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The Malik Report

Belated Red Wings-Blackhawks wrap-up: message received

The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks was the kind of victory which defied, “I think I can write this up and be done with it” status until later on Sunday evening because, put simply, its implications depended upon whether the Minnesota Wild defeated the Dallas Stars and gave the Blackhawks a Stanley Cup playoff lifeline (which they did) or whether the Stars would help the Wings sweep their long-time rival out of the playoffs and onto the golf course.

So fate smiled upon the Blackhawks, who will open the defense of their Stanley Cup championship against the Vancouver Canucks, and the Red Wings’ victory ended up meaning exactly what the Red Wings hoped it would and thought it would when they hopped on Red Bird II for a short flight back to Detroit—a message sent from Detroit to Detroit about its ability to compete with the Phoenix Coyotes come Wednesday, minus Henrik Zetterberg, and a loss that, for a few hours, anyway, made the Hawks sweat.

That’s why I’m up in the middle of the night writing this up—the media didn’t really catch up with the Hawks until late Sunday evening, and without grounding this recap in both the Wings’ and Hawks’ post-Wild-game reaction. Without that delay, the recap would have reached its expiration date about five minutes after I wrote it up, and it’s not exactly fun spending two or three hours writing up one perspective that becomes dated all of thirty minutes after you’ve cobbled the various stories and quotes together into some sort of coherent narrative.

As for the, “Okay, I’ve barely slept and I’m gonna go back to bed now” (of course I’m not!) bottom line, I figured that there was an even chance that the Wild would help the Hawks out, so the fact that this game said more about the fact that the Red Wings are at least in the process of pushing that big, heavy, “It’s the playoffs!” switch than it did about the Blackhawks’ near-death experience was fine by me, but I was very surprised by so many Wings fans’ rather virulent reaction to the Stars’ inability to take out both the Wild and the Blackhawks.

The Wings, including NHL Ultimate Leader fan voting winner (for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which Messier ultimately picks) Nicklas Lidstrom and (per Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski) Wings Masterton Trophy nominee Kris Draper, did their best to avenge their 4-2 loss to Chicago on Friday, which was their goal, and that mission was accomplished.

The other part of the equation was simply out of their hands, and when you leave things up to fate in hockey, fate’s bound to smile on you fifty percent of the time. In that sense, and because this is a Wings blog, let’s take a quick look at the comments made by the Hawks about making the playoffs, starting with coach Joel Quenneville’s comments to the Blackhawks’ website...

On Minnesota’s win over the Dallas Stars:

“With the fingers crossed and the wishful thinking, you have to look at it knowing that things can happen in your favor if you just believe. But certainly we got lucky. Now let’s take advantage of being lucky.”

On Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings:

“We did some good things today. We out-chanced them but playing catch-up most of the game was certainly part of it. They had motivation on their side trying to eliminate the Cup champs. That’s basically how it was all year long. We played 82 games with everyone battling against us. At the end we got a break, a huge break. We’re very fortunate to be in the position we’re in today.”

And continuing with comments he made on a conference call after the Wild-Stars game, as noted by the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:

“I’ve never been more excited after a hockey game in my life that I didn’t participate in,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after watching the Wild’s victory. “I can’t express my jubilation and enthusiasm and excitement. It’s at a different level, and I would expect our team to be at the same plane. The excitement level should take it to a new high.”

A matchup with the Canucks, whom the Hawks have knocked out of the playoffs the last two seasons, begins Wednesday night in Vancouver. The Canucks finished with an NHL-high 117 points, but it doesn’t matter to the Hawks, who feel fortunate just to get in.

“Certainly, we got lucky,” Quenneville said. “Let’s take advantage of getting lucky,. Anything can happen this year — everybody’s close. All the teams are basically comparably even. Let’s go find out. All along getting in was everything, and now the fun begins.”

Otherwise, I’ll suggest that you can read Tracey Myers’ conference call-based article from Comcast Sportsnet Chicago and similar articles from the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Meyer-Abbott, ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh or Chris Kuc and the Chicago Daily Herald’s Mike Imrem on your own.

We’ll only briefly glance at the Hawks’ immediate post-game quips, via the Chicago Daily Herald’s Tim Sassone...

