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Red Wings-Blackhawks Game 7 quick take: brave, valiant, but it’s a coin flip

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in OT of Game 7 of the teams' second-round series on Wednesday night, ending the Red Wings' season.

Let me know what you think, espeially given that the Walkom call was wiped out by Gustav Nyquist being boarded on the game-winner.

After the game, Keith Jones simply said, "The right team won" and Mike Milbury offered, "I agree."

Fox Sports Detroit's crew is baffled as to why Gustav Nyquist was boarded face-first and the game-winner--which went off Niklas Kronwall's skate--resulted.

Update: to me, the officiating was terrible on both sides--all series long--and I know, Datsyuk and Franzen never appeared offensively, I know, too many mistakes were made by the mistake-prone defense, I know, the Wings desperately needed more puck movement, more depth scoring, more desire to engage the Hawks head-on instead of skating BY them or AROUND them...

But the hockey world is going to insist that this game was won by the hockey gods, that the RIGHT team won, and that's bullshit.

Update #2: Devastating.

The Wings gave up three games...But I can't help but feeling that losing Game 1 was what turned the tide, oddly enough...

Did the Wings choke?

I don't know.

Did the Wings let the Hawks off the mat, and did they never really respond or regain their composure once they let the battleship that was Chicago get into a gunfight with the little PT boat that was the Wings?

Yes.

Did the Wings give up that all-important first goal and first goal far too early, to Patrick Sharp? Yes.

Did the Wings seem to be overwhelmed and out-everythinged during the first 30 minutes? Yes.

Did their special teams stink? Yes. 1 for 24. Terrible.

But that third period was one of the ages. Henrik Zetterberg played amazing hockey. The team stepped up despite losing Valtteri Filppula and it played wonderfully.

And after Nyquist was boarded and Kronwall accidentally tipped the puck past his own goalie in OT...

They shook hands with their opponents like a classy team with a bright future and owned up to not playing well enough, regardless of what the officiating did or did not mean to the course of the game.

Update again:

Update #2: On FSD, Babcock bluntly said that the team has to be improved. And that Damien Brunner was hurt during the series.

Update #3:

Update #4:

 

Statistics:

Shots
35-27 Chicago overall. Detroit was out-shot 13-11 in the 1st, 11-6 in the 2nd, the teams tied 9-9 in the 3rd and Detroit was out-shot 3-2 in OT.

The Blackhawks went 0-for-4 in 8:00 of PP time; the Red Wings went 0-for-2 in 4:00.

Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of 35; Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 27.

The 3 stars were picked by the "Chicago Media," and they picked Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard and Brent Seabrook.

The Wings' goal: Zetterberg (4) from Nyquist (3) and Cleary (6).

Faceoffs 32-29 Detroit (Detroit won 52%);

Blocked shots 15-13 Chicago;

Missed shots 10-10 (Detroit had 27 shots on Crawford and 25 blocked/wide for a total of 52 attempts; Chicago had 58 attempts);

Hits 38-36 Detroit;

Giveaways 14-6 Chicago;

Takeaways 9-6 Chicago.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 12-and-14 (46%); Zetterberg went 12-and-9 (57%); Andersson went 5-and-5 (50%); Emmerton went 2-and-0 (100%); Abdelkader won his only faceoff; Cleary lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Abdelkader led the team with 5 shots; Zetterberg had 4; Nyquist, Brunner, Emmerton, Andersson and Franzen had 3; Datsyuk had 2; Colaiacovo had 1.

Blocked attempts: Kindl, Nyquist, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Franzen hit Hawks players 2 times; Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Brunner, Emmerton and Colaiacovo hit Hawks players 1 time.

Missed shots: Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Cleary, Datsyuk, Miller, Emmerton and Zetterberg missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Abdelkader led the Wings with 9 hits; Quincey had 5; Kronwall had 4; Datsyuk had 3; Kindl, Cleary, Miller, Emmerton and Franzen had 2; Smith, Nyquist, Eaves, Colaiacovo, Zetterberg, Ericsson and Andersson had 1.

