Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2

When Joel Quenneville used his one and only timeout at the 3:03 mark of the second period, it seemed like an odd time to burn it.  The Hawks were on the verge of a 5-on-3 power play and most of the action was already taking place in the Detroit end.  By taking his time-out, Quenneville allowed Detroit’s key penalty killers to catch their breath and Babcock, all of a sudden, had his whole bench at his disposal.

It was a pretty bad idea to take it when he did.  Then it became an even worse idea with a minute and a half left in the game.

Patrick Kane drew a holding penalty on Niklas Kronwall after an extended board battle.  With the ensuing face-off in the Wings zone and one of the Hawks most important offensive players completely exhausted, this would have been an ideal situation to use a time-out.  Ah, but in the NHL, you only get one and Quenneville used his at an inopportune time.

After a scoreless first period, the Hawks struck first a minute and a half into the second period.  Tomas Holmstrom coughed up the puck just inside his own blue line.  Brent Seabrook found Kris Versteeg who fired a pass to a wide-open Patrick Sharp.  Sharp buried into the open net and the Hawks were on the board.

Two minutes later, the Hawks received the aforementioned 5-on-3.  During their kill, the Wings did an excellent job of preventing pucks from getting to goalie Chris Osgood.  It seemed like every time the Hawks put a shot towards the net, it was bouncing off someone’s shin guards.  This became a trend. 

(All game Detroit clogged the shooting lanes preventing any would be chances of even reaching Osgood.  They really did a terrific job of it.)

After the Wings were able to kill off the penalties, Duncan Keith took two lazy penalties.  The Hawks killed off the first.  On the second, Lady Luck was not on their side.  Nicklas Lidstrom was trying to send a puck across the ice; instead, it glanced off John Madden’s skate and in between Crisotbal Huet’s legs.

Five and a half minutes later, Cam Barker couldn’t corral a puck inside in his own blue line.  Kris Draper was more than happy to scoop it up and fire it over Huet’s shoulder to give the Wings their first lead.

Not to be undone by Keith, Brian Campbell took a bad penalty of his own a minute later.  Thirty seconds later, the Wings had a 3-1 lead on Johan Franzen’s tap-in goal. 

Half-way through the third period, Kris Versteeg cut the deficit to one when he banged home a rebound on the power play.  Most of the play in the final frame was spent in Detroit’s end.  Osgood, though, made huge stops on Madden, Kopecky, and Toews to name a few.

With a minute and a half left, the Hawks found themselves again with a two-man advantage.  This time, though, without a chance to catch their breath and no plays diagrammed off the face-off, they never could sustain more than a couple seconds of pressure.  So the Wings notched their first win of the year at the expense of the Blackhawks.

The silver lining from this early season defeat is that Detroit appears to be nowhere near as strong as they have been in the past.  While the Wings did control most of the second period, the Hawks were the faster, stronger, and better team for the majority of the game. 

Unfortunately, a couple defensive lapses, a botched time-out, and some key saves from Osgood were the difference.

*On the Farm*

Shawn Lalonde notched two assists for the Belleville Bulls in their Wednesday night 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa 67’s.

Byron Froese was held off the scoresheet in the Everett Silvertips loss to the Portland Winterhawks 4-3.

–The Ice Hogs have back-to-back-to-back games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as they travel through Ontario to play the Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters, and Toronto Marlies.

–The University of Minnesota-Duluth has their opening weekend of games this Friday and Sunday.  2009 1st Round Pick Dylan Olsen skates for the Bulldogs.  He’ll be another guy we’re going to try to keep an eye on throughout this year.

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8 Responses to Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, I daresay the reason QStache called a timeout was to remind the Hawkey Boys that winning the 5 on 3 is how you win games.

    That, because, Les Eperviers Noirs managed to flub 5 on 3s so frequently last year…apparently, there is still much work to do in this area.

    Eschewing the microanalysis that will inevitably ensue from an annoying loss in what was a very close and quite entertaining hockey match, it was all about the Big Mo.

    Momentum is what the Wings feed on. The Hawks had it, and the Hawks let the Wings take it back.

