Game 4 @ 2:00 p.m. CST in Chicago

Heading into today’s game four, the big story is each team’s injury troubles.

According to numerous media outlets, Chris Draper will miss Sunday’s game four and Pavel Datsyuk’s status will be determined shortly before the game.

On the other end, the Blackhawks’ Nik Khabibulin and Martin Havlat are likely out for the tilt. 

For Martin Havlat, the hit which caused his injury has been the subject of great debate.  Of course, most Hawk fans believe it was a dirty hit and most Wing fans believe it wasn’t.  (Kudos to Feather readers, who, again, managed to bring objective views to the situation.)  What’s important now is Havlat’s health and his ability to contribute against the Wings in the near future.  Given that Havlat appeared to sustain a concussion on Friday, it is very unlikely he’ll be available for today’s game and nearly as unlikely he’ll be able to play in games five or six.  Remember, though, I’m no doctor.

Enter stage left Colin Fraser, who has played only once during the playoffs.  That came in game three against the Calgary Flames in Calgary when Patrick Kane wasn’t able to go due to the flu.  The Hawks lost 4-2, though that wasn’t the fault of Fraser.  He’ll likely take Patrick Sharp’s spot on the fourth line, and it’s anyone’s guess after that.  Perhaps Quenneville puts together a checking line with Pahlsson in the middle, perhaps with Ladd and Brouwer on the wings.  Perhaps not.  There’s little precedent for playing without Havlat this year; Havlat has missed only one game this entire season.

As for Khabibulin, my money’s on him missing the rest of the playoffs – regardless of how far the Blackhawks get without him.  Khabibulin suffered the infamous “lower body injury” twice during the regular season: once in late November and once again in mid-February.  Each time Khabby missed at least three weeks, and his injury in February kept him out over a month.  On the bright side, Khabibulin hasn’t exactly been the rock the Hawks hoped he could be in the playoffs.  While he certainly has not been bad, perhaps it is time to give Cristobal Huet, a bona fide number one goalie himself, a chance to beat the Wings.

Additionally, I’m reminded of the season-long debate of what the Hawks should do with their goaltending situation.  It was our position that Tallon keep both goaltenders, saying it could seriously aid the Hawks in a situation like … well, this one.  Yes, it cost the Hawks almost $13 million this season and signing Huet while Khabibulin’s big money was still on the books was surely a mistake by Tallon, but it could now benefit the Hawks this playoff season like little else could.

Committed to the Indian

For those going to the game, the Fifth Feather is featured in The Committed Indian.  Support Sam and his excellent publication by buying a copy outside the UC before the game begins.  For those of you not going this afternoon, as usual, we’ll post our contribution in the next few days.

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17 Responses to Game 4 @ 2:00 p.m. CST in Chicago

  1. Patrick says:

    Your assessment was right on – Kronwall’s hit on Havy was a borderline hit, but it was close enough to being dirty that the call had to be made. If the refs don’t make that call, it is WW III and a lot more players end up suspended and hurt. The funny thing about it though is that more Wings fans seem to be whining the call than Hawks fans and the Hawks will be the team that will lose a player for any significant time (Shane/Havy, come back). Man, I’m hoping this gives the Hawks a “cause” and then win again today.

  2. Lee says:

    Disgusting, the way Huet played, the way the hawks played and most of all how Eddie O called the game. The first move made after the season is over is getting rid of Eddie O let him do the national broadcasts and bring back Billy Gardner to work with Foley. And last of all losing by a big score, why no retailtiation on Kromwell?

    From a hawks fan back to the day’s of Hull and Milkita and a season ticket holder this year it was not Detroit Sucks it was the Blackhawks Sucked. Also now that Huet proved that he is second rate what now for next year?

  3. Lou says:

    we got beat and two of their best guys didn’t play.

    They scored a shorty, a goal in the last minute a pp goal early and a goal 12 seconds after we scored. not good hockey

    Troy Murray said post game, if you are gonna take all those penalties at least mark em up. Sad we didn’t

    Not sure what Walker did that anyone else didn’t due to warrant that powerplay. I don’t want to hear babCOCK ever say another thing about refs. He got every call and every break from the linesman today. And we better not complain either because we sucked. I think eager pulled a crash davis from bull durham

    As for Huet, that french idiot needs to go back. his goalie stick is like French WWII rifles dropped once and never used.

    Still been a great season.

  4. Chris says:

    Alright, that was a stinker. But what did Eager say to the refs that got him the boot. On TV you can clearly see that the refs asked him; “what did you say” and then gave him the boot. I think a general rule of thumb is that if asked you dont repeat it.

    I am not a fan of blaming the refs, I am not sure what Walker did to deserve a penalty, but there was simply too much trying to make it physical contest from the Blackhawks this afternoon. Pahlsson/Versteeg/Eager had plain dumb penalties, and there is no excuse for it. And I am a bit worried about Keith, since elbows to the head have been made a massive deal of this postseason, if the NHL stays true to form they might suspend him for it. I didnt like many of the calls, but they had to be made in many cases.

