Blackhawks Dominate Game One, Beat Red Wings 4-1

Patrick Sharp posted three points and Corey Crawford was strong once again as the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead in their second round series against the Detroit Red Wings in Chicago on Wednesday night.

When the first period ended, the Blackhawks and Red Wings were tied 1-1 and Detroit had out-shot the Hawks 7-6. Marian Hossa scored a powerplay goal, but Damien Brunner brought the Wings back with a goal less than two minutes later.

The next 40 minutes of hockey were dominated by the Blackhawks.

Chicago allowed only 14 shots on net in the second and third periods, all of which were kept out of the net by Corey Crawford (and Brent Seabrook in one case). Crawford stopped 20 of 21 shots in the game and made a number of key saves while the skaters in front of him opened the game up.

In the final two periods, Chicago out-shot Detroit 36-14, but the Hawks didn’t begin to pull away until the middle of the final period.

It wasn’t until over eight minutes into the third period that the Hawks were able to break the tie. Johnny Oduya, who played a solid all-around game on Wednesday night, scored the eventual game-winner. Oduya finished the game plus-three, with the game-winning goal, one blocked shot and one takeaway.

Marcus Kruger scored Chicago’s third goal of the night a little more than three minutes after Oduya’s tally, and Sharp added his sixth goal of this postseason into an empty net with less than one minute remaining in regulation. Kruger played another good defensive game, leading the still-perfect Hawks penalty kill unit. However, he lost all 11 of his faceoffs in the game.

Bryan Bickell, skating on a new-look third line with Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw, led the Hawks with five hits in the contest. Both Bolland and Michal Handzus won seven of 11 faceoffs, while both Bolland and Shaw served four penalty minutes.

Sharp led the team with seven shots on net, while Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were each credited with an assist in the game. Toews won 11 of 21 faceoffs as well.

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43 Responses to Blackhawks Dominate Game One, Beat Red Wings 4-1

  1. Dave says:

    Howard was terrific in the game!

  2. Fun to watch the boys play as well as they did tonight. The forecheck and the aggressive d-men made things miserable for the Wings.

    It just felt like a matter of time, but so good to get a well deserved win.

    It feels like the Hawks caught a break in not running into one of the bruising, hit at all costs teams in the first couple rounds. Skating with Detroit in “normal” physical games is fun to watch and keeps the players fresh.

    Excited for Saturday.

  3. Sr. Brad says:

    Great team game by the Hawks…very good intensity the whole way through…excellent job by Q with his line matchups and keeping everyone fresh.

    But let’s face it, this game was mostly about Jimmy Howard…if he doesn’t play lights out goaltending it could easily finished 8-9 to 1…literally…that’s great goaltending.

    CC was okay, but he was his own worst enemy again tonight with poor rebound control. Seabrook saved his bacon late in the 3rd when CC gave up a rebound on a shot that he had no business allowing to go free. He needs to look sharper from here on.

    Benching Stahlberg for Carcillo was ridiculous…Car Bomb played an uneventful 6 minutes in the game, while the Hawks could have utilized VS’s speed and skill.

    Patrick Sharp was unbelievable all game long…he is having a wonderful playoffs and looks healthy and refreshed.

    I thought Q’s “benching” of Saad backfired a little…while Brandon played another very good game, he was very wooden in the offensive zone and that may have cost him a goal or two.

    Finally, bring back Stahlberg to the 3rd line with Shaw and Bickell, move Bolland to the 4th line centre spot and push Kruger out to the wing…even on a horrible night, a good centreman wins at least 40% of his draws…Kruger was 0 for 11. The Hawks are a great team, and played a great game, but they can still be significantly better.

  4. McKay says:

    Great game from the Hawks. Every line contributed. After they got the butterflies out in the first period, they settled into a really nice game.

    Saad did not start the game well. “Wooden” is a good way to describe him. Handzus did not play well early either. Those two were the missing links on their respective lines game until about half way through the second.

    Bolland took the most stupid penalty I’ve ever seen all season / Alberkader took the best penalty I’ve ever seen. Chicago is about to come back on a full line change with Detroit caught and Bolland gets dragged into that bull shit. Bolland played a nice game but fuck, that can’t happen at that point in the game.

    I really hope Stalberg has served his time and gets back into the line-up. As captains, Toews/Sharp need to do something with him to get him to apologize to Q/Bowman/the entire team or whatever to get him back on the ice.

