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Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead

May 23, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT

redwingshawks4getty Getty Images

Whether you lambaste the Chicago Blackhawks or simply praise the Detroit Red Wings’ key players, the bottom line is that Detroit is now off to a 3-1 series lead after shutting its division rivals down 2-0 in Game 4 on Thursday.

Let’s discuss it.

  • Jimmy Howard locked down a shutout and has only allowed three Blackhawks goals in four contests. Is he finally going to get credit as a key piece of the Red Wings’ puzzle. More directly: where does he rank among the best goalies in the NHL?
  • More on this later, but Jonathan Toews had one of his worst nights of the playoffs (and of his young postseason career). Can he get it together? If not, will he get the sort of blame that many other star players receive when they don’t produce in big games?
  • If you were building a team and you only had this series’ two coaches to choose from, would you go with Mike Babcock or Joel Quenneville?
  • The Blackhawks are down 3-1 in this series. They famously roared back from a 3-0 deficit against the Vancouver Canucks to tie a series, only to lose in Game 7. Can they complete a comeback this time?
  • How much of this series is about the Red Wings’ ability to stop the Blackhawks and how much of it is about Chicago’s offense short-circuiting? What do the ‘Hawks need to do to turn things around?
  1. windmiller4 - May 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Dont think anyone could’ve predicted the wings to do this 2 months ago. Amazing what a hot goalie and team chemistry can do

    • kendog1 - May 24, 2013 at 1:24 AM

      If the Red Wings win and sends Chicago home can they also send Eddie O home as well? Worst, most biased announcing I have ever heard. Quotes like : “Red Wings have always interfered…” !!! Are you kidding me! How can NBC continue to use this guy? It’s unbelievable. Unprofessional and a embarrassment.

      • kendog1 - May 24, 2013 at 1:27 AM

        Sorry, unprofessional and an embarrassment.

      • windmiller4 - May 24, 2013 at 1:32 AM

        Agreed 100%. Also they need to get rid of Pierre. The guys just as biased, and gets a freakin boner for the pens. He has some incredible hockey knowledge, but is overall just creepy. Doesn’t help that he looks like a penis

      • chipmanken - May 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Totally agree. The only reason I joined this forum was tovoice my displeasure with that clown Olczyk and the other one hoping that the powers at be at NBC Sports somehow, some way, see this.

  2. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Jimmy Howard just isn’t stopping pucks from going in the net, he’s not even giving up rebounds. Hawks look so bad. Babcock is the best in the league year in and year out. 3-1 lead, Hawks fans are freaking, and I’m loving it.

    • polegojim - May 24, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      Mag..freaking…nificent game.

      One more to go… don’t let up and KEEP HITTING.

      But someone please… faceplant Bickell.

      Go RED WINGS!

      • bennywuh - May 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Oh – they got that yapper Bickell alight:

  3. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    “If you were building a team and you only had this series’ two coaches to choose from, would you go with Mike Babcock or Joel Quenneville?”

    Not sure if serious or……

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      Babcock is definitely one of the best in the business, but so is Quenneville. Quenneville’s career regular season record is 660-389, while Babcock’s is 445-232. And both have won a Cup. Quenneville’s teams have only missed the postseason once in 16 years; Babcock, once in 10 years. They both get the best out of their players. It’s easy to say Babcock has the upper hand when his team is beating up the Presidents’ trophy winner, but they’re both excellent at what they do.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 23, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Even Hawk fans are picking Babcock, but you’re right, when they were calling for his head last year I thought they were crazy.

        But while all that is true the fact remains Babcock has been to the finals 3 times, and Q only the once. Q also has five 1st round exits under his belt to Babcocks 2. nearly everyone is taking Babcock.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        I’d take BabcocBabcock

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        Sorry my tablet froze as I was attempting to type, disregard the last comment… what I meant to say is I’d take Babcock as well, I just think its closer than most. Babcock is easily better head-to-head in the playoffs, but they both have consistent, successful track records; meaning they’re both doing something right. Babcock is better, but Quenneville is still a top coach.

      • clefty1 - May 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        Phillypahatic77, Quenneville was an assistant coach with the Avs when they won in 1996 Marc Crawford was the head coach so Quenneville is still winless as a head coach as far as Stanley Cups go. Babcock has won a Cup and been to the finals 2 other times losing both times in game 7, he won a gold medal at the Olympics and won a junior gold medal and both as the HEAD coach. Quenneville coached teams have never won against the Wings in the playoffs. I would take Babcock any day.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Clefty, you are incorrect… Quenneville won the Cup in his second year with the Blackhawks. And I would know as it was against my Flyers.