Giveaways: Ericsson had 2 takeaways; Smith, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Howard had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 3 takeaways; Kindl, Abdelkader and Franzen had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 4 shots; Colaiacovo blocked 3; Quincey blocked 2; Kindl, Miller, Brunner and Franzen blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Abdelkader, Emmerton, Quincey, Ericsson and Andersson were tagged with minor penalties.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -5. Cleary, Zetterberg, Ericsson, Kronwall and Franzen finished at -1.

Points: Zetterberg had a goal; Nyquist and Cleary had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the Wings with 28:24 played; Ericsson played 26:19; Smith played 23:03;

Datsyuk played 21:41; Franzen played 21:01; Quincey played 20:59;

Zetterberg played 20:49; Abdelkader played 19:53; Cleary played 18:27;

Miller played 16:20; Nyquist played 16:13; Andersson played 14:52;

Kindl played 13:30; Brunner played 12:06; Colaiacovo played 12:06;

Emmerton played 10:28; Eaves played 10:16; Filppula played 1:28.

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Comments

42jeff's avatar

I hate to say it….but i hope in his “I’m done with this fuching league” interview, Pavel makes a comment or three about “Fuch this bullshit” and “screw you gary.  Ass”

 

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/29/13 at 11:05 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

2-1, George.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/29/13 at 11:06 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’d rather have a minute and a half left in regulation and down 2-1 than a boarding non-call lead to an OT winner.

I hate this league, but i just can’t give it up.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/29/13 at 11:13 PM ET

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Gut instincts are usually pretty reliable. There’s now way to know what that ref was thinking when he blew the whistle, so the debate becomes just a matter of opinion on when a ref should blow the whistle during a scrum between two guys or not.

And my gut instincts say Nyquist wasn’t boarded. He was sideways when he was mashed into the boards.

I don’t have any bitterness in me. I was ready for a loss tonight, it was evident in their play as the series went on. They lost whatever it was that allowed them to stifle the Ducks and be better than the Hawks early in the series, whatever allowed them to win their last 4 games, their first 4 game win streak, and squeak into the playoffs.

That’s just how good they were this year, and it was fine. Next year should be better. I’m excited. As long as the right players are on the roster, and we all know who they are…there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect good things.

Although, to get a bit more serious…personnel isn’t as important as the system. We’ve seen all kinds of players help out over the years. We’ve talked about this countless times, especially this year. For the Red Wings to be successful next year, for them to not have a roller coaster 82 game season next year, puck possession needs to return to form. It is absolutely imperative that the mistakes that have dogged the Wings for a few years now, especially this year with growing pains, go away. Less turnovers, less hopeful chip plays up the boards, less low percentage shots, retrieving rebounds, hitting at the right time and not tangling up with the opposition more than you have to, so that you can get the puck. The puck must be the priority.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/29/13 at 11:15 PM ET

Bent's avatar

I hate this league, but i just can’t give up the Red Wings.

Fixed that for you.

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 05/29/13 at 11:18 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m tired of NBC and their prickish tendencies and outrageous favoritism towards certain teams.  As I said in the LB, they’re NOT getting a number out of this house on any of their NHL broadcasts until the Wings return in September.  Goddamn this fuching league.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/29/13 at 11:22 PM ET

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I could not be prouder of the Wings, unbelievable effort.  NBC crew is an embarrassment, their homerism was a disgrace.  I wish I had CBC.

Posted by bababooey on 05/29/13 at 11:27 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

Twice in a row, they let guys go into the slot with no one covering them. But all game long they had trouble covering Blackhawks players, routinely allowing attacking players to go around or through defenders, not to mention an absurd number of odd-man situations* for a game 7. I said before the series that if it went to 7 games, the Red Wings would win. I amended that to include the possibility of the Red Wings shooting themselves. Doing nothing for the first 40 minutes and somehow managing to get fewer shots on goal in the last 20 than the first 20 counts as shooting oneself, methinks.

TBH, that looked more like game 7 than game 62.

