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Round 2 Series Preview: Detroit vs. Chicago

Round 2 began last night with the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks playing their first games. Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings square off against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1.  Before my analysis, here are the stats.

In Round 1:

Games: Detroit – 7/Chicago – 5

Goals Scored: Detroit – 18/Chicago – 17

Goalie Faced: Detroit – Jonas Hiller

Chicago – Josh Harding/Darcy Kuemper

Edge: Detroit

Goals Against: Detroit 21/Chicago – 7

Edge: Chicago

Powerplay Percentage: Detroit – 24%/Chicago – 15.4%

Edge: Detroit

Penalty Kill Percentage: Detroit – 72%/Chicago – 100%

Edge: Chicago


In Regular Season

Wins: Detroit – 24/Chicago – 36

Edge: Chicago

Goals Scored: Detroit – 122/Chicago – 149

Edge: Chicago

Goals Against: Detroit – 110/Chicago – 97

Edge: Chicago

Powerplay Percentage: Detroit – 18.4%/Chicago – 16.7%

Edge: Detroit

Penalty Kill Percentage: Detroit – 81.7%/Chicago – 87.2%

Edge: Chicago

Total Score: Detroit – 3/Chicago – 6

Total Edge: Chicago

Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit and Andrew Shaw of Chicago fight for the puck in front of Jimmy Howard in the final regular season matchup between the two teams on April 12th, 2013. This will be the last time Detroit and Chicago will meet in the playoffs (except for the Stanley Cup Finals) before Detroit moves to the Eastern Conference. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Game-By-Game Matchup Breakdown

*The Red Wings and Blackhawks saw each other four times during the lockout shortened season*

Game 1: 1/27/13 in Chicago

Who Won?  Chicago

Who started: Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford

Recap: Duncan Keith opened the scoring on a powerplay goal, assisted by Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa.  Johan Franzen tied the game in the third period with the help of Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg.  Nick Leddy scored for the Hawks 2:45 into overtime on a shot that changed direction on Jimmy Howard.

Who was on the ice for:

Chicago’s 1st goal (PP):

Detroit: Eaves, Miller, Lashoff, Ericsson

Chicago: Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Shaw, Hossa

Detroit’s goal (EV):

Detroit: Smith, Brunner, Quincey, Zetterberg, Franzen

Chicago: Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Saad, Hossa

Chicago’s 2nd goal (OT):

Detroit: Brunner, Zetterberg, Ericsson, Kronwall

Chicago: Leddy, Toews, Stalberg, Oduya


Detroit: Huskins, Ericsson, Zetterberg, all 2 minute minors for holding

Chicago: Toews (hooking), Keith (tripping), Kruger (holding the stick), Seabrook (hi-sticking), Team (too many men), Mayers (closing hand on puck)

Shots: Detroit – 30/Chicago – 27

Goalie Stats: Howard – .926/Crawford – .967

Three Stars:

1. Corey Crawford (29/30 saves)

2. Pavel Datsyuk (2 Takeaways, 57% Faceoffs)

3. Marcus Kruger (1 Takeaway, 57% Faceoffs)

Referees: Brian Pochmara and Chris Rooney

Linesmen: Scott Cherrey and Jean Morin



Even Strength – 51% (25/49)

Powerplay – 60% (6/10)

Shorthanded – 40% (2/5)

Total – 52% (33/64)


Even Strength – 49% (24/49)

Powerplay – 60% (3/5)

Shorthanded – 40% (4/10)

Total – 48% (31/64)

What changed since?

Detroit: Kent Huskins is gone, Jordin Tootoo is a scratch, Brian Lashoff isn’t playing, Drew Miller isn’t back yet

Chicago: Sheldon Brookbank, Viktor Stalberg, and Jamal Mayers haven’t been playing


Game 2: 3/3/13 in Detroit

Who won?  Chicago

Who started: Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford

Recap: Tomas Tatar opened the scoring with Joakim Andersson and Patrick Eaves assisting. Patrick Kane scored a powerplay goal with 2:02 remaining in regulation to tie it up.  Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp assisted.  No one scored in overtime, and Patrick Kane scored the game-winner in the shootout as well.  The game was very similar to the first game.

