The Red Wings and Blackhawks meet up in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings lead the series 1-0 after their 5-2 win Sunday.
A couple items to watch coming into this game:
* Will Joel Quenneville give more ice time to his phenoms Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? In Game 1, Kane finished with 15:13 in 23 shifts and no shots, while Toews had 14:45 in 22 shifts. Both finished at -3. While you can argue that it's their first playoffs in the spotlight, the phrase "Baptism By Fire" comes to mind. Kane said Monday that "I'm not out there to be blocking shots and fighting guys." This was immediately followed by the observation that the sun continues to rise in the east.
* How much more can Nikolai Khabibulin do? The Blackhawk defense was porous in Game 1, giving up 43 shots. Khabibulin was the sole reason the Blackhawks were still in the game late. Surely Quenneville discussed defense with his team yesterday.
* Chris Osgood was good but not great in Game 1. The first Blackhawk goal was very sloppy. On a couple of plays Osgood came so far out of the net, a Blackhawks player was behind him with an open shot.
* The parade of line changes we saw in Game 1 for Mike Babcock may continue. It's not quite a random draw, but it sure does feel like it.
* Finally, Detroit has to be more careful with giveaways. The edge was 6-0 after the first period, ending up with 11-1 in the game. You can get away with sloppy play sometimes, but not all the time.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. ET on Versus (US) and TSN (Canada). See you back here then.