Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Last season during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I put out a morning “noteworthy” column in the style of Trey Kerby’s “Things Of Note” posts on The Basketball Jones. This year I’ll be doing something similar (I think with some upgrades on my own previous attempts) using the NHL’s morning press release (“Stanley Cup of Joe,” they’re calling it), my own opinions, and some videos, .GIFs and appropriate pictures. Quoted passages are from the NHL press release.

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Surprising

Last night the Detroit Red Wings took down the Chicago Blackhawks for a second straight game to move ahead 2-1 in the series.

Viktor Stalberg almost died

Or at least almost ended up paralyzed. He managed to play nearly 10 minutes in the contest, which isn’t so bad considering this happened on his first shift:

Ughhh.

Also suffering

Dan Cleary took an ill-timed little cross-check in the lower back from Brent Seabrook which unfortunately – though comically – changed the route his was taking, putting the net in his path.

Rock Solid

Jimmy Howard became the first Red Wings goaltender in 26 years to face 40 or more shots and yield only one goal in a playoff victory. The last time a Detroit netminder pulled off that feat was on April 12, 1987, when Greg Stefan made 46 saves in a series-clinching 3‑1 win over the Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Norris Division Semifinals. (Elias)

Murderers

Because like Fabolous’ girl, they be killin’ em:

Chicago killed off all five of Detroit’s power-play opportunities and is now a perfect 29-for-29 on the penalty kill in eight games this postseason. That matches the longest streak of consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal to begin a playoff year in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68). St. Louis also didn’t yield a power-play goal in its first eight games of the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs (33-for-33). (Elias)

Speed kills

I thought Detroit’s quicker forwards – guys like Gustav Nyqvist and Justin Abdelkader – presented huge problems for Chicago’s D last night, on more than just the goals. But in some cases, the speed-to-success connection was more obvious:

Blackhawks yay goal

After Detroit scored twice in 30 seconds (Drew Miller followed up the above goal by jamming one home), the following happened. Should it have been a penalty on the play against Franzen at the start of the shift? Maybe. Was Keith’s pass an intentional backhand alley-oop to Kane? Probably. Was Kane’s subsequent battle win and finish excellent? Definitely.

Blackhawks nay goal

Right after that goal the Blackhawks’ push continued, including the goal below…that got waved off. Goaltender interference was the call, despite Shaw not actually touching Howard. Soft, soft call from where I sit. And I may have just misspelled “wrong.”

Poppin’ bottles

Datsyuk entirely changed the tone of the game when he put the Wings up 3-1 after that with a shot that looked almost exactly like one he scored on the Ducks in round one.

The key

The Red wings are 25-0-3 when scoring three (or more) goals this season. How bout that?

The Blackhawks had beat the Wings four straight games in Detroit prior to last night.

Home sweet home

Home teams improved to 40-18 (.690) in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 10-1 record (.909) in the second round. Last year, home teams won only 39 of 86 games (.453) in the entire postseason.

The last time home teams had a winning percentage of .600 or higher during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was in 1993, when they went 52-33 (.612).

Tonight’s Action

Boston @ NY Rangers, Game 3, BOS leads 2-0, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Los Angeles @ San Jose, Game 4, LA leads 2-1, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS