phoney posing pricks

    bruins simply lack anything resembling accountability when delivering cheap-shot stick-happy play close to the hearts of bruins fans in recent years –sneaky cheats but always aggrieved when caught-out, the bred in the bone claude julien team

    is the whining beseeching palms-up in disbelief manner product of a synergy born of the mix, or is it coached one is left to wonder …?

    and while julien’s a defensive genius, he coaches and delivers what has to be the single most boring hockey system in the game since the days of lou lamoreillo and jaques lemaire … contrast this bruins team to the days of harry sinden or don cherry, then cry for the good old days when a bruins’ game was something to talk about and anticipate … in the present and under julien, bruins are as dull as it gets

    big bad bruins lmao tres puseé more the likely … all yap, threatening looks, dangling gloves, diving and whining

    and the wings, what a complete letdown after a promising run-in

    they’ve become league patsies … all that talent and speed but a swede too far sorry to say … we need more glendening and sheahan’s and abdelkaders and any russian … less intellect, less college and more heart and more grind … more canadians

    it is an absolute disgrace to have a teammate violated as dekeyser was violated, then see no effort at retribution … lucic should have been hounded, hammered and stuck hard for the balance of the series … what kind of message was sent to detroit’s players with restraint being coached when a removal of spleen or bowel resection was warranted …

    gutless

    no, completing the transition is needed in detroit … lose the dead wood, and finish movement of all that young speed and talent from grand rapids to detroit … the old and beaten are getting older and more beaten … reward them, then send them on their way

    looking at these games and other series in the east, in contrast to that going on in the west, it is clear the wings caught a break in a timely move through a period of needed change, able to push their playoff appearance record onward when otherwise …?

    but neither bruins nor wings nor any other team from the east are legitimate cup contenders … anyone supporting any team in the east is delusional if they think their team is in with a chance … switching between games in the east to games in the west is like going from slo-mo to fast forward, plod to paradise

    while it would have been enjoyable seeing lucic, marchand or thornton trying to play their roles as the definitive asshole toughs out west –remember how quiet bruins were in calgary– they’re simply not good enough offensively to get on that plane …

    ducks, sharks and kings would have eaten bruins’ and their diving posers whole … hawks would simply skill and scorch them into oblivion … julien’s no match for boudreau, mclelland, sutter or quenneville regardless, even if he had the guns

    i had bruins coming out of the east, but les canadiens speed curve is still climbing, and they’ve got the league in their pocket [ can't have soccer displacing hockey in the hearts and minds of young canadians, wot ]

    les canadiens are clearly a superior team in the east in the moment and will likely embarrass bruins further should they meet

    wings versus bruins is the bust of the 2014 playoffs but

    watching les canadiens roast the bruins will make the disappointment go away soon enough

    • shutton83 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      You’re entitled to your opinion but maybe you should invest in some condensing skills, very long rant. That being said what you said about Lucic was kind of accurate, his spearing of Dekyser was unacceptable and he was fined for it. Regardless when he has his temper controlled he is an invaluable power forward and can shift the momentum of a game. As to the comments about Bruins vs the west coast, the B’s actually had a wining record against west coast teams this year (don’t have the exact figures) so I think the Bruins can compete against the West’s best. I’m looking forward to another chapter in the Habs/Bruins rivalry, should be great hockey to watch.

    • micasa81 - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      Well-written prose, muckleflugga. You coaxed a few wry grins out of me. I can also appreciate a post that isn’t just trying to get the thumbs-up (you’re certainly never guilty of that). There’s a little bit of something in there to piss everyone off, well done.

      I don’t agree that the Bruins are boring, though. You’ve captured lots that I dislike about the team, but I have to admit that they’re a far better on-ice product than, say, the Kings. Also, as someone who grew up a Habs fan, I’ll be very surprised if Montreal wins. Heart says Habs in 7, head says Bruins in 6.

