Here are the shot totals for this game: In the 1st period Detroit had a whopping 21 shots on net, to the Chicago Blackhawks 4. The 2nd period was boring in comparison to the others, with both teams basically evening out. The 3rd showed the Hawks with 16 to the Wings 5, but the Hawks had 11 before the Wings first one. Here is the real shocker; in OT and only within about 3 minutes, the Wings accumulated 9 shots, while the Hawks couldn't even muster 1. Thats right, 0 shots in OT for the Hawks, and this brought the grand total to 43 shots on net for the Wings, and 27 for the Hawks.
Shots are not usually my focus in matters, but I find that in this case it tells the story pretty darn well. And when you see that the Hawks had 4 minutes more of power-play time, it even adds insult to injury.
I can almost hear the pep talk in the locker room before the game. "Okay guys, now remember what we practiced. Lets come out completely flat, without effort or any grit to our games. Lets make them think we are asleep and that this will be an easy win. No worries, I am sure Crawford is good for most of their assault. Then, in the 3rd, when it looks like all hope is gone, we will surprise them with a tremendous effort they won't see coming. With surprise on our side, I am sure we can regain the lead and go home with a come from behind win."
All joking aside, that is really how the game felt.
Here are my points to the game:
- No offense to Crawford, he looked decent out there today, but I was kind of hoping for Emery. Even amidst the talks of a trade for goaltender Ryan Miller, Crow was alright, but I thought the goals were stoppable. 43 shots is a lot, and he made some strong saves, I know, however Bertuzzi was showing backhand from center ice on that breakaway goal.
- I was not a fan of the line combos from the get-go either. I like the top line, and again Hossa with Bolland even though they didn't exactly blaze up the ice. I did however find them overweighted. The 3rd line was a great line in the last game and it was torn apart to start the game off. The result, from my perspective was a top heavy situation that could have been avoided simply by having Frolik on the 3rd line as opposed to the 2nd.
- With that said, I found it equally confusing to drop Stalberg to the 4th line for a bit when he has 4 goals in the past 2 games with Toews and Kaner. Do you think he was punished for screwing up that great opportunity in the first when Kane hit him with a pass which left all alone in front? If thats the case, it worries me a bit. Kane would have been benched months ago.
- The ice didn't exactly seem all that great, as I saw the puck jumping around on many occasions. Just something I noticed.
- I am most likely overanalyzing here, but the line situation seemed like a place to point the finger in this one. Seeming off from the start, it just seemed to get worse as they were jumbled all over the place and I lost track of who was playing with whom. And with that said, I do agree that Shaw earned top 2 ice-time with his efforts recently.
- Frolik will never score goals. I think we have to be happy with that and he might need to come to grips with it as well. He should just settle for accumulating assists like Kaner has. Then, maybe he will settle down and start scoring goals. Who knows.
- Detroit took control of this game awfully early and with great authority. The Hawks are really lucky for the point. Watching the Hawks chase can get really hard after 20 minutes of it.
- And still, Howard had to be huge in net on a couple of occasions. Detroit will be deadly in the playoffs with that guy in net.
- What happened in the 2nd period, I fell asleep? All I remember is some more Hawks chasing, and a few nice save by Crawford. Oh yeah, and Kane holding onto the puck too long when the shot was there.
- I woke up when Shaw scored his 3rd goal in 6 games as a Hawk, and then fell asleep again during the Hawks power-play.
- I noticed Bickell for the first time in the game during the 3rd as the line of he, Bolland, and Shaw caused some commotion in the Detroit end, and almost find the equalizer. And in what I saw as the best bit of coaching by Q in the game, he followed with the Toews line reunited with Stalberg who continued the strong push.
- The 3rd period was a thing of beauty by the Hawks even though they couldn't convert until the remaining seconds of the period. They were finally playing aggressive, and like they wanted to win. That was all until they were awarded a 4 minute power-play.
- As I said in a comment yesterday, if the game will come down to the power-play, the Hawks will lose almost every time. Not only did they not convert, but it also deflated their huge rush to tie the game.
- Then, the Wings started man-handling the Hawks, maybe taking a few liberties even, and this carried into OT.
- Oh yeah, there was that really exciting goal from Hossa after the Hawks pulled their goalie in that last ditch effort thing. It won them a point which I will take, but I still leave with my head hung low.
- A plus, Toews only had 22 minutes of ice-time! Actually, Q once again rolled all the lines pretty evenly, but the constant juggling had something to do with it.
Sorry, I sort of stayed away from specifics on this one. Like I said, just look at the shot totals as if it completely told the story and you will have your game in a nutshell.
Not much changes in the standings surprisingly, but the Hawks are in real danger of falling down to 5th, or maybe even lower if they can't figure some things out. There is a lot of buzz around trades, which are sure to come. It has me really curious about what SB is willing to do. My best guess would be that Miller dawns a Hawks jersey in the near future. It just looks too easy for SB and the Hawks can afford him. Will we see some big changes on the D? If yes, then it will most likely be at the loss of Hjalmer or Leddy. The Predators are in need of moving either one of their 2 awesome D-men due to contracts coming up after paying Rinne too much, and the pickings might just be too good to look away from.
And I thought we needed a power forward.
I feel that it seems safe to say, if the trade is their, and SB can do it, he just might.