The Malik Report
from Scott Powers of ESPNChicago,
The Blackhawks’ play put Quenneville in a better mood in his postgame news conference. He was often frustrated even after wins in the first round.
“Much better from our prior series,” Quenneville said. “What we’re talking about in our team game was in place. Had some pace, had some speed, zone time. I thought everybody contributed.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was on the other side of the spectrum. He was now the coach searching for something more from his team.
“We got to get up to speed because we haven’t played like that in a while,” Babcock said. “We got to get back at her and get playing at a high tempo because obviously they’re playing at a level tonight we’re not playing at.”
more on the Blackhawks side...
Updated w/ highlights and stats: Wings are taking Thursday off. They need the breather: This one ain't right. Whatever happened, the Detroit Red Wings' players owe Jimmy Howard much, much more than a couple of goals over however long what the media is deeming "four games along the Hawks' road to the inevitable Penguins-Hawks Cup Final."
The Detroit Red Wings plain old didn't show up for the second half of a game that could have been theirs...Until they stopped skating and started standing around and staring as the Chicago Blackhawks skated miles around them and easily lapped up all the turnovers, loose pucks and Brendan Smith gaffes that were handed to them en route to a 4-1 win in which the Red Wings' goaltender had to face an utterly stupid 41 shots--with 35 coming in the second and third periods--while his teammates put a measly 14 on Corey Crawford.
Former Wing and current Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa may or may not have chosen to allow the presence of Niklas Kronwall's stick to allow his belly to hit the ice...
And if you didn't see the Babcockian, "That was a dive," check this uppy out:
Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader received a face full of Michal Roszival's stick during the first period, but the refs deemed this to be a "play on" situation.
Seven minutes of Babcock...
I just think the Wings emptied the tank while upsetting the Ducks. Frankly, it's remarkable what they've already accomplished this year, given the losses of defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart from last season, and this season's patchwork blue line. Chicago is just too deep and too talented. Blackhawks in 6.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, find out why...
The Detroit Red Wings begin their second-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on Fox Sports Detroit), and the Hawks took to the ice first at the United Center...
If I was to give the Red Wings an x-factor edge in terms of managing to surprise and perhaps damage the Blackhawks (if we are to believe the Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom, the Wings have no idea how good the "new" Patrick Kane is) when the second-round series begins tonight (8 PM, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM), I'd suggest that the Hawks can only partially account for the strength of the Wings' youth movement, and a very specific line in particular, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted:
The Wings’ kids weren’t rattled in the first round series. In fact, they were quite the opposite. The young guys were efficient throughout the series, especially third-line forwards [Damien] Brunner and Gustav Nyquist, who each scored big overtime goals to beat the Ducks. Another big contributor was third-line center Joakim Andersson, who won more than 59 percent of his face-offs in the defensive zone, including 10-of-11 in the first two games of the series.
The hands-on nature of what the Wings’ youth movement is currently experiencing, and will continue to experience in the upcoming Chicago series are all valuable lessons in becoming NHL players.
I'm just "getting my feet wet" after a full three weeks on the shelf with the norovirus, so I don't know whether you'd like me to dig up every Red Wings-Blackhawks series preview out there, but MLive's Brendan Savage did an excellent job of finding and compiling over 30 series predictions, and as you might expect, the vast majority of the "experts"--Savage included--don't give the Wings a chance in hell of defeating the Hawks:
Virtually everybody likes the Blackhawks, who were 4-0 against the Red Wings en route to the NHL's regular-season championship with a 36-7-5 record.
Of the 33 predictions MLive.com dug up, only three picks went in favor of the Red Wings, who posted a 24-16-8 regular-season record before upsetting the second-seed Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs.
The other 30 prognosticators picked the Blackhawks and one went so far as to predict a Chicago sweep.
Continued, and I don't need to tell you that the rest of the interweb feels the same way, but if you're interested in rooting for the underdogs in a fashionable way, here's some free advertising:
The Detroit Red Wings spent the vast majority of "off days" during their seven-game series against the Anaheim Ducks in the air, making cross-continental trips, but the combination of plain old strange scheduling (the Wings and Hawks play tonight at 8 PM, on NBCSN and the CBC, though Fox Sports Detroit will air a post-game show; after that, the teams don't play again until Saturday, and after the series shifts to Detroit on Monday the 20th, the teams won't play again until Thursday the 23rd) and the fact that it takes somewhere between 35-45 minutes to fly from O'Hare to Metro Airport means that the teams will engage in something of a "commuter" series, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:
Practicing, sleeping in your own bed and resting between games. Sounds like the regular season, doesn't it? But in this playoff series, the Red Wings and Blackhawks actually have the luxury to do all those things.
"It's going to be nice," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said.
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