    I hope game 4 is better.

  5. Lee says:

    So now who is the goalie in the 5th game and who do they get rid of. Huet proved he stinks so where do we go now that we owe him a ton of money. Need to make room for Aliu and Beach becasue at least they have some balls which I think the Hawks left in the dressing room today. The only one who in my opinbion shoped up was Kris Versteeg. Please, Please we need to get rid of the turncoat Eddie O!!!!

  6. Lou says:

    Q’s press conference was interesting and he pretty much said the officiating stunk. More balls than babCOCK. But what is disturbing is the fact that they found out they were short to start the second when they got onto the ice according to Q. And babCOCK admits that he got a lot of powerplay in game three…I thought he said the refs sucked.

    It is kind of hard to get at them when the refs are throwing misconducts around.

    You can’t let goals in the first or last minute of periods or the first minute after you score and expect to win.

    Eddie O, is an announcer on a national network getting paid to do a non-biased job. If it was comcast and he was doing that, it would be a whole different story. He can’t be a “homer” when he is on national TV. He is in it to make a living.

  7. illinikc33 says:

    “Eddie O, is an announcer on a national network getting paid to do a non-biased job. If it was comcast and he was doing that, it would be a whole different story. He can’t be a “homer” when he is on national TV. He is in it to make a living.”

    He was overcompensating—it was obvious. And please, please don’t attempt to tell me that they get paid to be non-biased. If you think Pierre and whatever his name is (the guy Pierre talks with during the intermission) are unbiased, neutral announcers you need to have your head examined. Talk about unabashed homerism.

  8. Lee says:

    If Eddie O is going to continue to be a Versus and NBC Announcer he should give up his Hawks job. I want a Hawks announcer who is a homer like Pat Foley or Kasper of the Cubs or Jeff Joniak of the Bears. It’s fine and dandy that he is on national television but I just have a hard time accepting major bad mouthing of the Hawks and especially his description of Kromwells hit and insisting it was perfectly clean. he’s got to go. He easily could be replaced by either Billy Gardner or Billy Jaffe, Also I am a big Dale Tallon fan and am really concerned that they will release him because of his big money signings ofHuett and Campbell which have proven to be a big mistake

  9. Lou says:

    Sorry meant to delete non-biased before sending. Fortunately, didn’t hear the calls from the UC. I’ll bring it up with the shrink or bartender whomever i see first.

    Eddie is gonna do whatever it takes to keep all the gigs. Big money opportunist and he isn’t gonna quit his hawks job to do so. Would you? It may piss us off but it is reality.

    The other great local voices will always be that and they won’t get the national gigs but that’s what defines sports to each locale. The lists of great local announcers is long and distinguished and exists in every city. And those are the voices of our childhood, our teams, and our sports passion! I too want too hear Joniak over the fox f-head of the week. But He ain’t gonna get the super bowl seat next to Troy Aikman.

  10. DPH says:

    Come on, guys. We’re not representing like adults. The Wings got mashed with penalties in Game 3, with like 15 minutes to our 0 in period one and they didn’t melt down. No amount of bad refereeing in the world should distract us from the fact that Coach Q should be embarrassed for not contolling the clownish play of Versteeg and Eager and the general immaturity of the team. This isn’t a macho contest. This isn’t who’s the toughest. I don’t give a f(#$* if we are tougher. It’s who’s the better hockey team and today it was the Red Army against my son’s PeeWee team. Disgusting and we should call out management for allowing this Mickey Mouse performance.

  11. Wingz fan says:

    The Kronwall hit was not illegal, hawks may not have liked, who would? Hockey rule #1 is skate with your head up. Kronwall, did not elbow, cross check or leave his feet. Your kids must not have napped on their day off because they were so riled up from it. Hawks are not ready to win a big series because they obviously can’t handle the emotions of one. Best advice is to learn as much as possible from the lesson the Wings are teaching you and come back next year and apply. Too many people on your team are closer to losing their virginity than winning a Stanley Cup. Give it time and hope that you can keep your stars through the salary cap. Just because you are young doesn’t mean that you have a big window here. Better get it done next year or you will may not for a long time. Good news, wings probably will not have a third cup run in them, but you never know.

  12. JG says:

    Don’t quite understand the tone of these posts. The subject is supposed to be about the games, but it consists primarily of complaints about the refs, the ‘hit’, disparaging someone’s name and the TV color man.

