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If You Can Hear A Piano Fall: Scum 4 – Hawks 1 (Series Tied 1-1)

After Game 1 Mike Babcock declared that the 4-1 scoreline was perfectly justified to represent how the game went. After Game 2, Joel Quenneville was just as assured that this 4-1 scoreline was indicative of what went on. Both were perfectly correct.

While it’s hardly cause for panic or tearing one’s hair out (if you’re unlike me and have any), Detroit was the far better team today. At times, it felt as if the Hawks felt as if it would be as easy as it was in Game 1 for the final 40 minutes. However, that completely discounts that they’re playing the DETROIT RED WINGS. While it’s something you can’t quantify, no matter the talent or speed deficit, the players on that team do come with a bathtub of pride and are not simply going to let anyone have their way.

Yeah, I know. That speaks to a “flatness.” But that’s a component today. The Hawks were just simply not working as hard as Detroit, who made it clear they knew they had to have this game (which they did). The Hawks didn’t match that. That’s not the whole reason they lost today, but it’s definitely part of it.

But there are certainly tangible and structural things we can point to. Detroit was much more focused on closing off the neutral zone than they were in Game 1. Not by getting more people on the blue line per se, but by being much more passionate in their backcheck. The Hawks couldn’t carry the puck through the land between the lines without someone right on their back eliminating decision time.

So they couldn’t carry the puck in as easily, but seemed reluctant to get the puck deep and get it back. They just didn’t get pressure on a Wings D that is always good for a few turnovers. And whatever battles they did engage in, they lost. Just have to be better there.

But there are some warts that the Hawks have gotten away with before that got at least a little exposed today.

-The first being that Brent Seabrook has been a turd all season. Sure, his indecision only cost them the 4th goal, and he led the team in hits if you’re into that. But quite simply, he can’t get there right now. Think the Wings and eventually the Kings or Sharks won’t key on that? You’re very wrong.

-Hjalmarsson had a howler. It might be his first one of the season. It happens.

-Once again, it gets exposed that Sharp, Kane, and Handzus can get so easily pinned in their own zone. And unless Sharp plays out of his skin, they don’t have much of a forecheck.

-On that end, even though he had the one goal Kane didn’t have a very good game. The past few games he just doesn’t seem to want to get engaged. Sharp has been taking on two defenders on the boards, and Kane routinely is standing outside of that waiting for Sharp to win that battle. At some point, it doesn’t matter what size you are. Get in there and come out with it.

-While we’re talking about this, Brandon Saad has struggled with the upped fastball in the playoffs. He certainly wouldn’t be the first rookie to do so. Remember, he’s had a full season, with half an AHL campaign under his belt. Maybe he’s hitting a wall? It really should only be one or two more games before a change should be considered. But what would be that change. You can’t move Bickell. Sharp and Saad swap?

-And on that line, once again we have a game where Jonathan Toews didn’t have an impact. The tweets and other coverage point to the physical nature of his handling by Henrik Zetterberg. But at some point, Toews is just going to have to break through. It’s seven games now. He’s been fine, maybe even good this playoff run. But don’t we count on a little more than that?

-In a game where the Hawks needed more straight-line play and forecheck, I think it’s delightful that one of their best forwards at executing same was eating popcorn in the pressbox to prove a point that’s already been proven so we could have a dumb penalty from Carcillo and nothing else.

-Wasn’t that one game respite from uncaring Dave Bolland nice on Wednesday? I wish it lasted longer than one game.

-I have to say, I criticize him more than anyone who doesn’t write for this blog, but I’ve been impressed by Quenneville’s tone for this whole spring. No blaming anyone else, no making excuses, just pointing the finger where it has to go. But soon, it’s his responsibility to make sure that finger can’t be pointed at all.

It’s just one. I expected this effort from the Wings at The Joe, a little surprised it came here. But I expect the Hawks to come out slobbering on Monday, and if they do the Wings still don’t have an answer. And the last time Scum beat the Hawks in 3 periods in Detroit was 2010. So that building will hold no fear for the Hawks.

It’s only one. Let’s all breathe.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    usually i am pretty upset at a loss. not today. don’t know why.

    • Accipiter

      Meh, it’s just a best of 5 now.

    • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Probably it’s just, well, you’re really not much of a fan.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        You’re probably right. I just hang around this particular group of hockey fans because they’re the most knowledgable and intelligent.
        /sarchasm

        • http://whatisthebestadverb.wordpress.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          Heh … you leech.

    • Sparky_The_Barbarian

      I think those of us who have been following this team for a few years expected a letdown today. That speaks to its own issues.