  12. muckleflugga - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    shutton83

    well no … i’m doing my best to vex the x-box generation by employing more than 140 characters and big wordies

    as for bruins, they’re a joke … after all their belly-aching about diving and whining, they function in parody of the 2011 canucks

    just uglier … if ever there was a case for eugenics, bruins are it

    • shutton83 - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      There’s a difference between flexing your literary and semantic muscles and typing out a gigantic post. As for the Bruins and diving they actually ranked near the bottom in the NHL for penalty minutes, so either they don’t dive nearly as much as you think they do or they are just very bad at it (which I hardly belief is the case). Also I’m assuming by your comment on Eugenics that you’re calling the Bruins a blemish on humanity, which is hyperbolic based on that they are a hockey team, not Nazis. Oddly enough Hitler was a huge proponent of Eugenics so go figure I guess. Regardless it seems like you’re in for an abrupt shock when you find out the Bruins aren’t the baby eating, puppy punching group of rapscallions you think they are.

  13. nhstateline - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Congratulations to the Red Wings and their fans. They dealt with so much and still made the playoffs. It’s an impressive tribute to a great organization. And they gave a good accounting of themselves in this series, especially in the last two games but really in all of it. From a Bruins perspective, this was no cake walk, Detroit pushed and pushed even today as the series was slipping away. Class organization and classy players.

  14. drewsylvania - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Dear PHT,

    A way to minimize comments (see: muckleflugga) would be boss.

    Sincerely,
    Everyone Else

  15. gallyhatch - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Good luck to the Wings next year, if they were healthier, they likely would not have been an 8th seed, but $hit happens.

    As a Bruins fan, I don’t love them in the division, because that makes it harder for the Bs having to face them like this in the playoffs. I’m a huge fan of Babcock, and look forward to a bigger rivalry with the Wings over the years.

    Muckle whatshis$hitz needs to get a life. Or a blog, or both, but clearly he’s a d-bag with far too much time on his hands.

    How can a person have such a robust vocabulary, yet at the same time say so little?

  16. muckleflugga - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    gallyhatch

    let me guess … you played hockey at a private girls school … am i right

    i ask because when you were educating us all as to the complexities of an ahem “… cup check …”, it occurred to me i’ve never heard either a jock or can referred to as a cup, other than on the wrapper, but hey, cup check lmao

    thanks for the hockey education and insight

    now, i understand the likes of yourself and drewsylvania present as being challenged individuals … i admire progress you’ve made to date … still, the empty and shallow rejoinder and vapid content shows us how far you’ve got to go

    what was it, lack of oxygen, inhaling aromatics or general consanguinity in the remote hill town from which you emerged

    no hurry … take your time

    • gallyhatch - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Bruins are better than whatever team you root for.

      It’s ok to admit it.

      Or you can just resort to gay jokes as you have so many other times over the last week, because we all know that’s the height of intelligence, am I right smart guy?

      At the risk of repeating myself, get a life.

  17. muckleflugga - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    shutton83

    i was referencing bruins in the present, but there is ample evidence they dive as much as anyone … the last source for reasonable thought on fouling play should not come from nhl penalty statistics … the game is rigged, end of story

    bruins fans will be declaring that to be hard fact in coming weeks, book it

    if you think eugenics is not alive and well in the present, you know nothing of contemporary genetics and genome research … simple birth control is a form of eugenics, as is in-vitro fertization

    as for nazis, they were more interested in phenogentics per eugen fischer … racial cleansing and rise of the pure nordic or aryan race

    the united states has nothing in the way of eugenics or racial cleansing in its history, wot

    read this …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

    • shutton83 - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      Interesting theory, I was simply referencing some ideals that Hitler expressed in Mein Kampf but interesting none the less. Also if someone is looking for reliable evidence on any sports topic shouldn’t that leagues stats be the first place one would look? I don’t believe the league is “rigged” there are good calls and bad calls but I do believe penalty minutes to be a reliable statistic. If the Bruins dive as much as you say they do shouldn’t there be some kind of statistical evidence in accordance with your theory? End of the story is every team dives, some are better at hiding it than others but every player has embellished a call at some point and its a part of every major sport in the world. You seem like a smart guy with very defined opinions and I can respect that, good luck in the upcoming series.