Who was on the ice for:

Detroit’s goal (EV):

Detroit: Eaves, Tatar, Ericsson, Kronwall, Andersson

Chicago: Leddy, Carcillo, Brookbank, Rozsival, Frolik

Chicago’s 1st goal (PP):

Detroit: Datsyuk, Miller, Lashoff, Quincey

Chicago: Leddy, Sharp, Saad, Stalberg, Kane

Chicago’s 2nd goal (SO)


Detroit: Smith (interference), Abdelkader (interference), Ericsson (puck over glass), Kronwall (puck over goal)

Chicago: Carcillo (hooking), Hjalmarsson (tripping)

Shots: Detroit – 33 /Chicago – 33

Goalie Stats: Howard – .970 /Crawford – .970

Three Stars:

1. Corey Crawford (32/33 saves)

2. Jimmy Howard (32/33 saves)

3. Patrick Kane (1 goal, 1 shootout goal, game-winner)

Referees: Wes McCauley, Mike Hasenfratz

Linesmen: Andy McElman, Derek Amell



Even Strength – 48% (23/48)

Powerplay – 100% (2/2)

Shorthanded – 60% (3/5)

Total – 51% (28/55)


Even Strength – 52% (25/48)

Powerplay – 40% (2/5)

Shorthanded – 0% (0/2)

Total – 49% (27/55)

What changed since?

Detroit: Jordin Tootoo is a scratch, Brian Lashoff isn’t playing, Drew Miller isn’t back yet, Tomas Tatar was sent down

Chicago: Sheldon Brookbank and Viktor Stalberg might not play


Game 3: 3/31/13 in Detroit

Who won?  Chicago

Who started: Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford

Recap:  This was the famous Easter Sunday blowout, Detroit’s worst loss of the season.  Jeremy Morin scored first just 2:33 into the game unassisted.  Brandon Saad scored at 3:21 assisted by Michael Frolik and Jonathan Toews. Dave Bolland scored 4:12 into the game unassisted.  It was 3-0 after one period.  Toews scored 3:52 into the second period assisted by Saad.  Saad scored 8 seconds later assisted by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Toews.  5-0 after two.  Bolland opened the scoring in the third period, aided by Jimmy Hayes and Michal Rozsival.  Nick Leddy scored the Hawk’s 7th goal of the game with less than four minutes remaining.  Cory Emmerton scored Detroit’s lone goal with 33 seconds left in regulation.  Brian Lashoff and Brendan Smith assisted.

Who was on the ice for:

Chicago’s 1st goal (EV):

Detroit: Eaves, Tootoo, Emmerton, Ericsson, Kronwall

Chicago: Seabrook, Leddy, Carcillo, Kruger, Morin

Chicago’s 2nd goal (EV):

Detroit: Abdelkader, Cleary, Datsyuk, Ericsson, Kronwall

Chicago: Keith, Toews, Saad, Rozsival, Frolik

Chicago’s 3rd goal (EV):

Detroit: Kindl, Cleary, Samuelsson, Filppula, Ericsson

Chicago: Oduya, Rozsival, Bolland, Hayes, Kane

Chicago’s 4th goal (EV):

Detroit: Eaves, Tootoo, Emmerton, Ericsson, Kronwall

Chicago: Keith, Hjalmarsson, Toews, Saad, Frolik

Chicago’s 5th goal (EV):

Detroit: Smith, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Franzen

Chicago: Keith, Hjalmarsson, Toews, Saad, Frolik

Chicago’s 6th goal (EV):

Detroit: Smith, Eaves, Miller, Lashoff, Andersson

Chicago: Oduya, Rozsival, Bolland, Hayes, Kane

Chicago’s 7th goal (EV):

Detroit: Cleary, Brunner, Filppula, Ericsson, Kronwall

Chicago: Seabrook, Leddy, Carcillo, Kruger, Morin

Detroit’s goal (EV):

Detroit: Smith, Abdelkader, Tootoo, Lashoff, Emmerton

Chicago: Seabrook, Leddy, Carcillo, Kruger, Morin



Jonathan Ericsson: -5

Niklas Kronwall:  -4

Daniel Cleary: -3

Patrick Eaves: -3

Pavel Datsyuk: -2

Valtteri Filppula: -2

Notable: Ian White played 20:17 and was the only player to not have a negative +/-.  He was a +0.


