It’s hardly breaking news that the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks dislike each other, so it came as little surprise to see the end of Detroit’s Game 3 win devolve late into after-the-whistle scrums and extra shots.
But Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir took exception to the strategy of Chicago coach Joel Quenneville in the waning moments.
• Garbage move by Quenneville to throw Shaw and Bickell out there at the end of the game. There was still a chance for Chicago to cut into Detroit’s lead, but he goes with guys who are frothing at the mouth. Bickell, who’d been running around for most of the third, was called for cross-checking (Danny) Cleary repeatedly at 19:00, effectively ending any chance the Hawks had of mounting a comeback. Shaw then hopped over the boards and earned a misconduct 47 seconds later for general hooliganism. If there was a message being sent there, it wasn’t that the Hawks would battle to the end. It’s that the Red Wings are completely in their heads.
Bickell and Cleary were chirping at each other for the majority of the game — “I don’t think we’ll be exchanging Christmas cards any time soon,” Cleary quipped on NBC Sports Network following the game. Bickell’s penalty more or less forced the Blackhawks to wave the white flag in Game 3, with Crawford having to return to the net as the face-off moved into Chicago’s zone with Detroit on the power play.
That was Bickell’s second penalty of the night. He and Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey received offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct minors in the first period, following a separate scrum at the net. Shaw was sent to the box at that point, too, for roughing — the Wings failed to cash in on the ensuing power play.
Game 3 was ferocious right from the opening face-off, with both teams throwing their weight around in an effort to set a physical tone. The refs’ decision to let that style of play go early backfired late, though the scrappy atmosphere was nothing new for the Detroit-Chicago rivalry.