There was a feel in the Hawks’ dressing room following the loss to Detroit that the season was over. Jonathan Toews wore a glazed look as he spoke with reporters, but as it turned out the captain and his teammates get to keep playing and try to make up for what has been a mostly disappointing regular season.
“I’m pretty much speechless,” Toews said after the loss. “It’s unreal to be here.”

Fortunately for Toews, that feeling of being left out of the postseason lasted just a few hours.

“Never does it enter your mind the fact that you might not make the playoffs,” Toews said. “We had some tough skids this year; we had injuries and some games where we played well and didn’t come up with 2 points. So many things that set you back, but throughout all that you never think of this moment that this may be possible. You always think and believe you’ll find a way.”

The Daily Herald’s Mike Spellman...

Earlier Sunday afternoon, that beeping sound figured to be the team’s equipment guys backing up the trucks and loading up all the Hawks gear for summer storage after they dropped a crucial 4-3 decision to the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The Hawks’ only hope at that point was to root for Minnesota to beat Dallas later Sunday evening, a position they never thought they’d find themselves in.

“I don’t think so,” a dejected Patrick Sharp said after the loss. “We were always confident in our abilities. Not very often does this kind of stuff happen, but we’ve got no excuses — we put ourselves in this position and now we’re forced to sit and watch and hope it goes our way.”

“This is a tough situation,” Keith echoed. “Now we’re forced to wait and see what happens ... see what happens.”

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” coach Joel Quenneville said.

And ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers:

“You can always look back at any game throughout any season that could have gone differently,” Patrick Kane said after the Detroit loss. “I guess at that point in time you’re not really as urgent or focused in getting those wins and how important they really are.”

No, the Hawks weren’t urgent. And a lot of those games were at home, where they lost 17 times. How about two against Edmonton and one against New Jersey when they were going bad or another versus Columbus late in the year? Three more losses against Colorado didn’t help either. Some of those teams finished the season near the Western Conference basement.

“We have no excuses, we put ourselves in this position and now we’re forced to sit and watch and hope it goes our way,” Patrick Sharp said.

We’re also going to politely ignore the comments made by a few Blackhawks fans to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Art Golab, because, somewhere in between 11:30 AM CDT and the Hawks’ expressions of relief, an actual game was played, and the Wings won it.

Although he only addresses said 5-3 loss in light of the Hawks’ playoff reality, the Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns suggests that the Wings exposed some areas of concern for Chicago…

There are plenty of things to be concerned about with the Hawks, such as inexperience among their depth players, injuries to Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer, how Corey Crawford handles the grind of the playoffs, their knack for complacency and their impotent power play.

Some of those deficiencies showed up against the Red Wings, who clearly were angered by what the Hawks did to them a game earlier. On Sunday, Detroit rallied in the second period, responded when challenged in the third, played physically and killed off the Hawks’ three power plays en route to their win.

“That team was pretty desperate to end our season,” Toews said. “That was their motivation, and they did the best they could.”

The Red Wings didn’t earn a single power play on Sunday, going to the box three times and earning a 4-on-4 when the Brian Rafalski and Tomas Kopecky had a little tussle, but Jahns suggests that the Blackhawks felt they were jobbed by the officials, Justin Abdeklader’s elbow on Brent Seabrook included…

The Hawks went 0-for-3 with the man advantage in their 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, including one in the final three minutes that, if converted, would have tied the score and possibly resulted in the one point they needed to ensure their playoff berth. The Hawks closed out the regular season 2-for-21 on the power play in their last seven games. It’s far from the pace they were clicking at for most of the season, considering they came into the game with the fourth-best mark in the league.

“We had a couple of looks that looked like they could be dangerous,” said coach Joel Quenneville, who saw his power-play units record only two shots. “The last one was frustrating. It didn’t generate what we were looking for.”

Winger Patrick Kane thought the Hawks deserved a few more calls, but the officials showed a tendency to allow more of a playoff-like game. One big penalty was missed: Justin Abdelkader’s elbow to the face of defenseman Brent Seabrook in the third period.

“We didn’t generate anything to be successful enough [on the power play],” Kane said. “Even the power plays we did have, there was a lot of holding, clutching and grabbing by them out there that usually gets called, which is unfortunate. There were plays you were coming up in the zone and trying to go back to the net, [and there was] clutching and grabbing, which is playoff hockey, and you expect that at this time of year. But it would have been nice to get a couple of more.”

