Who will win game seven? Who knows?

The Red Wings are facing a second Game 7 on the road in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Red Wings are facing a second Game 7 on the road in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

We don’t know what to say about these Red Wings, who are the equivalent of a bi-polar patient. This hockey club is predictably unpredictable, so your guess is as good as ours tonight as the puck drops for Game 7 in the United Center.

Wait, did we say “ours”?

That’s right – we have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to dissect the Wings-Hawks finale. One says the Wings win, the other says the Wings lose. Either guy could be correct. Who knows. Just like this whole darn playoff run: Who knows?!?

DR. JEKYLL: Look, man. We’re done. We had our chance to put a skate through the heart of the Blackhawks. Game 6 was a grand opportunity. Joe Louis Arena was rocking, especially with a 2-1 lead entering the third period. Momentum is gone. We’re doomed.

MR. HYDE: Yeah, yeah. You’re the same guy who said the Wings were dead in the water heading into overtime of Game 6 against Anaheim last round. But what happened after that epic third-period collapse? Henrik Zetterberg happened. He scored the winner, put the team on his back in Game 7, and it was onto round two.

DR. JEKYLL: Yeah, well, this feels like the 1991 series against St. Louis. That’s when the underdog Red Wings built a 3-1 lead against the high-powered Blues, lost a chance to put a skate to the jugular at The Joe in Game 6, then lost Game 7 by a goal.

MR. HYDE: That was 22 years ago!

DR. JEKYLL: Sometimes history repeats itself.

MR. HYDE: Who says the Hawks have history on their side? Goalie Corey Crawford lost the only Game 7 he’s played and has yet to push Chicago past the second round.

DR. JEKYLL: The Wings were fortunate to build a 3-1 series lead. Look at Game 3: Jonathan Toews rang a puck off the post in the first period. Then, a disallowed goal in the third period was really unfair for Chicago.

MR. HYDE: Oh, cry me a (Detroit) river. Game 3 also showed why the Wings are never out of it and are extremely dangerous in Game 7. Two names: Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist. Both guys made highlight-reel plays. They’re both tough to defend, no matter the circumstance.

DR. JEKYLL: Nyquist played just 7:48 in Game 6, and you’re saying he’s a factor for Game 7? Here’s a factor for you: The last change. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville will use it to his advantage like he did in Game 5 with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. He can avoid Zetterberg whenever he chooses.

MR. HYDE: And maybe Wings coach Mike Babcock juggles the lines and fools Quenneville like he fooled Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau in Game 7 last round.

DR. JEKYLL: The difference in the series: Chicago’s defensemen are better than Detroit’s. Brendan Smith killed the Wings in the third period of Game 6 and Carlo Colaiacovo has given up several odd-man rushes throughout the series. Say what you want about the penalty shot being a bad call, but if Colaiacovo makes a good play at the blue line, that breakaway never happens.

MR. HYDE: OK, how about this, Doc: The tying goal 51 seconds into the third period never should have happened! Here’s why: Smith absorbed a high-stick from Bryan Bickell on the sequence that led to the goal. Did you see that? As Smith entered the zone, Bickell’s stick caught him near the visor, but the referee missed it. If they call that, maybe the Hawks never tie the game.

DR. JEKYLL: Poor excuse! Smith cannot track defenders in his own zone and makes impatient plays with the puck. He forgot to cover Michal Handzus on the tying goal and he didn’t clear a loose puck from behemoth Bickell on the game-winner. He’s a major liability. He will kill the Wings again in Game 7.

MR. HYDE: Ah, but your forget that Smith made a brilliant play on the Wings’ first goal Monday night. That sick little pass along the boards to Drew Miller? Awesome. And remember the play he made in Game 5: He drove the net, drew a defender, and freed space for Dan Cleary’s game-tying goal.

One more thing: Kyle Quincey broke his stick on Bickell’s game winner, so don’t put this all on Smith. If Quincey’s stick doesn’t break, Toews does not get the puck, and does not send it toward the net.

DR. JEKYLL: In the three games the Blackhawks won, they scored a power play goal. They will take advantage again.

MR. HYDE: And in the three games the Blackhawks lost, they did not score a power play goal. They won’t take advantage again.

DR. JEKYLL: You know, Jimmy Howard should’ve stopped that penalty shot. And the tying goal by Handzus beat him to the far side.

MR. HYDE: Oh, here we go: Time to blame Jimmy! He’s never good enough for you, is he? Good grief. Look, Howard held Chicago to two goals in three games to give Detroit a 3-1 series lead. He’s 2-1 in Game 7s and his steely resolve was evident last round in Anaheim.

DR. JEKYLL: The Wings power play is 1-for-23 in this series. The lone goal came by Jakub Kindl in Game 4 – with 1 second left on a penalty to Toews.

I don’t see the Wings capitalizing on power plays in Game 7. And without a power play goal, their odds of winning will be tougher.

And where’s Zetterberg? He has zero goals this series.

Face it, dude: The Wings blew it.

MR. HYDE: Blew what? Heck, Game 6 wasn’t a “must-win.”

The final four games of the regular season were “must-wins.” Games 6 and 7 vs. Anaheim were “must-wins.” And guess who was a prime factor in all those games? Zetterberg. Expect him to shine in the clutch tonight as he always does.

Throw your stats out the window. The Wings have skaters who know how to find redemption. Damien Brunner made a terrible play in Game 3 vs. Anaheim, then rebounded with the OT winner in Game 4; Valtteri Filppula made a terrible play in Game 6 vs. Anaheim, then rebounded with a goal and assist in Game 7.

Never count out Datsyuk, who can turn any dire situation into something magical.

Here’s to thinking the Wings close their Western Conference history with an old-time rival on a good note and hush the United Center crowd just like the Honda Center.

Oh, and one more thing: You wanna know my favorite movie?

DR. JEKYLL: Um … what’s that?

MR. HYDE: Blackhawk Down!

3 replies on “Who will win game seven? Who knows?

  • Cliff Parker

    GO RED WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEAT Chicago!!!! I hope they go on and play the Kings in the Western Conference Finals!!!!!

  • Cliff Parker

    MAN!!!!!!! I HATE CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still a forever Red Wings Fan for life, but just this once for this year, I am routing for the Kings so that they can beat the pure liquid stew crap out of the Blackhoax so that Chicago don’t get another Stanley Cup!!!!!!! CHICAGO SUCKS!!!!!!!!

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