    Hawks adjusted incredibly well btw 1 & 2. They’re too fast and athletic for Detroit to contain. I expect Detroit to come out and play scrappier to try to slow down the Hawks in game 2.

  5. McKay says:

    Forgot to mention… wow Kane and Hossa are on fire.

    That half slap shot of Hossa’s is ridiculously dirty. To fire off a shot with that velocity when your stick is only cocked back as far as your calf—that takes ridiculous strength. He’s had two of those this playoffs now. Love it.

  6. Mike says:

    Rosival played a great game as well. I hope the Hawks find a way to keep him.

    It would have been nice to see Bolland score on the break away. Other than the stupid penalty, I thought Bolland played OK. The Hawks will need him in what is bound to be a tighter game Saturday.

    Saad missed a couple of golden opportunities. His inexperience showed a little bit. However, you have to give him credit as he helped create those chances. He will be a 20 goal scorer in the next year or two.

    Great game all around. Toews numbers might not be great on the score sheet but he is doing an outstanding job of keeping offense zone time. A great captain doing what he needs to do.

    Stalberg…..I agree. Whatever the situation is, Stalberg needs to help make it right and get himself back into the lineup. But I will say I appreciate the “effort” Carcillo put out last night. I am sure he wants more time too. Instead of whining, he went out and played hard to the best of his abilities.

    Sharp, wow. When in an interview he said he hates the Wings he must not be kidding. A physical Sharp is great to see.

  7. TJ says:

    I feel as though Bickell has been very important in the Hawks playoff success thus far. He has been skating well and laying some devastating hits. I believe he has played well enough that some team will likely throw a nice looking contract offer at him. I know he has stated he wants to stay in Chicago but I think he has earned the chance to see what others may offer. I do not believe we will see him back in Chicago next year. Any thoughts?

  8. wall says:

    Hossa was great, Sharp great, Rosey and the Rat , 16,were very good…
    Only real negative — Shaw has to get better control of Stick and Elbows… the only way Wings score a lot vs. Hawks in Series is on PP… They did have a few Grade A chances on PP.

    In this series- Zus needs to be dropped to 4th line or benched- He is a liability skating back on D- Datsyuk broke Zus’s ankles a couple of times last nite…

    Put 36 on 2nd line- 25 back on 3rd- and Cbomb/Zus on 4th… I actually thought Cbomb was effective in his limited roll… More importantly -he is not taking bad penalties.

    Lastly- on the Brightside- Now that 25 is pretty much not coming back next year (which Sucks/ love his speed)- Hawks can make a small short term offer to Rosey- perhaps 2-3 yr. for around 2-2.5 M… but I bet he gets better offers. I am really impressed with his IQ/Patience… and for sure he is the 1 D-man on Hawks that will take a Hit to win the Puck behind net!!!

  9. Tab Bamford says:

    It’s amazing what 12 months & a nearly-fully healthy roster can do for a team… last spring, a hot netminder frustrated a banged-up Hawks team and they lost to an inferior Coyotes team. This year, if the Wild or Wings (BDubs?) have kept a game close, the Hawks have imposed their will in the third period of almost every game. The defense has slammed the door most nights and Crawford has made the 2-3 big saves many thought he wouldn’t. When you’re putting 40+ shots on net, even the best performances by an opposing goaltender won’t be enough, and that was the case for Howard last night. He was the Wings’ best player, and the only reason they hung around as long as they did. Top-to-bottom dominant performance.

    re: Shaw taking dumb penalties – a veteran team is going to find a youngster to pick on to get their advantages, and it looks like DET has singled out Shaw. I prefer that he continues playing with an edge, even if that means he goes to the box every once in a while.

    re: Handzus – he’s around to win faceoffs, and last night he won the majority of his opportunities at the dot. I like the Hawks having 5-6 guys in the lineup that can take a draw, especially w/ the number of guys getting tossed off the dot this postseason. As we discussed when Handzus was acquired, his role will likely be very similar to how Quenneville used John Madden in 2010.

  10. Tim G says:

    So im about sound off here…

    First, hats off to Howard. For everything we threw at him, he played well, but in the end, the Hawks did what they do best which is make people pay for little mistakes. The first pentaly led to the Hossa goal. On the Oduya goal, the DET winger (can’t remember who) pinched down to trap Sharp and left Oduya WIDE open. Then, on the Kruger goal, Howard got cute, didn’t take the whistle and we buried it. That was a great performance. We have a winning recipe. lets stick with it.

