Chippy Won't Get it Done
First things first. Joel Quenneville did a great job with the Chicago Blackhawks this season.
But his young team played like a frustrated, irritable young team in Game 4 of the Western Conference final on Sunday, which is why they got thumped by a shorthanded Detroit Red Wings club which is now one win away from a second straight Stanley Cup final appearance.
Quenneville vented after the 6-1 defeat that the officials "ruined the whole game." but that was way off base. The Hawks lost their focus and Quenneville couldn't stop it.
The Hawks ruined their own chances by trying to get chippy, the same approach that worked so beautifully against Vancouver in the Western Conference semi-final because the Canucks were so very willing to engage in a tit-for-tat battle.
But not the Wings. They just won't. So when the Hawks tried to get in Detroit's face - "scare 'em off the puck" as Jonathan Toews put it - the Wings just ignored the nonsense as they always do and let the Hawks beat a steady path to the penalty box. The Wings then killed Chicago on the power play, and Mike Babcock kept putting his best guys out at extra strength late in the game as if to tell the Hawks if they wanted to play cheapshot hockey they were going to suffer for it.
Even without Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom, the Wings are far superior to the Hawks, but Quenneville can't say that. All he can do is complain in a vain attempt to get the officials to let his players get away with chippy after-the-whistle nonsense- Matt Walker's moronic penalty as time expired in the second was a perfect example - and hope that might distract the champs. Really, the referees could have called more stuff against the Hawks and the game could have been uglier.
Quenneville will get fined for his Game 4 outburst, and he should. You understand his frustration, but the officials didn't lose the game for Chicago. Awful goaltending and zero composure did that.