Series On – Wings Top Hawks 4-1, Next Move is Q’s

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -Maybe the Blackhawks got caught up in their own press clippings after winning the series opener. It could be the Detroit Red Wings were road weary on Wednesday and needed a few days to recharge.

Pick a reason but the 4-1 Saturday matinee result indicated a total regression by Chicago and a top performance from Detroit.

For those who believe a playoff series doesn’t get competitive until the home club loses, get ready and buckle up.

It looked like the Blackhawks would have a chance in Game 2 even though they were outplayed in the first frame. The Red Wings threw their best punch and the Hawks were still able to score and take the lead. As was later evident, one couldn’t mistake a nifty play by Patrick Sharp which led to an odd man break and a Patrick Kane goal as a sign of good things to come. Corey Crawford kept the game close for awhile but in the end the Red Wings not only won by a convincing margin, they also made a statement.

The Wings stifled the Hawks offense and wouldn’t allow the Chicago attack to control the pace of the game. As the game wore on the Blackhawks were the team with no answers as frustration and some bad penalties came about. The Hawks were held to only 20 shots on home ice and the Wings had twice as many scoring chances through two periods. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this was the Hawks worst performance at the United Center all season.

How could the Blackhawks go from so good to so bad?

It is impossible to say exactly but here are some observations. The Red Wings best players were far better than their Chicago counterparts. The Blackhawks defense, especially Niklas Hjalmarsson played as if they didn’t like the early start time. A player that is supposed to be a pain to play against Dave Bolland, committed stupid penalties and didn’t contribute much at all.

Last but not least, Chicago’s leader Jonathan Toews had a tough afternoon and he too had one of his more disappointing performances of the season. Toews was manhandled by Detroit and was controlled by center Henrik Zetterberg. Toews was credited with three shots on goal but was held scoreless again and his frustration is beginning to show. Toews looks weary and a step slow at times. He also had a sub-par game in the faceoff circle.
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