    Stalberg will get back in. Carcillo did ok… but obviously nothing to warrent keeping him in. I wouldn’t be against Brad proposal of moving 36 to the 4th and putting 25 back on the 3rd line. I would stay the course with our “normal lines” for G2, but Saad is clearly still wet behind the ears in term of the playoffs, as others have also mentioned. I wonder if Q would juggle him off the top line. If 25 wasn’t in the doghouse, that would be an option, but it would be highly unlikely at this point, IMO.

    TJ- I dont think Bickell will demand a huge contract. To me we can compare this to a similar player (Brouwer). Brouwer was a 30-40 point player with a 1.025 mil cap hit. He got a raise up to 2.35Mil, and after a average 1st year in WAS, he had 33 points in 47 games this year now playing on the 2nd line. Bickell had 24 points this year (wich pushed out to a full season would put him in the 35-40 range like Brouwer was. If we offer Bicks 1.5-1.8 mil per/2-3yrs, he should take that to be a 3rd liner. Stay on a top team and produce. No one at this time would give him more than the 2.35 Brouwer number. (ESPECIALLY with the lower cap). A player of his talents is valuable to a team, but in this cap market, the huge payday wont be there for a 3rd liner, unless someone plans to use him in the top 6 (which i dont see happening). Untimately i think we get a deal done that everyone can live with. I feel less confident about 25 though. He can be a top 6 to someone. He can get a Versteeg type contract (3.5-4 mil). We cant pay that for a 3rd liner. I would like to keep him around, but if we cant and he wants to leave, he can (even though i like him). 8/16/29 should be resigned first IMO. We have some kids who can play (smith/morin/ or even pirri with shaw on the wing) and while they can’t replace his speed, theycan replace what he does (30-40 points). The 3rd line will have to attack a little diffently without 25, but they can be successful.

  11. RyanDale says:

    Some good takes here. No question Howard kept them in the game. We were patient and it paid off in the end. I always feel you need to establish your intentions for the game early on in each period and it seemed our effort was good and consistent throughout the game. We came out quick and I never really felt we were losing control of the game, particularly in the 2nd-3rd periods. We were relentless in the forecheck and getting shots on net. We play our game like that and we will be fine. The PK continues to shine and a PP goal gave us a win in the spec teams dept. It was a great game for us. Easily our best game of this playoff . The likelihood of Detroit knocking us off 4 times in the next 6 games is pretty darn small folks. Sharpie has always been pretty streaky scorer, hope this one is his ‘longest’ ever!

    Brad Sr posted about the 3rd/4th line situations and I agree. Hope to see it in G2

  12. JS says:

    Talking about next year right now seems to be silly. You can’t fall in love with 3rd and 4th liners and overpay them. The Hawks have a plethora of talent in the system will come in and put up the same numbers these current guys are. In case you’ve had your head under a rock for the last 3 years, Bowman has made it pretty clear how he wants to run the franchise.

    Rosival doesn’t have a roster spot next year. Love him now. Be happy for him when he hoists the Cup. Be ready to see him in another sweater next year.

    On to last nights game!

    You guys watched Saad play last night, right? He was all over the place creating opportunities and just couldn’t bury the puck. Why is it ok for Kane and Toews to not score goals but it isn’t ok for Saad? The guy dominated last night and if you didn’t notice that you need to re-watch the game.

    How do the Wings slow down the Hawks? They don’t have the bangers to try to attack the defense behind the goal line. They don’t have the depth in their defense core to try to keep the the Hawks in front of them. What do they do? This is why I expected the series to go 5 games. Detroit doesn’t have any answers for the Hawks unless Shaw continues to take stupid penalties.

    By the way, I predicted a much better PP this series and they are on the way to proving me right! Just need Howard to not have many more games like that.

  13. Tab Bamford says:

    How dominant were the Hawks last night?