Posted by bleep bloop on 05/29/13 at 11:29 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Wings kept it low scoring, I liked their chances.
Kronwall won’t sleep tonight with the puck going off his skate on the goal.
Sad, definitely. Up 3 to 1 in games, but playing well in the 3rd period this time.
Disappointed? No.
If you asked me in March if I’d be happy with the Wings season going to overtime in Game 7 with a chance to beat the Presidents Cup winner? I’d take it in a heartbeat.
We’ll soon find out where the injuries were and how bad.
Let’s hope Datsyuk’s staying.
Patrick Kane said it was (one of the?) hardest series he’s ever played in.
Actually, not sure how well I’ll sleep tonight.
Feel drained right now.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/29/13 at 11:31 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

I honestly feel that Doc is pretty unbiased.  He can ramble and I often find laughing at his odd phrases.  The rest of the NBC crew is a joke.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 05/29/13 at 11:32 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

I really wonder what was wrong with Datsyuk.  He didn’t play like himself all series.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 05/29/13 at 11:33 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Oh, and I’d rather have the Wings go after a top defenseman than a forward, but get at least one more forward with grit please for the East next year, Mr. Holland.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/29/13 at 11:34 PM ET

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Personally, I’m goddamn proud of that effort tonight. Detroit was totally over matched in this series and pushed it to the absolute brink. After they failed to win it in the 3rd I figured OT would see the Hawks prevail…even after that idiotic call on the no goal.

Posted by godblender on 05/29/13 at 11:36 PM ET

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Unless they can get Shea Weber, I’m in the get more grit at forward camp.

Posted by bababooey on 05/29/13 at 11:37 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Proud of our team.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 05/29/13 at 11:38 PM ET

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Oh…and if you think that more grit from the forward position would have changed the outcome of this series you’re cracked. Start with the backend and work your way up.

Posted by godblender on 05/29/13 at 11:40 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Oh…and if you think that more grit from the forward position would have changed the outcome of this series you’re cracked. Start with the backend and work your way up.

I hope you didn’t read that into my comment. For THIS series, they were outclassed on defense. That’s why I said they need defense more. For NEXT year, they need more grit in the East (and Holland is already on record that those are his 3 targets: top defenseman, top forward on offense, and a physical player for the East—the question is whether he can get all 3).

Posted by Bugsy on 05/29/13 at 11:43 PM ET

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The team stepped up despite losing Valtteri Filppula

At least you’re keeping your sense of humour, George.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/13 at 11:52 PM ET

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Detroit needs wingers for Zetterberg.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/13 at 11:54 PM ET

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NBC IS terrible and unfortunately the senile old fart on CBC sounds like he is announcing tape delay on his own broadcast…the only thing worse is the optimistic, glass half full, we’ll get ‘em next time BS ‘fans’ like CrimsonPhoenix start churning out! This Wings team won games 2-4 by jumping up and taking the game to Chicago and its ONLY when the Wings/Babbchoke start playing that fatalistic bend but don’t break, playing not to lose that is straight out of all state of Michigan teams playbook! I don’t care who they are playing, a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup playoffs is a strangle hold and its criminal the way, this or ANY Wings team, choked it away! Its the effort in much of the series that makes the rest of it, so damn infuriating/frustrating!!!!
So yeah, I AM bitter…I am angry…I am freakin’ po’ed!

Posted by AngryInBoattown on 05/29/13 at 11:54 PM ET

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Posted by AngryInBoattown on 05/29/13 at 11:54 PM ET

Eat a dick.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/13 at 11:56 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 05/29/13 at 11:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Take note of Brunner’s injury and the Babcock comments.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/29/13 at 11:58 PM ET

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Eat a dick.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/13 at 11:56 PM ET

Just be happy Garth, you’ll get ‘em next year!

Posted by AngryInBoattown on 05/30/13 at 12:02 AM ET

SYF's avatar

But the hockey world is going to insist that this game was won by the hockey gods, that the RIGHT team won, and that’s bullshit.

