The Malik Report
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.
Strange, strange call by Stephen Walkom. Not complaining as a Wings fan but officiating has been disgusting all playoff run long.
It seems appropriate to head to overtime with the CBC's opening montage prior to Game 7:
If we are to believe Don Cherry, Valtteri Filppula's injury had less to do with Andrew Shaw slew-footing Filppula and more with the inevitability of collisions and injuries when benches are on the same side of the ice:
Updated 2x: The Red Wings have lost Valtteri Filppula's services thanks to a strange exchange with Andrew Shaw at the bench, after Shaw went after Henrik Zetterberg. Quoth Pierre McGuire: "Good Non Call."
The Red Wings' video crew posted a video hyping Game 7 between the Blackhawks and Red Wings...
And here's what may or may not be the last Comerica Game Day Preview of the season:
I agree with Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's suggestion that Wings fans need not deem Brendan Smith to be the next Jonathan "Shitbox" Ericsson (who, as it turns out, has developed into a pretty solid defenseman, even if it was three or four years later than people like you and me had hoped), but Kyle Quincey's mentee has been on the ice for...Well, the Detroit News's John Niyo says a stunning 16 goals against during the Wings' playoff run and 7 of the 12 (or 7 of 14 if you add the Hawks' penalty shot and empty-netter as goals against) that the Blackhawks have scored in this series.
Smith made some comments to the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash about his opponent's ability to rally from a 3-1 deficit, as well as his own ability to rebound from his defensive gaffes, that are either quite wise...Or are reminders that the Gamblin' Man still lives on his own planet from time to time. If not both.
"When their backs are against the wall, they push even harder. It's pretty impressive to see that,'' Smith said Wednesday after the Red Wings' morning skate at the United Center. ''A lot of those skill guys actually got a little chippy and try to work a little bit harder and fought battles a little bit more. It's impressive to see the competition level bump up that much more.''
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville often talks about his team's compete level. All coaches refer to it in some manner. But Smith provided an on-the-ice insight into what that really means. He knew the Hawks were competitors, but they were even more competitive than he ever thought.
Updated 9x at 3:40 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face an uphill battle as they attempt to break Chicago's 2-game winning streak and purported momentum heading into Game 7 tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on FSD). The Wings headed to the United Center around 10:30 AM EDT, but didn't skate until after the Blackhawks took to the ice, and the Hawks held a "light" morning skate:
In an ESPN Insider-only blog entry, Craig Custance suggests that the goaltender who wins Game 7 between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks tonight--Corey Crawford is Canadian, and Jimmy Howard's from upstate New York--will receive a significant boost to their portfolio in terms of attempting to earn a spot on their respective countries' 2014 Olympic teams. As Custance notes, it's all but certain that Wings coach Mike Babcock will reprise his role as Team Canada's coach, so he's seeing Crawford at his best...
Crawford was outstanding in Chicago's first-round series against the Wild, stopping 132 of 139 shots from Minnesota, good for a .950 save percentage. He has been solid against Detroit, registering a .924 save percentage in the conference semifinals.
Crawford's season nearly ended on an ugly note when Joakim Andersson's knuckler somehow got past him in Game 6, but he shook off the goal and kept the Blackhawks in the game the rest of the way.
With so many names in the mix for Canada, Crawford has an opportunity right now to show he can thrive in a pressure-filled Game 7 and keep the Blackhawks' season alive. If he can lead the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup this spring, it will be a huge statement that he can handle the pressure of huge expectations -- like Chicago has right now, and like Canada will have in 2014.
And Team USA executive Jim Johansson tells Custance that Howard's stock is on the rise:
The Detroit Red Wings will play for "all the marbles" in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, with a post-game show airing on Fox Sports Detroit), and as many of you have told me, those of you without anxiety disorders are actually looking forward to this game.
Amongst this morning's pre-morning-skate news, with an emphasis on the morning skate being somewhat imminent...
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.