I didn’t think we’d be in this position. Down 2-1 and another road game ahead of us is not an ideal place to be. However, nobody ever said winning the Stanley Cup would be easy. Tough loss to take because the Blackhawks really did play a pretty solid game. It was a classic Gordon Bombay game. ”Quarter of an inch the other way…” and the Hawks are sitting pretty with home ice advantage. So yeah, I am a little more worried, and Detroit is challenging the Hawks more than I expected, but I still like the Blackhawks to win this series.
-Everyone is up in arms about the disallowed Shaw goal. Obviously that sequence sucked the life out of the Hawks, but if we are being honest that was a 50-50 call. Shaw never touched him, but he also didn’t give Howard space to make the play. Real fine line. Could have been called either way. Just sucks that it was immediately followed by the Datsyuk goal which effectively ended the game.
-Speaking of the Datsyuk goal…lots of people sucking his dick after that play. Look it, I think Datsyuk is great and it was a fine move, but that was 100% on Crawford. Has to make that save. NEEDS TO MAKE THAT SAVE. No getting around it. Those are the kind of moments that can derail a Cup run. It happened last year against Phoenix and it happened again last night. He played well overall, but needs to make the saves he is supposed to make.
-The Powerplay went scoreless again last night, but I think it took major strides. The Hawks really seemed to put a new emphasis on net presence and shots. They had a few great scoring chances and generated momentum off of them. I like it. If the zone entries get a little better I think they start breaking through.
-Andrew Shaw….come on man. He needs to reel it in a little. I love his guts and his willingness to mix things up, but he is playing over the edge and it is costing the Hawks. Have to wonder if his reputation hurting him at this point. Does that goal get disallowed if it is Toews in front of the net instead of Shaw? My guess is no.
-Bickell really pissed me off yesterday too. Cleary was in his head and he took a stupid, selfish penalty at the end of the game. I like the fire, but being a winner in the playoffs is about picking your spots. The Detroit vets are doing a better job of that. He also tried to go 1 on 3 a couple of times and that led to turnovers. Know your role. Play within yourself.
-The top line of 20-19-81 played their best game of the series. They didn’t always play together as Coach Q was mixing things up, but they all had strong games. Saad was a beast. So strong on the puck. Really started using his wheels to attack the Detroit D. Toews was better, stronger, and generated chances. If his first shot goes in off the post its a different story today.
-Still need Kane to attack more. Dangle on guys. Make the D react to him. Pull them away and open up passing lanes. He is too deferential.
-Good game by Stalberg. That should secure his spot in the lineup. Handzus needs to be in the press box though. I don’t know what these “maintenance days” are all about, but it makes me think he is banged up. At this stage of his career he needs to 100% to be effective. I’d rather throw someone else in there that can skate because its not like Handzus is winning draws either.
Overall I liked the game the Hawks played. They need to do a better job on faceoffs, but everything else seems like it is coming together. This has been the best series to watch of the playoffs. Tremendous pace. Plenty of venom. I think the Hawks rebound and win the next two games. They are just about to break through. This is going to be a classic series. Perfect way to end the rivalry. Hawks in 7
PS: I now full out HATE the Wings so it’s hard for me to give them credit for anything, but I have to say…Drew Miller is a hero. Grey hair, don’t care. My dad went grey around 11 and I feel like my hair pigment is holding on for dear life at 27. Miller just rocks it proudly. Distinguished as fuck.