Blackhawks Confidential

Blackhawks should be heartened by THE LID blowing off Detroit

wings-sabres.jpgThe Blackhawks couldn't ask for a finer, brighter day off in gray, dank Chicago than they had Tuesday. They re-energized from that marvelous makeup date Monday night with fans who started out doing a slow burn before falling in love all over again.

Then came Tuesday: A RED-LETTER DAY where they could smell blood in the water just across the lakes.

While their team undoubtedly has a few problems to correct heading into Wednesday night's game against Edmonton in Chicago, depending on the exact weight you assess to goaltending complexities, the Detroit Red Wings have GIANT-SIZED HICCUPS that appear to out-weigh the Hawks' occasional roller-coasting play to begin the season.

Nothing better than to have coach Mike Babcock also have to jerk starting goaltender Chris Osgood out of a lopsided 6-2 loss in Buffalo Tuesday night. Maybe GALLOPING GOALITIS is a disease far more contagious than swine flu in the central part of the U. S.

While that Cristobal Huet mystery will keep us in suspense for weeks to come, nice to see Osgood is back to playing like his evil twin, where the fella known as Notsogood left off with his regular-season inconsistencies in 2008-09. So much for Mr. Dependable. He is on furlough once more, perhaps until the playoffs.

If you happened to watch the red-faced Red Wings get plastered and out-hustled by the Sabres on Versus, it was every bit as encouraging to witness defenseman Nick Lidstrom looking quite human and exceedingly fallible with goals sliding in the net off his skate and some phantoms being chased around the crease.

Was it Osgood or the defense's fault? It was BOTH. And throw in the forwards, too. The more the merrier.

THE LID is fixing to blow sky high in Detroit and let's hope the Hawks can find some way to conquer their own personal failings when it comes to sticking that fork in a club whose day seems to be DONE, DONE, DONE as a NHL powerhouse.

It's also my day to use capital letters, since there could be more senior citizens like me who need magnification to see the light. While the Hawks can't boast about a thing until a plan is devised to actually obliterate the Wings, who have also been a sticky career thorn in the side of coach Joel Quenneville, the blueprint for tearing down their dynasty is all prepared and ready to put into action.

I can't help myself here--again. Ever since Patrick Sharp's inadvertent spear in the playoffs sent Lidstrom to testicular surgery, he has not been on the ball. First, the Stanley Cup loss to Pittsburgh. Now a slow start to the season for him and the Detroit defense. For once, his play has Wings fans groining...I mean, groaning.

"To play in this league and at this level, you have to bear down and play better defense," Lidstrom told Detroit media after the Sabres' blowout. "We didn't do that and we were no help to Ozzie at all. They were quicker than us and made us play backing in too much."

The Hawks should have this Lidstrom quote read to them. Perhaps it could avoid losses such as Detroit already hung on the Hawks this season in a 3-2 decision. The Wings are on their heels, while the faster and quicker Hawks are on the rise, able to leap tall deficits like 5-0 at a single bound. Listen up. This is the Sabres he is talking about.

"They were just aggressive at the right times," Lidstrom said. "We're not executing our passes or making the right plays when we need to. Sometimes the right play is to get the puck out of the zone and we were trying to make extra passes."

Now, c'mon guys, if the Sabres can do it, the Hawks can do the same.

Detroit is 2-3 after five games. They should be 1-4, especially if the Hawks could have scored on a 5-on-3 power play and stopped themselves from losing AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN in Detroit.

The Hawks are 3-1-1. They could be unbeaten. If only there was a cure for what ails them most of the times they face their nemesis in the Wings, who may hold more of a mental edge against Chicago than a physical one.

The Hawks have brought in former Detroit genius Scotty Bowman and he hasn't been able to impart enough intelligence to make the Hawks smarter than a Red Wing.

They have now added Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa (perhaps due back as soon as the third week of November if general manager Stan Bowman can be believed). With Johan Franzen out longer than Hossa, the Hawks should even win this injury tradeoff.

