Hendrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsuk may not be Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman, but they aren't chopped liver, either. And the Detroit Red Wings are still no pushovers in this, the sunset of their era as one of the NHL's top four or five teams.
They proved that Saturday afternoon as the Wings beat my Blackhawks 4-1 at the UC.
It was the same score as in Game One, except with the teams reversed. And it was a mirror image of the first game in another way, too: the winning team dominated the last two periods after an essentially even initial stanza.
Looking at the statistics, two things stand out. First, the Wings had 30 shots on goal to the Hawks' 20. And the Wings also dominated in the faceoff department. I think both of those things speak to what I think was the main dynamic in this game: the Wings wanted it more. They had something to prove, while the Hawks were probably just a tad overconfident, especially in their own building.
It should be noted that this is the first time this season Detroit has managed to beat the Hawks. I think it will happen once more before they're through. I still say it'll be the Hawks in six.
Tomorrow night in Detroit it will be the Hawks who will be motivated. I think it will probably be the best game of the series.