DETROIT - The Red Wings are too old to win. They aren't tough enough. The star players have lost a step and are shells of their former selves. Right?
Or maybe they've still got it. Maybe they are still a threat for the cup. Maybe they're lying in wait, just looking for the right time to push down on the gas a little harder. The one thing that isn't a maybe is that game 4 is the most important game of the season ... so far.
Game 4 represents hope for the Wings. If they lose it, I would contend they lose hope. If they win, hope has never been greater. In that respect it is do or die. It isn't that the Wings can't win 3 in a row. In is not that the spirit of the team will be destroyed. It will however be damaged enough to let doubt creep in. When that happens, legs get tired faster, minds start to wander off and the idea of defeat is planted.
For me it's simple; win or pack your bags. I know people don't want to hear it, but these Wings aren't he Wings of 2008. They are good. Good enough to contend for the Stanley Cup, but I don't see them as a team that has the ability to bounce back. Not with older legs and inconsistent scoring.
It's not over. Win game 4 and who knows what happens from there. Lose and ... well ... you know.