Scary part is, Wings haven't shown their best

Published5/21/2009 12:03 AM

If this were a fight, the judges would have it even.

But it being a game that can't end in ties, and with the only score that matters being the final one, Detroit has a 2-0 series lead over the Blackhawks.


The nonscientific analysis here - based on who's had the better of the play and not necessarily the score - suggests each team has won three of six periods thus far, and the Hawks were better in the short overtime.

And that's what's scary about the series through two matches.

The Red Wings haven't played what you'd call a "good'' hockey game yet by their standards, and they're up a pair.

They've performed their rope-a-dope to perfection when they needed rest, and they gave the Hawks a clinic in Game 2 on how to protect the puck, support the puck and muddle the middle of the ice.

Chris Osgood, he of the three championship rings, also has been much better than Nikolai Khabibulin.

Otherwise, Detroit has looked like a club that was pummeled by the most physical team in the league in Anaheim, and desperately tried to hang on for the first two games of this series while hoping to find their legs.

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They never did, yet won them both.

The Hawks were faster and obviously more physical, but the Wings were smarter and more efficient.

The question is, after a couple of days off can the Wings turn it back on and be the same Wings who swept Columbus in the first round, before they squeaked past the Ducks?

And, if that's the case, will the Hawks even win a game?

Or, is what you've seen what's actually left of Detroit after the Ducks series? Perhaps, their legs won't come back at all, and in that case, can the Hawks win four of the next five?

The Hawks are going to come out flying Friday night, and the crowd certainly will give them a huge advantage for the first 10 minutes. If Detroit can survive that and not be down a pair or three, you probably have your answer to all of the above.

The effort

Credit Mikael Samuelsson with busting down the ice after his steal to catch the play and make it a 3-on-1, but did you notice Patrick Kane trailing the play?


Kane was slightly in motion, while Samuelsson was standing still when he picked Brian Campbell's pocket.

Kane and Samuelsson were even, but Samuelsson skated and Kane just took a whack at him with his stick and let him go, never getting close to catching the player who scored the game-winner.

Even Troy Brouwer, who started 20 feet behind them, nearly caught the play and stopped the goal. Kane, one of the fastest players in the NHL, had a great view of Samuelsson's game-winner.

Making good

How about Buffalo Grove native Brett Lebda?

Already possessing a ring from last year's Cup winner, Lebda has been very good in the postseason and strong on his skates against some much bigger Hawks forwards.

In the soup

We compared Brian Campbell to Alfonso Soriano when the Hawks signed him last summer because they're similar in their all-or-nothing style of play.

The "all'' is very flashy and exciting, but the "nothing,'' especially in the playoffs, will kill teams and get coaches and managers in hot water.

So what's Joel Quenneville to do? Duncan Keith obviously is hurting, and Campbell has to pick up the extra minutes.

Postseason drama

Perhaps the two most remarkable stories of the postseason thus far were the Boston Celtics and the Anaheim Ducks.

Yes, they're both home now, but both former champs went seven games in the second round and extended their seasons far beyond what anyone expected.

Seeing a couple of former titleholders giving everything they possibly had left in hopes of sniffing another ring was impressive, and a reminder of how good sports can be.

Stocking stuffer

The scariest thing about Mark Buehrle pitching this well and the White Sox struggling this much is that Buehrle hasn't put a first half together with a second half in years.

Junior golf

Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale will host the Midwest Junior Players Championship June 8-11 and feature local favorites Blake Biddle (St. Charles), Ross Frankenberg (Barrington), Bradley Klune (Itasca), Daniel Stringfellow (Roselle), Gianna DiGrazia (Addison), Samantha Postillion (Burr Ridge), and Jamie Lavin (Deerfield).

The math

From e-mailer The White Elephant: "Plain and simple, the Hawks must win four in a row. They can't take the chance of making this a seven-game series. Detroit is just too disciplined and too good a team.''

Best headline

Sportspickle. com: "Rachel Alexandra stripped of Preakness title due to racy Web photos.''

And finally -

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Reportedly, thousands and thousands of social security checks are sent to the deceased every year. I believe the Pittsburgh Pirates got one just the other day."

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