Brent Seabrook's check accidentally took Franzen into the boards for a torn ACL when he fell awkwardly in that earlier meeting this year. The Hawks are killing the Wings everywhere but in the win-loss column head-to-head. Franzen could be out four months.

A rejuvenated Hossa should be rounding into top form by the time Detroit and the Hawks meet again. Their next staredown is Dec. 20 at the United Center, quickly followed by the Hawks and Hossa going back to Joe Louis Arena Dec. 23 for a CHRISTMAS GOOSE, GOBBLE and GRAB.

Hopefully, the Hawks will have found a few more pieces to the Huet puzzle by then, as well as grabbed a chokehold on first in their division by seperating themselves from Detroit.

In the meantime, listen to Osgood's autopsy report on the Wings and enjoy. Please post in Chicago locker room so the team can get A GOOD WHIFF OF DEAD WINGS and get used to eating them raw by overcoming any mental hangups that might be holding the Hawks back.

"We didn't have much structure," Osgood said. "That was one of the things in the past, when we didn't have it or were sluggish, we could rely on that to win games. We're getting away from our net.

"We're not moving as five, as we usually do. It's something we're going to have to correct moving forward. I mean, that's one of the worst I've seen us play in a long time."

Detroit is collapsing brick by brick, ball by ball, ACL by ACL. Time for Chicago to apply the wrecking ball and put those Wings out of their misery.

But talking about it is BULLSHIT. Doing it is JOB ONE. Might as well steal an auto slogan. Detroit's an empty shell all the way around. They don't need it anymore.

JUST DO IT. Hey, I've heard that one somewhere before. So sue me.

I see where Chicago Now executive editor Tracy Samantha Schmidt says blogs on this site could be suspended if they "defame a real person."

Gives me something to shoot for. Defaming others and myself is my speciality. I'll give it my best shot.

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8 Comments

FearlessFreep said:

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Gotta admit...this entry cracked me up.

Mike Kiley said:

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Thanks, Freep, I'll be playing the main stage all week. Come on down. I never run out of bullshit. At least not so far.

Blackhawk Up said:

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Thought I would get back at you for yesterday, Mike :-) Coach Q says Huet is No. 1:

http://blackhawkup.com/2009/10/14/niemi-gets-the-nod-against-oilers-huet-still-no-1-ha/

Mike Kiley said:

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What's he going to do? Drown him in the bathtub like a kitten and have to call up Corey Crawford, going from the steaming kettle to the deep fryer? If you're paying a guy what the Hawks are paying Huet, those numbers on the check determine who's No. 1. But if Niemi can find a way to keep winning, it's checkmate. Privately, I bet the Hawks are praying for Niemi and dreaming the impossible dream about a trade. If they tried to trade Huet in March and there were no takers, as Tim Sassone reported, it shows you there's a consensus--nobody likes Huet as their starter. Especially for that money. Double trouble. Double mistakes.

cubby23(eric) said:

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"Ever since Patrick Sharp's inadvertent spear in the playoffs sent Lidstrom to testicular surgery, he has not been on the ball."

I'm sorry but this just made me laugh. I should have expected it but I didn't.

Coach Q can say what he wants, but he's going with Niemi tonight, and of course...actions speak louder than words.

Mike Kiley said:

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I only hope Lidstrom doesn't get testy about the testicular jokes. We're trying to have fun here and nobody is getting political by making teabag jokes about the Republicans. I'm an equal opportunity offender.

Dave Morris said:

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Mike, you are REALLY ON THE BALL TODAY.

I DID see the Wings get SKEWERED BY THE SABRES last night.

The HAWKS better GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER while they have THE BEST CHANCE TO PASS THE WINGS IN YEARS.

Hey, ya got your WISH. For NIEMI TO START.

Who WINS TONIGHT, in keeping with your EARLIER PREDICTION?

Cheers, and being a vodka vulture, do you drink Ketel One, Stoli or Wyborowa? I thought all Irishmen drank Guinness.

Mike Kiley said:

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Controversy makes the world go round. Otherwise why would there be a successful show like THE VIEW with nothing but cackling hens egging everyone on. I'm all for Andy Niemi playing like he wears FINN sharks on his helmet.

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