Monday, May 20, 2013

Game 2 Intensity Carries Over, Wings Win Game 3

When all is said and done, this series will have been one thing above all others: Electrifying.

Detroit hosted the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time in the 2nd Round of the 2013 Stanley Cup conference semi-finals, and the question in everyone's mind had to be: Will the Red Wings come out with the same energy and dominance they displayed in the previous game in the United Centre?  The answer turned out to be a resounding 'yes', as the Wings battled more fiercely--and more physically--than they ever have this year, securing a 3-1 win to go up in the series 2-1 over the Hawks.

Detroit opened their scoring on an absolutely sick display from Gustav Nyquist, who made a great power move into the middle of the ice around the Hawks defender, got Chicago goalie Corey Crawford down to the ice, outwaited him, and whipped the puck past for the 1-0 lead.

Not even a minute later, Detroit would capitalize on a Blackhawks turnover that had Cory Emmerton feeding Patrick Eaves in the middle. Eaves's shot was stopped by Crawford, but Drew Miller rushed the crease and banged the puck home to extend the lead to 2-0!

The Hawks would have a chance to respond, after a non-call on a hit from behind on Johan Franzen, Patrick Kane got in alone on Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard and banked his chance to cut the lead to 2-1.  Not long after, it appeared that Chicago may have tied the game on a chance in the crease, but the play was blown down and no-goal ruled due to goaltender interference.

The Wings would answer back after didging the bullet, as Pavel Datsyuk, in almost a mirror image of his goal against the Ducks, ripped a disgusting wrist shot from the left wing clean over Crawford's right side and into the back of the net to go up 3-1.  From there, the Red Wings would clamp down and claim the W.

Detroit did it all tonight.  Shots on goal? Yep, the Wings had 30 in total, which is my magic number for playoff hockey.  If you're not getting at least around 30 shots in a game, you're not trying hard enough.  Hits? You bet, this was the hardest I've seen the Red Wings play a team as a group in a LONG time!  Even the little guys like Damien Brunner were laying some hits here and there, it was glorious!  By playing a more physical game, you pound the message home that we will not give anything up easy, and that is exactly how Detroit played.  Jimmy Howard was solid once again, keeping the Wings in the game all night long, offense cropped up from all different lines, and Detroit played close to a full 60-minute game, at least enough to secure the victory.

One thing I cannot let go, however, is the officiating.  Make what you will of the disallowed Hawks goal, I could've gone either way on it due to the wording of the rules, but the entire game was a mockery, a comedy of errors.  Calls that should not have been along with calls that SHOULD have been are were not.  I say this for both sides, by the way, because both teams were guilty and/or innocent in certain instances where the complete opposite call was made or not made.  The league should be ashamed of itself to let games be officiated to this low level of quality and make no strides to improve it.  The greatest example of this is certainly the boarding of Johan Franzen that was not called and led to Patrick Kane's goal.  Boarding or hitting from behind, you can take your pick, but that was penalty and it is ridiculous that an act that violent goes unpunished, let alone leads to a goal against for the team who could have easily lost a player for at least the rest of the game.

Regardless, the Red Wings got it done and stuck it to Chicago, giving them a chance to apply some serious pressure in Game 4.  If the Wings can take it one game at a time and come out with the same intensity and energy they displayed tonight, they can certainly give the Hawks something to be concerned about.

For now it's time to rest for the Wings, with the next game coming up on Thursday.  We'll see if the Wings can keep the momentum on their side as the playoffs roll on!

Let's Go Red Wings!!