Red Wings-Blackhawks, Game Two: Sign of Hope or Kiss of Death?

I Am Not FrenchContributor IMay 20, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 19:  Dan Cleary #11 and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after Cleary scored a goal in the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Two of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 19, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

I just watched Game Two of the Western Conference finals, and while pulling strongly for the Blackhawks to land the upset, at game's end I was left with a giant question mark over my head, like Super Mario (no, not Lemiuex).

While I saw a lot of good things that the Hawks did, I can't help but think that no matter what they do, the octopuses will continue to fall. 

I think we can all agree that this club is similar to the Nuggets in the NBA: a really nice story capped with an improbable run to the conference finals (I guess it is the Western Conference finals in both cases too).

Neither team has enjoyed any real success this decade, both have a nice group of young talent and both teams have become the "darling" pick.

I know that I've been a closet Hawks fan since back in the day when guys like Larmer, Chelios, Roenick, Belfour, and Thomas played. Those days, as we all know, are long gone.

There was a 13 year gap in between winning playoff series.  But this group seems to be different.

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The '08-'09 edition plays with that youthful high energy style, flying around and aggressively checking anybody near the puck. They hustle around, are able to get Byfuglien directly in front of the net to cause problems for Kiprusoff, Luongo, and now Osgood. High intensity from Kane and Toews seems to raise the level of everyone's game on the ice.

Game Two started off with Toews putting in a lucky goal (funny how luck seems to follow hard work, isn't it?) off of a skate and all of a sudden they had a real shot.

First blood, Rambo style.

Four minutes later the PP champ, Brian Rafalski, put a weak slapper through heavy traffic to equalize the game. Why can't people seem to keep the crease clear anymore  (and, yes, I'm also talking to you, the weak D of my Devils!)?

Terrible puck handling gave Daniel Cleary a breakaway goal to put the Wings up by one.  Toews was right in front of the net in the third to tip in a puck to tie it up. And, then OT and another terrible play lead to a three on one easy goal for the winner.

What did we learn from all of this?

The Hawks got an amazing effort out of Khabibulin, who made a lot of saves that could have easily gone the other way. They also won the physical battle, handily...and who knows, that may be a tool to wear down some of those old legs. 

They did a good job of putting pressure on the stellar Detroit D, and were not afraid to take a whole lot of big slappers and attempt the re-direct. All and all, if the Blackhawks don't make two pee-wee level puck handling errors that lead to almost gimme goals, they might go 1-1 heading to the windy city. 

I for one think Chicago will rally to tie it up at home. After all, they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Nobody thought they'd be here, and this young squad, much like the Terminator, will be back.


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