'We played stupid'
Wings upset with their performance in surprising lossPosted: Wednesday June 05, 2002 12:13 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 05, 2002 3:22 PM
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings are not stunned. They're mad.
Carolina surprised many, however, by beating the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals on Tuesday night.
While some thought it was just a matter of time before Detroit would hoist the Stanley Cup, maybe even in a four-game sweep, the Red Wings insist they have not overlooked the Hurricanes.
"I think we expected their best and they provided their best," Detroit's Brendan Shanahan said. "They played hard and played the way you need to play in the Stanley Cup finals. We played stupid."
Carolina forced the Red Wings to play much differently from the way they did in the Western Conference finals against Colorado.
"Colorado was more of a counterattack team, we had more time coming out of our zone," Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. "This team, they pinch their 'D' on all of your breakouts. They stand up in their zone and they don't play a typical sit-back game. They play much more aggressive and that was something we didn't adapt well to."
Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek was beaten by Ron Francis just 58 seconds into overtime after stopping 23 shots.
The six-time Vezina Trophy winner struggled in the first two games of the playoffs, both losses, to Vancouver, but had been solid since. But he couldn't hold two one-goal leads against Carolina.
"They didn't surprise me," said Hasek, who stopped 23 shots. "They were a much better team than we were tonight. They played a very smart game. They just beat us. They didn't beat us because they were lucky, they were a better team today no doubt."
Hasek respected the Hurricanes while watching them advance through the Eastern Conference, but became even more impressed with them after Game 1.
"The way they play, it's not easy to beat that team," Hasek said. "They covered the ice really well. We didn't have any space. We made so many turnovers."
The Red Wings know they must recover quickly, with Game 2 on Thursday night in Detroit.
"Guys will respond and guys will be better," Boyd Devereaux said. "I think as a whole, we didn't play our best hockey. But we'll regroup."
The Red Wings, however, were not hanging their heads.
"I think we will stay positive," said Sergei Fedorov, who gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 15:21 of the first period. "Maybe we have to play more physical in the future, however, because they really played us hard and physical."
The officials tried to negate the physical play by calling seven penalties on the Red Wings and six on the Hurricanes. Both teams scored one power-play goal.
The Red Wings said they wasted an opportunity to win in regulation when they failed to score with a man advantage over the final 1:41 of the third period and the first 19 seconds of overtime.
"I think our power play could've made a difference and it didn't," Shanahan said.
Shanahan, who played with the Hartford Whalers before they moved to Carolina, was quite sour about Detroit's play.
"Sometimes when you are at home, you want to impress the crowd," he said. "You want to make things happen. But they are a patient team and sometimes you have to play patient as well. They were a better team tonight. They played the way a team is supposed to play in the Stanley Cup finals and we didn't. We played sloppy."
Kirk Maltby, who gave Detroit a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, repeated the same four words many of his teammates did: "It's just one game."
"We knew it was going to be tough," Maltby said. "We're going to just have to put it behind us."