Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Cimaglia of ESPN,
Quenneville commented after the loss that the refs ruined the game by issuing a penalty to Walker at the end of the opening period. I concur to some degree. At the most they could have called offsetting penalties and let cooler heads prevail during the break.
In my view a major problem for the NHL is that officiating from game to game is too scattered. Many times those in the media or fans can overlook the inconsistent actions of officials because their miscues might not directly affect the final outcome. That shouldn’t be the determining factor in judging the performance of officials. A bad job is a bad job even if the final score was not altered because of officiating mistakes….
Unfortunately the young Blackhawks took the Red Wings’ bait time and time again and were whistled for 16 penalties. Chicago players picked the wrong time to jostle after whistles and run around after the Wings. With every penalty the Hawk frustration grew and the Detroit lead seemed to get larger. The overzealous officiating was bad but the Hawks didn’t do much of anything right to deserve a victory….
Maybe next year the referees as well will benefit from mistakes made in this season’s playoffs. Seemingly it is very difficult for NHL officiating to get the right balance and that should be cause for concern.
more on the Blackhawks…
In the Detroit/Chicago series, I have sat back and watched Chicago with numerous offensive zone turnovers that have turned into goals for the Red Wings.
Instead of busting their butt to get back into the play, the Chicago players look beaten after the turnover.
In the first video, watch Versteeg (#32) when he turns the puck over. Instead of busting back to help out, he decides to give Helm a two-hander instead of actually skating with him..
Another example, this one from the OT goal by Samuelsson in game 2. Watch Patrick Kane (#88) when Brian Campbell turns the puck over at the Detroit blueline. Kane is caught flat footed next to Samuelsson and completely gets lost on the play.
Watch that video below….
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
“I’ll be Cristo.”
That was Brent Seabrook speaking, as he jokingly stepped into Cristobal Huet’s locker and faced a phalanx of reporters, nearly an hour after his Blackhawks had been whacked 6-1 by Detroit.
The real Cristo, as it turns out, never did show his face, taking refuge in the no-trespassing inner sanctum of the Hawks’ dressing room. At 5:30 p.m., the cut-off point for media access, scriveners and TV types ushered outside, Huet was still back there, hiding.
Pretty bush. Which might also accurately describe the No.2-turned-No.1 Chicago goalie, who gave up five Red Wing goals, bracketed around a second period spent largely on the bench – yanked by coach Joel Quenneville and then re-instated, presumably for a bit of confidence bucking-up.
He’ll need all the bucking he can get, the Hawks teetering on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference final, trailing 3-1 as the series swings back to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
The Hawks ruined their own chances by trying to get chippy, the same approach that worked so beautifully against Vancouver in the Western Conference semi-final because the Canucks were so very willing to engage in a tit-for-tat battle.
But not the Wings. They just won’t. So when the Hawks tried to get in Detroit’s face - “scare ‘em off the puck” as Jonathan Toews put it - the Wings just ignored the nonsense as they always do and let the Hawks beat a steady path to the penalty box. The Wings then killed Chicago on the power play, and Mike Babcock kept putting his best guys out at extra strength late in the game as if to tell the Hawks if they wanted to play cheapshot hockey they were going to suffer for it.
from Mick Kern of Home Ice XM 204,
A large number of books have been written about Bowman and his coaching style. Suffice to say, Bowman is arguably the greatest head coach in NHL history. His two greatest stretches of accomplishements happened in Montreal, and Detroit. Each incarnation was impressive to behold. My heart says Scotty Bowman is first-and-foremost identified with the Montreal Canadiens, but my head says that his most impressive coaching job was with the Red Wings.
The better question might be, who would win in a best-of-seven battle between the 1977 Montreal Canadiens and the 1997 Detroit Red Wings?
“They were busy making amends for [the Havlat hit]. In the end, we end up on the power play lots, which is beneficial for us.”
-Wings Coach Mike Babcock via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via Canada.com,
The Detroit Red Wings took the kids to school Sunday. They’ll pick ’em up next fall.
Actually, there’s a little paperwork to be done first, Wednesday night in Detroit — forms signed, concession accepted, and so on — but assuming that’s taken care of, the Chicago Blackhawks can take the rest of the summer off and try again next season.
The young Hawks received more education than they ever wanted in Game 4 of the Western Conference final at United Center, where the Red Wings — short-handed, on the power play, and every which way — showcased their incredible team depth and dominated the home team with a cool, controlled display of textbook positional hockey and opportunism.
added 7:04pm, from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
A disaster, an embarrassment, a waste, pick one, pick ‘em all, you wouldn’t be wrong in trying to describe what passed for Blackhawks hockey in a 6-1 loss in Game 4 of what used to be a competitive Western Conference finals against the vexing Red Wings.
added 7:21pm, from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Detroit gave a clinic on what gut-check time is all about. Playing without veteran faceoff specialist Kris Draper, Hart nominee Pavel Datsyuk and surprise scratch, captain Nicklas Lidstrom—only the best defenseman of his generation—the Red Wings played with composure and competitiveness. They were outwardly abrasive in the early going, not shying away from post-whistle scrums, actually initiating much of the pushing and shoving.
That edginess was merely a demonstrative form of their intent. As is the norm, it was their execution that led to the Red Wings’ domination.
added 8:40pm, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Turns out big brother can pin down little brother even with two hands tied behind his back.
The Chicago Blackhawks looked as if they were more interested in seeking revenge for the Kronwall hit than winning the game.
Detroit was lead by Hossa, Filppula and Rafalski, all with 3 points.
added 6:06pm, Watch post game-press conference below, which should be starting soon.
added 6:22pm, As I mentioned in the comments, Babcock said Osgood suffered from dehydration. He was on an IV and did not recover fast enough, so he turned to Conklin for the 3rd period.
added 6:29pm, Quenneville in his post-game conference says the roughing call on Walker at the end of the first period was the worst call in hockey history and that changed the game.
added 6:32pm, Video hightlights from NBC added below (2nd video)....
added 7:16pm, added post-game transcript from Babcock in the comment section below…
added 7:33pm, added post-game transcript from Joel Quennville in the coment section…
Lidstrom out with lower-body injury, day-to-day, Datsyuk still out and Havlat will be playing for Chicago.
Chelios replaces Lidstrom for the Wings.
from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,
“What’s going on in Chicago is fantastic,” said Dick Ebersol, sports chairman of a network that had a profitable fling during Jordan’s reign. “The Winter Classic at Wrigley Field was the highest-rated regular season game in 34 years. Game 1 of this series was the highest-rated game on U.S. TV, not counting finals or the winter classics, in five years. There is an uptick in hockey, especially in Chicago.”
NBC’s contract is up at year’s end, but in a feeble economy, Ebersol hopes the network and league can continue to partner by sharing risk and reward. Ever the contrarian, he touts Versus as the solution, not the problem. From America’s most powerful TV executive, this is not the stuff of fluff.
“Versus treats hockey the right way, not second fiddle as it was on ESPN,” said Ebersol. “Versus is in 20 million fewer homes, but the holes are tightening. And don’t forget, Versus is owned by Comcast. I like that strength. I also liked Bill Wirtz. The new people in Chicago have done a great job, but Bill was a character, and he cared about the sport.”
more on the Blackhawks…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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