The Red Wings would obviously argue that the Hawks had nothing to complain about.

It got up to 83 degrees in Metro Detroit thanks to a warm front that pushed the jet stream above the 45th parallel on Sunday, and as I write this, thunder’s rumbling though South Lyon, MI, where it’s supposed to get down to 38 degrees tonight, and ESPN Chicago’s Rogers says the weather affected the playing surface...

The Hawks are built with speed, not bulk, but the ice surface at the United Center leaves something to be desired for their style. Bad on cold days, it was even worse on the 80 degree Sunday afternoon, according to some players.

Duncan Keith called the puck “a tennis ball out there,” and Patrick Kane didn’t disagree with that notion.

“Sometimes you play on rinks in Montreal or Detroit and the ice seems so nice out there and you’d think in Chicago they’d have good ice too but today was pretty choppy,” he said. “The puck was bouncing out there. It was tough to make some plays. When the game is going like that you have to find ways to get it in and jam pucks in. But it was definitely different than Detroit or Montreal.

As the Daily Herald’s Sassone notes, “bad non calls” and bad weather weren’t the only reasons why the Blackhawks lost:

An inconsistent bottom half of the lineup at forward has been one of the Blackhawks’ problems since the season started, and it was again on Sunday.

The fourth line of Jake Dowell, Bryan Bickell and Fernando Pisani was a factor in the 4-3 loss to Detroit, and not in a good way. Each was minus-3 with Hawks coach Joel Quenneville giving them surprisingly important ice time.

Third-line winger Viktor Stalberg made one of the day’s biggest mistakes when his errant centering pass to no one turned into Tomas Holmstrom’s tying goal after the puck traveled all the way around the boards to the wide-open Detroit winger.

“You’ve got to make sure in the offensive zone you put the puck in good areas,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “A good puck possession play turned into a semi-break.”

The Hawks actually scored the game’s first goal, as Comcast Sportsnet Chicago’s Tracey Myers noted….

The Blackhawks got the lead they wanted when Frolik scored about five minutes into the second period. But just one minute, 38 seconds later a bad Viktor Stalberg pass went right to Tomas Holmstrom, who scored. Sixty-two seconds later, Pavel Datsyuk gave the Wings a 2-1 edge.

“That was tough,” said Patrick Kane. “We score and then we gave up one a shift or two right after and then another. It’s tough when you do that. We had chances in the third and chances to tie it up. It just didn’t go our way, I guess.”

Detroit took two-goal leads twice, with the Blackhawks narrowing them down to one each time. Seabrook’s laser shot made it 3-2 about four minutes into the third before Daniel Cleary put the Wings up 4-2. Keith’s backhand rebound made it 4-3.

The Blackhawks got three power plays, including one in the final three minutes of regulation. But they couldn’t find the tying goal.

“On power plays, sometimes you need to keep it simple and get pucks to the net and get a greasy goal,” Keith said. “The puck was bouncing out there, and especially when it’s bouncing on the ice you have to keep it simple.”

Otherwise, only ESPN Chicago’s Rogers offered any sort of recap that didn’t focus on the Hawks’ post-game comments, and it was a short one:

How it happened: Despite the Hawks scoring the first goal of the game in the second period, it was the Wings who grabbed the momentum soon after. An errant pass by Viktor Stalberg ended up on Tomas Holmstrom’s stick who took it in on Corey Crawford to tie the game less than two minutes after the Hawks had taken the lead. One minute later, the Wings took the advantage for good on a rebound try by Pavel Datsyuk. From there the Wings thwarted every comeback attempt by the Hawks twice getting two-goal leads only to see the Hawks cut it to one. But that’s as close as the home team would get. The Hawks had a power play in the final minutes of regulation, but were unable to convert.

NHL.com tasked both Brian Hedger and Dan Rosen with covering the game, and Hedger worked the Wings’ room (more than that in a bit, and he also took note of the Hawks’ post-Wild-win comments), while Rosen took on the unenviable task of writing an actual game recap from, mostly, anyway, the Hawks’ perspective:

[The Blackhawks] were happy with how they played in the first period and were thrilled when Michael Frolik scored 5:18 into the second to give them a 1-0 lead. Patrick Kane made a tremendous defensive play to strip Brad Stuart of the puck in the corner and find Frolik in the slot for a shot that beat Jimmy Howard over his left shoulder.

