A look at whats going on as far as reactions around the internet/league to the Game 2 OT win by the Wings:
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun may have found the best way to describe the Chicago loss:
But the truth is, this was the backbreaker, the dagger, the killer.
- I think he's right too. The Blackhawks outhustled, outskated, outsmarted...nearly everything but outscored the Wings and it wasn't enough. Toews came through in the biggest way possible but still was unable to tie the series up. It wasn't just the fact that it was a loss that hurts Chicago, but it was an overtime loss off of a lazy turnover in their offensive zone.
Matt Saler of On The Wings talks up Sammy, his game winner, and 3rd line production:
Did anyone pick Samuelsson to score the winner? Anyone? Looking back at it now, it makes perfect sense. A good Sammy just takes some getting used to. That’s just one more way in which this run is turning conventional thinking in Detroit on its head. He’s been a big part of the other head scratcher, the whole third-line-as-first-line thing.
- I didn't pick Sammy for the gamewinner but picked him to score. He's been a big part of the success this year and is doing so quietly. Can we just keep all of our free agents somehow?
Winging It In Motown member MotownSarge offers some good analysis of the game overall:
Most of what I saw was a Chicago team that was playing Detroit better on both sides of the puck for a large chunk of the game. They were getting to the puck faster, they were controlling the puck and the pace of play much better, and they were spending way too much time in the Detroit zone. It was Osgood (is there REALLY any more question about his worthiness to be the net-minder for the defending Stanley Cup champs?) that kept the Wings in this one. Hopefully this game will be a wake-up call to the Wings. Their luck is about to run out.
- Hard to put it much better than that. He's not getting nearly the amount of credit he deserves but The Wizard of Oz has been exceptional in net. He's kept the puck out of the net and given his offense a chance to win. More on this in a bit.
Lidstrom's 4 minutes in the box last night--what thuggery!--allowed Kronwall and Stuart to fill some time. Kronner got 25 minutes of action and made the most of it; 4 hits, 2 blocked shots, and 2 takeaways. Stuart blocked 4 shots, 2 hits, a takeaway and was able to jump on the odd-man rush a few times in 24 minutes of time. Oh, Lidstrom did pretty well for himself too; assisting on Rafalski's goal and blocking a shot in 24+ minutes.
Datsyuk and Hossa combined for 10 of the 38 shots on goal but only had the Datsyuk face-off win as an assist to show for it. I'm not going to dwell on this all that much, everyone knows by now (they know by now) that there is little production. They're getting good chances just not the breaks they need for the puck in the net. Good thing the second-fourth lines are producing right?
Detroit made the most of the turnover and faceoff battle as all three goals were direct result of this. Rafalski's goal came off the Datsyuk faceoff win, Wings won 33 of 61 (54%) faceoffs. Cleary and Sammy's goals came off of turnovers that created a 1 on 0 or 3 on 1 breakouts, Wings tallied 11 takeaways. Goals win games, puck possession wins Cups.
Ozzie had some good words for the 'Hawks offense:
"Well, they come at you from every angle," Osgood said. "They're so fast. Every line has a guy that can score. Obviously, their defense is offensive. They're quick. They all have very good shots. For me, I can't let up for a second against anybody that's on the ice. Even the guys that don't have as much scoring prowess throw pucks to the net, crash the net.
And he's right. This is really the first team the Wings have faced that has a scorer on every line. Yeah, you could probably pick someone from the Ducks but not as consistently this season as the Blackhawks players have been. Ozzie has the right attitude in this series about not letting up for a second, part of the reason he hasn't allowed a goal that's really stopable. Through 2 games and 4 goals, none of them were really ones that Oz had much chance on. Even last night's goals, Toews first goal went off his own man's skate and in and the second one off a deflection, something I can never blame a goalie for missing. Hopefully Oz keeps up what he's been doing.