The Malik Report
After dropping a 2-0 decision to the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks, who now trail the teams' second round series 3 games to 1, headed back to Chicago to prepare for Saturday's game, but not before sounding downright Red Wing-like in terms of their post-game comments.
The, "We think we played well" line came out, they made sure to mention that they're hitting goalposts and aren't getting much puck luck, and they insisted that bearing down a little more in the offensive department would yield a certain comeback for a team that posted a fantastic regular-season record. But many of those comments came from someone who took three minor penalties in the game, who made a point of saying, "I'm not going to comment about the officiating," and while Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Daily Herald's Tim Sassone that his team fully believes in its ability to rebound...
Bandwidth can be a cruel mistress, but I promise that the multimedia post subsequent to the Red Wings' 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of their second-round series--which is this thing right here--will include more links and fewer auto-play videos. Learning on the fly here, folks (and both We All Bleed Red on YouTube and I wonder what the hell Duncan Keith said to Al Sobotka before Al twirled the pre-game octopus).
Anyway, here are the game's highlights from the Wings' website, as narrated by the CBC's Bob Cole:
ESPN posted a 3:19 clip in which Barry Melrose and Steve Levy discussed the game, NBC posted a 1:24 highlight clip, the CBC posted a 2:50 highlight clip, Sportsnet posted a 2:21 highlight clip,TSN posted a 27-highlight clip and Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted a 3:11 highlight clip:
Remarkable stuff from the Red Wings: this is what happens when Mr. Hockey decides to very quietly pull a Kanye West:
Update: And here's Jimmy Howard talking to John Keating about the game...and Gordie:
Upated 5x with tons of video at 11:51 PM: Very briefly: Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard was nothing less than a superstar and the Detroit Red Wings played, well...Ugly hockey on Thursday night, mucking, grinding and just plain old out-working the Chicago Blackhawks en route to a 2-0 win and taking 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday. Howard earned the shutout on 28 saes.
Jakub Kindl scored the only goal the Wings would need (on the power play, no less)...
The Red Wings stood up to Bryan Bickell and all the Hawks tried to throw at them in terms of mucking, grinding and playing a nasty game...
While the Red Wings are preparing to battle the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, the Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, are preparing to host the Oklahoma City Barons in the first two games of the AHL's Western Conference Finals, which willt ake place at Van Andel Arena on Friday and Saturday night.
As the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan notes, the Wings players who spent the first half of their 2012-2013 season in Grand Rapids before joining the parent club for its 2013 campaign aren't surprised by the Griffins' post-season success...
"They have a good team, and the older guys are making a difference," said Andersson, noting veterans such as Jeff Hoggan, Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans. "In the American League there are so many young guys and teams, you need good leadership."
The Griffins open the conference finals against Oklahoma City on Friday at Van Andel Arena.
"I still talk to a lot of guys down there, I keep track of them for sure," said Nyquist, who was the team's leading scorer (60 points) while playing 58 games in Grand Rapids. "Guys have taken on bigger roles and the veterans have done a great job."
Updated 5x at 4:46 PM, and Babs' game-day presser is below: As Paul's already noted, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks exchanged the usual "all is well" sentiments as they prepared to face off in Game 4 of their second-round series tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, with a post-game show to air on FSD), and coach Babcock was in fine form during his game-day presser...
The NHL Network also filed a game-day report which includes comments from Babcock, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Toews was indeed smiling, and most of the Hawks seemed to be in a rather good mood after an unusually focused morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. If the pressure's mounting, they weren't showing it.
"Our group's been fine. We're definitely disappointed, we haven't been in this position all year. We've quietly gone about our business and [they've] gotten our attention over the last couple of games. The focus has got to be in the right place. We want to play our best game of the year tonight, and we're going to need it."
After a disastrous Game 2, the Hawks felt they played a strong game in Game 3, particularly in the third period. The way they see it, if a break or two had gone their way, they'd be the team up 2-1 in the series. Of course, they're not. And the fact that one of their better efforts wasn't good enough to beat the surging Red Wings might not have damaged the Hawks' confidence, but it certainly boosted Detroit's.
"It shows that we have a lot of confidence and we're playing close to our best hockey right now, and that's what we want to keep doing," said defenseman Brendan Smith. "I think we've still got to work on a few things. I don't think we've played a full 60 minutes and that's something we're going to need to do tonight, because we all know Chicago's going to come out blazing. It's such an important game. Seems like every game gets more important -- it's unbelievable how that works. They're going to up their ante and we're going to have to do the same."
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
There is something vaguely unfair about the Detroit Red Wings.
The lineup they iced for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series against Chicago on Monday had 15 players who were either their own draft picks or who were Red Wings property before anyone else got them.
That's 15 out of 20, and if forward Darren Helm and defenceman Danny DeKeyser were healthy, the number would be higher.
This, despite having not had a top-10 pick in the draft since 1991 (Marty Lapointe), and only two inside the top 20 in the 22 seasons since then - in each of which, by the way, the Red Wings have made the playoffs.
Oh, and just to rub it in a little, the Wings' system includes the NCAA college defence-men of the year in the CCHA (DeKeyser) and WCHA (Nick Jensen), the top defenceman in the Canadian Hockey League (Ryan Sproule) and one of the QMJHL's two or three best rearguards, Xavier Ouellet.
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, and FSD will air a post-game show; tonight is also the "Fill a Boot" night fundraiser to help the family of Dearborn firefighter Brian Wohlke) knowing that "things will move pretty fast" from here on out. Starting with Game 4 this evening, this series will switch to the familiar play-every-other-day format, with Games 5, 6 and 7 scheduled to take place on Saturday (8 PM, NBC), next Monday and Wednesday...
So the two-day breaks' worth of bluster will soon be behind us (there were two practice posts, an evening multimedia post, injury updates and multiple discussions of the Wings' rebuilding-on-the-fly status for a reason; for the record, it's going to get up to 60 today with scattered showers, but the low for tonight's forecasted at 37 degrees, so the ice should be much better at the Joe, too), but Wednesday's practice chatter did end in something of a flourish from Chicago, where the Hawks still insist that they must play "angry," and where Joel Quenneville's decided to jump-start his power play and his team's scoring by adding Bryan Bickell as a net-front presence and prescribing more Andrew Shaw to get in Jimmy Howard's grill, respectively.
The Hawks didn't absolutely insist that the series will head to Chicago tied 2-2, but they came pretty close while speaking with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago's Tracey Myers...
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.