Western Conference Finals Game 5: Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Huet gets start, Havlat out for Game 5. Quenneville’s assessment of injuries.
Wings’ Lidstrom, Datsyuk still sidelined. Babcock’s assessment of injuries.
Breaking News: Jonathan Ericsson had an emergency appendectomy and is not playing.
|Team Game Threads: Second City Hockey Winging it in Mowtown|
- Period 1: Pretty back and forth. Both teams have had some good pressure although Detroit has carried the play courtesy of 2 powerplays. Huet has been great, facing 21 shots. Osgood hasn’t been as busy but no bigger save than the one on Sharp in tight.
- 1st Period Stats:
Shots: Detroit 21, Chicago 9
Hits: Detroit 14, Chicago 16
Giveaways: Detroit 6, Chicago 6
Faceoffs: Detroit 8, Chicago 9
- 2nd Period: Hawks come out flying in the 2nd but Osgood is playing great. Appears the ice is titled one way. Lots of powerplays. Highlight was Darren Helm killing 25 seconds of a Hawks PP.
- 2nd Period Stats:
Shots: Detroit 10, Chicago 11
Hits: Detroit 13, Chicago 11
Giveaways: Detroit 6, Chicago 2
Faceoffs: Detroit 12, Chicago 3
- 3rd Period: Osgood has been simply marvelous. Dan Cleary with under 10 to go in the 3rd tips a Hossa shot past Huet to put the Wings up 1-0.
- But the Hawks come back on the strength of a Kane backhand that gets past Osgood.
- But the save of the night and perhaps of the playoffs (at least for the Hawks) was made by Huet with under 20 seconds to go in the 3rd period with Franzen on the doorstep.
- OT: It ended quickly. The goal wasn’t pretty but it was appropriate that Helm scored as he was the freshest player on the ice for the Wings.
- 1st Star: Chris Osgood. Simply amazing. The little engine that everyone said couldn’t shows that he could and he can. He was incredible and was the difference in the why the Wings won tonight.
- 2nd Star: Cristobal Huet. He faced a ton of Wings shots and stopped almost everything. The pressure he felt must have been enormous but he stood up to the test and made perhaps the save of the playoffs (see above) to keep the overmatched Hawks in the game.
- 3rd Star: Darren Helm. His energy level was great. From killing penalties in the 1st to scoring the OT winner he was a little bit of everything tonight.
Post Game Press Conference:
Detroit Head Coach Mike Babcock.
- Q. Can you comment on Darren Helm’s play?
A. I thought he did a great job. He’s played with great tempo all series, he’s gotten better each and every game. Obviously with the people we’ve had out he’s gotten more and more opportunity and you know he’s the kind of player that people in Michigan here, and Detroit in particular can really relate to. He’s a blue collar guy who goes out and works hard and gives an honest days work everytime he’s out there and he’s like the energizer bunny, he hits the ice and his feet are going full out.
- Q. Can you talk about the goaltending duel between both goaltenders tonight.
A. I thought Huet, in particular was outstanding in the 1st period, we had some great looks and he did a great job. I thought Ossie made some great saves at the start of, I don’t know if it was the start of the 2nd or 3rd period, but there was 5 minutes where they took over the game totally and Ossie made some great saves and kept us in it. Down the stretch in those games any time it’s tight like that obviously anything can happen and obviously both goalies were outstanding.
- Q. What does it mean to get back to the Cup Finals?
A. Obviously its not very easy in the cap world today, its very difficult, but to have the opportunity with Pittsburgh again should be a lot of fun and there should be a lot of hype about this series.
- Q. Do you worry about the attention around Hossa becoming a distraction?
A. Well I hope not. If he is mentally tough then its no distraction. I don’t know why he would let it be a distraction….he made a decision to come to our team, I think he’s very happy with the decision he made, I know we are happy to have him, and all the power to him.
- Q. What growth did you see from the Blackhawks over the course of the season and this series?
A. I just think the last couple of years in particular they have really come a long, long way. Guys you didn’t even know their names, now are household names and are legitimate NHL players. I think, Kane’s a great player don’t get me wrong, but to me the guy you build the franchise around is the Toews kid, and he’s just a will machine. He just keeps coming and keeps coming. And I’m very impressed with Keith and Seabrook on the backend. I think they are as good a matchup pair as your going to have.
- Q. Talk about Dan Bylsma, he played for you in anaheim didn’t he?
A. Ya he did. Danny is a good guy. He’s honest, hardworking, quaility guy who brought energy on a regular basis..he was a good team guy, had a positive attitude all the time and was a good family guy and obviously a real good coach.
Chicago Head Coach Joel Quenneville.
- Q. What did you think of the play of Huet?
A. I thought he played great. He should be commended for the game he played, kept us in there, we weathered the storm in the 1st period and gave us a chance to be in the game and made some key saves throughout the game.
- Q. What were your thoughts on the game winner?
A. They made a nice play. Those end boards are more lively than any other building and really jumped off the end boards and there were some scrambles as the game progressed. I thought Helm had a heck of a game.
- Q. Any solace in taking this team (Det) tooth and nail in all these games?
A. We got to find out what playoff hockey is all about. We went up against the best and the lesson you can learn is you don’t just win a Cup and think your the best team, you gotta go prove it and here they are again, fighting for the Cup, so they should be commended on how well they played and maybe we can take something from them.