Playoff Threeview: Chicago & Detroit

by J.R.

1. Blackhawks 36-7-5 (77 points, 1st in Central, 1st in Conference III) vs. 7. Red Wings (24-16-8, 56 points, 3rd in Central)

Season Series— Blackhawks 4-0-0 (Only one game was decided in regulation though — and it was a doozy)

Playoff LeadersBlackhawks: Marian Hossa (3G, 3A, 6 Points), Patrick Sharp (1G, 5A, 6 Points), Patrick Kane (5A), Bryan “Bingo” Bickell (37.5 SH%), Michael “Freek-A-Lik” Frolik (1 SHG) Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg (3G, 5A, 8 Points), Pavel Datsyuk (5A), Johan Franzen (3G), Justin Abdelkader (+4, 15 PIM)

Probable Goalies: Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (4-1, .950, 1.32); Red Wings: Jimmy Howard (4-3, .911, 2.74)

Words & Music

“The fact that we’re playing the Wings, whom we’ve seen a bunch of times over the years, kind of sparks things off the ice with the fans and the media.. On the ice, we know what kind of team they have. We have a lot of respect for what they can do. It’s going to be a tough, hard-fought series right from the first shift of Game 1.” — Patrick Sharp to EN HAICH ELL DOT COM.

Mötley Crüe’s “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” for the Wings, who desperately wanted out of Conference III, but can’t stop whining because they are losing the Chicago rivalry.

Locks & Keys

But for one hiccup accurately predicted by yours truly, the ‘Hawks had little problem with Minnesota in Round One. It took seven — occasionally quite thrilling — games for Detroit to get through the No. 2 seeded Ducks, who were all quack and no snowball.

Chicago showed a lot of balance in their forward group, getting key contributions from Conference III favorites like Bingo Bickell and Freak-A-Lik, while star players favored by more predictable blogs — guys like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — did hardly anything. For the Wings, Subkomissar Justin Abdelkader benefits from playing with Zetterberg and Datsyuk and is emerging into that guy on the Wings that you hate but that also scores like 30 goals every year.

On the blueline, the Red Wings are led by Likely Moog Synthesizer Collector Niklas Kronwall and then, uh, Jakub Kindl? Kyle Quincey? Seriously, there are more Ks on Detroit’s defense than a Tim Thomas baby book. Chicago is better because Rosie duh.

In any case, as long as Chicago stays healthy and Crawford stays competent — he was far better than that in Round One, but the thrill-a-minute Minnesota Wild offense isn’t exactly a fair litmus test — they should be fine. Detroit is super young — and Kful — on their blueline and that doesn’t bode well.

Call & Response

Gimme Chicago in six to say goodbye to our old pals in Detroit. The Freep’s Jeff Seidel has 16 reasons the Wings will win, two of which are that he hates Chicago. OK.