The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/20/13 at 10:29 PM ET
Updated 7x with more and more video at 11:17 PM: I get it. The Hawks will look at the goalposts and at the waved-off goal by Andrew Shaw and insist, despite the penalty disparity, that they should still be playing the Red Wings, who managed to hang on and defeat them 3-1.
I get that the media will insist that Shaw was pushed into the crease by Jakub Kindl, and that it should at least be 2-2--Puck Daddy already has the play of course (they were silent on Saturday, all evening long), and that Patrick Kane's goal was "completely legal" because the breakaway pass-over-Quincey-and-Smith's head was sent to him after Johnny Oduya cleanly hit johan Franzen who was down, but hey, the rules demand that play continue if one of what Eddie Olczyk would deem one of Oduya's "pushes" (see: his "push" to Justin Abdelkader, using his stick) just happened to drop a guy (clip? Clip? Nope).
They can all go *#$%@& themselves. The refereeing was terrible on both sides, but the Hawks "got" the goal they "lost." The end.
The Detroit Red Wings may have nearly broke far too many times under the Hawks' pressure, they may have lost the battle for possession and control and may have played like a road team on home ice...
But the Wings played just well enough to take everything the Hawks had, penalty-killing acumen included, and neither blow themselves up nor allow the Hawks' relentless attack to take them down, in no small part because Jimmy Howard was more spectacular than lucky, and in no small part because even a Wings team in retreat is starting to prove that, despite its inconsistencies...
It can get the lead and hold onto it. It can grind it out. It can take abuse and not retaliate. It can give abuse without being stupid. It can watch a Blackhawks team skate around but not shoot like the Wings and just patiently wait the Hawks' contortions out. And when the Hawks do truly threaten the crease, it can beat the shit out of Chicago and then go down to the other end and beat the supposedly invulnerable Corey Crawford.
It turns out that it isn't Jonathan Toews against the world, though Toews certainly played like it, and Toews almost got away with it because Captain Pork Chop Sideburns and his team got an amazing amount of penalty-less deference (poor baby whining and pushing and shoving in every scrum), especially on those committed by one Johnny Oduya, until the third period, and despite that damn invincible Hawks PK...
It may be a narrow margin, folks, but by a narrow margin, the Detroit Red Wings are playing "better" than the Chicago Blackhawks.
That doesn't mean that they're a "better team" on paper.
Or a "better team" personnel-wise on the ice.
It means that they're a "better team" on the scoreboard.
And with the series re-setting, with 2 days before Thursday's Game 4, the Detroit Red Wings have a 2-1 lead, home ice advantage, and a real day off tomorrow.
The Wings aren't necessarily "better" than Chicago.
But they fight harder.
They score more.
They've got a "better" goalie, at least for two of the last three games.
And they haven't melted down repeatedly, especially in scrums and after the whistle's blown, or when referees are nearby to mismanage personnel as well as games.
Do these teams hate each other going forward, and is it gonna be nasty? You bet.
But one team has nerve. One team has backbone.
And the Wings also have Gustav Nyquist, who took a flip pass from Damien Brunner and did this 7:49 in...
They have the grit of Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves, who took a forecheck and a hold-in by Cory Emmerton and basically battled the puck in 8:20 into the 2nd...
Yes, Patrick Kane scored this goal in the 3rd to make it 2-1 (and you can barely see Franzen smoked)...
And they have a team with a player wearing a letter who does not whine, who does not complain, who simply makes magic. Pavel Datsyuk's goal salted it away..,
Despite the fact that the Hawks out-shot Detroit 17-7 in the 3rd and 40-30 overall.
The Wings stood up to the Hawks. They stood up despite stumbling and falling themselves. And they get to take tomorrow off to rest their bumps and bruises.
The Hawks can whine, complain, hack, whack and do whatever else they wish.
The Wings just need to keep winning. That's all that matters.
Because if this was the Hawks' best, and the Wings can handle it, and can control their tempers while doing it...Anything can happen.
Update: Here's Drew Miller speaking to the NHL Network after the game, via RedWingsFeed...
Shots 40-30 Chicago overall. Detroit was out-shot 15-9 in the 1st, out-shot Chicago 14-8 in the 2nd and were out-shot 17-7 in the 3rd.
The Wings went 0-for-5 in 9:00 of PP time; the Hawks went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 39 of 40 shots; Corey Crawford stopped 27 of 30.
The 3 stars were picked by the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, and they were Niklas Hjalmarsson, Drew Miller and Jimmy Howard.
The Wings' goals: Nyquist (2) from Brunner (4) and Andersson (4);
Miller (1) from Eaves (2) and Emmerton (1);
Datsyuk (3) from Franzen (1) and Smith (2).
Faceoffs 37-29 Detroit (Detroit won 56%);
Blocked shots 15-12 Detroit;
Missed shots 11-6 Chicago (total attempts 66-48 Chicago, with the Wings firing 30 shots on Crawford and 18 into Hawks players, and the Hawks sending 40 on Howard and 26 wide/blocked);
Hits 28-22 Detroit;
Giveaways 9-5 Detroit;
Takeaways 6-3 Chicago.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 16-and-12 (57%); Zetterberg went 9-and-7 (56%); Andersson went 6-and-5 (55%); Emmerton went 4-and-2 (67%); Filppula went 1-and-1 (50%); Brunner and Abdelkader lost their only faceoffs; Eaves won his only faceoff.
Shots: Abdelkader and Zetterberg co-led the Wings with 5 shots; Datsyuk and Nyquist had 3; Kindl, Eaves, Brunner and Franzen had 2; Smith, Cleary, Miller, Quincey, Kronwall and Andersson had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl fired 4 shots into Hawks players; Eaves had 2 attempts blocked; Abdelkader, Nyquist, Miller, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Andersson had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Kindl, Abdelkader, Miller, Brunner, Zetterberg and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 6 hits; Miller and Franzen had 3; Cleary, Emmerton, Colaiacovo, Filppula and Kronwall had 2; Smith, Kindl, Nyquist, Eaves, Brunner and Zetterberg had 1.
Giveaways: Ericsson had 3 giveaways; Kronwall had 2; Smith, Kindl, Miller and Filppula had 1.
Takeaways: Nyquist had 2 takeaways.
Blocked opponent shots: Miller blocked 4 shots; Kindl and Kronwall blocked 2; Smith, Abdelkader, Eaves, Emmerton, Quincey, Colaiacovo and Zetterberg blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Smith took 2 minor penalties; Abdelkader, Quincey and Andersson took 1.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective +10. Filppula finished at -1; Abdelkader, Nyquist, Eaves, Miller, Brunner, Emmerton and Franzen were +1; Kindl and Colaiacovo were +2.
Points: Datsyuk, Nyquist and Miller scored goals; Smith, Eaves, Brunner, Emmerton, Andersson and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:06 played; Ericsson played 23:37; Datsyuk played 21:14;
Zetterberg played 19:42; Filppula played 19:39; Smith played 18:42;
Franzen played 18:33; Quincey played 18:14; Colaiacovo played 17:12;
Cleary played 16:53; Kindl played 16:51; Abdelkader played 16:25;
Miller played 12:36; Nyquist played 11:05; Andersson played 10:06;
Brunner played 9:15; Eaves played 8:20; Emmerton played 7:30.
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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.