Observations From Section 321 : Biscuit & Gravy

Blackhawks move on to the Western Conference Final with an intense 2-1 OT Game 7 win.

Just got home from the United Center and there is no way sleep is coming any time soon, so you get the recap tonight. Wow, just wow. What a game, what a series. Mad respect to the Detroit Red Wings for nearly pulling off the upset. It's shame we won't get to see this again very often, if ever again. A very satisfying win, not only for Game 7 but the series as a whole. The Blackhawks proved they can bring their best when it's needed the most. And it will be needed in the Western Conference Final because the Los Angeles Kings are going to be a bitch to get by.

The game got off to a pretty even start. Detroit suffered a big blow when Valtteri Flippula injured his leg after getting tangled up with Andrew Shaw in front of his bench. I saw the term "slew foot" get tossed around. I didn't see it happen live and have not seen a good replay yet. The Wings got an early power play but Corey Crawford and Johnny Oduya came up big on the kill. Crow would remain big all night, Oduya, not so much. The Hawks would get 2 power plays during the second half of the period but could not convert.

The Hawks got the UC rocking with Patrick Sharp's 7th goal of the post season at 1:08 of the 2nd period. The Wings' younger defensemen have made costly mistakes in the series, but it was the top pairing of Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall who got victimized by an ill advised line change. Niklas Hjalmarsson made a great stretch pass to spring a 3 on 1 for the Hawks. Sharp put the finishing touch on a great tic-tac-toe play with Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa. The Hawks had a couple more chances to add to their lead the over the rest of the period but only had the one goal lead heading into the 3rd.

The start of the 3rd period was the exact opposite of Game 6. This time it was the Wings who tied the game within the first minute of the frame. Johnny Oduya tried to flick the puck past Daniel Cleary at his blue line but instead it lead to a 2 on 1 going the other way. Gustav Nyquist froze Corey Crawford with a sweet saucer pass to Henrik Zetterberg who tapped in the easy goal. Niklas Hjalmarsson looked to have scored the series winner win he wizzed the puck past Jimmy Howard with just 1:49 left in the game, but something wasn't right. While the Madhouse was celebrating, the goal was being waived off due to matching roughing calls to Kyle Quincey and Brandon Saad 100 feet away from the net. Pure confusion set in, followed by giant waves of anger.

The game would move into overtime, causing 78 more gray hairs and taking 193 days off my life. Dave Bolland caused the game winning goal by delivering a big hit on Nyquist at center ice and getting the puck over to Brent Seabrook. Biscuit got some room to shoot and deliver with a shot that deflected off the outstretched leg of Niklas Kronwall. There it was! The comeback was complete, the good guys are moving on.

* For those of you who still want to rag on Corey Crawford and say stupid things like "we will never win a Cup with Crawford;" there's the door, get out!

* Stephen Walkom better buy Brent Seabrook a nice steak dinner for helping get out of the United Center alive. This is the same ref who watched Raffi Torres try to murder Marian Hossa and swallowed his whistle, but decided to call matching roughing calls on Quncey and Saad. You want to call Quincey for delivering a sidewalk slam that would have made Razor Ramon proud, then fine. But what exactly did Saad do to get a call? He just hung on for dear life. Of all the trips, interference, cross checks and high sticks that were let go those penalties being called was a real head scratcher. But the Hawks did a great job regrouping and it didn't seem to have any effect on them in the OT. Bad calls are part of the game and they didn't let it get them off their game. The sign of a great team.

* Nick Leddy needs to be on the 1st power play unit. Period. End of sentence.

* I will call a player out when they deserve it but also give them credit when they've earned it and Dave Bolland earned some big time credit for his play on the game winning goal. Hopefully that is the play that returns him to his 2010/2011 playoff form because we are going to need that Bolland to show up against the Kings.

* Not sure how the giveaway stat is scored because Johnny Oduya was only credited with one. I counted three giveaways by number 27 in the first 30 seconds of the 3rd period.

* I take great comfort in knowing that the next cross check Justin Abdelkader will deliver will be with his 3 wood, on the ball washer, outside the 4th tee box.

* The Hawks killed off 21 of their 22 penalties this series. This must continue.

* Niklas Kronwall was the best Red Wing all night but he got victimized on both Hawks goals. The early line change and the puck nicking off his leg block attempt on the game winner. Bad luck for sure but no sympathy from me.

* The 3rd line of Viktor Stalberg, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad was sure fun to watch tonight. Saad is ready to explode. Just like in the regular season, I think once he gets his first goal, many more will follow.

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 21:16 26 12 +14 +4 +12
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 18:45 11 17 -6 -5 -4
Brent Seabrook D 20:55 22 12 +10 +3 +9
Nick Leddy D 10:11 14 10 +4 0 +4
Patrick Sharp R 15:37 17 14 +3 +2 +2
Marcus Kruger C 11:38 13 12 +1 -4 +3
Jonathan Toews C 15:43 15 12 +3 0 +3
Brandon Saad L 10:02 13 4 +9 0 +9
Viktor Stalberg L 10:18 14 7 +7 0 +7
Michal Handzus C 12:19 10 6 +4 -3 +5
Johnny Oduya D 20:28 11 17 -6 -6 -4
Bryan Bickell L 13:08 8 8 0 +2 -1
Michal Rozsival D 11:35 17 10 +7 0 +7
Dave Bolland C 11:53 13 14 -1 -2 -0
Andrew Shaw C 11:25 10 6 +4 +1 +4
Michael Frolik R 10:22 11 12 -1 -1 -1
Marian Hossa R 13:22 11 5 +6 -4 +8
Patrick Kane R 16:58 17 15 +2 +2 +1

Red Wings Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Brendan Smith D 18:52 11 18 -7 +1 -7
Jakub Kindl D 12:12 14 10 +4 +2 +3
Justin Abdelkader L 17:29 15 12 +3 +3 +2
Daniel Cleary R 16:24 6 15 -9 -1 -9
Pavel Datsyuk C 18:06 17 14 +3 +3 +2
Gustav Nyquist C 15:00 7 15 -8 +1 -8
Patrick Eaves R 7:37 4 11 -7 0 -7
Drew Miller L 10:56 11 14 -3 +1 -3
Damien Brunner C 10:44 13 11 +2 +1 +2
Cory Emmerton C 8:09 7 12 -5 0 -5
Kyle Quincey D 17:19 11 14 -3 0 -3
Carlo Colaiacovo D 12:02 13 16 -3 +2 -4
Henrik Zetterberg L 16:47 8 15 -7 -2 -6
Valtteri Filppula C 1:28 0 2 -2 0 -2
Jonathan Ericsson D 22:41 14 24 -10 -1 -10
Niklas Kronwall D 20:38 15 20 -5 0 -5
Joakim Andersson C 11:17 11 13 -2 0 -2
Johan Franzen C 18:14 16 17 -1 +1 -1