Blackhawks Drop Another Shootout

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhaws blow an early lead, force overtime but can't grab the extra point in the shootout.

Remind me again why we don't get to see these two teams go at it six times a year anymore? Oh yeah, the Red Wings upper management cried for years to get into the Eastern Conference.  The fact NBC catered to the Chicago fan base with the 7 pm CDT start made me chuckle a bit.  I love Hawks and Wings games and it sucks that we will only get it two times a year from here on out.

The game started off well enough for the Blackhawks as they scored the first two goals of the night.  Marian Hossa fired the opening shot with his 21st goal of the year at 8:41. Bryan Bickell started the play by checking Brendan Smith of the puck in the corner and getting it to up the ice where it found Johnny Oduya at the point.  Oduya made a nice cross ice pass to Johnathan Toews, below the right circle.  Toews fired a centering pass to Hossa but the puck hit off his shin and went right into the net.  Andrew Shaw doubled the lead about a minute and a half later.  The Hockey Monkey started the play with a stretch pass to Brandon Saad who couldn't stuff the puck past Jonas Gustavsson, but he could not not hang on to the puck.  Patrick Kane looked like he got the puck underneath the crossbar but Shaw had an wide open net for an easy goal, his14th of the season.  Tomas Tartar got the Wings on the board less than a minute later when he put a rebound through Johnny Oduya's legs and off his stick past Corey Crawford.  Detroit tied the game at 17:40 when the stickless Justin Abdelkader beat the stick carrying Oduya to the puck.  Abdelkader kicked the puck ahead to Patrick Eaves who fired a wrist shot over Crawford's glove.

The craziness spilled over into the 2nd period, which once again saw the Hawks scoring first.  The Blackhawks took advantage of their first power play 5:03 into the middle period.  Both Darren Helm and Daniel Cleary went straight to Duncan Keith after a faceoff win which left Patrick Sharp wide open.  Sharp blasted the puck past Gustavsson and nearly took Niklas Kronwell's head off along with it.  Patrick Kane was given credit for the secondary assist on Sharp's 26th goal on the year.  Kyle Quincey would tie the game up a little over a minute later when he ripped a snap shot past past Crawford from the slot.  The play was aided by both Kris Versteeg and Michal Handzus taking their sweet time getting back to play defense.  Gustav Nyquist would benefit from some bad Brent Seabrook defense who coughed up the puck to Justin Abdelkader below his own goal line.  Abdelkader got the puck over to Henrik Zetterberg who quickly centered it to Nyquist for easy open net goal.

The game settled down in the 3rd period and was full of what we expect when these two teams get together; great end to end action from two highly skilled teams.  Marcus Kruger tied the game with an unassisted goal 5:12 into the 3rd period.  Brendan Smith reminded me why he is my favorite Red Wing by passing the puck through the middle of the ice directly to Frogger.  Kruger settled down the puck and fired a wrist shot past Gustavsson's stick side.  The game went into very entertaining overtime period tie at four.  Jonathan Toews had the game on his stick with a wide open net but Danny DeKeyser tied up his stick to prevent the goal.  Both Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw had chances in the closing seconds of overtime but could not get the job done.  The ensuing shootout went six rounds with Darren Helm notching the game winner.  Toews and Sharp scored on the first two attempts but the Hawks missed four straight shots by Kane, Hossa, Kruger (??) and Shaw.  Oh well, on to Minnesota for a more meaningful game against a divisional foe.

* Two things that Q has relied on a lot this season let him down Wednesday night.  The second defensive pair and the 4th line.  We will start with Johnny Oduya.  One thing about Oduya is you can usually tell within his first couple of shifts if he is going to have a bad night.  He had a horrible night in Detroit.  The first two goals were helped by Oduya being out of position and a step slow.  It might be time for Q to shake up the defensive pairings.  The defense, as a whole, has been very inconsistent of late.  Q mixed up the pairs midway through last season and it worked so I would have no problem seeing him do it again now.  I would put Keith-Hjalmarsson, Seabrook-Leddy, Oduya-revolving defenseman.  There is nothing wrong with lighting a fire under the defense's collective ass by shaking things up.

* The 4th line did produce the game tying goal, thanks to Brendan Smith being a horrible NHL defenseman.  But let's not kid ourselves they were terrible on Wednesday night.  The 4th line has been pinning other teams in their own end but they got a giant taste of their own medicine in Detroit.  Kruger, Smith and Bollig had a CF% of 9.1, 8.2 and 10.0 respectivly. Woof!