However, Detroit struck back with two goals over 62 seconds to take a 2-1 lead less than three minutes after Frolik scored. Tomas Holmstrom scored on a slapper from the left circle and Pavel Datsyuk cashed in from the right side despite wearing only one glove. He had his glove knocked off by Bryan Bickell, but Cleary was able to find Datsyuk from the slot and he quickly fired a shot past Crawford with 12:02 left in the second period.

“We had control of the game at 1-0 and we made a couple of mistakes and then next thing you know they’re winning 2-1,” Keith said. “They played well, give them credit, but I just thought we made too many mistakes. It was just a fine line.”

Keith also suggested to the Northwest Herald’s Tom Musick that the Hawks made “broken plays,” not mistakes. Take that for what you will.

Drew Miller scored 1:56 into the period to make it 3-1 Red Wings. Brent Seabrook got it back less than three minutes later with a slap shot from the right circle, but Chicago never could find a way to break even in the final 20 minutes.

Cleary gave the Wings their second two-goal lead of the third with 11:49 to play when his one-timer from the slot beat Crawford. Duncan Keith scored his seventh goal of the season just 3 minutes and 11 seconds later to breathe new life into United Center and cut the deficit to 4-3 with 8:38 to play.

Keith swooped into the slot and used his backhand to roof the loose puck over Jimmy Howard’s left shoulder. Patrick Sharp got a piece of the puck in front after Marian Hossa sent it to the slot from the point. But, the Blackhawks couldn’t get another one, and they nearly didn’t have another chance until next fall.

The Hawks fired a remarkable 13 shots on Jimmy Howard in the 3rd period and out-shot Detroit 36-31 overall, but Howard held the fort, and he and the Wings were plain old happy with the fact that they finally took hold of the dusty, rusty “playoff hockey” switch and started moving it toward “on,” as he told the Associated Press’s Rick Gano:

“It was a lot of fun out there, they threw everything at us there in the third period and we withstood it,” Howard said. “That’s a great sign for us heading into the playoffs.”

Michael Frolik, Brent Seabrook and Keith had goals for Chicago. The Red Wings took the lead with a pair of goals 62 seconds apart in the second.

“We haven’t been very good for a while, and yet we think we have a good team and we think we know how to play, and so it was good to see us play here,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. It was another game when they’re in playoff mode and we’re not, we’re stuck in a spot, but I thought guys showed good pride and good urgency and played the game the right way.”

Babcock actually spoke sympathetically about the Hawks’ plight to NHL.com’s Rosen after the game...

“They lost all their players,” Babcock said, referencing the 10 players that played for Chicago in the playoffs but departed after the parade due to salary cap restraints and otherwise. “I think they did a masterful job actually, considering. I think you’re going to see a lot of this now because if you play good they take your players.”

Babcock is referring to the salary cap, which many believe is the No. 1 reason for the parity that currently exists in the NHL.
“I think you build a team and you hope your year is going to come before you’ve got to pay them all,” Babcock said. “Once you have to pay them all, you pick the people you marry and you hope like crazy to fill in. But it’s hard, I tell you.”

The Red Wings seem to be the exception. They’ve earned 100 points in every season since 1998-99 and are 304-126-62 in the regular season since Babcock took over in 2005.

“We’ve been doing this for six years now and we’ve got 304 wins in six years,” Babcock said. “I think that’s been done in the ‘70s by Montreal, the ‘80s by Edmonton and now by us. That’s never going to be done again in my opinion. I think it’s impossible. The way the cap is, they take too much away.”
“That’s a good hockey team, a real good hockey team,” Babcock said of the Hawks, “but they only let you in the tournament in the end if you get enough points.”

The Red Wings did admit to NHL.com’s Brian Hedger that they did take some satisfaction from at least putting the Hawks’ season in jeopardy, but Detroit’s main focus after winning Saturday’s game was the way in which they answered both their own and their fans’ questions about the team’s tenacity stemming from Friday’s loss:

“They outplayed us totally on Friday in our rink,” said Red Wings forward Danny Cleary, whose third-period goal put Detroit up 4-2 with more than half the period left. “It was embarrassing for us at home. Another boo fest. It (wasn’t) so much about us giving 120 percent because we don’t want Chicago to make it. I thought we really needed to come out and play a good game for ourselves and get ready (for the playoffs) and realize that we do have a good team and when we play the right way we can win.”

