Yesterday was the 133rd running of the Preakness and the horse racing world was on edge, hoping to not have a repeat of the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier. Eight Belles, the second place finisher in the Derby, broke both front legs after the race and had to be put down on the track. It was a sad sight, and one the sports world surely did not want to see again.
On Saturday night the second leg of horse racing's triple crown, the Preakness, concluded without any major problems. All the horses left the starting gate, and all of them finished. But tragedy would strike in a fashion eerily similar to Eight Belles, but it would not be on a race track. It would be at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
"We did all we could do for them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after his team's Game Five loss to the Dallas Stars. "For all intensive purposes, they were lifeless out there. They didn't show any heart out there. They didn't show any desire. To come out and play like that in front of the home fans is unacceptable."
Following their loss to the Stars, the Red Wings apparently broke down and were euthanized on the ice in front of their home fans. Young fans watched in horror, but it is just the nature of a vicious and violent sport. A sport that trains people to skate around on ice for entertainment, many times starting before they can walk. Saturday, the stark reality of ice hockey reared it's ugly head. The Red Wings looked sluggish and lifeless in Game Five, prompting a serious decision to me made. They have now let the Stars back in the series, but are still leading 3-2.
"We did all we could for them. At the end of the day, they were beyond saving," said Babcock. "It's especially hard to do it to the young ones. The older ones -- Hasek, Chelios -- this should have happened to them years ago."
When asked about what the game plan was for Game Six now that he was without a team, Babock responded with the typical dead pan coaching response.
"We're just going to take this one game at a time. We're still leading the series. Sure, this is going to make it that much harder, but we're going to come out and play some hockey on Monday."