There are fines levied for coaches and players who criticize officials to the media, so Mike Babcock danced gingerly around the subject of how Game 3 was called. But it was clear the Red Wings coach wasn't pleased his team was shorthanded for nearly half the first period, and lost Niklas Kronwall, a top four defenseman, who was given a game misconduct for a hit that most neutral observers in the press box thought legal.
"It was absolutely the wrong call," Babcock said.
And not the only one according to the Red Wings coach. Since his forward Dan Cleary got four minutes for high sticking which led to the game's opening goal by Chicago, Babcock felt Blackhawks heavyweight Dustin Byfuglien deserved something for doing the same on Brad Stuart.
"Let's be honest, they cut Stuey for stitches," Babcock said. "He high sticked him right in the face, he didn't get the call. Players have bad games, coaches have bad games, but they're (refs) not allowed to have bad calls or games. I mean we were shorthanded for nine minutes in the first period. It's just one of those things."
Speaking of bad games by coaches, Chicago's Joel Quenneville might have described his that way had the Blackhawks not won in overtime. Chicago squandered a three goal lead in the second period, and Quenneville said he could have done more to prevent it.
"I was kicking myself in the butt for not calling a timeout at 3-2," he said.
Quenneville said the Red Wings gained a lot of momentum in the middle frame when Chicago took some penalties and the Blackhawks kept getting pinned deep in their own end on several shifts.
"When they're coming, they're coming especially when they're down," Quenneville said. "They have a lot of offensive weapons. Their D is active as well and we got a couple of tough changes there where we didn't get a fresh group out. That's why I felt I should have called a timeout at 3-2. We dodged a bullet there."
Posted on: May 23, 2009 2:00 am