And knock the Blackhawks out? In theory…

“Yeah maybe … maybe a little bit,” Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart said, when asked if there was any satisfaction at all in knowing the Hawks were put into a tough spot with the loss. “It is (a rivalry). It’s just kind of a tiny part of our motivation. We did our part and I guess the rest is up to the Dallas Stars as to whether or not they’re going to get in.”

But Howard also suggested that the Wings were more than due to actually show up for a game…

“The game in Carolina and then the other night, those aren’t good games for us,” Howard told NHL.com. “We were there, yeah, but we were probably only there in spirit. We came in here and we were focused. We didn’t care about the playoffs for them and everything like that. They threw everything at us there in the third and we withstood that. That’s very reassuring for us going into the playoffs.”

And the Wings owed the Hawks one—or probably more than one—for beating the Wings at home so very regularly of late, especially at home:

“They’d beaten us in four straight games and we wanted to finish the regular season right with a win and play well leading into the playoffs,” Lidstrom told NHL.com “We played a lot better game. We didn’t open ourselves up defensively. They did come out of the gates flying and they had some good chances early on, but we kept our composure.”

That being said, the Wings are still a little puzzled as to why they haven’t been able to flip their “playoff mode” switch to “on” on a consistent basis:

“That’s the key (phrase): constantly having it turned on,” Cleary said. “I wish that I had an answer, but it seems like when we’ve been called out or have to respond, we seem to be able to do that. There’s been a lot of games here the last little while that we haven’t really matched other teams’ intensity or their will to win. I thought we did that today and it’s proof that we’re a good team.”

Cleary continued while speaking to the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

“If we play the right way, we can win,” said Danny Cleary, who scored the eventual winning goal, his 26th of the season. at 8:11 of the third period.

The Wings (47-25-10, 104 points) were locked in as the No. 3 seed. They really didn’t have much to play for other than trying to exact revenge being embarrassed Friday at Joe Louis Arena by the Blackhawks. On the other hand, Chicago (44-29-9, 97 points) was playing for its playoff life. It grabbed the No. 8 spot a few hours after the game when Dallas lost, 5-3, at Minnesota. But the Wings matched the Blackhawks’ intensity.

“We obviously weren’t very impressed with the way we played at home (on Friday),” coach Mike Babcock said. “We haven’t been very good for a while, and yet we think we have a good team and we think we know how to play, and so it was good to see us play here today. It was another game when they’re in playoff mode and we’re not, we’re stuck in a spot, but guys showed good pride and good urgency and played the game the right way.”

As previously noted, however, Babcock issued bad news about Henrik Zetterberg, saying that he won’t be able to play on Wednesday, and he could only offer this about what is apparently either an ACL or MCL sprain of Zetterberg’s left knee:

“He’s pushing things and working hard and he’ll be ready when he’s ready to go,” Babcock said.

Here’s what Babcock said to MLive’s Ansar Khan:

“I don’t expect him to start the series,’’ Babcock said following the 4-3 win over the Blackhawks. “But he’s really pushing things, he’s working hard and he’ll be ready to go as soon as he can. I think (Niklas) Kronwall will start the series.’‘

Zetterberg has an apparent knee injury and hasn’t resumed skating. Kronwall has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury, but got in a full, hard practice on Saturday.

Right wing Patrick Eaves didn’t play today due to flu-like symptoms, possibly food poisoning.

We all know that the Wings won’t let Zetterberg injure himself further, but as soon as his knee’s stable in that knee brace, he’ll be cleared to play.

In the interim, we’ll have to cross our fingers, hope, and continue our survey of the Wings’ takes on Sunday’s win.

Nicklas Lidstrom, who ended the season at a -2 despite his best efforts to the contrary, told the Free Press’s Helene St. James that the Wings finally matched their opponent’s levels of competition, intensity, attention to detail and urgency:

“I thought we played with a lot of patience, and I thought we battled hard,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “They were a desperate team, they needed to win, and we knew that coming in. We played our system, but we battled hard, too. We battled for pucks, whether it was on the PK or regular shifts. I thought we just played with a lot more determination than we did the other night. We wanted to go out there and really put in a strong effort and get ready for the playoffs.”