    Here are the 5-on-5 shots for-against for the Hawks’ top 6 forwards in Game One (we’ll include both Bolland & Handzus):

    Toews: 16-4
    Hossa: 15-4
    Saad: 13-5
    Kane: 16-4
    Sharp: 14-4
    Handzus: 13-6
    Bolland: 5-4

    Also, Chicago’s third defensive pair of Rozsival & Oduya were both 16-4… The pressure on Howard was intense from the Hawks’ top players last night, and it paid off. Huge statistical night for Sharp w/ 3 points, but the pressure from the top tier players opens the door for others to score. Last night, Kruger was on the ice for only 5:59 of even strength and scored a goal. Oduya also scored a goal, and it was the second postseason tally for each of them.

  14. Negzz says:

    Great game and perfect example of why drawing DET is the perfect development for this years playoffs. Hawks won every facet of the game, Wings were clearly not ready for the pace after their 7 games with ANA. But jeez, why all the hate for Carcillo? In a 2-1 game that was still tight due to Howards play leading the way, CBomb forechecks, chops the puck off the net and out of the pack and makes the Kruger goal happen by attacking and hacking away with Howard and their D. Without Carcillo’s play that goal does not happen. 3-1 Hawks. Game over. If anyone else had done so they’d be a hero hailed for their huste and net presence. On this site he’s not even mentioned on Krugers goal and ridiculed for being in the lineup. Too funny.

    As for Stalbergs benching, yes everyone’s favorite #25 has speed and is fun to watch, but is a poor backchecker, has trouble finishing and turns the puck over a lot in neutral ice. As such, Stalberg saw his time reduced by Q due to his play in the Wild series, and was then benched last night for insubordination. In my view, he was replaced, effectively, by Bolland (who had one of his better games in 2013 to date). Will be interesting to see who/what gets shuffled after last nights effort.

    In game-2 on Sat, DET will come back more physical and try to get Hawks off their game , and we’ll need to keep our heads up when up when Abdukater and Franzen are trolling, but we should handle this series if CC stays steady by overwhelming them the Wings prefer to play an uptempo game anyway (just not nearly as well as Hawks do.) If Hawks keep pushing the pedal harder and challenging themselves to play better in prep for LA/SJ, this will be done in 5.

  15. Dickie Dunn says:

    “…need to keep our heads up when up when Abdukater and Franzen are trolling” – yes, follow Roszival’s example.

  16. Dickie Dunn says:

    Bolland looked close to his “old self” – his contribution could be big the rest of the way…

    I think Saad played well. Agree Carcillo should get a little credit for helping on Kruger’s goal.

    One down, three to go…

    Go Hawks!!!

  17. 'hawks58 says:

    Negzz: Stalberg’s minutes were not reduced in the Wild series at even strength, he was simply taken off the PP (where he isn’t all that effective anyway; 2 pts as the 2nd unit RW all season). He is an effective defender, he was only on the ice for 9 (nine!!) even strength goals all season. Sure he was played in a protected role, but so was Shaw and Bickell and both saw more goals go in than he did. He was better than Shaw and Bickell in GA/60 last year too. Eventually, when a guy continually puts up average to above average defensive numbers, you have to give him credit. Stalberg is at the very least a more than capable defender.

    [sarcasm]I think Q benched him because he knew the hawks would be too good with him out there. Playing Car Bomb made things at least a little challenging and kept the team ‘engaged’ [/sarcasm]

    Seriously though, any ‘reason’ that is given for playing Carcillo over Stalberg does not hold water. Carcillo provides ‘energy’ through his hits and ‘greasy’ play? Oh, how about the energy provided by Stalberg as he blows by the defense and creates an opportunity, plus he can forecheck and hit too. Stalberg doesn’t play defense? Yeah he does, but even if he didn’t Carcillo is not the model of defensive consistency. He’s a 200 lb, out of control wrecking ball that is just as likely to sacrifice his positioning to make a hit as he is to create a turnover. Stalberg can’t finish? Uh, can Carcillo?

  18. Stinky says:

    Hey remember when some people thought this Detroit team was different than the one that had zero depth during the regular season and about even depth with a Ducks team that was a little bigger?

    Jimmy Howard can’t see 40 shots / game and continue to be effective if he has a wonky hamstring.

    Skate fast, shoot a bunch and get a broom ready.

  19. Negzz says:

    @hawks58: Not saying that CBomb is better or preferable to Stalberg, they’re different roles on the team. Same idea with Zues, who as Tab has pointed out, is also not competing with Stalberg (he’s there to win faceoffs.) Stalberg is essentially competing with Bolland and the Rockford kids at this point. While I personally prefer Stalberg to Bolland for the reasons mentioned, I also see them both replaceable with Smith, Morin and/or Hayes next season. I’d argue to keep Carcillo out there when he’s playing restrained, under control hockey (which he has been), because he also brings some skill to the team, and that HIS role is interchangable with Bollig, Mayers, etc to keep opposing teams somewhat honest in how they play the Hawks.

