The Chicago Blackhawks got a shock to the system in Game 2. While they cruised in Game 1 and figured the follow up would be just as easy, they were in fact upended with a similar 4-1 scoreline. Now the Red Wings have stolen home-ice advantage and momentum. With another similar performance, the Red Wings might seriously threaten the top seed and plant some doubts as to whether Corey Crawford should be the man between the pipes.
The Chicago Blackhawks can win because…
They are going to play better. If you can believe, the Blackhawks only had 20 shots on net in Game 2. To contrast, they had been averaging over 35 shots per game in the playoffs to date, so people making their NHL picks should simply be aware that the Blackhawks took the night off. Maybe they thought it would be easy but they were caught off-guard, they didn’t show up to play and they were outplayed badly. That won’t happen again.
This is a veteran Blackhawks team that is deeper, more complete and more talented than the Red Wings. Look for a much stronger effort in Game 3.
The Detroit Red Wings can win because…
Now they believe they can steal this series. The Red Wings looked like they were behind the eight-ball in this series when they were badly outplayed in Game 1. Many people – including NHL odds makers – figured the same would be the case in Game 2, meaning that if the Blackhawks stole either Game 3 or 4 on the road, this series would virtually be over. Well, hold your horses everyone: we’ve got a series.
The Red Wings showed up in a big way in Game 2. It wasn’t just the Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk show as nine other players registered a point. In net, Jimmy Howard didn’t have much work be he outplayed Crawford. The Red Wings have played the Blackhawks tough all season long even though they hadn’t been producing wins. Now they’ve finally broken the seal and they’ll be very confident heading into Game 4.
Outlook & Pick
The Red Wings desperately needed Game 2 and they got it. However, the Blackhawks are not going to show up half asleep again. They’ll fire much more than 20 shots Howard’s way in Game 3 and that should result in at least three goals. Take the Blackhawks to even this series up. They’re by far the better team.MLB Pick: Blackhawks -130 at Bet365