    And as we know, hockey is a game of momentum.

    That, and Johan Franzen being one of the best garbage goal scorers in the known universe.

    Let’s see if the Blackhawks learn from this one.

    Avs on deck.

  2. Lou says:

    I was reading one of the other blogs (JJ does a good job on the buzz) and saw that Kopecky says that the Red Wings love to capitalize on mental lapses. Yep. That sums it up. Weird bounce, missed puck on the boards and well you know.

    Keith is a great young defensman but is a long way from Norris Trophy contention. And as much as a hate to say it, Sopel is looking like a serviceable 6th DMan and played a pretty solid game especailly on the crucial penalty kill late. He does need to stop skating the puck to the front of his own net. But he is playing solid. Kudos to you guys for pointing it out. Not on his bus just yet.

    I get the butterfly goalies flop a lot but Huet on that Draper goal was down so early he should have invited Draper to sit and have some white wine and some pastry. He has to stay up and take away that shot. Draper is not likely to beat you going across your body to the far side. Sure Cam again showed some of his defensive gaps but getting beat high and short can be minimized. As a positive, Huet did smack Holmstrom a couple of times in the third for sitting in front. A little Billy Smith or Hextall like hacking might keep him on his toes…

    On the 5-3, with Zetterberg without a stick we seemed content pounding the puck from outside. That is great when you have traffic in front of the net. Franzen’s goal is a perfect example of that. If we are gonna do that Buff or Toews or whomever needs to be anchored to crease. Osgood will make the big save and especially when he sees the puck. He had to many clean looks. Q has said since he has been coach that 5-3 decide the outcomes of games. Case in point proved

    Bring On Saturday and let the fun begin!!!

  3. John says:

    Re: Huet going down too quickly…When do we start asking what Stephane Waite is actually teaching the goalies?

    Here’s another bone to chew on…Since Q always talks about 5-3 being so important, maybe the Hawks have started to believe when they don’t score on them, they get ready to get bent over the sink?

    There’s no reason to use a timeout to re-instate what everybody in the rink knows is an important 5-on-3. All it does is put even more pressure on your own team. I’m under the belief that timeouts are only supposed to be used when you absolutely need to. That’s why they only give you one. Use it wisely.

  4. AC says:

    Why is it that Huet was the only Hawk taking his stick to Holstrom and trying to move him out of the crease? Where are Barker and Ham and Seabs? Shouldn’t this be their job? Holmstron is a master of sitting on/in the crease and moving from side to side and throwing the elbows at the goalie’s head, but has shown a propensity to take dumbe penalties when challenged there. Someone has to be more physical with him and it shouldn’t have to be Huet.

  5. John says:

    It’s kind of against the rules to touch anyone when they don’t have the puck.

    Secondly, the Hawks showed us last year that they’re more than happy to let guys camp out in front of the net. They’d rather have their d focused on the play and able to jump in the play at a moment’s notice than get tangled up with some big goof down low.

  6. Lou says:

    It is great for the D to jump in but, once and a while a little physicality in front of the goal is a good thing too. And if the goalie gets 2 for slashing but keeps the cherry picker away, then maybe it sends a message. There are a lot of other dumb penalties we take that don’t leave a mark or a reminder. Not saying we should do so but sometimes early in the season you set up the message for later.

    On a different note The wings lost Franzem to an ACL tear for at least 4 months. That hurts an already different and mortal team.

  7. Patrick says:

    Didn’t see the game but it sounds like a couple of turnovers and Coach Q lost the game for the Hawks. Oh well, it’s a learning experience. Better now then in the playoffs.

    BTW, just read on HockeyBuzz that Franzen tore his ACL and is gone for four months or more. Anybody see what happened?

  8. Lou says:

    For the folks who think we never should have let Havlat go. According to ESPN, Havlat and Sykora were both skipped in their last game for not playing hard the coach said they didn’t show up. Add in that nie -4 Havlat has and it makes you start to wonder if this is rust or if he was just hustling for a contract?????

    Opening night tonight!!!!!! It doesn’t get much better than that

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