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Look Back At Blackhawks Vs Redwings Round 2
Our Final Dance
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Redwings met up in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks were the #1 seed and the clear favorites even after Detroit just upset the favored #2 seeded Ducks in round 1. This also was a historical series because this was a original 6 match-up and the last time these two storied rivalries will ever meet in the Western Conference playoffs as the Redwings will head to the Eastern Conference in the League realignment next season. This series couldn't have gone any better for the NHL and I will take a look back at each game in the series to see how this all unfolded.
Game 1 @ The United Center
The Hawks looked like the more fresh team as they were sitting and waiting for the Wings after knocking out the Wild in 5 games in the 1st round. Chicago controlled most off the play the whole game and struck first half way through the first period and never really looked back from there and came out with a 4-1 win on home ice.
This game could have gotten out of hand if it wasn't for Jimmy Howard of the Wings. This seemed to be a theme to come for many of the games in this series as Howard played great for the duration of the series.
Game 2 @ The United Center
This started off much like game 1 with the Hawks striking first in the opening period, followed by the Wings working hard to tie things up after 1. The Wings took the lead in the 2nd period and they never looked back as the roles reversed for his game and the Wings won 4-1.
This was a big game for the Wings but the Hawks came hard for the whole game and made Howard come up huge in some moments to keep them off the score board. This was the beginning of the Wings getting inside the Hawks heads and more specifically captain Johnny Toews. This would work in the favor of the Wings for the next handful of games.
Game 3 @ The Joe Louis Arena
The Wings had a combo of a great six minute stretch and great goaltending in this game. The Wings jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead from a bad six minute stretch from the Hawks. The third period would bring some questionable calls and some drama into the series. First a questionable hit from behind on Johan Franzen lead to a Patrick Kane break away goal to make it 2-1. The Hawks picked up momentum and seemed to have tied it up when Victor Stalberg threw the puck in front and was redirected in off Andrew Shaw's leg, the ref called no goal due to Shaw interfering with Howard. This was strange because on replay Shaw never even touched Howard but it was later explained that just being in the crease and not allowing the goalie to get in position in enough for interference to be called. This was still debated as a bad call by many the next day. After the deflation of that call the WIngs came down and scored and that was all she wrote for the Blackhawks.
This is the game that really saw Chicago lose their cool and let both Detroit and the questionable officiating get in their heads. There would be more of that to come.
Game 4 @ The Joe Louis Arena
This game was a great end to end action game that was scoreless through the first two and a half periods before the Wings scored on the Power Play with Toews sitting in the box. Toews had a rough game and seemed to be losing it with 3 penalties all back to back. The Wings added the empty net to seal the 2-0 win.
The end of the game started to get very chippy as the Blackhawks were clearly frustrated with how the games had gone in Detroit thus far. Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw were both thrown from the game as they were taking shots at Wings players. This may have been the turning point for the Hawks going forward because the Redwings were getting away with alot of calls specifically on Toews all series long and this boiling point seemed to get the Hawks refocused instead of sending them over the edge. Back to the United Center for a do or die game 5.
Game 5 @ The United Center
This game started out fast and furious for the Hawks and they struck first in the opening period from a goal by big Bryan Bickell. Detroit came back in the 2nd period with a Dan Cleary strike to tie the game. The Hawks Power Play finally started clicking when Shaw tipped in a goal on the man advantage. The Hawks finished with 2 PP goals this game. The 2nd PP goal was scored by Toews and that seemed to cap off his night with a great effort and a goal under his belt finally. The Hawks took the win after an Andrew Shaw goal to make it 4-1 final.
Chicago took alot of momentum from this game and responded to adversity much better in this game. The Hawks had another goal taken away from them early on as a result of a quick whistle right before the puck crossed the line. They could have gotten frustrated and let things go sour but they just kept fighting and it paid off in a big way. It seemed like the head games that plagued the Hawks recently has suddenly stopped. Another do or die game back in Detroit was around the corner.
Game 6 @ The Joe Louis Arena
Another must win game for the Hawks and they responded great early on as Hossa got a early PP goal to take the 1-0 lead. As usual the Wings came back and tied it all up at 1. The momentum looked to have gone the Wings way when a knuckle puck type shot got past Crawford in the 2nd period. Things did not look good for Chicago but they came out of the gates in the 3rd period flying. Handzus found himself all alone in front of the net on a great pinch and pass from Hjarlmalsson only about 20 seconds into the 3rd period. Just like that the momentum swung to the Hawks and Bickell scored shortly after to take the 3-2 lead in the game. Frolik was awarded a penalty shot when his hands were slashed on a breakaway which prevented him from even getting a shot off. Frolik cashed in on the penalty shot making him the first player in NHL history to record two penalty shot goals in the playoffs. The Wings added a late goal but couldn't tie it up thus forcing a pivotal game 7 back at the United Center.
The stage was set for a historical last ever meeting between these two clubs in a game 7. regardless of the 3 game winning streaks by both teams, this was a game 7 and both teams knew anything could happen.
Hawks Force Game 7
The Madhouse On Madison Awaits
Game 7 @ The United Center
This Chicago crowd was loud and crazy with anticipation as the puck drop neared. The game had great pace just like a game 7 should. The game was scoreless until the Hawks caught the Wings in a bad line change that resulted in a 3 on 1 for the Hawks and Patrick Sharp putting in the opening goal of the contest. The game remained 1-0 into the 3rd period and much like what the Hawks did to the Wings in game 6, Detroit came out immediately and scored to tie the game in the 3rd. The 1-1 tie would remain until near the end of the game when with under 2:00 minutes left in regulation Brandon Saad pushed the puck up the boards and was hit by defensman Kyle Quincey near the Wings bench and while the two were fighting back on the ice, the puck found its way to an open Nik Hjarmalsson where he blew the puck past the glove side of Jimmy Howard. The crowd was going crazy but at center ice near the Wings bench the referee was waiving off the goal because of an apparent penalty on both Quincey and Saad back in the neutral zone. Yet another goal taken away from the Hawks and at the absolute worse possible moment, yet the Hawks regained their composure and headed into overtime with a very positive attitude. About 4 minutes into the OT the puck came out of the Wings zone and David Bolland laid a huge hit along the boards which made the puck pop out to an open area, Brent Seabrook jumped on that puck and headed into the Detroit zone uncontested and fired a low hard wrist shot that deflected a bit off of defensmen Nik Kronwall and past the glove side of Jimmy Howard and in to the net. The Chicago Blackhawks completed the come back from down 3 games to 1.
This marked the first time since 2010 that a team has come back to win after being down 3-1 in the series. It also marks the first time in Blackhawks history that this has happened.A great series by two teams that seen each other in post season play for the last time. The Hawks move onto the 3rd round to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings. The Hawks are 2-1 during the season against these Kings but throw that stat away because as we just witnessed this is playoffs hockey and anything can happen.