by guest recapper @AtomicFroster
After two lacklustre performances in rounds 1 and 2 of the circus trip, albeit getting three out of a possible 4 points, Coach Q opens game 3 by once again shuffling the lines in a BoggleTM style free for all. Anticipation was palpable in Vancouver with Daniel Sedin sitting on the cusp of 900 career points.
Pre-game festivities took slightly longer than usual as Vancouver anthem singer, Mark Donnelly, sang the usual duo of anthems and in addition the Canadian National Anthem en francais in tribute to the recent events in Paris.
The puck drops with the first line of Toews, Shaw and Garbutt to start, followed by the third featuring Kruger and Hossa. The teams trade chances until things are interrupted by a fight between Rockford Captain Brandon Mashinter and Brandon Prust. Although Mashinter has an obvious size advantage, the fight ends with no cleanly landed punches and the two falling on each other. Fight seemed unprovoked other than both Prust and Mashinter trying to prove their worth to their respective coaches. Bartowski is sent to the box for tripping Toews 5.5min into the period. Toews makes them pay by taking matters into his own hands and scoring a short-side goal over the shoulder of Ryan Miller. This goal should not have happened for the fact that Tanev pinches up ice to Hossa and leaves #19 free to seize the opportunity and strike first. Niklas Hjalmarsson cross checks Jannik Hansen in front of Cory Crawford pushing him to the ice and making him the recipient of a slapshot to the head putting the Canucks on the Powerplay. 50 seconds later, Toews takes a penalty for tripping Burrows. With two of our three best penalty killers in the box the Canucks make the Hawks pay with Henrik Sedin wristing one past Crawford, with the assist to his twin who recognizes the 900 point career milestone. The Canucks score again 6 minutes later with Kero making a lazy play at the side of the net allowing Henrik’s set up of Hansen upfront. Luckily a minute later Garbutt evens the score with the helper coming from Toews. Kane gets a clean break away with 3min remaining but his attempt is foiled by Ryan Miller’s left pad. All is even at 2.
The second period starts with the Blackhawks controlling the majority of the gameplay and scoring chances. Any momentum gained is quickly halted by a Ryan Garbutt hooking minor 7 minutes in. The Canucks capitalize with a Daniel Sedin goal assisted by brother Henrik. From this point on, the Canucks were the better team for the remainder of the period. The Blackhawks get a powerplay curtesy of a Luca Sbisa hi-stick on Anisimov but the Hawks only register an abysmal one shot on net. Period ends with the Canucks up one, 3-2.
Both teams trade some minor scoring chances until the first notable play of the period is an Andrew Shaw hit on Canucks Dorsett 6min into the final period. It seemed like the gloves would be dropped for the second fight of the night but the refs forced gameplay to continue. Seabrook gives Burrows a breakaway and Crawford stands tall and shuts the door. Shaw stifles another odd-man rush with a great back-check. Blackhawks even up the score thanks to a fantastic play by Patrick Kane at the blue-line, shaking the defender and setting up an Anisimov wrist shot. The tie game was short-lived as the home team scored three successive goals to dash the Hawks hopes at putting the circus trip over 500. Final score 6-3 Vancouver. Blackhawks register 29 SOG; Canucks, 20.
- Coach Q’s BoggleTM approach seemed to work providing the best Blackhawk game this trip
- Jonathan Toews powerplay goal was highlight-reel worthy
- Patrick Kane’s point streak continues (16 games)
- Ryan Garbutt scores first goal as a Blackhawk (that’s a good thing, right?!).
- 5 goals on 19 shots for Crawford, marking one of his worst performances this year
- Allowing the Canucks sisters to net 9 points collectively
- Did we mention 5 goals on 19 shots?!
- Mashinter’s fight against smaller Prust left us wondering if he’s capable of NHL level brawls
- Captain Serious needs to get serious about staying out of the box
- 3 unanswered goals, late in the third, is never going to win you a hockey game.
Shaw - Toews - Garbutt
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Desjardins - Kruger - Hossa
Mashinter - Kero - Dano
Keith - Hjalmarsson
van Riemsdyk - Seabrook
Rozsival - Daley
Highlights will be available shortly.