Aye.  That’s the MSM meme of the year.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/30/13 at 12:08 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Take note of Brunner’s injury and the Babcock comments.

Is the implication that they’re expecting Filppula back??
I’ll be curious what Brunner’s injury was.
Actually, as noted above, I’ll be curious if Datsyuk was injured.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/13 at 12:11 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Off duty for a few days here, but see Babcock didn’t waste any time pointing out his roster needs free agents that he’ll actually use.
  — John Niyo (@JohnNiyo) May 30, 2013

No pressure, there, Mr. Holland. Go get ‘em. Trade, free agency, whatever.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/13 at 12:14 AM ET

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Is the implication that they’re expecting Filppula back??

I don’t think there’s any implication.

Posted by Garth on 05/30/13 at 12:24 AM ET

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Just be happy Garth, you’ll get ‘em next year!

Hopefully you’ll be finished whining and crying by next year…

Posted by Garth on 05/30/13 at 12:25 AM ET

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I think the Wings played their hearts out this playoffs and I’m very proud of the team.  Up and down the line-up, I think everyone showed up.

It’s tough to lose to Chicago of all teams, especially seeing as this is the end of the rivalry, unless they meet in the Finals.

Game 7 was up for grabs. The right team, didn’t win this series, it turned out to be a coin toss.

Should we have closed Chicago out after taking 3-1 series lead? One would have to say so, but we didn’t and I think that can be chalked up to lack of experience in our roster.  Our D was very young and our entire 3rd line were rookies.

I think Detroit exposed Chicago’s weakness in that if you can pressure their backend their advantage can evaporate.  I did notice that the games in which Detroit won, Chicago’s defense were making mistakes and especially Keith was playing poorly.  He picked his game up hugely for games 5-6-7, it was pretty clear.

Anyway very excited for next season in the East!

Posted by cochy on 05/30/13 at 12:25 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I don’t think there’s any implication.

And the next topics for debate will start in earnest shortly,....

Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/13 at 12:30 AM ET

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Hopefully you’ll be finished whining and crying by next year…

Posted by Garth on 05/30/13 at 12:25 AM ET

Doubt it…as optimistic as I am for the future, this year-THIS series, after being up 3-1, was a historical meltdown that we will never be allowed to un-remember…and despite the brave faces and pleasant player tweets, I am as angry and disappointed with the obvious as I hope/know every Wing in that locker room is.

Posted by AngryInBoattown on 05/30/13 at 12:50 AM ET

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By the way, why did Kindl get 10 minutes less ice time than Smith?

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/30/13 at 01:52 AM ET

harken23's avatar

Wings lost on an ill-timed (one could also call it “lazy” and “botched”) defense change, and a deflection off a skate in OT. That was the difference in this series, period, despite what the NBC f-wads would have you believe. Nobody thought we’d make the playoffs. Nobody thought we could ever beat the Ducks. Nobody thought we had a dream of a hope of a chance against the Hawks. We let a golden opportunity slip away, true, but Chicago is a heck of a team, and frankly, Crawford has never been as good as he was in the last 3 games.  We started the 3rd period on absolute fire, and he had an answer for all but one of our chances. Howard did the same on the other end when the Hawks got out of their own end, eventually.

It was a helluva game, and a helluva series. I hoped our Western Conference Farewell Tour would have lasted longer (a trip thru San Jose would have been the dream scenario), but a rough break ended it tonite in OT.

I hold my head high as a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Detroit Red Wings, and look forward to their move to the East (despite the fact that I will probably never see them in another playoff series, living on the West Coast, as I do), because they will be the ONLY team in the East who know how to play defense!

Posted by harken23 on 05/30/13 at 02:02 AM ET

ronlandrus's avatar

Need more scary guys, like a Dallas Drake.

Posted by ronlandrus from Toledo, Ohio on 05/30/13 at 07:53 AM ET

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There might be some decent coverage here but I can’t hear it over all the whining.

Posted by RoneFace on 05/30/13 at 12:23 PM 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.