    • cheliostwin - May 23, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      Head to head in the playoffs, Quenneville is now 2-11 against Babcock. 0-4 in 2008, Wings over Avalanche, 1-4 in 2009, Wings over Blackhawks, and now 1-3 this year. Babcock is now the leader in playoff wins, for active coaches, doing it in 6 fewer years than Quenneville. How he has never won the Jack Adams Award is beyond me.

    • polegojim - May 24, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Can you believe that the Avs let Q LEAVE Colorado???

      How absolutely ridiculous was that? I’m sure Coach Q was thrilled to go to the Hawks though.

      Kroenke’s got cheap… and stopped spending. That’s what Roy wanted them to commit to.

      Of course I’d take Babcock #1… but Q is a very close #2.

  4. purplekobra69 - May 23, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Red Wings just keep on rollin.

    • andrewproughcfe - May 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      Hawks’ inability to get off a single shot the last 2 minutes of the game with the man advantage was very funny to watch. Puck handling was very poor most of the game. I rarely see their games, but I can’t figure out how they ended up with the best record this year.

      • jrhawk - May 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        You can’t be THAT stupid!
        Regular season and playoffs are two separate things. No matter what any given team does during the season, you can’t expect similar things in the playoffs. Look at the Kings last year and the Wings now.
        Geezuz, why do they let idiots comment on here?

  5. wingsandthings19 - May 23, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    love the series right now but you know Chicago isn’t goin away easy. Got to keep up the intensity

  6. tdrusher225 - May 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    I hope the Blackhawks come back, but man do the Red Wings look solid right now.

  7. themediaisdumberthandirt - May 23, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    There is some obvious frustration on the faces of the Hawks. Toews just looks like he wants to explode. I love all the so called hockey experts who wouldn’t even give the Wings a chance in this series and just look. This is certainly not over but the Hawks don’t really look like they have an answer for what the Wings have been doing.

  8. canucks30 - May 23, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    The Presidents’ Trophy curse is alive and well

    • hockeydon10 - May 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      As a thing, that Pres Trophy curse is totally false.

      In the 26 seasons since the inauguration of the trophy:

      … the top overall seed has won the cup 7 times (26.92%)
      … the 2nd overall seed has won the cup 2 times (7.69%)
      … the 3rd overall seed has won the cup 4 times (15.38)
      … the 4th overall seed has won the cup 3 times (11.54)
      … the 5th overall seed has won the cup 2 times
      … the 6th overall seed has won the cup 3 times
      … the 7th overall seed has won the cup 2 times
      … the 8th, 9th, and 13th overall seed has won the cup 1 time (3.85%)

      • dtownbeatdown - May 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Of those 7 cup wins from the Presidents trophy winners. 2 of them were the Detroit Red Wings… So we have like 29% of the wins…

        I mean you are the one throwing out stats figure I would too 😉

    • manchestermiracle - May 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      don, I thought that curse only applied to Vancouver, but if the Wings take this series I may have to get on board with canucks30. At least where applicable to recent history. Good stats you’ve posted, but with the Prez Trophy winner only coming through a little over a quarter of the time, well…..

      • hockeydon10 - May 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        It may be “only” about a quarter of the time, but that’s over double what the next closest overall seeded team has managed to do.

        26.92% of the time against 15 other teams really destroys the idea that it’s a curse. Stats don’t lie after all.

      • hockeydon10 - May 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Let me also ask, based on what I’ve provided, what seed would you rather your team have heading into the post season?

    • scoocha - May 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Remind me again, what’s the point of the regular season if the #1 seeds are going to be knocked out so early every season?

  9. ynothockey - May 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Another reminder why hockey is the greatest game on earth and the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win. You can be best team in NHL during season and win the Presidents trophy. None of that matters when it comes playoff time! All this coming from a huge hockey fan living in Phoenix.

  10. canucks30 - May 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Also wouldn’t be surprised if we see Penguins vs Red Wings III in the Stanley Cup Finals

    • 19to77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      Last chance to settle the score in the Finals. After that the realignment will make it impossible. This is the only year for the tiebreaker. Let’s do this, Wings and Penguins!

