Red Wings-Blackhawks: One Team Showed up for Game Four

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IMay 24, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 24:  Officals attempt to seperate players as Martin Havlat #24 (C) of the Chicago Blackhawks fights with Johan Franzen #93 of the Detroit Red Wings during Game Four of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 24, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

Composure? Gone.

Maturity? One-sided.

Controlled physical play? Not even close.

It may have taken four weeks longer than expected, but the Chicago Blackhawks looked young, inexperienced, and immature on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings looked ready to keep the Stanley Cup in Michigan for another year.

As one of my friends texted me during the second period, "A Frenchman named Cristobal should have been driving in Indianapolis today, not in goal for the Hawks." Huet was miserable in goal for the Blackhawks, allowing a number of goals that shouldn't have been anywhere near the back of the net.

The fact that Corey Crawford—who has now seen more time against Detroit than he did the entire regular season for the Hawks—entered the game in the middle of the second period leads me to believe that Chicago coach Joel Quenneville thought the same thing as my friend.

But lost in the underwhelming offense from the Hawks, the immature cheap shots from the younger team, and the numerous penalties, was the reality that, for the first time in the series, Detroit completely owned the Blackhawks.

From the initial dropping of the puck to the weak skirmish behind the net after the final horn went off, it was all about Detroit on Sunday, as they made every player on the Hawks roster look out of position despite playing without Niklas Lindstrom and Pavel Datysuk.

Though a legitimate goaltender might have kept the score to within two or three goals, and the Blackhawks had every opportunity to grab momentum back when they made it 3-1 in the second period, there was no accounting for the depth and skill displayed by Detroit.

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On Tuesday night, the Red Wings will look to close the series out. If Nikolai Khabibulin and Martin Havlat can't play, those will be two big issues the Hawks will have to overcome.

If the Hawks play like the youngest team in the league as they did Sunday, they'll get to begin negotiating with their free agents on Wednesday morning.