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Detroit Is Finding New Ways to Win

from Lynn Zinser of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Notice has officially arrived in Chicago that the N.H.L. playoffs have started. Perhaps part of the Blackhawks’ problem is that they are actually playing games in Detroit at the moment. Maybe the hockey gods should start delivering such things by text message. Thus, the Blackhawks would have been warned that Detroit no longer looks much like that identity crisis team that barely sneaked into the playoffs and whom Chicago had little trouble with in the regular season.

Somehow, the Detroit team that has dug its fingernails deep into this second-round series with Chicago not only found an identity, but made it a not-so-charming one. The franchise that used to pride itself on skating rings around opponents and scoring goals out of the how-to-create-a-highlight-reel textbook is now knocking Chicago around for a stunning 2-1 lead in their series.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Vladimir16's avatar

Good article.

The freak-out quotient would be entirely different for Chicago, mind you, had the referees not waved off the Blackhawks’ tying goal in the third period on a mystifying goalie-interference call,

What people seem to be forgetting is Franzen got boarded, refs ignored it and the Blackhawks came down and scored. If anything, the interference call was a makeup call. If anything

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/21/13 at 12:31 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

preach on Vladdy, it’s the truth.  Maybe a weak call (and not one that we dont’ know about here) but to say it’s wasn’t warranted is stretching it.  That’s why homer’s like Roenik who was the most realistic by saying it could be called either way, still wouldn’t say that it’s a blatant bad no call.  Standing in the paint was a make-up call. 

How come no one is mentioning Stalberg KNOCKING HIMSELF OUT and the Refs blowing the whistle with the Wings attacking in the O-zone in the first?  But then didn’t blow it for an injured Franzen who was boarded.  Waived goal was ref assisted karma.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/21/13 at 12:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Wings have had their share of goals denied for the last 10-odd years that Holmstrom has made the crease his office.  Whine away, Shitago.  Whine.Away.

Although still a good article and references articles real well, it was made even better by her references to the so-called Blood Series with the Dives.  Wings could play any game you give them back then and they can STILL play any game you give them now.  There’s a lot of skill on this team, but it’s tempered by experiences - just like those glorious teams in the ‘90s.

We’ve seen this rodeo before.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/21/13 at 01:02 PM ET

awould's avatar

That’s what I love about Detroit’s prolonged success… There are still guys on the team with a link to the late-90s Avalanche rivalry. That link came through playing, and more importantly winning, with those guys. Hank and Pavel learned from Yzerman and that team and they carry it to this team and now they impart that to the young guys. It is institutional knowledge that can only be earned through experience. The Avs lost theirs years ago after too many seasons sucking. It is hard to get back. It’s why Detroit’s rebuilding will be a smoother, less painful process than Chicago went through ten years ago.

Posted by awould on 05/21/13 at 02:02 PM ET

SYF's avatar

It is institutional knowledge that can only be earned through experience.

+19.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/21/13 at 02:06 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If anything, the interference call was a makeup call.

I think that’s exactly what it was, Vlad. And a well-deserved make-up call at that.

As for playing a “tougher” game, the final proof of that came last night when Brunner ran a guy into the sideboards on a Hawks breakout. And it wasn’t any little Swiss-chocolate-kiss of a hit either. He delivered it with “weight” just like Pavel does.

For me, the kid became a true Red Wing right then. Good for him. Great for the Wings.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/21/13 at 02:38 PM ET

awould's avatar

I think Brunner was an incredible signing for Detroit. He and Nyquist are going to develop into the wheels of that team for a while, sort of like Helm and Cleary have been before. Brunner is a different player than Cleary, less grit and more skill, but I think he’ll perform a similar role and do it well. If he amps up his physical play, as he seems to have, he’ll be a much better NHL player. Nyquist is a cross between a poor man’s Datsyuk and Helm. He has quick hands and fast skates, and he’s more of a natural goal scorer than Helm.

I think Nyquist/Brunner will score more goals than Helm and Cleary were able to though.

I am optimistic for the future (assuming Datsyuk sticks around another 3 years). I know they have some holes to fill still, but some of the young guys are contributing already and will only get better. And there are still a couple in GR that will be ready to play at the NHL level in a season or two.

If they win no more games, this post-season was a huge step for the team and exceeded expectations in more important and fundamental ways than how far they advance in the playoffs.

Posted by awould on 05/21/13 at 03:40 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

This team can now compete in the East, especially against teams like Boston, Montreal, the Laffs, and the Flyers. I was worried a month ago.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/21/13 at 06:52 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I think Brunner was an incredible signing for Detroit.

Emphasis on the word, was. He is a UFA after this season for reasons I do not understand. I’ve posed this question before. Can someone explain why Brunner is not an RFA after this season?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 07:01 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Can someone explain why Brunner is not an RFA after this season?

I’m pretty sure it has to do with his age, Captain. It’s sometimes easy to forget that the “kid” is already 27 years old.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/21/13 at 07:43 PM ET

Avatar

Emphasis on the word, was. He is a UFA after this season for reasons I do not understand. I’ve posed this question before. Can someone explain why Brunner is not an RFA after this season?

I can’t find the supporting documentation but I believe because he was undrafted and over 25, he’s automatically a UFA at the end of his contract.

Although, now that I think about it, I thinks it is just that he’s 27, which is the UFA age.

Posted by Garth on 05/21/13 at 07:49 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I’m pretty sure it has to do with his age, Captain. It’s sometimes easy to forget that the “kid” is already 27 years old.
Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/21/13 at 07:43 PM ET

I looked it up and he’ll be 27 on July 1. Great. There is a dearth of scoring available in the UFA market this summer, so market forces are going to drive his price up. I hope Kenny gives him a fair offer and the kid has a little loyalty to the club that gave him a chance in the NHL after he had been wallowing in the Swiss league for years.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 07:53 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

14-63-24 will be a great third (or even second) line for years to come if Kenny can get 24’s signature on new deal.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 07:55 PM ET

SYF's avatar

...he’ll be 27 on July 1.

How convenient.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/21/13 at 07:56 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

...he’ll be 27 on July 1.
How convenient.
Posted by SYF from the Flood on 05/21/13 at 07:56 PM ET

Yeah, too bad he didn’t take a few more hours during delivery and pop out on the second.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/21/13 at 08:16 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I looked it up and he’ll be 27 on July 1.

Actually, he’s already 27. He was born March 9, 1986.

Seeing that is almost as big a shock as seeing that Pavel will be 35 this July. Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago he was playing on the Two Kids & an Old Goat line?

Damn. Time really does fly fast when you’re old(er than Chelios).

 

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/21/13 at 11:28 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I swear wikipedia had July 1. Now it says march 9. Oh well. I hope he comes back.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/22/13 at 12:02 AM ET

SYF's avatar

wikipedia

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 05/22/13 at 12:02 AM ET

Well, there’s the problem.  Sorry, brother.  I trust that site like I trust $0.20 with a Buffalo cab driver.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/22/13 at 03:10 AM ET

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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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