Observations From Section 321 : Not Dead Yet

Blackhawks stay alive with a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings, forcing a Game 6 back in Detroit.

I don't think so many people in Chicago have ever been so excited about spending a holiday in Detroit. The Blackhawks played with the desperation and snarl they needed to keep the series extended for at least one more game. The Hawks got everything they needed to stay alive. They got the physical play, production from their stars, Jonathan Toews lit the lamp and holy crap, two power play goals! Monday night's game back at the Joe is going to be a challenge for sure. This Wings team is not going to roll over and die, even though they pretty much did in the 3rd period last night. They will need the same type of effort on Monday and somehow Joel Quenneville will need to find a way to keep Toews away from Henrik Zetterberg.

Bryan Bickell got the scoring started at 14:08 of the 1st period with his 4th goal of the playoffs. The play started with a Jonathan Ericsson turnover in the neutral zone. With all 5 Wings on the left side of the ice, Bickell was able to pounce on a rebound from a Patrick Kane shot for the uncontested goal. Michal Handzus picked up the secondary assist on the play. The Hawks got a late power play, but they failed to register a shot on goal and I was worried that would kill their momentum.

Daniel Cleary got the Wings back into the game with his 4th goal of the post season at 9:37 of the 2nd period. The goal was not nearly as the deflating as it could have been. Both the Hawks and the crowd at the UC kept their heads in the game. Drew Miller got called for hooking Jonathan Toews and sent the Hawks to what was most likely another 2 minutes of clown shoes. But that wasn't the case this time. The Hawks were actually able to enter the puck in the zone and maintain possession. Finally, at 13:08, Andrew Shaw deflected a Duncan Keith shot past Jimmy Howard for a 2-1 lead. Brent Seabrook picked up his first point of the post season with the apple on the eventual game winning goal. Justin Abdelkader picked up a horrible crosschecking penalty about 2 and a half minutes later and the Hawks power play cashed in again. It was Toews who banked the puck off of Jimmy Howard's Big Boy hairdo for his first goal of the playoffs. Marian Hossa and Keith assisted on the goal.

Andrew Shaw scored his 2nd goal of the game at 6:58 of the 3rd period. The Hawks forecheck caused another neutral zone turnover. Viktor Stalberg's slap shot sailed wide but Shaw was there to pick up the puck behind the net and score an easy wrap around goal. Michal Rozsival was given credit for the secondary assist. Shaw had a couple of chances for the hat trick but I am pretty that if he had scored a 3rd goal the internet would have been destroyed. The Wings looked like a tired and defeated team in the final frame but do not expect that from them Monday night. Hopefully a confident Jonathan Toews and a power play unit that knows they can score will lead to a Game 6 victory. The Hawks will need to remain disciplined if they want to bring the series back to Chicago on Wednesday.

* I like it when Andrew Shaw and Justin Abdelkader switch places on the dumb ass spectrum. This is the Andrew Shaw I welcome on my team. The Shaw who plays within himself and controls his emotions, not the raging penis we saw in Games 1 through 3. Abdelkader did not have a great night. He cancelled out a Wings power play by taking a shot Dave Bolland after he was called for tripping. It was Abdelkader who was in the box for Toews power play goal. Cross checking Patrick Kane in the back right in front of the officials is never a good play, even though it took four cross checks before the call was made. I am hoping for this version to show up at the Joe tomorrow night.

*Speaking of Dave Bolland and being dumb, taking an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty right after your team goes up by 2, in an elimination game, is not smart hockey. Plays like that make me willing to drive him to the airport this summer when he is shipped out of town.

* Welcome to the playoffs Brent Seabrook! Q reunited Seabrook with his long time on ice partner Duncan Keith. This seemed to have worked for at least one night. Biscuit helped set the tone early by dumping Damien Brunner on his ass at the start of the game. He also was rewarded with 23:20, which nearly doubled his Game 4 total.

* Bryan Bickell really stepped up his game last night as well. He was a physical presence all night long. He destroyed Joakim Andersson and center ice in the 1st period. He ended Niklas Kronwall's night with a huge hit in the 3rd period.

* Michal Handzus played his best game of the playoffs last night. He had an assist, lead the team in hits with 4, had 2 huge blocked shots and won 8 of his 12 faceoffs.

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 17:22 20 10 +10 -2 +11
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 17:06 18 11 +7 +2 +6
Brent Seabrook D 17:41 22 7 +15 -1 +15
Nick Leddy D 11:51 11 7 +4 +3 +3
Patrick Sharp R 18:14 17 9 +8 +6 +6
Marcus Kruger C 9:47 7 9 -2 -3 -1
Jonathan Toews C 15:24 16 8 +8 +8 +5
Brandon Saad L 8:29 11 7 +4 0 +4
Viktor Stalberg L 7:59 13 3 +10 +1 +10
Michal Handzus C 12:06 12 6 +6 -2 +7
Johnny Oduya D 19:37 18 14 +4 +2 +3
Bryan Bickell L 10:56 15 5 +10 0 +10
Michal Rozsival D 16:07 15 13 +2 +2 +1
Dave Bolland C 11:24 7 8 -1 -3 +0
Andrew Shaw C 9:27 14 6 +8 -1 +8
Michael Frolik R 11:04 6 10 -4 -3 -3
Marian Hossa R 11:54 12 7 +5 -1 +5
Patrick Kane R 19:00 21 10 +11 +7 +8

Red Wings Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Brendan Smith D 18:51 13 17 -4 0 -4
Jakub Kindl D 13:34 11 11 0 0 0
Justin Abdelkader L 16:06 7 13 -6 -2 -5
Daniel Cleary R 11:40 7 14 -7 +2 -8
Pavel Datsyuk C 16:08 6 13 -7 -3 -6
Gustav Nyquist C 10:29 9 11 -2 -1 -2
Patrick Eaves R 10:29 7 16 -9 0 -9
Drew Miller L 10:41 6 16 -10 -1 -10
Damien Brunner C 10:03 9 8 +1 -1 +1
Cory Emmerton C 9:13 5 10 -5 -1 -5
Kyle Quincey D 18:47 10 18 -8 0 -8
Carlo Colaiacovo D 11:52 8 12 -4 0 -4
Henrik Zetterberg L 12:42 8 13 -5 +4 -7
Valtteri Filppula C 12:56 8 16 -8 +2 -9
Jonathan Ericsson D 19:28 8 26 -18 -3 -17
Niklas Kronwall D 17:21 12 20 -8 -3 -7
Joakim Andersson C 10:17 10 10 0 -2 +1
Johan Franzen C 14:43 6 11 -5 -6 -3