  20. EbonyRaptor says:

    Was it a case of Detroit playing poorly/tired or a case of the Hawks making them play poorly and look tired? Probably some of both. Regardless, Detroit is capable of playing better and with their veteran leadership – coach and players – they will play better than they did last night. Especially in the Joe when Babcock has last change and he can keep Smith away from the Toews and Kane lines.

    Was Stalberg missed? The results would indicate not so much. I hope he has been humbled and his attitude has been properly adjusted. Having him in the lineup with the proper motivation makes the Hawks a better team. Frolik-Kruger-Stalberg would be a pretty good 4th line.

  21. Casey Leslie says:

    Guys,

    Oduya is the man. WOW what a game, he is really showing of his big time slapper. He should use it more. Love the way he skates and passing the puck.
    I have been trying to find a cool Oduya jersey or tight t-shirt, anyone?
    My GF loves him as well. Can’t wait for G2.
    If you guys live in the St.Charles are, check out Skippy’s Gyros, AMAZING!

    GO HAWKS!

    // CASEY

  22. Animull says:

    Time for the Hawks to get Serious .

    SIT Saad’s ass down (playing like ass of late) and bring back Stahlberg.
    Or Handzus needs to sit.
    Both play VERY Weak for Big-men !
    That’s all !

    Go Hawks !

    Animull

  23. Animull says:

    To Hawk58,
    IS Stahlberg your brother or something?
    He ROTS on defense .
    Throws the puck away with dumbass passes in opposing zone ALL the time and Hits 1-2 per game.
    NOT IMPRESSIVE.
    Without his dynamo speed afterburners – he isn’t all that good.

    That,s all,
    Animull

  24. Animull says:

    Hey Negzz,

    You are Spot-on.

    A.

  25. JS says:

    Holy cow, playoffs have brought the afternoon drunks to the site.

  26. EbonyRaptor says:

    I thought Saad played pretty well and would be very happy if he can maintain that level of play throughout the playoffs.

  27. BigsmokeJ says:

    That’s what I was thinking JS. lol

  28. Mike says:

    On to game 2.
    Tab…….Thank you for keeping us informed and allowing us to spew all of our words of wisdom on this blog.

  29. NJ Dave says:

    Great game, but let’s not forget DET was a post away from a lead going into the 3rd. Yes the Hawks were dominating the 2nd, but the score was still tied. Also DET had so many turnovers which I assume Babcock will tighten up by the next game.

    That being said – dominant puck possession game and solid defensively in transition…much like the regular season.

    For all of the Oduya haters, he had a nice game. Plus the comentary from the broadcast was “Oduya was a steal for a couple of draft picks”. Can’t remember who, but it wasn’t Eddie O.

  30. Sr. Brad says:

    Great comments everyone (well, almost everyone), this site has so many seasoned, uber intelligent hockey fans, it makes visiting here such a pleasure…

    There is NOTHING wrong with Brandon Saad…he is a GOOD NHL hockey right now, and will be great in another 2 years…mark my words…he just looked nervous last night, but not from being in the playoffs, but from worrying about being too fancy for Q…and it may have cost Saad a couple of goals. Q hopefully sat him down today, and cleared the air a little.

    Tab, great comments…I agree on both…Handzus started slow, but he has missed a fair amount of practise time…it just took his body a little longer to get back to full speed…he will be fine. I agree that Shaw should maintain his aggressive style, it keeps the opposition on their toes…if he takes the odd penalty, it is worth it IMO.

    Great comments McKay…Mike, I think that Rozy is playing outstanding hockey as well, but JS is right, this is it for Rozy here in Chicago…he came for the ring and he will get it…next year the Hawks have got to go with Clendening and Stanton on D, there’s just no room for Rozy’s age and contract.

    As for Stahlberg, he may have been lackadaisical against Minny, but he was a defensive stalwart all season and perhaps our most consistent and best back checker…the was a +16 after 48 games playing on the 3rd line!!! He deserves and needs to be back in the lineup, end of story.

