Game 3; Detroit Red Wings 3, Chicago Blackhawks 4 (OT); Detroit leads series 2-1
Disclaimer: For those making their first visits over to DBD, please note that these game recaps are being written from a decidedly pro-Blackhawks angle. Yes, I'm a diehard Dallas Stars fan.
But I've been a Blackhawks fan for even longer. You can thank a C-Band satellite dish and the ability to pick up WBBM at night in Oklahoma for that during the late 80's and early 90's.
Rest assured, I'll get to The Hit.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't throw some love towards the Blackhawks' Swedish center for making that backhand pass through a crowd over to Patrick Sharp to deposit into a yawning net 1:52 into OT.
It was almost enough to make us Hawks fans forget what transpired in the second period when three Red Wing shots from the point found their way to the back of the net in the span of just 4:23. Three goals that ultimately chased Nikolai Khabibulin from the game and silenced most of the United Center.
I'll admit I was disheartened for just a moment. But then I said to myself, "If you had given me a 3-3 game against the Scum in the third period of this game, I would have gladly taken it."
So I did. Whatever momentum the Wings may have gained by that second period was dissipated in the third as both teams played cautiously in managing six shots apiece.
So for the second consecutive game, it was onto OT. But unlike Tuesday night, the Hawks never gave the Red Wings an odd man chance with which to end the game. They ended it, themselves, 1:52 in with the help of a snappy backhand pass from Sami Pahlsson and a broken stick from Nicklas Lidstrom.
Oh, I haven't gotten to the hit yet?
OK, follow me after the jump.
First, video for those who didn't get a chance to see the game.
Kronwall Hits Havlat - Wings at Blackhawks Game 3 - May 22 09 (via inklinkinklink)
When I first saw the hit, my initial reaction was this was a dirty hit to the head. Dustin Byfuglien thought so, too, as he went over and shoved Kronwall down...on top of Havlat, mind you. But at least it was a response.
Comparisons to Clod Lemieux's hit from behind on Kris Draper 13 years ago also entered my head. But it didn't take me long to come down from that ridiculous comparison.
It was an attempt by a defenseman to lay out a forward who had his head down.
Kind of like this hit:
Morrow Hits Michalek - Stars vs Sharks - May 4/5 08 (via inklinkinklink)
It wasn't malicious and it doesn't deserve a suspension. And considering none of the refs on the ice immediately put their hand up, you could argue that the call was more of a reaction to the injury than it was the actual hit.
Imagine if the refs had seen the aftermath of Morrow's hit on Michalek last year and decided that was worthy of a five-minute major. We'd be going apoplectic.
And for that reason, I can't really blame Red Wing fans for getting upset at that fact.
That all having been said, I still thought they got the call right on the major. Kronwall left his feet, led with the forearm, and nailed Marty in the head.
But then I saw this over on the main page at Kukla's Korner.
Speaking of Paul Kukla, send some good thoughts his way. He's been in the hospital this week with some health issues.
Let's just hope Havlat is able to come back for Game 4 on Sunday. Though I seriously doubt he will or should, given his injury history.
Update: Who knew that Soup was flammable? Dave Dye from The Detroit News has the story, complete with this quote from Brian Campbell:
"I think it's gutless, and I think it's dirty," he said. "It's just how he hits. You can see his forearms coming up. His hands are coming up. He's lunging forward, jumping into the guy.
"Marty didn't have the puck. A guy's coming in, jumping, exploding upwards into a guy's head with his forearms and fists.
"Why can't he hit with his shoulder there and make a good check? That's the part I don't understand. He's done it all the time. He's done it in the playoffs last year, I know, watching. It's something the league needs to address and get rid of. I watched (the replay) about five or six times."
Game 4 is tomorrow at 2:00 CDT. And while most of the talk is centered around the availability of Havlat, the Wings have their own injury problems to Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper to deal with.