Blackhawks vs Red Wings: Semifinals Game 3

 

TCL Blackhawks

CHI vs DET – Preview

Round 2, Game 3

6:30 PM CST 5/20/13

As the series shifts to the Motor City it is now the best of five series with each club notching a victory. Chicago has now lost home ice advantage in this series and need to reclaim it quick. The Blackhawks do not have to wait long with a quick turnaround time.

Games one and two were mirror images of each other with vastly differing results for each club. In game two Detroit found their skating legs with ample time off to rest and  it appears they have recovered from the Anaheim Ducks series and are looking like the Detroit Red Wings that have gone to 22 consecutive Stanley Cup playoffs.

For how good Chicago looked in game one they looked equally bad in game two. Their energy and legs were not there for whatever reason. They started good but lost speed as the game went on.  A much better effort will be needed in Detroit otherwise this series will get away from them.

In the Blackhawks post game presser coach Joel Quenneville cited not sustaining the pace for the full game and that overall everyone needed to be better.

Not sure why the Blackhawks would be lethargic or careless with the puck after all this is The Detroit Red Wings they are playing and everyone knows they are world class skaters with skills most teams envy.

Two things that really stood out was the lack of sustained pressure in the Red Wing’s zone which resulted in fewer shots on goal. Jimmy Howard is a good goalie if he only has to face 20 shots it will be another long game for the Hawks. Going forward the Hawks need to apply more net front presence and sustained pressure in the Red Wings zone. If need be they might have to chip and chase if the middle is clogged up. 

The other thing to come from game two was, it was apparent that it was not a good game for the Blackhawks’ defenseman. All of them made some very questionable decisions. Hopefully they all just had an off day unfortunately they all had that bad day in the same game. This needs correction quick or this series will be over. Detroit is too skilled to make mistakes on and get away with.

The interesting thing to come out of game two was the match up of Henrik Zetterberg on Jonathan Toews. Credit Detroit coach Mike Babcock with making adjustments.  Zetterberg seemed to tie up Toews and win this battle in game two. How Toews and the Blackhawks adjust will be imperative going forward.

Also it appears that Viktor Stalberg will return to the lineup which should up the pace of the Blackhawks' game.

Everything that made the Hawks successful in game one was lost in game two. That intensity that coach Quenneville was looking for was certainly missing from game two. For the first time all year the Blackhawks have to face some adversity it is how they respond that will dictate this series.

The Blackhawks know what they need to do and they have the skills to do it, they must execute it. Can they now impose their will? Can they dictate the game? Can the students school the masters?

 We know that the Blackhawks have yet to reach the pinnacle of their game but have we seen the best of Detroit’s game in game two? The answer to that question will become more apparent as each game goes on.  Hopefully, for the Blackhawks that was the best game the Red Wings can muster against the Hawks.

Game 3 starts at 6:30 CST at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.