    • patthehockeyfan - May 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      No offense, and I love Jimmy Howard; but, the Wings would still have to face the winner of the Sharks – Kings series (Go, Kings!) to proceed to the Finals. The Kings have a goalie name Quick who is no slouch in the net.

      Great series – all of them. I’m lovin’ it!

  11. ryanprzy - May 23, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Tonight’s game was HUGE. I know that every game in a best-of-seven game is that way, and I’ve always hated when people put an emphasis on certain games, because they tend to do it for EVERY SINGLE GAME.

    But yeah, tonight’s game: it was either going to be a 3-1 Wings’ lead with Detroit having three chances to close it out, one of which would come at home – or a 2-2 tie that would reduce the series to a best of three with 2 of the games at Chicago.

    Sooo this particular game had great flexibility as far as to whom would have a stranglehold on the series. The Wings took advantage of that and now they’re in place to advance to the WCF.

  12. wingnut739 - May 23, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Quenneville? Seriously? He’s never beaten Babcock in the playoffs.

    Hawks must be shell shocked. Think they’ve hit the post or crossbar half a dozen times last 2 games. If they focus more on playing their game and stop gooning it up to take the Wings out of their game they might climb back into the series. Of course the puck is looking like a beach ball to Howard right now. Wings in 6!

  13. redwings022 - May 23, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Howard is and has been on point. Chemistry on the wings lines has been outstanding. Not being bias but I could not say no to having Babcock as a coach. Can’t expect Chicago to lay down these final few games though. they will put up a fight no doubt

  14. hawksin5 - May 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Ya hey, hi there, howdy. Big hawks fan here. Given that the hawks won the presidents trophy, haven’t lost to the wings in regulation in 2 years, and are very dominant at the Joe, I felt that this series would b an easy one for the hawks. Therefore, I would like to take the time here and apologize to all wings fans that I have chirped at and ripped on. Ouch.

    • 19wasthebest - May 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      As I said before series started when no one gave the Wings a chance, If they play their game and the way they can they can win the series. This series is not over and I expect we will see a more determined Hawks team on Saturday. I also don’t think this series will go less than seven games so who knows what will happen in a game seven.

      Let’s go Redwings!

    • chipmanken - May 24, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Have seen the Wings in the same position. Cleary the best team during the regular season, but the playoff season is totally differant. Calls just aren’t made like they are in the season, and that hurts the ultra skilled teams. And the Blackhawks were clearly the more superior team.

  15. wingnut739 - May 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    phillyphanatic77, Quenneville is 0-5 against Babcock coached teams in the playoffs

    • phillyphanatic77 - May 23, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Yes but 07-08 Q was coaching an overmatched Avs team against the Presidents Trophy+Stanley Cup Champ Red Wings. And 08-09 was with a young Chicago squad against a 112-point Red Wings team that was on its way to back to back Cup appearances. I’d say it’s not surprising he lost those two. Now I have no excuse for this years President-winning Hawks against a team they were expected to roll through, but those other two Quenneville teams were clear underdogs. Let me reiterate, however, that I’m not advocating for Quenneville over Babcock, I just think it’s close. I’d take Babcock.

  16. mizbinboston - May 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Kinda thought some of my friends (soft-hearted Bruins fans they are) slipped god-knows-what into my beer around the 8 minute mark of the 3rd when they were yelling at me to stfu.
    They didn’t, though. Got a couple high-fives and then a reminder about how I’d vowed to learn to correctly spell Carlo Cola..colia…cola… if the Wings won the series and he played more than three games without getting injured.

    GO WINGS!!!!!!


  17. jpat2424 - May 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I predicted hawks in 6. Boy what a D bag I am. We have been outplayed, out muscled and out smarted. Wings have gottin under Toews skin. PP for Hawks has been terrible. But it has been for 3 years. My Hats off to the Wings. Hopefully. Go Hawks !! PS Babcock is still a D Bag!!

    • philpfeiffer - May 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      Babcock is still going to lead the Red Wings to the Western Conference Finals though.

  18. brett76 - May 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    The whole thing just reminds me of what Red Wings fans have seen too many times & that is a great regular season fall apart in the Playoffs.

    It’s a different animal. This time of year stars have to elevate their games, which Zetterberg & Datsyuk have done. You also need 3rd & 4th line players to step up, which the Wings have gotten & you need your goalie to become a brick wall & Howard has.

