This write up is pretty simple, the Hawks got outplayed in just about every stat and got out coached. Undoubtedly, the two days off did the Wings a world of good and they were ready for this game. I thought the Hawks started off decent and they got the first goal. But in the second, I just had a feeling after the second goal that the Wings were going to win this game. Defensively, the Hawks were pretty bad today and I'm going to put some of this on Crawford. I don't think he sucked by a long shot, at least not any worse then the rest of the D, but his rebound control today was not very good and the Wings could easily have gotten a couple more. If Crawford stops goals 1 or 4 or both, it's a closer game but they still lose. I think that's an important point. Emery is back on the bench, but I don't know what he could have brought today that Crawford didn't.
Speaking of that, I chose the knife to a gunfight headline because I started to feel like that was what the Hawks did. The Hawks won the hit stat, but this is not a heavy hitting team, save for Kornhole, Smith and Abdelkader who like to give hits that deliver the maximum amount of douche. Bickell today did everything I imagine he was told to do as did Carcillo. Still, that wasn't what was needed today. What was needed, in part, was speed and we all know that is where Stalberg comes in. Given the defensive breakdowns, I'm not sure Stals makes THE difference. If he was out there embracing the third line role, then I imagine he and Bickell might have had themselves a nice game today. If Stals is out there as another version of Saad or Frolik wherein he gets in a dangerous spot and never finishes, then I don't think he makes much difference. Depth wise, the Wings do not have what the Hawks do and I think the series is going to be won or lost there.
Given the dominant performance the Hawks put up the other day, it's kind of hard to fault Q for bringing back the same lineup. Where I need to look at both Q and the players though is in desire. The Wings wanted THIS game, today, and it showed. Toews, again, was abused by several Wings players and though he is the puck beast he always is, he is being negated. Q did finally do some in game tinkering, but it didn't do much. For the next game though, I think there needs to be some changes. Stalberg coming back is one change and another change I'd like to see that will never happen is for Sharp to go back to second line center. Why they keep resisting this is something I don't understand. Handzus, Bolland and Kruger are not the answer for that spot and keeping Sharp out of that spot takes away the chance to move other wingers up to get some different looks. I'm not yet sure I want to see a third line of Hossa, Bolland and Bickell, but I'm ready to see a change in the top line. I guess that sounds kind of like wanting to blow it all up and start over, but regardless of who plays next, they have got to bring a lot more desire to beat this team.
Dropping this game isn't the worst thing in the world and there is likely going to be a lot of overreaction. If Q brings back Stals and sits Carcillo and rolls on with what he had before, that's probably not a horrible idea provided the Hawks come ready to play on Monday. Once again there is a two day break next week and that has to favor the Wings more then it does the Hawks and game five is on Saturday and likely another shitty, day game next weekend. With the reversal blowouts now completed, I would expect the games to get really tight from here on out.