Sunday, April 10, 2011
Posted: 2:01 p.m. Updated: 7:35 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
The looks on some of the Chicago Blackhawks faces were telling: frustrated, bewildered, stunned. They had their playoff destiny in their own hands and in their own building.
But they squandered their chance. Now they need someone else to give them a second one.
Michael Frolik, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith scored, but the Detroit Red Wings played the spoiler role well in their 4-3 victory at the United Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Blackhawks, who needed one point to clinch a playoff spot, finished with the eighth seed thanks to the Minnesota Wild's 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Sunday night.
Its so frustrating that its come down to this. Im pretty much speechless, said Jonathan Toews. The fact that were completely at another teams mercy right now, I cant believe it.
Coach Joel Quenneville, who along with many Blackhawks players will be watching that Wild-Stars game, said I should call the (New York) Rangers. The Rangers needed Tampa Bay to beat Carolina on Saturday to get to the playoffs; the Lightning did.
Were certainly not where we want to be, he said. Its a rotten spot to be in, fingers crossed, rooting for your season.
Patrick Sharp echoed those sentiments.
Its a horrible feeling to be sitting here. Youre helpless, he said. But well watch that game and see what happens.
The Blackhawks got the lead they wanted when Frolik scored about five minutes into the second period. But just one minute, 38 seconds later a bad Viktor Stalberg pass went right to Tomas Holmstrom, who scored. Sixty-two seconds later, Pavel Datsyuk gave the Wings a 2-1 edge.
That was tough, said Patrick Kane. We score and then we gave up one a shift or two right after and then another. Its tough when you do that. We had chances in the third and chances to tie it up. It just didnt go our way, I guess.
Detroit took two-goal leads twice, with the Blackhawks narrowing them down to one each time. Seabrooks laser shot made it 3-2 about four minutes into the third before Daniel Cleary put the Wings up 4-2. Keiths backhand rebound made it 4-3.
The Blackhawks got three power plays, including one in the final three minutes of regulation. But they couldnt find the tying goal.
On power plays, sometimes you need to keep it simple and get pucks to the net and get a greasy goal, Keith said. The puck was bouncing out there, and especially when its bouncing on the ice you have to keep it simple.
Now the Blackhawks play the toughest waiting game of all. The Red Wings spoiled their Cup banner-raising ceremony in the home opener. They may have demolished the Blackhawks Cup defense chances in the home finale.
I dont know how many times we seemed to address the same question: You wanted to avoid the situation where you were playing game 82 to get in, Quenneville said. We didnt get that luxury. Now we have to root for game 83.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.