Friday, May 22, 2009

Change of Pace

Pregame thoughts: Game three is a big game, but I know that I can't get my hopes up too high because if the Wings do lose this game, they're still up 2-1 in the series. Breathe; relax; it's not the end of the world.

Oh, who am I kidding? I live and die with the Wings; every game, every period, every minute, every shift. Let's go boys.

First period thoughts: Unbelievable. 11 minutes of powerplay time for the 'Hawks, five of which went to Kronwall for a major interference penalty. That hit was brutal, but it was completely legal. The puck was there, and it's not Kronwall's fault that Havlat is too stupid to not pick it up between his skates.

The hit was amazing, it was legal, and it took away five minutes of time where Detroit could have tried to build some momentum heading into the second. The officials continue their shocking lack of consistency and idiotic penalty calls. The first Chicago goal happened on a powerplay (high sticking on Cleary that couldn't be avoided) and the second was a softie -- Ozzie's fault. He should've stopped that one, but only being down 2-0 after that mockery of a period is good, I suppose. I cannot believe how badly the refs blew that period. They gave the Wings absolutely no chance. Ugh. Must move on.

First intermission: Game misconduct? Really NHL? What. The. Sasquatch. That is complete bull. The hit was LEGAL. The announcers said so and everyone on the ice knows it. Here's some quotes for ya:

Brian Engblom: "I don't know why they kicked Kronwall out of the game. I hate seeing those hits too, but he should not have been kicked out of the game."

Keith Jones: "The call was excessive; that should not have been a five-minute major."

Ed Olczyk (the Blackhawks home announcer): "I think it was a violent hit, but I don't see a penalty on that hit."

What a joke this league is. Kronwall getting kicked out for that hit is the worst thing I've seen in this year's playoffs. If they lose this game in a close one, I'm gonna flip. Now, Detroit is going to have tired and fatigued defensemen by the end. Ugh.

Second period thoughts: No, no no no no no no no. 3-0 'Hawks. Damn deflection.

Ugh, now the refs are trying to make up for their incompetence with some "make-up" calls against Chicago (even though they're real penalties). It hasn't helped yet. Without Kronner, this game is in serious jeopardy. Now, the second powerplay unit defense has Lebda and Samuelsson on the point. Shoot me. The Kronwall ejection changes everything. It doesnt help that every bounce is going Chicago's way, especially in front of the net.

Unbelievable turn of events. Couple deflections and perseverance in front of Khabibulin, and all of sudden this bitch is tied. 3-3. Wow. Way to go Detroit. Silences the crowd and the Wings have every bit of momentum. Suck on that Chicago. If the Wings win this game, Chicago should just stop trying and quit the league. Still a whole period to go, but as long as the Wings keep playing like this, I'm confident.

Possible post titles: "I thought the Great Chicago Fire was in 1871? Gotta love a sequel." "Green Day has a new album? Nah, the REAL 21st Century Breakdown happens in Chicago."

Oh, and if the Wings win it'll be without their Hart Trophy candidate and while skating five defensemen. Awesome.

Third period thoughts: Whoa. Huet is in, Khabibulin is out. Ridiculous choice. How do you possibly make the decision to switch goalies in the most important game of the season when your team desperately needs to regroup? It takes serious balls to sit your starting goaltender and completely demolish any confidence he had. Crazy idiocy.

Ah, well apparently there's something wrong with Khabibulin because rookie backup Corey Crawford is on the bench. Even if it isn't Quenneville's fault, Chicago now has a goalie in net that hasn't played in a month in the third period of the most important game of their season. TAKE THIS WINGS!

The 'Hawks are playing tight. They're throwing hits, big ones at that, but the Wings have what teams call "poise," so they don't overreact. They keep playing their game. Good things coming, I can feel it.

Ugh, period ends tied. OT, here we come.

Overtime thoughts: Bullshit. Lucky bounce, lucky goal. Chicago has nothing. I'm not even that upset right now, to be honest. I mean yes, I'm angry, but I'm not throwing anything, pacing around seething or scaring the dog. Cody's half-asleep on the floor. There's no way that'd be true if I was really angry about this loss. Hell, the TV IS STILL ON. If I was pissed, it might be broken. Considering the situation (my absolute favorite team just lost a playoff overtime game), I'm calm.

What this game told me: Chicago is a complete fluke. They played a good period in the first, but who wouldn't when you get 11 minutes of powerplay time? I mean seriously, the last-place Islanders could have been up 3-0 on Detroit under those retarded circumstances. Then, they collapsed like a team of rookies and blew the lead at home. So what if they scored yet another opportunistic goal in overtime? They barely beat the Wings, who were playing without their best player (Datsyuk) and one of their top-four defesemen (Kronwall).

Last take: Game four will be a bloodbath, but the Wings will win and take a 3-1 series lead back home. I'm optimistic about that. Oh, if Kronwall is suspended, I'm going to demand Gary Bettman be replaced. That would be the ultimate injustice in a playoffs that has already seen way too much of it. Let's go Wings. See you Sunday.

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