* The Blackhawks owned the faceoff dot Wednesday night.  They won 65% of the faceoffs.  Marcus Kruger went 12 or 14 and Jonathan Toews went 14 for 22.  Even Andrew Shaw won 56% of his draws which is a good night for the Hockey Monkey.

* Danny DeKeyser impressed me a lot Wednesday.  The kid can flat out skate and finished the night with two blocked shots and two takeaways.  If and when he ever figures out how to be consistent in his own end the Wings could have something special.

* It was good to see the power play get on the board but not converting on two 3rd period chances came back to haunt the Hawks.  They are going to need to find a way to get more pucks on the net with the extra attacker.  Gustavsson was swatting flies all night long and yet the Hawks only had four shots on goal during their four power plays.

* I can't wait for Adam Clendening to get called up so we can watch Foley go 0 for 41 in the Clending/Glending calls in future Hawks/Wings games.

Player of the Game

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Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having his worst sequence as a pro, where Brandon Saad took two minor penalties in the same shift, he was a beast all night.  His stat line doesn't impress too much. He did have an assist and drew a penalty.  His 47.6 CF% leaves a bit to be desired but he passed the eye test on Wednesday.  Not sure how Kruger and Shaw were given the call in the shootout over Saad but whatever.  On a night where the entire team played a sloppy game, Saad seemed to be the least sloppy of the bunch.

Advanced Stats

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

19:23

61.3

24.0

61.3

23.0

46.2

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

19:35

31.3

-24.8

31.0

-26.1

50.0

Kostka, Michael

D

14:35

60.0

18.1

60.0

16.9

16.7

Seabrook, Brent

D

19:06

51.6

8.5

53.3

9.6

50.0

Leddy, Nick

D

17:10

52.4

8.1

55.0

10.2

16.7

Sharp, Patrick

R

14:43

48.3

3.0

48.3

1.3

60.0

Kruger, Marcus

C

11:38

9.1

-43.0

0.0

-52.1

0.0

Toews, Jonathan

C

15:31

57.7

16.6

57.7

15.4

66.7

Saad, Brandon

L

15:40

47.6

1.7

47.6

0.3

57.1

Versteeg, Kris

R

08:49

64.7

23.2

64.7

22.1

50.0

Handzus, Michal

C

09:10

55.0

11.5

55.0

10.2

40.0

Oduya, Johnny

D

18:30

26.7

-31.0

25.9

-32.9

55.6

Smith, Ben

R

10:46

8.3

-44.5

0.0

-52.9

0.0

Bickell, Bryan

L

09:31

59.1

17.4

59.1

16.2

50.0

Bollig, Brandon

L

09:55

10.0

-41.4

0.0

-51.4

0.0

Shaw, Andrew

C

16:47

44.0

-3.4

44.0

-5.1

50.0

Hossa, Marian

R

17:06

45.5

-1.5

45.5

-3.4

55.6

Kane, Patrick

R

15:50

57.9

15.0

57.9

13.8

75.0

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF% 5v5

CF%Rel

5v5

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Smith, Brendan

D

17:37

52.2

-2.1

47.4

-6.9

91.7

Abdelkader, Justin

L

15:03

55.2

2.3

55.2

4.2

33.3

Nyquist, Gustav

C

14:34

46.2

-11.0

46.2

-9.6

28.6

Sheahan, Riley

C

13:10

68.4

19.2

64.7

15.5

100

Eaves, Patrick

R

14:03

75.0

26.5

75.0

28.2

42.9

Miller, Drew

L

16:59

42.9

-13.0

42.9

-11.8

25.0

Tatar, Tomas

C

12:27

75.0

26.5

71.4

23.0

100

Lashoff, Brian

D

14:41

55.0

1.8

50.0

-3.3

90.9

Jurco, Tomas

R

12:37

65.0

15.0

61.1

11.1

100

Quincey, Kyle

D

19:55

51.9

-2.7

51.9

-1.1

54.5

Zetterberg, Henrik

L

17:09

48.3

-8.3

48.3

-6.8

33.3

Glendening, Luke

C

16:42

66.7

15.9

66.7

17.5

22.2

Helm, Darren

C

08:42

38.1

-20.9

36.8

-20.8

80.0

Bertuzzi, Todd

R

06:43

40.0

-18.1

38.9

-17.8

80.0

Ericsson, Jonathan

D

19:05

52.9

-1.2

52.9

0.7

36.4

Kronwall, Niklas

D

17:20

53.3

-0.5

53.3

1.3

50.0

DeKeyser, Danny

D

19:53

56.7

4.7

57.1

7.1

46.2

Cleary, Daniel

R

07:23

38.1

-20.9

36.8

-20.8

80.0

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