It’s been awhile since I’ve posted postgame thoughts and this game has a lot to talk about, so might as well give it a shot. Handling things somewhat chronologically…
Detroit came out with a solid first shift and then it was all Chicago for the next five minutes. Red Wings passes weren’t connecting and they couldn’t clear the zone. Both of those issues bit them in the ass when Troy Brouwer held the puck in at the blue line and worked it down to Jonathan Toews right on Joey MacDonald’s doorstep. I don’t really blame Ruslan Salei for not being tight to Toews just then as the puck should have been cleared. Quick release by Toews, he didn’t have a lot of time there, nice shot.
Todd Bertuzzi’s hit on Ryan Johnson a couple minutes later was not something I wanted to see. He deserved the penalty. He probably deserved the misconduct. I’m not sure about a suspension. On one hand, it was a hit to the head. On the other hand, first contact was with Johnson’s shoulder. On yet another hand, Todd Bertuzzi is an acceptable target to make an example of. It was a stupid play so I don’t think I’ll complain if Bertuzzi does get a couple games. Anything more than that and I’ll have a problem. That said, if I were the Wings and there was a hearing on this, I’d take the clip of Martin Erat’s elbow to Justin Abdelkader in and say “We’ll take the same punishment this guy got.”
Nicklas Lidstrom’s goal to tie the game was a great shot through a screen but was also blown defensive coverage by the Blackhawks. That’s why everyone loves four-on-four so much, you just can’t make a mistake like that or it ends up in the back of your net.
Similar is Brent Seabrook’s goal to make it 2-1. Detroit never got properly set up off the faceoff in their own end and no one covered Seabrook. Somewhat understandable while down a man but painful to see on replay.
Funny thing about the second period is that, at the time, I remember thinking the Wings had a bit of control back. It was the period with no scoring, no penalties, and the only full period in which Detroit was outshot but I feel like they were getting back to playing their game, just not getting anything from it.
As I said at the time, Danny Cleary deserves a lot of credit for Henrik Zetterberg’s third period goal. Zetterberg wouldn’t have thrown that puck to the front of the net had Cleary not gotten to the top of the crease, something Detroit wasn’t doing a good job of earlier in the game.
As for the end of the game, it’s not hard to guess my thoughts on that. No doubt that Chicago executed extremely well on the four-on-three in overtime. They deserve credit there. The power play itself was a gift, though. Tomas Holmstrom tripped on a breakaway in the second period is no call but a tap to the hip of Patrick Kane sends Zetterberg to the box with four seconds left in regulation.
That said… Had Detroit taken advantage of more of their power play chances (not that I think one-for-four is bad), that never would have come up. It’s not like each team didn’t get chances, I just think the calls were inconsistent, which is always my complaint.
Overall, my takeaway is that the Blackhawks were the desperate team tonight and played like it. The Red Wings did not, and Joey MacDonald kept them in this one so that they could get the point from it.