That was disappointing.
The Red Wings have no one to blame but themselves either.
The game seemed to flow back-and-forth at the start with each team having the momentum and the chances for a few minutes. It seemed as the game went on the Hawks controlled the play and by the third period they did what they wanted pretty much. At one point in the third, I thought 'Jesus, we can't do anything if we don't have the puck," and that was when it was still 2-2. Chicago played their puck possession game and Detroit wasn't able to dictate the play as the game moved on.
Where were the big guns? Toews and Hossa and Keith were all quite noticeable on the ice and making things happen for their team. Datsyuk seemed off tonight. Zetterberg hit the post late, but otherwise didn't play the best game. Filppula? Hudler? Franzen? Hello?
This is the second straight game where the Wings have played a top Western Conference team (the other being Vancouver) and we've heard all the pregame stories about it being a big game and a measuring stick for them and how much they respect how good the other team is...and...well...they played like crap with very little visible effort in both games. Stop talking about respect and measuring sticks and just go out their kick ass. It's still mid-season and there are five more games against Chicago, but games right now matter in a tight race. You lose the division by two points and it's the crap effort in December that you look back on and wish you played better. These games are the difference between being the top seed in the conference and being fourth.
- The Wings were the better team to start they game. While they didn't dominate by any means, it seemed like they controlled the flow of the game more so than the Blackhawks. Detroit's goal game on a great drive to the net by Justin Abdelkader. Brad Stuart took the puck up ice along with Cleary and Miller. Miller's shot sat out all alone in front of Crawford and the scrum in front and Abby crashed the net and was rewarded for doing so. He popped in his first goal since November 18 against the Kings. He went a whole 18 games without a goal. Hopefully he can break out a little bit.
- The first period was probably the worst period of hockey from Nicklas Lidstrom all season. In fact, it might have been the worst period of hockey in his career? Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit there but he surely didn't look good. He looked slow at times up against the Hawks' speed and Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews made him work his ass of out there. You know how he makes it look so simple? Yeah...well it didn't look that simple in the first.
- Toews' penalty shot goal was lame. Yeah, Lidstrom tapped him on the elbow but it was hardly a hook. In real time, Toews' elbow goes back right around the same time Lidstrom's stick was there and I can see why it might have looked like a hook at game speed. At second look it was more of Toews just moving to try to make a move more so than a hook. Tough call for the refs and rather lame. Lidstrom would come back and actually give Toews a legit hook (and quite possibly a goal saver) at the end of the first to give Chicago a power play.
- Wings killed off some second period penalties and Petrella's three favorite players combined to give the Detroit the lead once again. Mike Commodore ripped off a nice shot after a pass from Ericsson. The shot was deflected into the back of the net by Todd Bertuzzi. I'm pro-Kindl, but Commie and Shitbox played pretty solid in this game. If they can continue to play some solid hockey like they did tonight, add in a little more physicality to their play, I think it can be a real good third pair (can't believe I just typed that).
- Marian Hossa is good. It would be cool if the Wings still had him. Hop in your DeLorean and travel back to 2009, with what we know now, Hossa or Mule, who you taking?
- Lidstrom played better in the second and third period.
- It's official that Johan Franzen is in one of his cold streaks.
- I thought Nyquist showed some flashes of his great instincts and skill. All of Detroit's penalties kind of killed the rolling of the four lines. The entire Griffins line had some energy tonight and play decent. I'd love to see Goose get some time with more skilled linemates. Send Mule a message, drop him down a line and put Nyquist with Datsyuk and Bertuzzi. It won't happen, but take advantage of the kids skills.
- The refs didn't cost the Wings this game. The Wings deserved a lot of the stupid penalties they got (looking at you Mule and Bert). But five power plays to one? Like I said, the Wings deserved their five, but I have a hard time imagining that the Hawks only committed one foul all game.
- Fuck you, Chicago.