The Wings killed off three power plays, including one in the last 3 minutes of a one-goal game, putting the finish touch on a solid performance.

“Our emotional levels were up, we were battling hard, and that was kind of what we wanted to see,” defenseman Brad Stuart said.

Jimmy Howard went a step further…

“They embarrassed us in our own barn the other night, and there’s a lot of pride in this dressing room,” Howard said. “We did want to end the season on a good note, and we did that.”
“It was a courageous effort here tonight, and it was a great victory for us,” Howard said. “They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us there in the third period. We withstood that, and I think that’s really positive for us. We played a very patient game, and what they got, they had to work for.”

And Cleary suggested to St. James that the Wings’ win serves as something of a blueprint going forward:

“If it’s not evident now what makes us successful, then guys in this room, we really don’t know what we’re doing,” forward Danny Cleary said. “I think we know what we have to do—it’s just a matter of going out and doing it, and I think that this was a great step for us. We really played well.”

The Wings trailed for less than 2 minutes all game. Once they took the lead, they never surrendered it, not when the Blackhawks battered 17 shots at Jimmy Howard in the third period, not when the Blackhawks got a power play with 3 minutes left in a one-goal game.

“It’s good test for us,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “I think we play well today. We have lots of chances. It’s good win.”

Cleary reiterated his points of emphasis to MLive’s Ansar Khan:

“They outplayed us totally on Friday. It was an embarrassing game for us at home, another boo-fest,” Detroit forward Danny Cleary said. “We really needed to come out and play a good game for ourselves and realize we have a good team and when we play the right way, we can win.”

Said defenseman Brad Stuart: “We’ve had a few games recently where we’ve just come out flat; the intensity level was not there. Tonight, we all had to prove to ourselves that we can bring it. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but definitely our emotional level was up, we were battling hard.”

So, in the end, the Wings did indeed finally send a message, and the message they sent was more reassuring to the Red Wings than it was to us (and I don’t know about you, but this win was a relief to witness from this Wings fan’s perspective):

“They’ve had our number, we wanted to play well against them,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “But more importantly, we wanted to play well leading into the playoffs.”
“They embarrassed us in our own barn,” Howard said. “There’s a lot of pride in this dressing room. We wanted to end the season on a good note. It was a courageous effort. It was a great victory for us.”

As Cleary suggested, it was also a step forward for a team that hopes to “get started on time” against Phoenix. The Wings finally bested a team literally playing for its playoff life, and that is indeed a good sign:

“This is a great step for us, considering the situation, the atmosphere,” Cleary said.

Now the Wings get a day off on Monday—a well-deserved day off—and they’ll get down to the business of defeating the Coyotes on Tuesday.

Highlights: NBC posted a 1:15 highlight clip:

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Sportsnet posted a 41-second highlight clip:


TSN, which covered the game in Canada, posted a 2:24 highlight clip which includes commentary from some then-dejected Blackhawks players;

ESPN embedded a short highlight clip in its game recap;

Comcast Sportsnet Chicago posted a 2:09 highlight clip:


And NHL.com’s highlight clip is narrated by Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire:


Post-game: NBC’s extras, via Pro Hockey Talk, include “net cam” highlights…


Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Pavel Datsyuk being Pavel Datsyuk…


Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

The Blackhawks’ and Red Wings’ “star cam” footage:


Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

And for completeness’ sake, here are Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire yammering on about NHL awards:


Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

If you’re interested in Craig Button yelling at the Stars or Patrick Sharp talking to TSN’s Steve Kouleas after the Wild won, by all means, click away;

Comcast Sportsnet Chicago spoke to Eddie Olczyk and Patrick Sharp about the Hawks making the playoffs;

The Blackhawks’ website posted NHL on the Fly’s interview with Sharp and Michal Frolik, Joel Quenneville, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews post-game comments;

The Chicago Tribune posted a clip of Joel Quenneville’s post-Wild game conference call;

And the Wings’ website posted highlight clips in lieu of a post-game report, including Datsyuk’s goal…


Todd Bertuzzi’s hit on Ben Smith…


Tomas Holmstrom’s hit on Brent Seabrook…


And quick goals by Holmstrom and Datsyuk:


Photos: The Detroit Free Press posted a 20-image gallery;

The Detroit News posted a 16-image gallery;

The Chicago Tribune posted 20 images from the game in its “Blackhawks in Action” gallery;

Yahoo Sports posted a 36-image gallery;

NHL.com posted a massive 52-image gallery;

The Blackhawks’ website posted a 43-image gallery and embedded an image in its website’s recap;

And the Red Wings’ website posted a 40-image gallery and embedded an image in its website’s recap.