Duncan Keith: +3

Jonathan Toews: +3

Brandon Saad: +3

Michal Rozsival: +3

Michael Frolik: +3


Detroit: None

Chicago: Toews (puck over glass), Shaw (tripping)

Shots: Detroit – 34/Chicago – 26

Goalie Stats: Howard – .714 /Crawford – .971

Gustavsson – .750

Three Stars:

1. Brandon Saad (2 goals, 1 assist)

2. Dave Bolland (2 goals)

3. Jonathan Toews (1 goal, 2 assists)

Referees: Dennis Larue and Greg Kimmerly

Linesmen: Vaughan Rody and Bryan Pancich



Even Strength – 53% (29/55)

Powerplay – 100% (5/5)

Shorthanded – N/A

Total – 57% (34/60)


Even Strength – 47% (26/55)

Powerplay – N/A

Shorthanded – 0% (0/5)

Total – 43% (26/60)

What changed since?

Detroit: Kent Huskins is gone, Jordin Tootoo is a scratch, Brian Lashoff isn’t playing

Chicago: Viktor Stalberg (possibly scratched), Jamal Mayers, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, aren’t playing


Game 4: 4/12/13 in Chicago

Who won?  Chicago

Who started: Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford

Recap: Viktor Stalberg opened the scoring for Chicago in the second period after a scoreless first.  Duncan Keith and Bryan Bickell assisted.  Johan Franzen tied the game on a powerplay goal assisted by Carlo Colaiacovo and Jakub Kindl.  Cory Emmerton gave Detroit the lead assisted by Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo.  Jonathan Toews tied the game with 2:57 left in regulation to force overtime.  Five minutes of OT were indecisive, and Brandon Saad scored the game-winner in the ensuing shootout.

Who was on the ice for:

Chicago’s 1st goal (EV):

Detroit: Kindl, Miller, Tootoo, Emmerton, Quincey

Chicago: Keith, Stalberg, Bickell, Rozsival, Shaw

Detroit’s 1st goal (PP):

Detroit: Kindl, Datsyuk, Colaiacovo, Zetterberg, Franzen

Chicago: Keith, Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Frolik

Detroit’s 2nd goal (EV):

Detroit: Miller, Brunner, Emmerton, Quincey, Colaiacovo

Chicago: Leddy, Sharp, Rozsival, Shaw, Kane

Chicago’s 2nd goal (EV):

Detroit: Cleary, Quincey, Colaiacovo, Filppula, Franzen

Chicago: Seabrook, Toews, Oduya, Bickell, Frolik

Chicago’s 3rd goal (SO)


Detroit: Quincey (interference), Cleary (goaltender interference), Kindl (hooking)

Chicago: Handzus (hi-sticking), Handzus (tripping), Kane (hi-sticking), Stalberg (holding), Team (too many men)

Shots: Detroit – 29/Chicago – 28

Goalie Stats: Howard – .929 /Crawford – .931

Three Stars:

1. Jonathan Toews (Game-Tying goal)

2. Jimmy Howard (26/28 saves)

3. Viktor Stalberg (1 goal)

Referees: Eric Furlatt and Mike Hasenfratz

Linesmen: Scott Driscoll and Brad Lazarowich



Even Strength – 32% (14/44)

Powerplay – 78% (7/9)

Shorthanded – 17% (1/6)

Total – 37% (22/59)


Even Strength – 68% (30/44)

Powerplay – 83% (5/6)

Shorthanded – 22% (2/9)

Total – 63% (37/59)

What changed since?

