It was anything but pretty, as has been the case with so many NHL games thus far in this shortened and rushed season, but in the end, it was as sweet, if not sweeter than any other regular season victory before it. The Blackhawks had beaten an old time rival, securing a place among the Blackhawks record books, and the win was accomplished through nonconventional methods.
I thought Steve Konroyd said it best, "They had a million excuses to lose this game, but they got it done."
I say nonconventional methods, because it seems the Hawks have found a way to win 6 games in a row through different tactics each time. Blowing a team out of the water, a shooting match, winning little battles, holding on for dear life, fighting for it and what ever else last night was.
To start, the Hawks looked like the far superior team over Detroit. It felt kind of good seeing the Hawks expose themselves as too much to handle for the newly struggling Wings. Simply, our guys were just too quick for their guys. This would soon change as the game progressed, but not because of skill.
Knowing they were outmatched, the Wings turned to physical methods, and knowing very well how effective it could be against the Hawks, and that this was their 2nd game in as many nights. The Hawks were already tired as shown in their performance the night before, and Detroit put themselves in a good position to win. Unfortunately for them, this Hawks team seems determined to stay together and fight it out for every win (unlike last year).
I thought that Detroit got away with more than a few in the 1st period, but again, the Hawks were dominating, so I wasn't too worried. Somehow in the 2nd, everything changed as the Hawks racked up penalty upon penalty, including the always annoying too many men. It was a hard period to watch.
This resulted in a very tired half of the bench, and a very cold other half. The PK was great, but they gave everything they had in them to do it, and there was still another period to play. I had hoped Q might mix it up a bit, trying to use those who are not on a PK unit, but Q looks like he is trying so hard to stick to his new found skills of not messing with the lines, that he just let it roll.
Lucky for the Hawks, Duncan Keith is still playing like a madman, blasting the first go-ahead goal early (enough to hold them for most of the game), and Nick Leddy felt like joining him later on in OT.
- We had another solid performance from Crawford, though I fear he just doesn't have a shutout in him, because that goal against was very stoppable. I still think he is shady in net, and fear a replacement is will end up being necessary, but with every game I feel a little better about him.
- Saad is going to start scoring soon.
- Not sure Shaw is going to be the permanent fix for that 3rd line, and I think it might be time to give Frolik a shot at some more ice.
- This game could have been won in the 1st by the Hawks. I will give that up to a rough schedule thus far. Too bad it isn't getting any better for the next 2 weeks. As was said, they had a lot of excuses not to win this game. Thankfully, the Hawks are beyond excuses right now. In some ways, Detroit has passed the torch of being the hard working team in the division to the Hawks.
- Keith is playing great hockey, and Hjalmer continues to do the same. I hope Seabrook joins them soon.
- First game that Kane did not factor in a goal. I will factor in that he didn't really play during the 2nd period. Still, that's quite a good sign for the young winger.
- Another power-play goal.
- Nice to see Leddy get a game winner. Notice how much the Detroit defense respected Stalberg to open that up? Yep, that is going to be happening more often. Now they just need to get players on his line who can give him options.
Sorry about the late post. Busy day.
Filed under: Game Recap