There aren't many people in Chicago, or Vancouver for that matter, that weren't eying up this game on the schedule. The "entitled" Canucks came into town early Monday to enjoy our amenities, and probably our women, before playing the Hawks Wednesday night. These aren't the Canucks of last season, either. While they are atop their division, they aren't the big dogs anymore. The Blues and Rangers are ahead of them, and the Wings, Preds and Hawks are all within 4 points. That being said, they were still a very dangerous team to the Hawks. A Hawks team once again without their Captain. With their suddenly more solid defense, thanks to Johnny Oduya, fans weren't as worried as they were a month ago. If Corey Crawford could keep from "going Luongo", the Hawks had a solid chance. Vancouver had hit a bit of a lull in their schedule going 3-5-2 in their last ten. With ten games remaining for the Canucks, this was not a time to go cold. And lets not forget, Sweaty Boberto. How we love to torture thee.
The Hawks pulled the complete opposite of the three previous games, in the first period last night. They game up a fairly weak goal to the Canucks, just 27 seconds into the game. While the scorer claims the Hawks out shot the Nucks 12-6 in the first, I fail to believe this. Luckily, a 1-0 score is easy to even up. The second period turned into and absolute free-for-all. Twelve penalties (48 minutes) were called, and the Blackhawks tied the game up with one of their 11 shots, while holding Vancouver to only 3 shots. The third period was a whole different story, as Vancouver controlled the first half of the period peppering the Hawks with 14 shots. At that halfway point both teams went into prevent mode, which resulted in overtime. The theatrics worked out in the Hawks favor, this time, as the Hawks used an odd man rush to win the game and earn the extra point.
- Kaner tied the game up, just a few minutes into the second period, off a Hossa feed/pass/rebound. The play was innocently looking enough as Hossa tried to catch Sweaty Rob sleeping unsuccessfully. The puck shot out to Kaner, who beat Boberto to tie the game up at 1's.
- Four goals in the last 3 games for Andrew Shaw, as he won it in OT, deflecting a Johnny Oduya shot past Sweaty Rob for a Blackhawks win. The play was set up by Invisibolly who carried the puck into the zone and peeled off, waiting for the troops to march in. Shaw streaked to the net, and Oduya had a step on his guy. Bolland fed Oduya, who wasted no time with his prime change in the high slot. The puck gazed Shaw's leg enough to redirect it into the net and the place went bananas. The only thing better than OT winning goals against Vancouver, is playoff OT winning goals against Vancouver.
- Crawford let the first shot of the game past, and then made 36 straight saves. Some of which were huge. He deserves credit, and I'm glad Savvy mentioned it, after the game.
- For a game without their Captain, and a game in which they were missing their #2 center for over 20 minutes, and their #1 defenseman, the Hawks played well. Maybe this team really is maturing.
- Jannik Hansen torched Johnny Oduya and Corey Crawford 27 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead for the Nucks. Oduya got caught giving Hansen too tight a cushion and Hansen blew around him. Oduya recovered and stuck with him, but Crawford cheated, went down too early, and left the entire stick side open. 1-0 Canucks.
- "Brandon Bollig has done a great job of not taking dumb penalties" - Konroyd. Have you been watching the same Brandon Bollig, Steve? This is right after he tried to bait Kassian into another dopey fight, like the 5 previous dopey fights he's been in. Just a reminder that the "enforcer" saw one shift in each of the last two periods. That is what we in the biz like to call a SHORT LEASH.
- I've really given the powerplay a break, but last night was terrible. When Brendan Morrison is on your powerplay EVER, you're just simply fucking dreadful. The Hawks had multiple chances to put the Canucks away, with their thuggery, and failed to generate even a whimper. If you can't manage an NHL powerplay, then just overload a side and crank shots at the net. Instead, Kane sits on the half boards and dances around, trying to force bad passes, while everyone stands around watching, and no one moves their feet. Like this:
- No matter what else is going on in the game, when you out shoot a team 23-9, through 40 minutes, you should be winning the game. Factor in 0-3 on the powerplay, and you have a recipe for near disaster.
- Marcus Kruger was hurt in the second period, and ruled out for the rest of the game with an upper body injury. Not a position the Blackhawks are set at, so if he's out for any period of time and we have to endure any more Brendan Morrison, I may be on suicide watch. As the world turns.
- I'm going to continue to point this out, but the Hawks, once again, got their asses handed to them at the dots. Kaner was, by far, the worst, going 3-18. Ouch!
- "Duncan Keith, meet Brendan Shanaban." - Today's Conference Call. All you have to read or hear is, "High Elbow to Sedin", and the league will jump up like their pants are on fire, to take a longer look at the hit Keith put on. It might earn him a game or two, but you bet your ass that they'll take a good long look at it. As the game went on, Sedin was held out, which means there was fear of a concussion. More reason to believe that Keith will get a call. Granted, Sedin finished the period, but that will, most likely, be brushed aside. Mark my words that Sedin will get away with his high hit on Keith, previous, because the Canucks nation is already threatening a looting party.
- Three Hawks penalties in the first period CANNOT happen. Stalberg's hook was a clear call, Bollig's penalty was a stupid meatball penalty, and Keith needs to keep his fucking elbow down. They are damn lucky they didn't cost themselves any more goals against.
- Half way through the second period, all bloody hell broke loose. Kassian started a boat load of shit, and Burrows kept up with his fucking scumbag reputation by kneeing Keith, who was on his back, in the groin. Some of the cheapest horseshit I've ever seen. Burrows got 4+10, like he should have, but somehow Keith did, too. I guess it was 4+10 for receiving, last night. When the second period was over, 48 minutes had been assessed.