Yell at Gatekeeper
No rest for the wicked, with the Blackhawks, Friday night. After a disappointing loss to the Ducks the previous night, they hopped a plane for a quick jaunt over to Detoilet and a tilt with the awful Redwings. It's only fitting that the Wings would wave goodbye to their legendary arena with a whimper and the end of their 25 season playoff streak. While the fat lady hasn't belted out her tune just yet, she's on deck and warming up in the vestibule.
(Let's hope a crack website doesn't google that in 5 years and make it #FakeNews for 30 seconds)
Anyhow, the Blackhawks were on a "3 games in 4 days" section of the schedule, after just having two 4+ day breaks in the last couple of weeks. After both breaks they came away with losses, their only two since January. Let it be said that they didn't play especially bad in either of those games either. They are, in fact, playing very well. With a little bit of a hiccup against the Ducks, this "should be" just what the doctor ordered.
The Blackhawks and Wings played a pretty even first period that seemed like it might end scoreless, but they combined for three goals in the final five minutes of the period. The Blackhawks opened the scoring in fairly easy fashion, but the Wings scored two in the final two and a half minutes to take a one goal lead into the second. The shots in the first period were 10 to 6 in favor of the Wing.
Action wasn't much different in the second period, especially for the Blackhawks. They were still stuck at 9 shots on net halfway through the game, which was a pretty solid indicator of what they did or didn't accomplish, but they were able to salvage some momentum with a very late goal of their own. The Blackhawks actually wound up leading the period with 11 shots to the Redwings' 10.
Not even the magic Quenneville line blender could save the Blackhawks, and the Wings padded their lead with a late third period goal. Quenneville also pulled his goalie with 3:44 left, but that was quickly negated by a penalty. Once again, not the most action packed period. We saw much more action in the previous night's shutout. If they put in an effort like this Sunday against the Wild the #HostileCurse will be alive and well.
- Five minutes into the first period, and the Redwings were staring into the face of the "Blues Brothers", Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. They weaved back and forth in the neutral zone and Kane set the plate with a beautiful backhand saucer right in Panarin's wheelhouse. There isn't much doubt when the racist Ruskie* unleashes that one timer. Party time.
*note heavy sarcasm
- The Blackhawks matched the Wings late first period goal with a late second period goal of their own. Of all people, it was Trevor van Riemsdyk. Forgive me if a long, half assed shot through a screen doesn't exactly light my fire. Might as well have been #Fatrick out there farting the puck at the net.
- Joel Quenneville rested Nik Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya, which was a good idea. Keep them fresh for the playoffs.
- I love the Wings young kids and Andreas Athanasiou might be my favorite of them all. His speed is just absolutely blinding, and this is with fastest skater record holder Dylan Larkin on the same team. I'd love to see him on the Blackhawks.
- Just a couple of moments after TVR took an extended rest for acting like he knew how to fight, the Redwings tied the game. A long shot from Xavier Ouellet escaped Crawford after Patrick Kane and Michael Rozsival couldn't be bothered to properly clear the puck out of their own zone. Let it be noted that Rozsival was out there with Brian Campbell because van Riemsdyk was in the locker room serving his instigation penalty. Oh right, the puck actually clipped Rozsival on the way in, changing direction enough to get by Crawford.
- The Wings took a 2 goal lead with just under five minutes remaining in the second period on another bad Blackhawks turnover. Kane turned the puck over at the Wings blue line and Brian Campbell lost his man. Campbell's man, Tatar, picked up a deflected puck to Corey Crawford's left, and chipped it by Crawford.
- Pat and Eddie were harping on Tomas Jurco's invisible play before the game. While it's certainly annoying, they aren't wrong. If you don't show Quenneville something impressive quick, you're put on the "pay no mind" list. He ended up with a team low 8:13 which will, most likely, earn him a Sunday matinee healthy scratch.
- With under a minute remaining, EIGHT SECONDS TO BE EXACT, in the first period the Wings' Athanasiou trailed a 4-on-3 rush and was able to sneak a shot past Corey Crawford after Brian Campbell got stuck deep in the Wings zone. Artemi Panarin actually made a nice play to try and tie up Tomas Tatar but Tatar was able to fight through to feed Nick Jensen who dropped the puck to Athanasiou, who changed the angle, and scored. Quenneville then blew his timeout by attempting to challenge the goal, claiming it was offsides. It wasn't.
- The Wings took their 2 goal lead back with 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Patrick Kane turned the puck over at the half boards to Henrik Zetterberg who fed Tomas Tatar for his second goal of the night and 17th of the season. Kane had a rough night, overall.
- Both teams were brutal on the powerplay, going a combined 0-5.
- These stupid replays are out of hand. Why are they giving teams so long to examine replays before they are officially charged their challenge? The whole point of this challenge system is that it's basically left to chance, or a gamble. If they didn't want it to play out like that, then don't penalize teams their time-out if they challenge wrong.
- Trevor van Riemsdyk apparently decided he was a fighter in this contest, jumping Justin Abdelkader after Abdelkader laid a big hit on Brian Campbell. This play was where the Redwings turned the momentum around and scored two straight goals late at the end of the first period. Did I mention that van Riemsdyk took an instigation penalty and sat in the box until there were seven minutes remaining in the second period? Swell.
- Pat Foley and these stupid stats he spews out, "Michael Kempny has been a plus 2 in the last seven games he's played". Could you rattle off a more generic and pointless stat line? That is that really best you can come up with?
- The Hawks were just absolutely slayed at the faceoff dots, winning only 40%
- Speaking of van Riemsdyk, he was a team worst -15 Corsi overall.
- Brian Campbell and the #AK72 line were all -3. Brutal!!
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Schmaltz - Toews - Panik
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Jurco - Kruger - Hossa
Hartman - Kero - Desjardins
Keith - Seabrook
Campbell - van Riemsdyk
Kempny - Rozsival