    The interesting part is, IF the Blackhawks don’t come back….what is in store for their fans? They are way over the cap for next year. Them & the Penguins are going to be getting rid of many players.

    I guess saying the rivalry between the Hawks & Wings was dead because the Hawks were the hammer & the Wings were the nail was a tab bit off.

  19. steelers4385 - May 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Anyone else notice how good this nyquist guy is on wings. Sorry if i misspelled his name. I swear he looks like a pavel in the making

    • nateriemer - May 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM

      Nyquist was leading the AHL in goals long after he was called up to the NHL. He is a really promising young player, very fast and good with the puck. Just about developing a scoring touch at the NHL level.

  20. twesty85 - May 24, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Erik, the hawks will have no problem with their cap next year they will only lose one player of note.

  21. scoregasmic - May 24, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Nyquist has been giving me hope for the future. In fact all the young guys have. And Jimmy…man oh man what have they been feeding this guy. He’s phenomenal! I’ve never seen him this good.

  22. zuke13 - May 24, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    Why does everyone keep saying three goals in four games ?? My count is five plus empty netter in four games….

    • hockeydon10 - May 24, 2013 at 7:02 AM

      They were saying 2 goals in 3 games, then made the mistake of thinking too much and remembered that 3-1 means four games have been played.

  23. iammrbinky - May 24, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    Quenneville is nowhere near the coach that Babcock is.

  24. niallofthenine - May 24, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Captain Stevie Yzerman would never have had 3 penalties in a row. Captains do not do that. Toews is not a Captain or leader of the team. That wouldn’t have happened to Z either.

    • jrhawk - May 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

      Yet another idiot remark from a “fan” who don’t know a puck from a buffalo chip.

      • dtownbeatdown - May 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Seems to be everyone disagrees with your post… again.

  25. spavs412 - May 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    One thing I know is that you never count Detroit out of winning it! Great coach and talent!!

  26. michiganhockey11 - May 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Toews is pretty much self destructing right in front of us. Clearly he’s frustrated, but 3 consecutive penatlies is just unacceptable.

    Go Wings!

  27. lunchboxray - May 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I hate to see my Blackhawks down 3-1. But, with the way Howard and the Red Wings and playing they deserve to be up and I give the Wings all credit in the world.

    I feel the Hawks biggest problem in this series, besides the lack of scoring, is Crawford. In the regular season he and Emery shared the starting goalie role taking a lot of the pressure off Crawford; pressure he has never been able to constantly handle. If Emery didn’t get hurt I honestly think the series would be tied up at 2-2.

    • cha1upabatman - May 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      I don’t know how you blame Crawford, he has played well. Especially last night, when he gave up one goal on which he was 100% screened and Kindl fit it in a tight window.

      • lunchboxray - May 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Last night Crawford did play great stopping 25 of 26 shots and in game 1 he went 20-21. Games 2 and 3 however he went a combined 53 of 60. If Emery was able to play in either/both game 2 and 3 I think the Hawks could have come up with at 1 wim at least. Emery did post a 17-1-1 record this regular season with Crawford going 19-5-5.

  28. cha1upabatman - May 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    These Wings are a fun team to watch. It is odd watching them play the role of underdog, but I like it. It makes the wins so much sweeter.

    I feel for the Blackhawk fans. It is never fun to see your team lose to an underdog. At least I feel for the none a-hole fans. Aka the Cubs fans and not the White Sox fans.

  29. clefty1 - May 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    The Wings for once are the underdogs and have the hot goalie, they have the Hawks frustrated. Howard is in the Hawks heads now and Toews is coming unglued. The 4th game is the toughest one to win but I sure hope the Wings get it done Saturday night.

  30. philpfeiffer - May 24, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    This series reminds me of what the Devils did to the Wings back in the 1995-1996 Stanley Cup Finals. Oh well, at least the Hawks won the first game. The Wings will be moving on to play the winner out West for the Conference Championship and one could only hope that they get to play another whiner of a Captain (that being Cindy in Pittsburgh) for the Stanley Cup. This time I honestly believe that the Wings won’t get screwed by the officials and will be hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup for the 5th time since 1996-1997!!

  31. badgerbuck - May 24, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Going to be a lot of changes with Blackhawks next year.some big names will not be with Chicago

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