    • flahawkfan

      I think yesterday, as a fan, I came out flat. And I’m only sort of kidding.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        According to Tracy Myers, we weren’t seen in tomorrow’s morning skate and you’ve joined me in the press box. Q stated “[Those] fans know what they did and their situation has nothing to do with discussions about me knowing what I’m doing.”

  • Sparky_The_Barbarian

    Losing a game in the playoffs is not fatal. Failing to bounce back is. Monday night, kick ass, take names, and don’t relax until the parade.

  • Accipiter

    The 4th goal wasn’t Seabrook’ fault, he did not play well though.

    • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

      That had to be some kind of bizarre set play. Bolland wins the draw and ties up Hossa’s guy in the circle, Hossa crashed the net on the right side from his left wing. That was fine but then Kane and Seabrook just sorta stood there thinking the other was going to go after the puck. By the time Bolland realizes there is a turnover, he is 20 feet behind the play. Of course the Bolland bashers (like Jaeckel) blame him for the goal.

      • Accipiter

        That play off the draw was bizarre to say the least.

        • Why?

          Yeah, Bolland probably did enough there but it was just kind of a tough puck to play. Bolland wins the draw, but he didn’t win it cleanly. The puck kinda settled in no man’s land. Down a couple goals Seabrook probably has to pinch there. He got beat, it happens.

          I actually thought Seabrook looked ok today.

  • Preacher

    Not to sound like a hater, but Tazer is simply getting out-muscled most of the time. Suter did it to him in Round 1, and now whoever happens to be covering him for Scum is pretty much just laying on him as he skates. They’re just draping (literally) a defender on Tazer. He spends most of his time trying to keep his balance. The very few moments he has actual space to work with, he can do good things (like the assist to Hossa in game 1). Until he finds a way to get some space, he’ll continue to be a non-factor.

    • Accipiter

      In the game today the Wings got to Toews. He was visibly frustrated, he needs to deal with that a little better. I think he’s playing well, I would like to see the Hawks 3rd line play better than they did. Bolland hasn’t played for quite a while, not sure if he is in playoff game shape.

      • Preacher

        I watched chunks of the game again from Wednesday and today. You can see Toews just exhausted after some shifts because he’s spent the whole time trying to stay on his skates. And they’re all giving him extra shots throughout the game too.

        • Why?

          I’m a homer but I thought I saw multiple examples of Toews being slew footed. I don’t mind him playing with a little bit of angry edge to his game and I didn’t see any examples of him wavering in his effort or focus.

          What’s more perplexing to me his seeming unwillingness to shoot the puck. He works hard, has an excellent shot and seems to win most puck battles. On a day where a couple chances get buried, he might end up with a couple of assists. I’d like to see him pepper Howard a bit more but it wasn’t that bad of game from him.

          With that said, nobody played particularly well. The third line and fourth line couldn’t generate much, if any offence and the powerplay looked very deliberate (or to be less charitable, lackadaisical).

          And the CBC guys were on the Hawks for the amount of “fly bys” the players were doing. For what it’s worth, I think they’re right. The Detroit defencemen have looked ok in this series. I’d like to see if that continues if the Hawks get a bit more violent.

          One bad game early in a series has never eliminated anybody from the NHL playoffs. The team wasn’t good today and Howard was solid. Refocus and get ready to go after them in their building.

      • girlphoenix

        toews should fight someone like he did thorton. that fixed everything.

        • Accipiter

          Ben Smith would fight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.scott.549221 Michael Scott

    Thankfully I had to work and missed everything except for goal three.
    But shit happens, right? Playing bad and being bad are different things, and this Hawks team seems to love the occasional reality check.

    • Waylon

      Sure, but Monday’s now a must – win, no matter how anyone else tries to spin it.

      • putmeinthemadhouse

        no its not. being down 2-1 is not something this team cant come back from.

        • Z-man19

          Agreed

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          your spin doesn’t matter.

        • Waylon

          Fine, but let us hope they display a bit more urgency in Monday’s game, eh?

  • ballyb11

    Amazing the complete flip flop in performance. With the talent the Hawks have it’s hard to believe they got outplayed as badly as they did. Gonna be a tough series.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Ride is the worst Tatu or my life

    • Accipiter

      Are you alright, Bob ?

      • Preacher

        Methinks Bob is hitting the bottle hard on game days, and after losses in particular. What’s the drink of choice today, Bob?

