Guys, I’m torn. On one hand, we need to tank. On the other, I still hate Chicago. This is like a lose-lose situation, or maybe win-win? I don’t know, like I said very torn here. One thing I’m not torn on is the fact that Mike Tirico will be calling his very first hockey game tonight so I am pumped for that. Anyways enough about me, to the game we go.
Ward vs. Howard. Larkin vs. Strome. 1st line with a nice chance early as Bert just threw one on goal that Ward never saw, but eventually held on to. Quick chance in front and the Hawks score. A lazy play between Hronek and Howard behind the net allowed Anisimov to steal and wrap it in. 1-0 Chicago. Detroit controlling more of the play since the opening goal, including chances from AA and Bertuzzi, but no luck. Holy moly somehow the Wings don’t score. Mantha hit Larkin wide and he was robbed by Ward as he cut in front. Oh, never mind. Now they score! Larkin settled a bouncing puck in the slot a few seconds later and fired one home. 1-1. And the Hawks top line almost answers as Toews and Kane play catch and Kane somehow couldn’t score on a wide open net. 1st TV timeout.
Top line doing work again. Constant pressure from Bert, Mantha and Larkin, but only the one goal to show for from them for now. Hayden and Mantha going after it and please dear lord Mantha don’t fight again. Blackhawks top line responds with a ton of pressure of their own, but Howard stood tall. 2nd TV timeout. Blackhawks score. Kronwall couldn’t settle the puck at center when he pinched and Brandon Saad was able to walk right in on a 2-on-1. 2-1 Chicago. Detroit’s top line with more pressure, but not a lot of great chances, just lots of zone time in Chicago’s end. Final TV timeout.
First line out again right out of the timeout and Green’s shot almost went in from the blue line with Bertuzzi wreaking havoc in front. Now Chicago’s top line doing all the work, notice a trend here? And they score. Mid-change for the Hawks and Alex DeBrincat caps off a nice passing sequence in the Wings zone between Gustafsson and Strome. 3-1 Blackhawks. 3-on-1 now for that Hawks 2nd line and DeBrincat passed it back to Strome instead of shooting it and that messed up their chance. Things are ugly now for Detroit. Finally, the Wings top line back out and they almost capitalize. Bert found Daley who once again found a streaking Larkin in on Ward. No goal, but a penalty on Anisimov for taking down Daley as he passed it. Oh my word how did Mantha not score? Larkin found Mantha with a WIDE OPEN net and it somehow didn’t go in. Replay shows he just jammed it on the post, unreal. Ras with a chance in front off a Green shot, but Ward made the save. Nothing else. 27 seconds of carry over time on the PP. Tough 1st (or good 1st if your pro tank).
Shots: 15-7 DET
Score: 3-1 DET
Missed call at the end of the 1st as Vanek was high-sticked off the face-off, just now informing you of it, my bad. Drake Caggiula also out for the game as Toews caught him with a high-stick early in this one. No luck on the rest of the PP for Detroit. 2-on-1 between Kane and Toews and Kane scores, point streak extended. Crap, the one thing I really wanted to end. 4-1 Chicago. Bernier in. The Blackhawks now have 12 goals on their last 27 shots according to Eddie O, so that’s fun. LGD denied on his pass attempt on a 2-on-1 by a diving Gustav Forsling, that looks good for the 3 Leafs scouts there I’m sure. Bert-Larkin-Mantha threatening once more, but once again nothing to show for it. Tons of pressure every time they are on the ice. Refs missed too-many-men on Chicago too, so we should get 2 make up calls now I believe. 1st TV timeout nearly halfway into the 2nd.
Not much in between the TV timeouts as we hit the 2nd just 1:30 later. Larkin was tripped on a race for the puck, Forsling to the box, Wings to the PP. Slashing is actually the call. Another missed called as AA was tripped. The refs really couldn’t be worse tonight. Not much for the Red Wings on the PP and this is really starting to feel like the 4-1 game it is. AA with a nice pick pocket of Kane to start a 2-on-1 the other way, but he never got his pass across to Vanek. Final TV timeout.
Rasmussen to the box for tripping with 1:55 left in the 2nd. Lots of fake shots on this PP between Kane and DeBrincat. No real great chances for Chicago on the PP and that does it for the 2nd. 5 seconds of carry over time for Chicago. Can we call it after 2 Periods?
Shots: 20-12 DET
Score: 4-1 CHI
Slow start to the 3rd and my only hope is this doesn’t get even more ugly because this team just looks disinterested. Toews with a knee-on-knee collision with Larkin as they cross path’s. Need a replay to see if it was dirty, although it is Toews so its obviously possible. Haha, Larkin scores! That’s how you get back at Toews. Daley went in behind the goal, threw it in front, and it’s D-Boss’s 2nd. 4-2 Chicago. Wings buzzing a bit now and Gustafsson sends one out of play, another Red Wings PP. THEY SCORE AGAIN! Athanasiou on the PP. 4-3!! Mantha intended a slap pass for Vanek (who shockingly missed it), it bounced off the back boards right to AA who semi-picked up the puck and put it home. HOLY SCRAMBLE. The puck bounced awkwardly on goal and somehow Nyquist and Helm couldn’t get it passed a sprawling Ward. The Red Wings are awake and then some. Also of note, Larkin/Bertuzzi have more shots than the Hawks at this point. Haha, Kane going to the box now for tripping Dekeyser. 1st TV timeout.
Top unit right back out there on the PP. Couple of good looks, but no luck. Now Kruger misses the net for Chicago with a great chance in front. Bertuzzi slapped one in from center, Mantha picked it right up and fired a slap shot, but Ward made the save. 2nd TV timeout. Blackhawks are starting to realize there’s still more hockey to be played and the ice is tilting. Toews steals at the blue line, but Bernier stopped him on the 2-on-1. Red Wings top line answering once again as all the play is in the Blackhawks zone. Final TV timeout.
Top line right back out there for Detroit, well deserved too. Larkin with a chance 1-on-1 because of that speed, but Koekkoek with a great play to disrupt Larkin’s shot. 2 minutes to go, Bernier out. Larkin hit AA who was ALL ALONE in the slot coming on for Bernier and he missed the net. HUGE scramble and somehow still nothing. SCOOOOORESS!!!! Green fans on the shot attempt from the point, Mantha picked it up, passed it across to AA and he ties it 4-4!!!! Larkin and AA have 2 goals each, Mantha has 4 assists. This has the classic feel of comeback, get a point, lose in OT. And lucky us, we’ll get that chance. Overtime up next.
Score: 32-17 DET
AA, Larkin, Dekeyser start. They control first, but no luck and back comes Toews and Kane. Red Wings ice it now too, not good. Mantha with a HUGE burst down ice and almost blew past everyone to win it. 2-on-1 with AA and Daley now and Ward makes the save. And the Hawks win. Toews had a chance past AA on a breakaway, missed, picked it up gave it to Gustafsson who sent it across to a wide open Kane. 5-4 Blackhawks. I give up with this team.