    Neggzz, that was good hustle by CBomb on the Kruger’s goal, and he is giving a good effort, but there is no comparison between the respective values of him and 25…

    As to the Oduya fans, he is a very good DMan when he is not having his head smashed into the end glass…once that happens, he changes…let’s see how Johhny O holds up versus LA the conference final.

    If the Hawks stay hungry and focused, this thing is over in 4…if it wasn’t for Howard last night, the Hawks would of had 10…let’s hope the SJ gives LA a tough battle and longer series…the Hawks are going to need to be healthy and at full strength for LA.

  31. Tails says:

    Lol Animull is an idiot.

    @ Negzz
    I still say Stalberg over Carcillo. I think the idea that Carcillo/Bollig/Mayers fill a specific role on the team is erroneous. The “thug” role isn’t really needed. Having a player specifically out there for fights doesn’t really help protect our stars at all. And fights are uncommon in the playoffs anyways. I’d rather just play the 12 best forwards.

    Of course the Stalberg vs Carcillo discussion should be moot anyways because Smith should be playing over both. I don’t understand why he isn’t out there. I feel like he’d be an upgrade over any forward not including Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Saad, and Bickell.

  32. McKay says:

    I can’t believe how much a 6 minute per game player gets talked about on this site and I can’t believe I’m talking about him now. Someone please tell me the last time 13 had a big hit (or fight) that “energized” the UC? I can’t remember it.

    For Game 2, I’d like to see Bolland up on the 2nd line to add speed and grit. Bolland’s nastiness combined with Sharp’s current fury of hate will be great.

    Hopefully Stal apologizes to the team and eats another plate of humble pie playing 5th line in practice today and then is allowed to return to the 3rd line (I really hope Toews steps in here and helps his teammate figure this out). Otherwise, Smith or Morin should come in to add speed to the line up.

    Handuz to 4th with Fro and Krug.

  33. Negzz says:

    @McKay: Why are you so gung-ho on Bolland as 2-C? He’s been terrible at the dot all year (although he pulled 7-4 last night, to his credit), and this is a puck possession series. he was fiesty (which I like), and I guess if he can continue to perform in the circle and plays with the interest he showed for most of last nights game he’s a viable option. But how did he go from a marginal player this year (who is not likely to return to the team in 13-14), to playoff savior and significant value-add? If it’s Stalberg vs. Bolland, I’d take 25. If it’s Zues vs. Bolland it’s a toss up for me. I like the flexibility of more C’s than less in the lineup, but if the objective is best mix of skill and bangers, not such an easy decision.

  34. JS says:

    I kind of like Bolland between 29/65. Those two know how to crash the boards and force turnovers, something 88/10 don’t do nearly as well. When Shaw doesn’t have Center responsibility, he’s also that much crazier on his forechecking.

    Yes, Carcillo had a good game for Daniel Carcillo, but that isn’t saying much. Imagine how scary a line with 25/16/67 is. Funny on the talk with keeping teams honest and that’s why Carcillo plays. NO ONE is afraid of Carcillo. People know they can goat him in to taking some stupid penalty. That’s why he only plays half a dozen minutes per game.

    You know what does keep teams honest though? Speed. When Viktor is out there, defensemen can’t cheat unless they want a good look at Stalberg’s ass (and if they did, could we blame them?).

    Lines I would like.
    20/19/81
    10/26/88
    29/36/65
    25/16/67

    You can definitely roll that 4th line consistently without worrying about something awful happening because of defensive shortcomings of an inept wing.

    Let us also remember in the first period when Oduya was smashed into the glass after the stupid official got in his way and Cleary wanted to break his neck. I thought his shoulder was done. Instead he kept on chugging and scored a huge goal with a big assist from the marvelous Patricks Kane and Sharp.

    Babcock is a great coach. In my opinion, he’s probably the best coach in the league. If you look at the talent on his team, that should be point enough. But that’s also the reason I don’t think Detroit has much more room for growth. They can try to limit bad turnovers, but bad players make bad decisions. Detroit’s defense sucks so bad the Hawks forwards are chomping at the bit to be double shifted. Praise Babcock for splitting up Henrik and Pavel against the Ducks. Was a pretty smart move in game 7. Guess what? Not going to work against the Hawks. Their defense is too deep and too good. Their forwards are too defensively responsible.

    Any guesses on how many SOG Datsyuk had? If your guess was 0, you nailed it.

