Lots of post-game news coming in so I’ll stick mostly with my thoughts while everything gets sorted out.
The Red Wings were just surviving until Chicago opened the game’s scoring. Then it was like a switch was flipped. We’ve seen that switch flipped before – sometimes it’s just for a game and sometimes it’s for a playoff run. It’s good to see but it’s terrifying that it was necessary.
I said repeatedly that Pavel Datsyuk was outplaying Marian Hossa. Datsyuk had a hell of a game. It’s fantastic to see him back.
Jimmy Howard also had a fantastic game. Made 33 stops on the afternoon, including some spectacular stops. He appears to be back.
I loved the second line tonight, whether it was Valtteri Filppula or Justin Abdelkader centering Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi. They were getting into the corners and moving the puck well. Sustained pressure in the Chicago zone combined with great passing from Bertuzzi caused Cleary’s eventual game-winner.
On the penalties… People seem to be up in arms over Abdelkader’s hit on Seabrook so I’ll say, fine, we’re even. Hit to Seabrook uncalled, stick to Franzen’s face uncalled. No, I’m not happy with how the penalties worked out but I love how the Detroit PK came to play.
Detroit moves on to face Phoenix in the first round. Not thrilled about the travel or that the Coyotes always play the Wings well. You don’t want to get caught trying to pick your poison in the playoffs, though. In all honesty, there was no one I wanted to have to play.
Dallas can make the playoffs and knock out the Blackhawks out with a win in regulation or OT tonight. I don’t think I’ll watch that one.