Teary exit for Wings

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:05 PM ET


 Brendan Shanahan was near tears moments after being eliminated from the NHL playoffs last night by the Calgary Flames.

 It was the end of the line for his Detroit Red Wings this spring and perhaps the end of an era for the nucleus of the three-time Stanley Cup champions in the last seven years.

 "We lost," said Shanahan. "That's an upset and it's a huge disappointment to all of us. But I don't think anybody can question the desire or the character of this team. Better not to me."

 But it will likely be questioned by the Red Wings ownership, management and fans. The loss is the second straight unexpected exit in the playoffs for the high-payroll club that won the NHL title just two years ago.

 "Obviously, you look around the dressing room and the uncertainty with the league and you're just not sure what the summer's going to bring," said Wings veteran Kris Draper. "There's been a solid corps of hockey players with this team that's been a part of three Stanley Cup and you look around the room at what's going to happen. It's disappointing."

 In this series, the biggest disappointment came from last night's Game 6 shutout loss just two days after they were shut out in Game 5 on their home ice, both by 1-0 scores.

 "It's hard to win games when you don't score goals and it wasn't for a lack of chances," said Wings forward Kirk Maltby. "Goaltending was never a problem for us. At times, we struggled to score goals. And it killed us in these last two games not getting one."

 The absence of longtime leader Steve Yzerman was also a factor, although the Wings still boasted plenty of skill and offence.


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