It’s funny, I figured that by citing the Chappelle Show in my last entry about how Brian Campbell was maybe the last guy to step up and start swearing vengeance was going to go over poorly, but Ike th didn’t think it would actually play out lie skits do on the show.
So how did Brian Campbell and the Chicago Blackhawks enact their revenge on Niklas Kronwall and the wildly short-handed Detroit Red Wings (who were missing Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper in Game 4)?
First there’s this. You’ll see Brian Campbell in this video pinched in too far on the power play (he’s behind the Detroit net!) leaving Cam Barker by himself as the Red Wings break shorthanded the other way two-on-one.
Then there’s this one where Campbell is used as a screen by Johan Franzen who proceeds to shoot the puck BETWEEN HIS LEGS and over the shoulder of Cristobal Huet.
And then there’s Valtteri Filppula who scores off a rebound untouched after Marian Hossa uncorks one from the left wing side.
Who jumped out on Filppula after he gained the zone in the first place?
You guessed it… Frank Stallone.
Er, Brian Campbell.
What makes this all the more amusing is that the third goal, a power play goal for Filppula (one of three power play goals the Red Wings would score in a 6-1 rout of the Blackhawks) is that apparently Joel Quenneville had some issues with how the Red Wings got that power play in the first place.
That’s right folks, the worst call in the history of sports. I can’t rip into Quenneville as well as his own fans can, so leave it to the folks at Second City Hockey to step in and do the job for me:
Joel Quenneville – You were brought in to keep your cool and provide a guiding hand for a young team. Your players saw you lose your composure, and promptly followed suit. That outburst was unacceptable.
Unacceptable, immature, and about a thousand other adjectives you could throw in there. As for me, let me just offer up one suggestion for Joel Quenneville:
Use that in your nether regions to get the sand out of the most delicate of crevices. Perhaps you could get away with whining like that in just about any other series.
Not this one though, not after what happened with Niklas Kronwall in Game 3. This is frustrated petulance at its ugliest out of Coach Quenneville. It also allows me to quote myself:
Hyperbole is a dangerous verbal weapon because it often renders the user stupid.
As for Martin Havlat, he played in this game.
Ballsy? You bet.
Stupid? You bet your sweet ass it was and here’s why:
You won’t get a closer view of that, but that was Havlat getting taken out by Brad Stuart. He left the ice and did not return to the game after that. What Havlat is doing out there in the first place will remain a mystery as Coach Quenneville already made it a point to cover his tracks and proclaim that all was well.
You can lie to us all you want, coaches do it all the time, but you can’t lie to us about this one because this is what Marty Havlat looked like in Game 3:
You cannot tell me he had it all together enough to be even thought of as remotely ready to play. Jesus, looking at this picture hurts my head and I’ve never had a concussion. James Mirtle at From The Rink has a great entry just on this angle and whether or not Havlat should have played.
James hits it home on this closing thought:
He’s fine. He’s ready. He’s all right.
Perhaps. But he didn’t look all right, at least to my eyes. I wish the question was asked if Havlat had suffered a concussion and what treatment, exactly, he’s had in the interim. It’s not impossible that he recovered just fine from having his bell rung a few days earlier, but why then does he have to leave the game after taking a routine check early in the game?
Isn’t that cause for concern? Perhaps especially so for a player with Havlat’s extensive injury history?
You bet your ass it’s a cause for concern and the question of whether or not Havlat BS’ed his way into the lineup or the Blackhawks trainers and Quenneville would willfully ignore Havlat’s condition is something that I hope the beat writers will try to find out more about.
As for this series, for all of Brian Campbell’s talk of the Red Wings being a “gutless” team, the ‘Hawks have a lot of soul-searching to do after putting in a putrid performance like that in a game that was set up for them on a platter to take. Two of the best players in the NHL, nevermind just on the Red Wings, the entire league were in the press box for this game as well as one of the top defensive forwards and Chicago comes out with that performance?
Brutal. Simply brutal and a truly gutless performance out of this team that was too caught up in seeking redemption for a guy who ended up wrongly suiting up for the game. I’ll let the guys at Hockee Night wrap this one up for how Chicago “performed” in this crucial Game 4:
Christobal Huet. What a sieve. He probably wound up with sunburn fro the red light. He gave up a lot of goals, and none of them were particularly tough. He was absolutely brutal.
VERSTEEG! When you’re down 4, you don’t skate out of the box and get chippy in open ice. That’s dumbshit hockey, and that isn’t what makes a good team a top team. Oh yeah, calling out guys when you’re down 5? Nice set of balls you grew there, kid.
The Hawks’ passing. They’ve gotten this far by opening up the ice with stretch passing, but the Wings have just run a passing clinic, everything has been tape-to-tape. At times the Wings looked like they were doing some Harlem Globetrotters stuff out on the ice, moving the puck at will.
Things are not looking up for Chicago and this is setting up for a blowout of even more embarrassing fashion for the Blackhawks because if you can’t nut up and strap it on for a game where the other team is ridiculously shorthanded from the get-go… Then what game can you get up for?