Coach Joel Quenneville knew that something had to be done to get the Blackhawks back on track for the series, so he started out with a change on who took the first faceoff. Michael Handzus took the first faceoff of the game on the first line spot usually reserved for Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks made a much better start to the game than they had in the past two, spending more time in the Red Wings' zone and getting back to the style of puck possession that they prefer, instead of constantly chasing down the opposition. Additionally, the Detroit defense kept making bad turnovers at the beginning of the game. Things were looking good for Chicago.
After the outcome of game three, the reports of the demise of the Detroit Red Wings were grossly underestimated.
The Chicago Blackhawks knew going in that the Red Wings were going to do whatever they could to get them off of their game. Detroit's strategy working thus far. The Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-1 to take a decisive 2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference semifinal.
Game three was a much chippier affair. Both teams combined for 12 penalties. Seven of which were committed by the Blackhawks. Detroit continued to w...
There was a feeling in the building that the first round series vs. the Wild lacked. It was an energy that was nearly palatable, fueled by the rivalry that is the deepest in the NHL: tonight's game marked the 800th between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, the most between any two teams in the league.
The two teams looked near-equal in the first. Chicago looked like they were getting their game feet back under themselves after nearly a week off; while Detroit was still fresh off their series vs. Anaheim. Shots on goal were nearly even; the Blackhawks gave the Red Wings two power plays while only gaining one of their own; and the two teams got out of the period tied a...
It's been three long years since the Blackhawks last saw the second round of the playoffs.
A battered and bruised Chicago team took the Canucks to the brink, losing in overtime of game seven on Vancouver ice in 2011. Last season, the Blackhawks took the Coyotes to overtime five consecutive games - and ultimately lost in game six.
The team is better this year: not just talent- and chemistry-wise, but coming off a record, albeit shortened, season. Coach Joel Quenneville has been able to consistently roll four lines without his trademarked "line combination blender"; Corey Crawford and Ray Emery split time in the net so well that they walked away with the William M....