  18. muckleflugga - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    micasa81

    no, i am pissed-off because i thought this was going to be seeing fly and die hockey, in which case wings would have needed goal tending they were not likely to get

    smothering defence is a bore, and diving cheap-shot play kills otherwise good hockey … julien was himself whining, and had his players whining one game in … garbage hockey politicking

    still, ii was over the top with the emergence of detroit’s young players from grand rapids, most nhl ready, if not nhl playoff ready

    i rant-on about les canadiens and the calls they get from home-grown officials, easily fixed by not using them, but i believe like everyone else, canadiens’ improvement after vanek’s arrival is continuing on an upward curve

    bruins had better adjust, keep rask happy healthy and hot, or they’re going down quickly

    les canadiens got most of the breaks versus lightening, but even without breaks they were going to win

  19. charlie24zz - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Speed kills. GHG

    • shutton83 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      The Red wings had speed and they got trapped into playing a more physical game which Montreal has a tendency to do against Boston. On the flip side Boston has a tendency to get to mad when playing the Habs so I think this series is going to boil down to who can play their game the more disciplined game and stick to it. The X factor is going to be how well Rask and Price play.

  20. aljack88 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    wow muckle – quite the Saturday night. You must be quite the party joy.

  21. cutelittleguy02 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Can t wait to see Subban vs Marchand n Lucic (the one who likes to make fake injury and spearing), Chara vs Pacioretty, I don t forget what Chara did, that dirty player.

  22. cutelittleguy02 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Almost forget, Boston Bruins fans booed at Gary Bettman last year when they lost to Chicago. Advice for Bruins, don t repeat again this year.

  23. muckleflugga - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    shutton83

    i’ve played the game for the better part of fifty years … i’m as big as most players in the nhl … i’ve been knocked off my skates twice, both times by guys coming at me from the other end of the ice and hitting me in the numbers

    one broke his face shield and tore himself up pretty good … the other sent me from my goalie’s crease into the corner without touching down … i caught him coming through centre ice fancy dancing with the puck roughly four minutes later … thump whooooooosh …. never saw him again

    if a big man does not want to go down, unless you catch him either blind and surprised or off-balance trying something spectacular, he will not go down willingly

    willingly being the operative word

    no one who plays relies on statistics, no one … they rely upon what is happening in the moment … using the gift of sight and common sense from playing

    the nhl is as much about theatre as it is hockey … some are better actors than others, but teams coached by the french, tend to be better

    the key is to watch the extent players are willing to be knocked down, attending dramatics, and the tell-tale look to see if they pulled a call

    iginla’s dive at the end of the second is the definitive dive from a player nearly impossible to move off his skates, complete with the cagey look at the referee too eager to buy the sell

    the resulting goal turned the game

    touché claude

    • micasa81 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Flugga, I would not have thought you could be provoked into making what is easily the silliest, most chuckle-worthy type of argument on hockey discussion forums…the “I’m so good, I’m qualified to speak about what it feels like to be an NHLer” tack. And then the following post about not deigning to mix in the social realms of the commoner…really? Good grief, man, your posts are falling off the rails.

      And to everyone else: yes, I know you don’t think he was ever on the rails.

  24. muckleflugga - Apr 27, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    aljack88

    the people i party with tend to come from a different class … most are reasonably well to do, and all are witty … that’s why we gather … regardless, i never party by means with what you would define a party … i don’t drink

    unless i’ve got ice time, i rarely go out on saturday nights because other people do

    referencing your comment:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

  25. nhronin - Apr 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Lucic would spear PK in the junk but won’t since Subban is completely lacking cajones.

  26. nhronin - Apr 27, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Since 1988 when they broke the curse, the Bruins are 7-4 in the postseason vs. Montreal. They are deeper, more experienced and tougher and should win.

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