Reflections after the Wings loss. By Matt Benjamin

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This Could Be The End For…

Steve Yzerman.Â

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And if it is, this team will never be the same. The grit, determination, and devotion he has shown for this organization, city and sport will never be matched again. It almost seems silly trying to show appreciation for all he has done on a blog. Considering all he has done for us, he certainly deserves more. With that being said, I hope he realizes the love this city, and the citizens of Hockeytown have for him. Whether he decides to return, or to retire, I hope he knows we all wish him the best!

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This Should Be The End For…

Manny Legace.

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Nothing against the man, but he is not playoff ready. It is hard to express in words exactly what it takes to be a playoff ready goaltender because so much of it goes unsaid. How a goalie reacts to a goal, how much confidence they have, and how a goalie conducts himself in post-game interviews are just a few intangibles that can give us insight as to where are goalie are at. Manny was clearly in a bad place during this series. After every goal he seemed to be going into traumatic depression that could only be cured with a shrink and a dose of Xenax. As well, it became quite clear through Manny’s comments to reporters after the game that, 1) he lacked confidence and, 2) he lacked accountability. Again, I do not believe the burden of the blame should be completely placed on him. However, Dwayne Roloson outplayed him, and that is the bottom line.Â

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What Year Is This?

The redundancy that follows the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is getting redundant. In particular, this loss (and the way it happened) draws striking similarities to the way the Wings lost to the Los Angeles Kings, during Game 3 of the 2001 First Round.Â

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In case you live in a cave, let’s do a quick recap of tonight. The Wings were up 2-0 entering the third. Before you could say “Hondo’s House,” the Oilers had rallied to tie it. Back and forth scoring ensued, but when the smoke cleared the Wings lost 4-3 (and the series 4-2).Â

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In 2001, the Wings were up 3-0 with around six minutes remaining in the third. Guess what happened? Very good. They gave up three straight goals, and then one in overtime. That loss turned the entire series around, as the Kings would win the next three, and take the series 4-2 (coincidence?)

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Season Expectation

This season began with a long list of questions. “Would Legace and Osgood be good enough? Could we get Datsyuk to return from Russia? Is Coach Babcock the right man for the job?” With so much speculation in mind at the beginning of the season, many assumed it was going to be a down year. After all, with the implementation of the salary cap, the faces in 2006 were far different from those that won the Stanley Cup in 2002. But as the season progressed, so did the Wings. And when the season ended with the Wings collecting their fifth Presidents Trophy since 1995, expectations for a long playoff run rose. In retrospect, maybe they shouldn’t have. Losing in the first round has almost become tradition for Detroit, who have now been upset five times in the first round starting with the disappointing loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993.  Still, knowing the possibility of an upset was high does not make it hurt any less.Â

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We’ll Get ‘Em Next Time

I am still a fan at heart and that means one thing: I’m heading to Denial. So if anyone wants to come with me, just let me know. It’s not over, until it’s over. So that means, Yzerman and Chelios will both play through there sixties and all will be well. Wings in 9!