Three days after the Chicago Blackhawks took a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of their second round playoff series against rival Detroit, the Red Wings responded in kind with a 4-1 win of their own to even the series. Henrik Zetterberg assisted on two goals for Detroit as the visitors handed the ‘Hawks their first home loss of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Red Wings’ tight-checking game didn’t give the Blackhawks nearly as much room to operate as they had in the latter stages of the first game. The puck possession time favored Detroit, and even when the Hawks were able to get a shot on goal, they did not challenge Jimmy Howard too much. The Red Wings goalie made 19 saves on only 20 shots, the lowest total for the Blackhawks in the playoffs.
Corey Crawford made 26 saves on 30 shots and did not look as sharp as the Blackhawks had come to expect of him in the playoffs. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks made it three straight wins as they captured round five (of six) against the Detroit Red Wings, grinding out another 2-1 win against the Central Division leaders. The ‘Hawks have now earned points in all five games against the Wings this season, earning a 3-0-2 record in the process. On Sunday, goals from Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane and another steady performance from Ray Emery earned the team two important points in the standings.
The Blackhawks made good on an early tripping penalty to Kyle Quincey, taking a 1-0 lead on Patrick Sharp’s power play goal 3:17 into opening period. Sharp’s slap shot from the blue line appeared to deflect off of defenseman Niklas Kronwall in front of the net and past Jimmy Howard. The goal was Sharp’s 25th of the season
Kronwall caught a break of his own a few minutes later, when he sent a slap shot from the blue line that beat Emery and tied the game up at one goal each. Emery’s vision was blocked by defenseman Johnny Oduya, leaving him helpless against the only goal of the game for the Wings. Read more »
Two guys having a pretty decent training camp for the Chicago Blackhawks were knocked out of the team’s return engagement with Detroit Wednesday night. The Hawks prevailed at the United Center, parlaying a host of power play chances into a 4-3 comeback win. However, the availability of Viktor Stalberg and Ben Smith for the start of the regular season is now up in the air.
Smith, who tied the score in the third period with an opportunistic goal, was knocked senseless by a shoulder to head hit by Detroit’s Brendan Smith. The check left Smith face down on the ice for several minutes before he was helped to the dressing room. [Video and more here]
The Blackhawks opened the scoring when Cory Emmerton was called for hooking midway through the first period. Less than a minute into the man advantage, Jonathan Toews dug the puck out of the corner, skated to the right side of the net and flipped the puck back to a streaking Patrick Kane. Kaner’s aim was true, and Chicago led 1-0. Read more »
As you’d imagine, Quenneville is a controlled irate and angling for major disciplinary action on the Wings’ Brendan Smith, a prospect who may not make Detroit’s opening night roster. On the other hand, Babcock is doing his best to defend his player while not coming off as a blind fool. Most won’t like what Babcock has to say, but I’d hold judgement until something like this again happens to one of his players.
While its impossible to say for sure considering this is the NHL, there should be some degree of supplementary discipline stemming from this hit.
As you can see, Brendan Smith makes only a veiled attempt at a pokecheck before launching himself into the drifting Hawks’ forward. Aside from the reckless endangerment of Ben Smith, the Wings’ Brendan Smith makes the porous all-or-nothing defensive decision (in the 3rd period of a 3-3 hockey game moments after losing the lead) in the event he missed his shoulder block attempt, would have allowed the Hawks’ rookie in unabated to Detroit’s goal.
While the league heedlessly focuses their sole attention and new regulation on head shots (while very important its missing the larger triggering issue) the cause of most of these unfortunate collisions are players ignoring the puck to take a run at their opponent. Whether the head becomes a point of contact or not shouldn’t make the play any less of a punishable offense. When two players come together – one who is playing the puck, the other is not – bad things can happen. The one who is (the one playing hockey) is at the complete mercy of the player who has disregarded his defensive responsibility for the sake of the highlight film check or worse, and you’re a fool if you don’t believe this goes on, injuring his opposing player. Any part of the body is at risk, the head, neck, back, knees.
Ben Smith missed a month of last year’s AHL season (Jan 8 – Feb 8th) with a concussion, one that coincidentally occurred against Grand Rapids, the Red Wings’ affiliate. Brendan Smith missed that contest with a knee injury. Ben Smith was set for a possible return a of couple weeks later when he was struck in the face with a puck during a practice, injuring him and re-aggravating the concussion. So, depending on how you want to look at it, this is either Ben Smith’s second, or third concussion in the past nine months.