    The Ref’s and The ‘Hit’
    Nobody likes them. I didn’t like the 5 Min major and Game Misconduct on Kronwall after the hit on Havlet, but I understand why it needed to be called. I didn’t like the non-suspension in the Anaheim series against another Wings player (Hudler), but the more I looked at it through objective eyes, I can see why it could have been called both ways. Even the FifthFeathers author of this article said ‘Kudos to Feather readers, who, again, managed to bring objective views to the situation’. I thought Walker should have been suspended for a game for sucker punching Ward in the Bruins/Canes series. The problem as I see it is that we as fans want the games to played and decided on the ice, but at the same time the refs have to keep things from getting out of control. The harping on the officiating is deflecting criticism from the Hawks who played such an undisciplined game.

    Babcock’s Name
    Come on. What with the emphasis on the last syllable of his name? That’s juvenile and not what I expected from this blog. I said just the other day how enjoyable it was to read insightful commentary from real hockey fines instead of the crap I’ve endured from the likes of Anaheim, San Jose and Pittsburgh fans the last few years. You guys are better than that. I didn’t like seeing one of Detroit’s sons (Probert) dropping the ceremonial puck, but what a classy move to let one of Chicago’s sons (and former captains) finally play and to let him (Chelios) assume that role against the future of the Blackhawks franchise (Toews).

    He’s a color commentator on a national stage. If he had colored all his commentary in favor of the ‘Hawks, he’d have be critiqued off the stage. I like the fact that they get a former player who has been a part of this rivalry to be able to provide insight beyond some bland color man. He’s not the story, though…let it go.

    The underlying story of game 4 was the undisciplined play of the ‘Hawks and the depth of the ‘Wings. If you didn’t think before that experience matters, think again. I’m reminded of a quote from Brett Hull during the 2002 Cup run when he said “I’d rather be old and slow than young and dumb any day”. The young Blackhawks were on a national stage unlike they’ve ever been in before, and they needed veteran leadership to guide them. Again, regardless of who wins this series, your Blackhawks gained an experience that WILL bring a Stanley Cup to Chicago in the next few years.

  13. Lou says:

    Opinion is what it is, frustration, passion, lecture, scolding, whining etc. So, THANKS for taking the time with your insights and you can determine whatever yours falls under. But next time, call out your fellow, Wings fan for this comment, “Too many people on your team are closer to losing their virginity than winning a Stanley Cup.” It’s no different. This is a Hawks based website so it may be slanted in the posts on occasion.

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the announcer thing was saying that all along. Great point.

    Unfortunately, the reffing in this entire playoffs has had its ups and downs and often at inopportune times. The timing on the Walker call was plain crap. It impacted the game and makes blood boil. That penalty should have been called BEFORE everyone left the ice. It gives BOTH teams a chance to discuss strategy during the time between periods.

    As for the other comments, days before, your coach (we’ll just leave it at that), whined about the quality of the refs game in some PC manner. Again, according to interpretations from your coach’s press conference comments, officials only appear to be good when they have games that put Detroit on the PP. Funny thing, yesterday, that same coach stated he got several PPs in a row as a result kind of a contradiction. Something is odd, days before you round about state the refs have a horrible game and then you admit you got several calls in a row.

    Our coach at least had the intestinal fortitude to say exactly what he thought of the calls. Probably WAY OVER STATED as worst call in history but said what was on his mind. And he knows we got our butts kicked and out played. Now having said that, we deserved a lot of the penalties after the Walker penalty and the refs probably protected people on both teams from getting hurt.

    Don’t read anymore into the Chelios-Probert thing. We had to pick someone and your captain was not on ice. Maybe, your coach, felt this was the last time Chelios will be on UC ice in uniform (God knows it should be) and was trying to be nice. Most of us in my section were more interested in the fact that Havlat was on the ice than who was taking the ceremonial faceoff.

    Bottom line, as I have been saying, to be the best, you have to beat the best and we are getting first hand knowledge of what it will take. Right now until someone de-thrones Detroit they are the best. Whoever wins this series will beat Pitt.

  14. JG says:

    I know it shows otherwise, but the post by the other Wings fan wasn’t there when I started mine. I found that post a bit reprehensible and that opinion certainly doesn’t represent me.

    You are correct about opinions, and since they are primarily based on emotional responses, I respect the passion with which the ‘Hawks and ‘Wings fan bases bring to our respective teams. There are no fair weather fans of these 2 great franchises.

    Agree with you on the Walker call … another in a long line of stupid referee calls. I nominate it to make the Best Damn Top 50 list.

    I was glad to see Havlat on the ice, too, and I hope he can play in game 5. I gained a lot of respect for him.

  15. Lou says:

    Well said and Kudos to you for being a passionate hockey fan. At the end of the day, the old Norris still reigns supreme.

    Havlat surprised a lot of us too. I am not sure others would have played on may teams

    I hope this is like the Pistons and Detroit. But one thing is always going to be different, the teams will shake hands at center ice, honoring the greatest tradition in sport.

  16. Lou says:

    sorry Pistons and Bulls

  17. JG says:

    Amen. And when they are shaking hands, I’ll sit back in my chair, stop holding my breath and raise my glass to both teams.

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