It’s time for Chicago Blackhawks Semifinals Notes, brought to you by the numbers 1-0 and the letters D and S, which stand for “Detroit sucks.” When last we left the Blackhawks, they had beaten the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Wednesday to take the first game of the series. It was an incredible game, with a power play goal from Marian Hossa, Marcus Kruger’s goal in spite of coming up empty on faceoffs and Brent Seabrook’s miracle save that still has people talking. They also extended their penalty kill streak to 29 consecutive kills since April 22.
So what do the Blackhawks do for Game Two? Shut down Pavel Datsyuk, just as they did on Wednesday. That job falls to Jonathan Toews, who’s a Selke finalist with Datsyuk and can match his game. The Blackhawks must continue to shut down the Red Wings’ power play, which they also did quite effectively. They also need to pounce upon the fact that the Red Wings tend to wear out in the third period. The Blackhawks had that problem during the season, but it’s corrected itself. If the Wings can’t do the same, the Blackhawks should attack as they did in Game One.
There are no injuries for the Blackhawks, though Michal Handzus took two maintenance days and Duncan Keith had a rest from one practice this week. As for the Red Wings, Drew Miller is a gametime decision. He might be effective on the ice for his team, but the hard part is trying to figure out who to bench in his place.
In other news, Viktor Stalberg is still not out of coach Joel Quenneville’s doghouse yet. He was in the dreaded white jersey at Friday practice, which means he’s still benched. Stalberg tried to clear up the controversy as to why he was benched, saying on Friday that it wasn’t due to his questioning his lack of power play ice time. I say it goes more toward performance, because when you haven’t done much of anything thus far in the postseason, you need to sit back and get your head back into the game.
This is a matinee game, so grab your lunch and watch another wild game from these two teams. It won’t disappoint.