May 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) moves the puck past Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg (40) and right wing Daniel Cleary (11) during the first period in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Allow me to go on a hypothetical tirade, IF the Chicago Blackhawks are to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in tonight’s Game 6 matchup, the Chicago Blackhawks WILL win the series. However, winning a playoff game in Detroit has proved to be a fruitless endeavor so far in this series.
The Red Wings will be much comfotable to know that Head Coach Mike Babcock will have last change once again, as he will be able to choose who is on the ice and when, as the series heads back to Detroit. During the previous two games in Detroit, this series, Babcock expertly utilized his top two lines to completely shutdown the Blackhawks top two lines, leaving the few goals needed to secure victories, up for grabs amongst his lower lines. In game 5, in Chicago, Babcock didn’t have the luxury to utilize the last change, and was unable to have his ideal line matchups, and as a result, the Blackhawks buried goaltender, Jimmy Howard, with 45 shots on goal. Detroit’s big key t success is to get the line matchups that worked so well in games 2-4, as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were in total shutdown mode, as they shutdown the Blackhawks main sources of offensive fire power.
With hope, and a “nothing left to lose” attitude, the Blackhawks have plenty of hope and ability to come back and steal this series from the Red Wings. The Hawks scored two Power Play goals, one of them from Captain Jonathan Toews, in Game 5. If the Hawks can find a way to keep the Power Play, and Toews rolling, then their chances will be looking good in Game 6. The Hawks need to keep up the feisty, smart, and cohesive team-play that they showed in Game 5, and if they do so, anything is possible. Game 6 will definitly prove to be much more of a challenge, as it will be played in the less than friendly confines of Joe Louis Arena.
IF the Blackhawks are to win tonight’s game, in the lion’s den, the series will be tied 3-3, with the potential Game 7 taking place in Chicago. A win tonight, COULD send the Red Wings scrambling for answers, and give the Hawks all of the momentum going into a POSSIBLE Game 7 at the United Center. Before that, ideal situation goes from dream to reality, the Hawks have to take care of business tonight in Detroit, a place that hasn’t exactly been good to the Hawks as of late.
Words can’t quite capture the magnitude and scale of tonight’s game.