I’ve got to say, I was surprised by a lot of things in the Red Wings’ win over the Blackhawks tonight.
Ty Conklin‘s performance was the biggest surprise for me. He’s had a relatively awful season and after giving up two goals in the first 4:19, it looked like more of the same was coming. He really pulled it together, though, finishing the night with 29 saves on 31 shots and stopping Jimmy Hayes on a penalty shot. His second-best start of the season, he earned his second win.
That penalty shot stop was just solid goaltending. Hayes didn’t make a good move but Conklin kept his head in it and stayed where he needed to be. Would have been easy for Conklin to be jumpy there and he wasn’t.
I said at the time that I can’t believe the Wings’ second goal wasn’t called back for intent to blow. Not because I think the puck was actually frozen (replay showed it trickle through Corey Crawford‘s pads, and we saw the same thing happen to Jimmy Howard recently), just because of how often that goes against Detroit.
I do think the Wings got away with too many men on the ice in overtime, not going to lie about that one. I would have complained about it had it been Chicago getting away with it. They had already done it once in the game and it was lazy the second time. The cop-out is to say that the refs had pretty much put the whistles away by that point but I don’t like relying on it. Just a lucky break.
The game winning goal was a hell of a shot at a non-existent angle by Pavel Datsyuk, helped by a deflection off of Nick Leddy. Chicago wasn’t happy with the scramble in front of the net but I didn’t see contact with Crawford.
That’s two games in a row the Wings had to rally, which isn’t good. That they did rally both times is nice but it only worked once. They can’t keep digging themselves holes like that.