The Second Page of the Final Chapter: Oh Captain My Captain
After game one, it was clearly obvious that the viewing public was witnessing a fatigued Red Wings team against a fresh, well rested, and fluid Blackhawks team. Saturday afternoon, the tables were turned.
“It was great we had an off day…now we’re freshened up and series on,” said Babcock.
This was the first time in a long time where the Red Wings did not win on a fluke, and as far as anyone is concerned, the first time that they did not win on a fluke goal or a stroke of luck. No, the Red Wings earned this.
Speaking of firsts, this was the first time this year that any team has held Chicago to the threshold of 20 shots. Detroit had 30. They out played, out shot, out chanced, and really seemed to have fun on the ice, which the latter, by the way, is extremely important in winning.
However, the most impressive thing this game seemed to be how the young guns and older vets seemed to really gel together. Detroit, by no means, was a good team earlier this season, and during this game, they looked scary. The posts behind Corey Crawford added to the hype as well.
Henrik Zetterberg was once again the man who is known for leading the NHL in playoff points since 2002-2003. He racked up two during the day. However, one of the greatest plays of the game was Zetterberg’s feed to Brendan Smith (who wisely joined in on the 2 on 1) which resulted in the game winning goal.
Hank was the Hank of old; dragging, taking tough angle shots, frustrating the Chicago D, and best of all, getting under his opponent’s skin. Chicago is a dominant puck possession team and as a result, during the regular season, were last in the NHL in hits. (hint: why would a player need to hit when he already has the puck?)
The once fragile and not-so-intimidating “other five” defensemen were actually fantastic in game 2, moving the puck well, joining the rush, and getting pucks to the net. Most importantly, they cleared the puck efficiently out of the zone, a major and costly flaw from game 1 that seemed to be nearly non-existent in game 2.
They also played a complete and confident game for a full sixty minutes. ”We were better throughout the whole game…today we played well for 60,” said Jonathan Ericsson.
Now Detroit has two loud home games coming up at the Joe. Most importantly, they now know that they can beat the Chicago Blackhawks all around.
Let’s not forget those goals by the Mule nor the award winning flop goal by Filppula.
The Wings are back. Watch out, but don’t get too excited.
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