Detroit: Jordin Tootoo is a scratch, Drew Miller isn’t back yet, Danny DeKeyser is injured

Chicago: N/A


Season Series: Chicago – 4 wins, Detroit – 0


Analysis: Line-by-Line Comparison

Line 1: Johan Franzen – Pavel Datsyuk – Justin Abdelkader vs. Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa

Edge: Even

If this was the regular season, splitting up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in favor of Johan Franzen against the Blackhawks would be a terrible idea.  However, playoff Franzen is much better than regular season Franzen.  In this case, Detroit’s top line has a play-maker, a goal-scorer and a grinder, a perfect combination.  On the other side, Chicago has a goal scorer, a goal scorer, and a goal scorer.  Detroit’s line is more complete, but the star power of Toews and Hossa evens it out.

Line 2: Valtteri Filppula – Henrik Zetterberg – Daniel Cleary vs. Patrick Sharp – Michal Handzus – Patrick Kane

Edge: Chicago

You will be hard-pressed to convince me that any line with Cleary on it will match up well against an opposing line.  However, I might be underestimating Detroit’s second line though.  Filppula started to step up his game toward the end of the last series with the Anaheim Ducks.  Cleary did have some goals and assists, and Zetterberg turned on the heroics.  Handzus is a faceoff specialist for Chicago, and Kane is a huge talent like always.  Sharp didn’t do much during the regular season but finally caught fire in the playoffs, giving the edge to Chicago.

Line 3: Gustav Nyquist – Joakim Andersson – Damien Brunner vs. Bryan Bickell – Dave Bolland – Andrew Shaw

Edge: Detroit

Detroit’s third line was their best line in every single game against the Ducks.  Nyquist has unbelievable, and I think Chicago will have a hard time containing him.  Andersson is becoming a master of faceoffs, winning 53.5% of his faceoffs in Round 1.  He also improved as the round progressed.  Brunner has the talent level to play on the top line, but he has tended to make head-scratching decisions, such as when to leave the ice for a change.  Bickell and Bolland have more experience than Shaw, but the line is very solid.  Chicago’s third line is very fast and very gritty.  They are not afraid to hit.  On the other side, when was the last time you saw Nyquist, Andersson, or Brunner throw a hit?

Line 4: Todd Bertuzzi – Cory Emmerton –Patrick Eaves vs. Dan Carcillo – Marcus Kruger – Michael Frolik

Edge: Chicago

The return of Bertuzzi to the Red Wing lineup is a welcomed sight, but he has yet to catch up to speed.  He still seems a little slow (slower than usual).  Emmerton will likely be back starting tonight (Game 1) after taking a seat in favor of Mikael Samuelsson.  He’s an expert penalty killer.  Patrick Eaves has not played well recently.  Drew Miller should be returning to the lineup very soon.  Carcillo’s the team bully for Chicago, while Kruger and Frolik are mediocre, but still better than Eaves.

1st Pairing: Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson vs. Duncan Keith – Niklas Hjalmarsson

Edge: Chicago

Kronwall and Ericsson were pretty steady in Round 1, but Keith and Hjalmarsson were much better.  Detroit doesn’t need their defense to generate a lot of offense.  They just need them to make responsible defensive plays.  Kronwall and Ericsson need to consistently find shooting lanes.  Many times, Detroit ends up with an odd-man-rush the other way or even worse, a breakaway resulting from shooting the puck right into an opposing forward.  Keith bounced back this season after a couple of off seasons.  Hjalmarsson has played very well this season too.

2nd Pairing: Kyle Quincey – Brendan Smith vs. Brent Seabrook – Nick Leddy

Edge: Chicago

I know you laughed after reading that one.  I did at least.  Seabrook and Leddy always play a huge role in winning games, while Quincey and Smith tend to play a huge role in throwing games away.  Smith needs to calm his nerves before this series begins, because he looks unconfident out there.  Quincey looks lost most nights, and makes hurried, rushed plays/passes.

3rd Pairing: Carlo Colaiacovo – Jakub Kindl vs. Johnny Oduya – Michal Rozsival

Edge: Chicago

After rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser broke his thumb in Game 2 of Round 1, the Red Wings first turned to another rookie, Brian Lashoff, which turned out horribly.  Colaiacovo has played very responsibly, and has showed a lot of heart.  Kindl isn’t the best defensive partner in the world, but he plays a huge role on the powerplay.  He’s one of Detroit’s only shooting defenseman.  He definitely doesn’t over-pass.  Oduya and Rozsival can both produce points, and are both reliable veterans.

