So it turns out the reports of Detroit’s demise in this series were grossly exaggerated. Many Blackhawks fans were understandably eager to bury Detroit after Game One, unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way in the playoffs. The advanced stats pretty much confirmed the eye test – the Hawks were terrible while the Red Wings were fantastic.

You, the fan, have every right to be annoyed with the Blackhawks lack of urgency this afternoon, but give the Red Wings the (significant) credit they deserve, too. They silenced the United Center (quiet as I’ve ever heard it) by slowing down the Hawks in the neutral zone using THE LOCK and seemed to get in the way of just about every shot the Hawks attempted. Unlike Game One, nobody in a red sweater had room to maneuver and Jimmy Howard never had to bail out the guys in front of him. The Wings played the perfect road game and will go back to Detroit with home ice advantage and the belief that they can play with the Blackhawks.

Mike Babcock said it best after the game: “Series On.” It sure is.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty bullets asterisks:

* Andrew Shaw was atrocious. I counted three plays where he had possession but failed to get the puck into the Detroit zone. One Shaw giveaway led to a shorthanded breakaway for the Wings.

* Jonathan Toews complained about the officiating after the game. He had reason to be pissed off about the non-call on Henrik Zetterberg for mauling him while he was down, but somehow I don’t think anyone is buying the ‘poor officiating cost us’ angle tonight. Plus, everybody knows the Blackhawks power play is horrendous anyway.

* On the other hand, 22 straight kills. Good stuff.

* Speaking of the kill, Michal Handzus is lucky the Blackhawks are taking all sorts of penalties. If he had none to kill, it’d be much more apparent that he’s pretty much worthless at 5-on-5. I liked the pickup when it happened and said so on one of the podcasts. My opinion is quickly changing.

* Corey Crawford actually had a pretty decent game. The save he made on Dan Cleary in the 2nd period was spectacular but I feel like half the people in the UC missed it. It’s a good thing they immediately showed the replay to wake up the sleepy crowd……oh wait, no, they didn’t.

* Of course Brendan Smith would pot the winning goal after the Blackhawks Twittersphere went to town on him after the lone Blackhawks goal. You’d have to imagine that one felt good for Smith. Although to be real, Patrick Sharp and Niklas Hjalmarsson were completely out to lunch on that one.

* Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger were the two best Blackhawks tonight. I’m starting to question all of the talk about the 2010 crew leading the way. Quite the opposite this afternoon.

* One of the most hilarious things to watch in this series is the unlikely feud that has developed between Michal Rozsival and Justin Abdelkader. The little stick flip Rozy gave Abby was probably the high point of the game for Chicago.

* The other day I mentioned on Twitter that I sort of hated Dan Cleary. This was met with shock and disgust by Red Wings fans. “A Saint,” one fan called him. I guess they just miss the little things like today before the opening face-off when he gave Brandon Saad a few nice chops before the centers were even lined up. He also seemed to be engaged in a few lively discussions with Bolland. Do not let these people tell you that Dan Cleary is not a loathsome swine. He is.

* Dan Carcillo. I can’t tell if I hate him or the way Twitter melts down whenever he steps on the ice more. You’re not a genius for knowing Dan Carcillo kind of sucks.

* With that being said, it’s time for Viktor Stalberg to re-enter the lineup. I really do understand how some people, particularly coaches, could grow frustrated with his game . With all that size and ample speed he could be a force to be reckoned with in this league. Unfortunately, all to often we find him skating east and west instead of playing north and south. Although sometimes overstated, it is true that he doesn’t always get to the tough areas where you’d like to see a guy with that build and sometimes he’s just plain sloppy with the puck. But come on, he is who he is, and it should be obvious that he brings more to this team than Dan Carcillo can. The point should be clear to him by now. Then there’s the whole other matter of holding a guy like Shaw to the same standard. He’s now had two terrible games in this series – will he be in a white uniform tomorrow at practice? I doubt it.

This is probably way more than you wanted to read about this damn game. Enjoy the weekend.