  35. Negzz says:

    @JS:

    1. People know they can goat him in to taking some stupid penalty.”
    – You mean like Shaw last night?

    2. “unless they want a good look at Stalberg’s ass (and if they did, could we blame them?)”
    – Ummm. Dude? Really?

  36. JS says:

    1. How did they goat Shaw into those penalties? One was a trip 200 feet away from his own net when he was trying to reach for the puck. The other was indeed a stupid flying elbow, but he’s probably capable of not being a dumbass if Q tells him to stop. Are you trying to say you’d rather dress Carcillo than Shaw? And also please explain how Carcillo keeps other teams honest, because I still don’t understand this logic.

    2. Stalberg is a beautiful man! And you apparently don’t understand jokes. (but seriously he’s a beautiful man and I’m not ashamed to say it!)

  37. McKay says:

    @Negzz: I like Bolland because he’s fast and I’m disliking Handzus b/c he’s old and slow. There were two plays in the first period where Zeus got stick handled through in the neutral zone. That doesn’t happen to a guy who is confident in his legs.

    Handzus finished the regular season strong and was a great addition to the 2nd line when Bolland was hurt (and I praised 26 on this blog). But since the playoffs have kicked into second and third gear, I don’t feel like he has elevated his game.

    However, if 26’s faceoff % is ridiculously high right now then I could see the argument of keeping him on 2nd line. I can’t find those stats at the moment.

    And I feel the same way about the playoff pace passing Saad although I think he’ll snap out of it and have a breakout game soon. He just needs playoff experience to build confidence.

  38. Dickie Dunn says:

    “And fights are uncommon in the playoffs anyways.” – evidenced by the Montreal vs Ottawa and Pittsburgh vs New York Islanders opening rounds…just sayin’.

  39. Dickie Dunn says:

    Carcillo – I’m not a fan. When Bowman signed him, didn’t he and coach Q try to pass-off some PR that he could play on the top 2 lines? I suspect we all agree that at best he could be a 4th line energy guy who delivers hits…but, his reputation supports that too often he fucks that up by doing something stupid.

    I prefer Bollig in that role, but “that role” probably isn’t needed against Detroit (unless Kronwall and Abdelkader decide to go insane). Stalberg or (maybe) Smith should be playing – I’m certain Quenneville isn’t pulling names out of a hat, and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt when he says he wanted Bolland in the lineup and it isn’t about Stalberg’s comments. (- just my opinion)

    Go Hawks!!

  40. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I feel like Detroit will counter in a big way tomorrow afternoon. They really got outclassed in the last game. Too much pride in Mo-Town for their beloved Wings!

  41. 'hawks58 says:

    Before I start here, I think Stalberg is better than Smith but I would have absolutely NO issue with Ben Smith being played ahead of Stalberg. I just hate that coaches play players like Carcillo/Bolig/Scott who are historically bad and liabilities on the ice. It’s like having a terrible lefty reliever on your staff over a better righty simply because he is a lefty in baseball.

    Animull, I’m sure you’re the type who isn’t persuaded by thing like stats and reasoning, but whatever I’ll waste my time anyway.

    Stalberg was on the ice for only 9 (NINE) goals against this year at even strength. His goals against per 60 minutes was an insane 0.99! That means he was on the ice for only 1 goal about ever 5 games (5.2 to be exact). That’s better than any other Blackhawk, hell that’s better than any other forward in the league who played 30 games and skated more than 8 minutes a game (Reaves of all people had fewer with only about 7 minutes of TOI per game). And if you think it’s a one year fluke, last year he was just behind Bickell in 5v5 goals against, ahead of Bolland, Toews, Kane, and Shaw.

    He’s no Hossa, or even Frolik or Kruger, but he is a more than responsible defender who simply destroys lesser competition.

  42. wall says:

    Hawks58- great stats-

    I am a big 25 fan- world class speed- but more importantly- he has improved every year he has been on the Hawks!!!

    Also agree about Smith/Morin

    I will miss him big time next year-

    Yes, he does make some mistakes… but once again- I think he is still improving and not fully reached his potential!

  43. ratboy36 says:

    Pittsburgh and LA scare me.Yes I’m beyond Detroit,I’m not paid to be humble like
    players and coaches.The one player they have has a Hamstring injury.(Howard) But the rest are old and slow or young and lost.

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