Hawks Top Wings in OT Thriller

Blackhawks Red Wings Hockey

Now you see why I hate these games.

I'm sure for neutral game-watchers this qualified as one of the best games of the year. It was played at a cokehead pace and had a Montague and Capulet passion level with its share of controversy. But for those with a stake in the game, we're too sick to enjoy the experience.

In the end, it feels good. The Hawks went toe-to-toe with what is still considered a Western Conference power, though it's one that is as banged up as the Hawks. And for the most part, Chicago edged this and took the two points they deserved. When they needed it, their top players became their top players.

Marian Hossa was something out of a Japanese monster movie. How many times did he cause turnovers on the attack and keep a possession going? How many times did he fight off checkers to find open ice and create a chance? No one deserved the win more, and he could have had two or three others on a different night.

Patrick Kane turned to Hossa to draw the penalty that won the game for the Hawks. And that's not some chump he fought off there. Henrik Zetterberg is known as one of the hardest workers and strongest skaters in the game. Kaner essentially turned him into a pimple. That's just an awesome play from one of the few players around capable of it.

Duncan Keith turned into Duncan Keith again. His gap control was perfect, and rarely could the Wings forwards get anything past him. He pushed the play the other way at every chance. When pinned in his own zone, he used his feet and hands to get himself out of trouble and bail out his team. There's a reason that Zetterberg was on the wrong side of the CORSI scale tonight, and it's because he was suffocated by Keith for most of the evening.

When the Hawks' best players come to dominate, they're still a formidable force. When they get help from the bottom, they're even more so. Viktor Stalberg used his speed to terrorize the Wings fourth line again and again. Chris Campoli was a rock and kept making those nifty five-foot passes in his own zone, getting the Hawks out of trouble.

There's much work to be done, but if we see repeated showings of this effort, things will be just fine. But that's been the problem, hasn't it?

Contact Us