  • Preacher

    Can’t see the postgame talks up here in Dairyland. Did anyone ask Q about Stals for game 3? Can we get a pool going as to whether or not Q will put him back in the lineup? Not that he would have made a huge difference today (when the whole team seemed to “coast” for large portions of the game) but his speed would help a lot.

    • Accipiter

      Carello made up Q’s mind for him I think.

      • Z-man19

        To start Bollig next game?

        • Accipiter

          Bollig, but on Defence.

          • Z-man19

            YES

          • laaarmer

            Hey! He’s no John Scott.

    • Why?

      I thought Carcillo was solid today. He’s one of the few guys that you can count on to lay the body and make the game tough for Detroit defencemen. The problem is Stalberg’s speed can be a difference maker and if he’s actually healthy, I’d be interested in seeing him in the lineup. I wouldn’t have a problem benching Carcillo, but that’s more a statement on the Blackhawks depth than any shortcoming Carcillo has.

      Watching the game, I was actually more worried about Saad, Kruger, Frolik and Bickell. It’s tough not to be the weak link when your linemates are Hossa and Toews, but Saad didn’t have the strongest game. The other three were barely noticeable when they played. It’s one game but all four are very skilled players that didn’t have much impact today.

  • Hawksinfour

    The Hawks were uninterested today. Don’t know why that was. Maybe a bit of a late night yesterday. Even the UC was kinda quiet today. I left as soon as the Wings got their 4th goal.

    • Waylon

      That’s what I never get about this team sometimes – it’s the freaking playoffs, and yet they still come out and lay turds on the ice. You’d think that they’re this year’s hockey version of the ’29 Yankees, but they’re far from it.

      • Paul the Fossil

        I think you mean the 1927 Yankees…who actually lost more than a quarter of their games. Including losses by ten runs, by seven runs, by six runs, by five runs a bunch of times, etc. They were the first MLB team to be in first place wire-to-wire but that doesn’t mean they were focused and dominant every day. Nor are these Hawks, or any other great team in any team sport. They’re human beings after all.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          most of them, anyways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.scott.549221 Michael Scott

    Curiosity if anyone’s around: How did Crawford look tonight?

    • Accipiter

      He wasn’t bad. No chance on at least 2 of the GA.

      • Why?

        He played a “C” game if we’re grading at the NHL level and I don’t mean that as an insult. He’s never going to be the smoothest goalie but aside from the fourth goal, it’s difficult to argue that he should have had any of them. He looks like a guy capable of winning the Stanley Cup with the team I expect the Hawks to be. He didn’t look like that type of guy last year and you’ve got to admire the strides he’s made.

        The first goal was a tip that would have been nearly impossible to see, the second goal was a very pretty example of tic tac toe passing and the third was a picture perfect shot on a breakaway. Howard was very good at the other end and the Hawks didn’t win enough puck battles.

        • Accipiter

          Howard made a couple nice stops, but he only faced 20 shots. I’d give Crow a B, he didn’t have much support.

          • The Doctor

            Agreed. The only goal I can maybe blame him on is the 4th but I thought he was more than solid enough to pull out a win. The difference here was a lack of Hawks offense.

          • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

            Crawford was awful. Just like the rest of the team. But he wasn’t close to being the reason they lost.

            A goalie having an off night when the rest of the team stinks up the place is fine. It’s when a goalie has a bad game when the rest of the team looks good that is the kiss of death.

          • http://twitter.com/ChiNativeSon ChicagoNativeSon

            Oh jebus. I offended Crow’s official apologist. Again.
            My bad, Crow was splendid. As always.

          • cliffkoroll

            Amen. I’m glad Crow had a lousy game, cuz a good one would have been wasted, considering how the rest of the team played. Get it out of his system.

  • Accipiter
    • Why?

      Verdi hit the nail on the head with this line:

      “Given the fact that the Blackhawks began their schedule unlike any franchise in National Hockey League history, it is not a stretch to say that they are in an uncomfortable spot and seriously challenged for the first time since January.”

      That’s the deal. This is a very good team that won a lot of regular season games. The Minnesota series was as much of a breeze as playoff hockey is ever going to be. Now, they’ve got outplayed badly in a playoff game. It’s not the end of the world or even the series, but it’s actually on for real now. I’m looking forward to Monday because I think they’re capable of ratcheting up the intensity.

      • cliffkoroll

        Not so sure. Is Detroit better than Minnesota? Maybe. The fact is the Hawks got the best possible draws for the first two rounds. Saturday, inexplicably, they decided to play their 53rd or 54th best game this year. Disappointing.

        The last time they were riding this high in the postseason was a 7-game winning streak heading to Philly, where they dropped the next two. So, no panic.

