What they're saying about DET-CHI


There is an unfamiliar wind of flattery blowing through today’s intriguing matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s unclear if there are Phil Jacksonian mind games involved in Mike Babcock’s comments that the ‘Hawks are “the best team in hockey.” On one hand, he might be right since Chicago’s ridiculously good. On the other hand, the Wings and ‘Hawks are supposed to hate each other, right? It’s not very nice to try to reverse-jinx Chicago, ‘Babs.

Anyway let’s study the architecture of this Detroit-Chicago game by taking a look at some of the banter in the newspapers and blogs for each team.


The Detroit Free Press features that curious bit of Babcock flattery.

“They score like crazy,” Babcock said. “They’ve got good depth through all their positions. They got good size up front, mobile on the back end. The bottom line is they’re the best team in the NHL right now.

Two interesting pieces from the wonderfully ‘stached Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

First, he discusses Brett Lebda’s “tenuous grip” on a starting position. You see, folks, journalists can’t burn bridges and complete such sentences appropriately. It should have read “Lebda has a tenuous grip on a starting job … because he’s notably mediocre.” On the bright side, you should try saying his last name like those overweight SNL Bears fans. Just replace “Dit-ka” with “Leb-da.” Try it, it’s fun. Alright, fine, don’t. *sigh*

McCosky also brings to light the Red Wings’ problems in net. Could starting Jimmy Howard ruin Chris Osgood? Hey, look on the bright side, Cristobal Huet makes about $3.5 million more than Howard and Osgood combined. That’s gotta hurt.

Finally, Winging it in Motown covers a lot of bases in their Morning Skate post.


The Chicago Tribune points out that today represents a “role reversal” for the Blackhawks and Red Wings.

The Northwest Herald discusses Adam Burish’s recovery from a knee injury. Believe me, any guy whose beard is manly enough to withstand the blunt force of a skate is welcome in my lineup.

Finally, here’s the Associated Press preview of the game.

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    Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

    As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

    Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

    Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

    PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

    Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

    Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

    Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

    In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

    Gaborik’s first goal:

    And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

    Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

    With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

    Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


    When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

    With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

    As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

    Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

    So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


    You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

    Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

    “Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

    Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

    Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

    It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

    Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

    On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

    It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

    * – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.