Starting Goalie: Jimmy Howard vs. Corey Crawford

Edge: Even

Jimmy Howard found his game after Game 2 against Anaheim.  Crawford didn’t have as much of a challenge against a weaker Minnesota team.  Howard proved to be clutch when it mattered most.  3 of Detroit’s 4 wins came in overtime.

Backup Goalie: Jonas Gustavsson vs. Ray Emery

Edge: Chicago

No contest here.  If Joel Quenneville so chooses, he can opt to start Emery if Crawford needs a break.  Emery was also unbeatable in the regular season.


Keys to Win:

Detroit: Datsyuk and Zetterberg need to keep up their strong play of late.  Jimmy Howard needs to remain on his game, and the defense needs to remain calm and make the right decisions (nothing flashy).  The third line needs to continue their dominance, and Filppula needs to find his scoring touch.

Chicago: Toews and Kane have to start scoring.  Toews had 2 points (assists) and Kane had 5 points (all assists) in Round 1.  Neither scored a goal.  Chicago has to contain Detroit’s powerplay efforts.  Crawford will have to prepare for a much more difficult opponent now.



Detroit will win in 6 or 7 games and here’s why.  Look at the intangibles.  Three key intangibles stand out to me.  One is the amount of pressure every media outlet is piling on them.  “Stanley Cup or bust” and other such headlines will put a huge amount of pressure on a very young Blackhawk roster.  They’re expected to win it all, and nothing less.  It’s not easy for any team to deal with that kind of stress.

For Detroit, they’ve already exceeded expectations.  Not one person expected them to even make the playoffs, let alone win a playoff game.  Detroit’s last 10 games have showcased a much different Red Wings team then was seen in the regular season.  They have absolutely no pressure going into this series.  Anything over a playoff berth is gravy.

The second key intangible is momentum.  Detroit was able to finish off Anaheim Sunday night and have a lot of momentum going into this series.  The time change is much less of an issue than it was in Anaheim.  They have new-found life in a season everyone wanted to dub a rebuilding season.  Momentum is often overlooked.  It can make a huge difference in a seven game series if Detroit wins Game 1.

The third and final intangible is Chicago’s layover.  Here’s a scenario.  Let’s say you’re a contestant on the Amazing Race.  You’ve made it to the front of the pack just to find out that the next task is not available until the next morning.  By that time, every team has caught up to you and everyone’s on even ground.  Chicago finished their series last Thursday.  Six days have passed since, and Chicago’s media has had nothing else to write about since, except for their expectations of a sweep in Round 2.  Eventually the playoff bubble of pressure will burst.  It may not happen immediately, but it will at one point.

Something additional to note is Mike Babcock’s coaching history.  In 2003, when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim made their improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, they came into the playoffs as the 7th seed (like Detroit).  They swept Detroit in Round 1 (the 2nd seed, just like Anaheim).  That team came within a single game of winning it all.  They probably would have, if not for Martin Brodeur.

Round 2 Schedule:

Game 1: Tonight in Chicago 8:00 ET/7:00 CT NBC Sports Network

Game 2: Saturday in Chicago 1:00 ET/12:00 CT NBC

Game 3: Monday in Detroit 7:30 ET/6:30 CT NBC Sports Network

Game 4: Thursday in Detroit 8:00 ET/7:00 CT NBC Sports Network

Game 5 (if necessary): Next Saturday in Chicago Time TBA

Game 6 (if necessary): Monday, May 27th in Detroit Time TBA

Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, May 29th in Chicago Time TBA


Follow me on Twitter @yungspork

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka

Kevin Sporka is the Senior Media Analyst and Detroit Red Wings beat writer at HOHM. He is also the author of the Fantasy Hockey Fridays, In Retrospect, Milestone Monday, and Legends By the Number segments.
Kevin Sporka

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