Closer, But Still No Cigar

Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

A great game, which the Hawks dominated in long stretches, and seemed poised to win.

Until the fatal turnover by Brian Campbell at the offensive zone blue line, creating a horrible, ugly 3-on-1 break for the Wings, which they converted for the OT winner.

Turnovers are just killing the Hawks in this series, leading to at least four goals out of Detroit’s total of eight. You won’t beat this team playing that way.

And it’s turnovers by their normally solid defense: Seabrook and Keith in game one, and Seabrook and Campbell in game two. And those are just the ones that led directly to goals. God knows there have been plenty of other turnovers that took away a possession for the Hawks and gave it to Detroit, and created momentum.

So far, based on my reading, it is the turnovers that is really the crucial difference between these two teams. At least, in this matchup, right now. Obviously, in the bigger picture, Detroit has many Cups while the Hawks have zero playoff appearances over the last few years, and is a much older and more experienced, playoff-savvy team.

But all that experience doesn’t necessarily always lead to victory in a series. I think if the Hawks could just eliminate the turnovers, they are basically an equal in this series, even with the lack of experience.

Easier said than done, I know. The Red Wings have lots of skill and athleticism, and play very smart. But the Hawks also have the first two, and are quickly learning about the playing smart part.

So, keep up the intensity and effort, the hitting, the relentless puck-chasing, and cut way down on those turnovers, and I still think good things can happen.


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