Statistics: Shots 36-31 Chicago overall, breaking down as 10-10 in the 1st period, 12-9 Detroit in the 2nd period and 17-9 Chicago in the 3rd period.

Chicago went 0-for-3 in 6:00 of PP time; the Wings did not have a power play.

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 36 shots against; Corey Crawford stopped 27 of 31.

The 3 stars, per the “Chicago Media,” Were Danny Cleary, Brent Seabrook and Pavel Datsyuk.

Our goals: Holmstrom (18), unassisted;

Datsyuk (23) from Cleary (20) and Bertuzzi (28);

Miller (10) from Filppula (23) and Hudler (27);

Cleary (26) from Bertuzzi (29) and Rafalski (44).

Faceoffs 32-28 Chicago (Detroit won 47%);

Blocked shots 11-8 Chicago;

Missed shots 9-9 (total shot attempts 53-51 Chicago);

Hits 35-15 Detroit;

Giveaways 11-5 Chicago;

Takeaways 15-10 Chicago.

Individual Stats:

Faceoffs: Abdelkader went 11-and-10 (52%); Datsyuk went 7-and-11 (39%); Filppula went 4-and-5 (44%); Helm went 3-and-5 (38%); Draper went 2-and-1 (67%); Cleary won his only faceoff.

Shots: Datsyuk led the team with 7 shots; Franzen had 5; Kindl and Holmstrom had 3; Lidstrom, Miller, Helm and Bertuzzi had 2; Cleary, Stuart, Salei, Rafalski and Draper had 1.

Blocked attempts: The Hawks blocked 2 shots from Abdelkader and Filppula; Kindl, Miller, Stuart, Hudler, rafalski, Bertuzzi and Modano had single attempts blocked.

Missed shots: Datsyuk and Bertuzzi missed the net 2 times; Abdelkader, Stuart, Ericsson, Modano and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 5 hits; Stuart, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 4; Salei, Helm and Holmstrom had 3; Cleary, Datsyuk and Miller had 2; Lidstrom, Draper and Filppula had 1.

Giveaways: Lidstrom, Stuart, Hudler, Rafalski and Ericsson had giveaways;

Takeaways: Helm had 2 takeaways; Cleary, Miller, Stuart, Hudler, Rafalski, Filppula, Ericsson and Franzen had single takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Stuart blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Miller and Salei blocked 1 shot.

Penalty minutes: Ericsson was tagged with 2 minor penalties; Rafalski and Holmstrom were tagged with single minors.

Plus-minus: Kindl, Salei, Franzen and Holmstrom finished at -1; Lidstrom, Stuart and Filppula finished at +1; Cleary, Rafalski and Bertuzzi finished at +2. The team was a collective +5.

Points: Bertuzzi had 2 assists; Cleary had a goal and an assist; Datsyuk, Miller and Holmstrom had goals; Hudler, Rafalski and Filppula had assists.

Ice Time: Stuart led the team with 27:00 played; Ericsson played 24:43; Lidstrom played 23:48;

Rafalski played 23:20; Datsyuk played 19:32; Cleary played 17:43;

Franzen played 17:40; Abdelkader played 17:18; Filppula played 16:45;

Bertuzzi played 15:30; Salei played 14:15; Miller played 14:07;

Holmstrom played 13:20; Helm played 13:06; Draper played 10:06;

Hudler played 10:00; Kindl played 7:17; Modano played 6:30.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


PDXWing's avatar

The Hawks don’t have anything to complain about, not after the refs missed two blatant penalties by Keith.  The first one of batting Salei’s stick into the stands and the high stick on Franzen (that cut him and should have been a double minor) right in front of the net. How they both missed those calls considering where they occurred on the ice is beyond me.

Posted by PDXWing on 04/11/11 at 10:37 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

As much as I despise the Hawks, I’m glad they made it in. It will be a compelling series with Vancouver.

Posted by joedaiceman on 04/11/11 at 10:41 AM ET

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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.


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