DIDN'T YOU USED TO BE...? Red Wings 5, Blackhawks 4 (Detroit wins game of Euchre)
This used to be one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports, not just hockey. The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings have mixed it up hundreds of times over decades, at one time even being owned by the same family. Their stories have always been intertwined, culminating with an epic seven-game Semifinal series last season.
Now here we are. The two teams are in separate divisions, in different conferences. This is the Hawks' only time in Joe Louis Arena this year unless the two teams meet in the Stanley Cup Final. Which is about as likely as me walking in on George Takei nailing Kate Upton in a sex swing.
Detroit has been absolutely racked with injuries. Tonight there was no Jimmy Howard, no Pavel Datsyuk, no half the team. The Hawks got two quick goals and it looked like the rout was on. Turns out, not so much.
The Blackhawks let the Red Wings up off the mat, and Detroit even took the lead at one point. The Hawks then tied it up, and after a frantic overtime the Red Wings prevailed in a long shootout, with the final score being 5-4.
Let's get to this:
The Red Wedding Line. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa notched goals tonight, bringing the line up to 64. No joking guys, this line stays healthy they hit 100.
Marcus Kruger. He has been an absolute revelation this season. He got the goal that tied the game at four, and he was dominant in the faceoff circle. Night in and out all season, he's been getting the job done.
The penalty kill. 100% on 4 kills tonight. One of the things that actually worked all night. This has suddenly turned back into one of the Hawks' strong suits.
Johnny Oduya was abysmal tonight, blowing coverage leading to the first three Detroit goals. At least he found his game eventually. As Fels pointed out on Twitter though - as bad as he's been, he and Hjalmarsson keep getting the top line on the other team instead of "top pair" Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. I think it's mostly Hjalmarsson's play that is earning that trust.
Brandon Saad had a brutal sequence late in the second period, where he got called for both a hook and a slash. The Hawks were able to kill the double-minor, thanks in part to Dan Cleary taking an interference with a little over a minute left in the second penalty.
Tomorrow night the Hawks travel to Minnesota to face the red-hot Wild. Aroo.