        If the Hawks are gonna seriously contend against the likes of LA, Pitt, or Boston, they need to stomp this Detroit team.

        Jonathan Toews, I noticed Sid hung a hattie on Craig Anderson the other day. Just sayin’.

        • pstumba

          you mean Anderson handed Sid a hattie, maybe one of the goals was any good, one was a HORRIBLE play by Anderson, the other was whatever

  • The Doctor

    We lost because we didn’t play Carcillo enough.

    • Accipiter

      He should be matched up against Datsyuk.

      • The Doctor

        Toews to the 4th, Carcillo centering the 1st.

  • Why?

    This is just a personal preference thing but I really enjoyed this write up. I doubt I’m in the majority here but I think most of the advanced stats are pretty lacking and only interesting when backed up with some analysis. I don’t agree with all of it but I’m glad I read it.

  • Marian Nation

    This is one of the very rare times that I’m actually looking forward to a Monday

  • http://twitter.com/Yoder Chad Yoder

    The Hawks have no business winning any game where they are outshot 30-20 and that’s pretty much all there is to it. It doesn’t matter if the team is Minnesota or Detroit or the goddamn Columbus Blue Jackets. This team is built to hold the puck and put shots on goal. Today they did neither.

    And for all of the Hits fans out there, the Blackhawks outhit an opponent, 36 to 26. And they lost by 3 goals.

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    I was not surprised that the Hawks would drop one of the two at the UC, I mean they are SCUM still afterall, but I am very surprised by being just about totally owned for 60 minutes at the UC. The lopsidedness of the loss is the surprising thing to me, not the loss itself.

  • Toews still makes funny faces!

    Does anybody have the link to the NHL-36 featuring the Blackhawks?

  • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

    1 2 3 4
    Keith 72% 16% 10% 2%
    Seabrook 4% 15% 49% 32%
    Rosi 17% 59% 10% 14%

    Keith Seabrook Rosi
    Opp 1st 79% 4% 18%
    Opp 2nd 19% 16% 66%
    Opp 3rd 16% 70% 15%
    Opp 4th 4% 66% 30%

    • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

      Can’t get the formatting to work with text and that table in the same post. This is the matchups of d-pairs with the 1-4 forward lines of Detroit.

      Note that Seabrook/Leddy was playing as the third pair. Rosi and Oduya moved into the 2nd d-pair role for both Redwings games.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Based on the results I’ve no problem with that. Do agree that Roszival gets a little too happy about weaving with the puck at times, but overall they deserve to be the second pair right now.

  • justforkicks

    Bolly back on the 2nd and Stals back on the 3rd in practice today. color me not surprised at all

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      I have the Crayola 128 color set and I don’t see it in there. I’m going with peach.

      • VerStig

        I’m more of a cerulean guy myself

    • Preacher

      Steals back in makes me happy. Bolly at 2nd makes me we worry. Was Zus anywhere?

      • Accipiter

        Olympia ?

        • Preacher

          I believe that would be Olympus.

          • Accipiter

            That is a camera. I meant Olympia.

          • ahnfire

            well, it was also called Mount Olympus, so that’s probably what Preacher meant.

          • Accipiter

            A total of nineteen mountains were referred to as Olympos (in Greek) or Olympus.

      • justforkicks

        im betting he comes in for carcillo. didnt practice tho

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I’m all for a line shakeup after yesterday, but our biggest problem IMHO was in mental preparation.

      • justforkicks

        I don’t think I’ll get the line up shake up I want so while I’d like it, I”m overall pretty meh. I agree though that it was likely more mental – i think we see a different team tomorrow night that’s more like the blackhawks we know and love and not their poorly playing dopplegangers

        • lizmcneill

          No DDN, Q doesn’t like scoring goals.

  • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

    CHI 55.66%
    BOS 52.48%
    DET 51.47%
    L.A 49.78%
    PIT 49.12%
    S.J 48.18%
    NYR 44.25%
    OTT 43.52%

    • http://twitter.com/neo873 Neo

      These are the remaining teams score adj fenwick.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Det Surprisingly high. Here’s hoping these numbers kick into play on Monday night.

  • laaarmer

    Disqus

    • Z-man19

      Upboat for laaarms

    • lizmcneill

      I love that cartoon so much. “no worky” has become part of our team vernacular.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Senners tie it with a shorty with 29 seconds left.

  • 07GreyDigger

    Is it fair to say that because Saad has been useless that leaves Toews and Hossa out in the cold? I feel like they’ve both been beasts, but every time they pass it to Saad, he just can’t pull the trigger.