Thoughts on Game 36 (4-0 win over Chicago)
-- A few reporters after the game asked Pavel Datsyuk if he'd answer some questions. Datsyuk said "Not today", turned and walked away. The reason this is noteworthy is that Datsyuk only took two steps before turning back around, smiling and letting everyone know it was a joke, which brought on a good laugh. Datsyuk stayed and answered every question. Only in hockey would it seem so unusual that a superstar would blow off the media that it makes the basis for a good joke. That's day-to-day life in other sports.
-- Derek Meech got in 14 shifts thanks to being played on the blue line on the power play. At even strength, Coach Mike Babcock skipped most of Meech's fourth-line forward shifts juggling the third- and fourth-liners.
-- The Blackhawks play a very passive PK, staying deep in a box. I'm not sure that works well against a team as skilled as the Red Wings. They turn time and space into goals.
-- This was the 700th regular-season game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings.
-- With no Mikael Samuelsson (flu) and no Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), two of Detroit's four PP defensemen were absent. Brad Stuart, Brett Lebda and Derek Meech benefited with more special teams time.
-- After the game, an Alaskan youth hockey team that was in Michigan for a tournament, toured the Detroit locker room. It's fun to hear the oohs and aahs when they point out Datsyuk's and Hossa's lockers. Anchorage native Ty Conklin greeted the team.