The Red Wings lead the Lightning two games to one. They can lose every remaining road game and still win the series. But if the Red Wings advance, “winning” won’t be the right word.
The Lightning are too fast for the Red Wings. They’re just as deep offensively and have a better-skilled defense corps.
They’ve outshot Detroit in every game thus far. The Red Wings took 37.6 percent of the total shots through the first three games, the lowest amount of any team in any playoff series. Detroit’s Corsi For percentage for the series is 43.3 percent, the lowest of any team in the playoffs.
This wouldn’t be winning. This would be stealing.
The playoffs are the enemy of advanced stats. If Tampa Bay played Detroit in a series to infinity minus one, Tampa Bay would win. But the two teams play just seven games. That’s a long time to us, especially when dragged over two weeks. Put that against infinity minus one, though, and it’s the smallest fraction you can imagine.
Pucks can bounce one way for an entire series. Hell, they don’t even need to do that. All it takes is one bounce in one game. Since this sport is played by humans, negative human emotions like doubt, worry, and nervousness and/or positive human emotions like confidence and belief can take that one bounce and turn it into a series-long moment.
It takes only one to start having irrational feelings of confidence to change the series. The Red Wings might have a guy who can do it. His name is Petr Mrazek.