The final score was the same as Wednesday night’s Game 1 in Chicago, but with the visitors on the winning side this time. Detroit Red Wings players made promises to their fans via interviews and social media that they would come out harder in Game 2 and resemble the team that fans expected. Detroit did just that.
Here are a couple facts: First, Patrick Kane scored his first goal of the post season for the Chicago Blackhawks. This should get the guys fired up, right? Finally, one of the two guys we’ve been waiting for is scoring goals! Toews can’t be far behind. Second, the penalty kill unit is still undefeated so far in the playoffs, killing off all 23 penalties. With both of those tidbits, Blackhawks fans would be excited for Game 2. But Kane’s goal was the only one scored by the Blackhawks. And although they killed off 4 penalties, they gave up 4 even strength goals.
The Blackhawks had trouble protecting the captain, making passes, not falling at inopportune times, and giving an extra push to gain puck possession. In short, they played one of their worst games of the year, and there have only been about 4 or 5 of those.
Damien Brunner tied it up early in the second period and the Red Wings took the lead with a goal from Brendan Smith with 4 minutes remaining. Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula both added insurance goals in the third period to silence the United Center for the afternoon.
The best player for the Blackhawks was easily Corey Crawford who made 26 saves – a few of them pretty spectacular – and kept his team in it for as long as he could. The sluggish defense of the Blackhawks relied on Crawford so they could take another breath or two. With the lethargic showing by the Blackhawks against an extra determined Detroit team, Joel Quenneville should think twice about reintroducing the speed of benched Viktor Stalberg for their trip across the lake.
Being tied 1-1 in the series against the Red Wings isn’t the worst case scenario. The series is moving to Detroit where the Blackhawks are 9-0-1 in their last 10 visits. Stealing a game back at the Joe will be a fight, but definitely doable! This will be a long series if the Blackhawks use this game as a wake up call and play like the Blackhawks again! Let’s go Hawks!
Do you think the Blackhawks will take a game in Detroit?