The Malik Report
Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 7 set-up: players will thoroughly enjoy tonight’s game. Fans? Not so much.
The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of the teams' second-round series tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, with a post-game show on Fox Sports Detroit), and as I'm writing this, a slate of moderate-to-severe thunderstorms are lighting up the night and drenching Metro Detroit with rain.
They're rolling over Southeastern Michigan having originated in Chicago, and if we are to believe the betting odds, the experts and those who've deemed Michal Frolik's "historical" penalty shot call to be a brave and ballsy one, the mighty Blackhawks have regained their 2010 Stanley Cup Championship form, and on ice torn up by Tuesday's Rolling Stones and subject to an 83-to-85-degree day's worth of sticky, rainy weather outside the Madhouse on Madison, the Blackhawks will beat the odds and roll over the Wings like the storms are socking Southeastern Michigan, with the White Sox and Cubs in attendance, no less.
Hell, the Hawks' press had some giggles with Rolling Stones-themed questions and a hearty chuckle about the fact that the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News went with the same headline after Game 6--"Uh oh!"
USA Today's Kevin Allen, Sam Amick and Erik Brady gave the Red Wings a huge compliment by suggesting that their sustination of a superb level of play has a parallel in that of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, and while I'm not a basketball person, the compliment is quite sincere (and reminiscent of the Wings-New England Patriots comparison):
The Detroit Red Wings and the San Antonio Spurs play different sports in different leagues on different surfaces in different states, but make no mistake: They're the same team.
Or, more to the point, they're the same organization — gold standards of their respective leagues for a generation. The Red Wings are in the playoffs for a 22nd consecutive season, the Spurs for a 16th. Each has won four league championships over that span. And each is in contention for a fifth this postseason.
From the NHL (and pardon me for saying this, but the Red Wings blogger is posting this in his *#$%@& Red Wings blog):
2013 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE SCENARIOS
NEW YORK (May 28, 2013) – The National Hockey League today announced the schedule scenarios, including the dates, starting times and broadcast information, for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals.
The 2013 Eastern Conference Final schedule is set. The series begins on Sat., June 1, in Pittsburgh when the Penguins host the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET.
The Western Conference Final will match the Los Angeles Kings against the winner of the Western Conference Semifinal between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, which is tied 3-3. Game 7 in that series is Wednesday night in Chicago at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network, CBC and RDS.
From the NHL's PR department:
BLACKHAWKS, RED WINGS MEET IN GAME 7 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1965
NEW YORK (May 28, 2013) -- For the first time in nearly half a century and just the third time in their 87-year rivalry, the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings will contest a Game 7 when the clubsdecide their Western Conference Semifinal Wednesday night in Chicago (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
The clubs last met in a Game 7 on April 15, 1965, when the Blackhawks posted a 4-2 win at Olympia Stadium in Detroit to capture their semifinal series. The Red Wings had eliminated the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the semifinals the previous year in Chicago, also by a 4-2 score.
The rosters for these two games featured a dozen future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame -- seven for Detroit (Alex Delvecchio, Bill Gadsby, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Marcel Pronovost, Terry Sawchuk and Norm Ullman) and five for Chicago (Phil Esposito, Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Pierre Pilote).
Stats? You want stats? You've got 'em:
At this point, it appears that neither the Red Wings nor the Blackhawks will practice today--the Wings and Hawks will be playing their third game over the course of five nights on Wednesday evening (8 PM EDT; NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on Fox Sports Detroit, and between the fact that there ain't much more that coaches can pound into their players' brains, there's simply not much point in practicing--and the Wings are planning on flying out to Chicago at 3 PM.
Moreover, at this point, we're probably not going to hear anything from either team that wasn't uttered to the press after last night's game, so there's a "casual Tuesday" feel to today's news cycle, though I'm sure that Game 7 hype will build this evening and will roar to life with afterburners lit on Wednesday.
And, for the record, the Hawks couldn't practice today if they'd wanted to do so:
Yesterday, Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers was fined for tossing pucks at Jimmy Howard and several Red Wings players during warm-ups prior to Game 5. Today, TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the team was fined as well:
I understand the Mayers fine--in addition to being a serious-ass breach of ettiquette, players and goalies can get knocked over if they're hit in the backs of their skates or shins, which is just plain dangerous--but the team fine seems just gratuitous at this point.
Updated 4x at 12:55 PM: Amongst the Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 6 tailings that didn't make the recap, multimedia post or overnight-ish report: here's a lovely tidbit regarding the NHL's version of fair scheduling...
And, "I has a sad":
Attempting to jam as much as possible into the Red Wings-Blackhawks recaps and multimedia posts yields some strange decisions for a very tired blogger who's been working since the game ended and finds himself with "tailings" and notebooks written just before the game to sort out at 4 in the frickin' morning.
I don't need the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash to remind me that the Hawks and Wings are playing tight-checking hockey, the Free Press's George Sipple's note that Bryan Bickell will be an unrestricted free agent for a team in some cap trouble doesn't ease the pain of watching him score another goal against the team I cheer for, and talk about the Wings insisting that they weren't going to waste Game 6's advantage in terms of being able to take out the Hawks without having to endure a winner-take-all Game 7, or being reminded that the Wings and Hawks' star players had been kept in check after Jonathan Toews registered two assists makes me cringe (and no, I don't feel much sympathy for a rejuvenated Team Canada hopeful in Brent Seabrook).
The stats aren't pretty. The Red Wings have surrendered 3 of the 20 3rd-period goals they've given up this post-season and have now lost 3 straight games to the Chicago Blackhawks, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Chicago on Monday night (and I worked my butt off to post oodles of multimedia for your viewing pleasure), ensuring a melee at the "Madhouse on Madison" on Wednesday night.
Whether you place the blame for the Wings' loss on their mistake-prone young and depth players, the inability of their top lines to out-score the Hawks' altered personnel, their defense's inability to efficiently move the puck up ice, clear their own zone or move bodies out of Jimmy Howard's crease, the Wings' special teams struggles, their coach's inability or unwillingness to match his opponent's lineup changes, unseen and unreported injuries that are always a factor, the inconsistent and plain old poor refereeing that's plaguing every playoff game, an inability to execute, bad breaks or plain old playing a team that's had Detroit's number for far too long now...
Here are the multimedia offerings pertaining to the Detroit Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of their second-round series.
NHL.com's highlights are narrated by the CBC...
ESPN posted a 3:47 clip in which Barry Melrose breaks the game down, NBC Sports posted a 1:46 highlight clip, Fox Sports posted a 1:05 highlight clip, the CBC posted a 2:55 highlight clip, Sportsnet posted a 3:46 highlight clip, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted an 5:48 highlight clip and TSN posted a 3:47 highlight clip. I will let you decide whether Toews was offsides on the play which resulted in the Bickell goal on your own.
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.