Jared Leto creeps up on Marian Hossa (US Presswire Photo)

Wow. What a roller-coaster ride that was. One can’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been if the Blackhawks had decided to play in the 1st period.

About that abortion of a 1st period – it may have been one of the worst of the season (excluding the Edmonton game, of course). Detroit was able to glide right into the Hawks zone and set up  while the Hawks couldn’t even execute a dump and chase. Detroit led in shots on goal by an astounding 21-4 (9-0 through the first 7 minutes) margin and out-hit the Blackhawks 12-9. As you probably guessed by looking at the shots on goal, the Wings dominated every aspect of the game in the opening frame. The only reason this game wasn’t 5-0 at the end of the period was Corey Crawford, who was outstanding.

The Red Wings opened the scoring a little over 7 minutes into the game when Tomas Holmstrom (who else?) deflected a long Ian White blast past Crow, while Marcus Kruger sat in the box for hooking Drew Miller. Four minutes later, they got a breakaway goal from Todd Bertuzzi, who would be sitting in a prison cell if this were a just world. Michael Frolik had a glorious opportunity to cut the lead in half in the closing minutes of the period after a puck bounced over the stick of Jimmy Howard, but he fanned on his backhand and Howard was able to get the left pad on it. I’m beginning to think that Frolik denied an old man and his goat entry to his house at some point over the summer. Anyway, one could have been forgiven for going back to sleep after the horrid 1st period.

The second period was better, but the Hawks were still outshot 8-7. It looked like this game was headed to the 3rd with the Hawks down by 2, but then Jimmy Howard set up Andrew Shaw with a wide open net and Shaw buried it. Yes, Jimmy Howard. What was Howard doing on that play, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. But we’ll take it! Less than a minute later, Jonathan Ericsson went off for a hook, but the Hawks were unable to convert on the PP opportunity. Still, at least we had a hockey game going into the 3rd.

The 3rd period was the exact opposite of the 1st. The Hawks had an 11-0 shot advantage over the first 6 minutes of the period and absolutely dominated Detroit. The Hawks were given every opportunity to tie this game, with the biggest chance coming when Drew Miller got a double minor for high-sticking Shaw. The first minute yielded about a dozen great chances for the Blackhawks, but they couldn’t convert and the next three minutes saw the Hawks unable to gain the zone and the Wings successfully killed the rest of the penalty. Give Jimmy Howard a lot of credit here as well. The rest of the way each team traded chances and goal-posts. With just under a minute remaining, Jonathan Toews beat Pavel Datsyuk on a face-off and Marian Hossa blasted a shot from the point that was tipped by Toews past Howard.

The overtime saw Johan Frazen and Detroit dominate the entire frame. The Hawks never got anything going and with less than a minute left the Criminal was able to bat one out of mid-air past Crawford. Fuck.

A couple of quick thoughts:

♦ The line of Jimmy Hayes, Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette had some really good shifts. One could easily picture Hayes burying some of Bruno’s beautiful feeds from behind the net. Hayes knows how to set up in front and may just be the big target Bruno needs.

♦ Andrew Shaw scored a goal and drew a double minor. Not bad, dude.

Nick Leddy was good in the offensive zone, but once again fought it in his own end.

♦ Some people on Twitter were calling for Q to pull Crawford after the 1st period. What an awful idea that was. Crawford didn’t have a chance on the first Red Wings goal and the slot was left wide open on Criminal’s overtime goal. Yes, he went down to early on the breakway goal, but he made some outstanding saves to keep the Blackhawks in this game.

♦ Detroit failed to put the dagger in the Hawks early. They let the Hawks hang around and gave us a point in the process. Considering the Red Wings have not lost a game at home since the beginning of November,  the Blackhawks can be reasonably pleased with getting at least a point out of this.

♦ Thank God Dan Cleary didn’t score. If he did, I would have had to drive to Naperville to make sure my old man didn’t suffer a stroke.

♦ Red Wings fans booing Marian Hossa are just as stupid as the Sharks fans who still boo Brian Campbell.

♦ Speaking of the Sharks – they roll into town tomorrow night to face the Hawks. Things don’t get any easier for us, do they?