Preseason Game Recap: Red Wings 4 - Blackhawks 1

One night after losing to Chicago in overtime to open the preseason, the Wings welcomed the Hawks to the Joe for a rematch. In reversing the talent disparity from the previous game, the Wings had their top two lines and pairs running against a Chicago squad that was using Andrew Shaw as their top line center. Things should have been a mismatch, but preseason is about figuring things out.

First Period:

Things were going pretty well for the first three shifts until the Hawks pin Detroit's fourth line deep for what feels like 90 seconds, but Mrazek stands tall. Things settle for a bit until some meatsack I've never heard of took a run at Richards and then fell down when Richards retaliated, then fell down again when Richards retaliated again. Despite the four minutes of power play (bookending two minutes of 4-on-4 thanks to Tomas Jurco drawing a call), the Wings were able to hold Chicago off the boards. Finally, halfway through the frame, Jakub Kindl drops a nice pass up to Tomas Tatar exiting the Wings' zone. Tatar, Richards, and Jurco cross through center with speed, forcing the Hawks' defense back and giving themselves space to do a crossover move. The Hawks' D bites hard on Richards, leaving Tatar wide open for a pass that gets him into the slot for a shot that gets by Crawford just as Jurco arrives at the net-front.

Period ends 1-0 with shots 13-5 in favor of the Hawks.

Standout players: Jurco, Tatar, Richards, Green, DeKeyser
Tough period: Kronwall, Aubry, Hoggan, Frk

Second Period:

The second was a fairly boring and frustrating period for most of the 20 minutes. The Wings had trouble keeping pucks on their sticks, working on their breakout, and staying out of the box, as Kindl and Jurco both took bad feet-not-moving type penalties. Quincey also got himself rocked turning into a hit in his own zone as Liambas came hunting for him. Both teams switch out their goalies just after the ten minute mark, so Mrazek gets away with no goals allowed on the night. Unfortunately, Coreau can't say the same thing; he stands tall well for most of a PP, but Andrew Shaw beats him from the circle with a Bickell screen in front. Fortunately, shortly after the goal, the Wings get a power play and Kronwall finds Abdelkader behind the D for a breakaway that he roofs past Michael Leighton to put the Wings back up 2-1. A few minutes later, Kronwall makes a bad pass across the Chicago blue line that gives Bickell a near-break because it takes Ericsson two days to realize the pass isn't good. The Wings get a penalty in the last minute as Tangradi crushes a guy and Svedberg gets mad enough to take a roughing call.

Period ends 2-1 Detroit with shots 21-10 in favor of the Hawks (woof)

Standout players: Mrazek, Coreau, Abdlekader, Tangradi
Tough period: Kronwall, Kindl, Quincey

Third Period:

The third started ugly as the Wings waste a minute of PP and almost give up a goal, but then things settle and Detroit finds their game. 4:24 into the period, Tatar makes it 3-1 on his second goal of the night as Richards comes up the left wing and fires from a sharp angle. Leighton lets it behind him and Tatar is there to pop it into the open net. The Wings do a pretty good job carrying the play for much of the rest of the period and Abdelkader absolutely blasts some guy in his own zone to create transition for the Wings. About 3/4ths of the way through the period, DeKeyser makes a real bad pass to turn it over in front of Coreau, but gets bailed out. Shortly after that, Hoggan takes a penalty, but the Wings kill it off. In the last two minutes, Chicago pulls Leighton for the extra man. Detroit's defense remains strong and Tatar is able to net the hat trick after Richards helps him get it to center ice. Detroit skates away the last of the period and it's game over.

Final: 4-1 Wings. Shots end up 31-25 in favor of the losers.

Standout players: Jurco, Hoggan, Tatar, Richards
Tough period: nobody

Other Observations

Tomas Jurco didn't do a great deal in the offensive zone, being the net-front setup guy for Richards & Tatar, but he played really well in his own zone and was one of the most noticeable players for the Wings shorthanded.

Mitch Callahan showed great hustle in this game and had a few chances, but couldn't bang home any rebounds.

Mike Green is really good and Tomas Nosek looked ready.

We're awesome.