If it seems like we've danced to this song before, it's because we have. The Blackhawks faced one of the hottest Western conference teams, Tuesday night, with the only difference being that this game was actually in some place called the United Center. I'm not really sure what this place is all about, but I'm told that it is a very festive place.
Back to the subject at hand, the Anaheim Ducks. Previously, the Hawks had faced hot teams that were going to "provide a huge test", and each time the Hawks overcame. The only real threat the Hawks faced was Calgary who, oddly enough, is in the deepest depths of Western Conference hell.
The Ducks came in allowing almost a full goal more a game than the Hawks, while scoring a few hundredths of a percentage point less. Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and Saku Koivu can always put the puck in the net, and Rookie Victor Fasth was in net for an injured Jonas Hiller. The key for the Hawks was to jump on Anaheim early, because a comeback would be extremely hard against this squad. They were just as well rested as the Blackhawks, so the big advantage the Hawks held was the home ice. Live from the United Center, it's the Hawks and the Ducks...
The first period of action was just that, action. There was a sense of anticipation in the crowd with plenty of clearly audible "Ooo's" and "Ahh's". Each team had some great chances, but none were able to result in goals. The Hawks out shot the visitors 9-8, and they were setting the plate for what looked to be a great game.
Both teams amped up their play in the middle period with the Ducks out shooting the Hawks 14-12, but the Hawks out scored the Ducks 2-1. Several powerplays both ways definitely figured into the scoring and the shot totals, with the chippiness jumping up a couple of levels.
The third period was a completely different pace than the previous two. The Hawks seemed to go into defensive mode, and the Ducks were on the attack most of the period out shooting the Hawks 9-6. Sooner or later, that is going to turn out bad for the defensive team, and it did. The Duck scored a late goal that tied the game up and sent it into overtime. The regulation undefeated streak was still in tact and the Hawks were able to gain another point. The Hawks were not able to cash in on two OT powerplays which sent the game into a shootout. The Ducks shooters were on target, and the Hawks shooters weren't, which led to a Ducks Shootout win.
- Shooter and Frolik were each able to out run Ducks defenders, negating two icing calls in the first 10 minutes alone with ferocious a forechecking.
- In a first period, Kruger and Frolik gave the Ducks fits on the PK. Kruger single handedly held off 3 Ducks players and killed about 20 seconds off the powerplay, deep in the Ducks zone. Frolik followed up with some great neutral zone defense himself.
- Crawford was 1-on-1 and dead to rights with Corey Perry in his grill during a first period powerplay. Crawford absolutely stoned him with a beautiful glove save, that will be replayed the rest of this season ad nauseum. Good for him, though. He deserves some accolades after that shitstorm he endured last season.
- I cannot believe I'm typing this, but Bryan Bickell threw a check, and not only that, but big clean check on Getzlaf at the halfway point of the game. Staubitz took exception, in what has become customary in this league, and drew an instigator penalty. On the ensuing powerplay, Nick Leddy tied the game up, with a big one time feed from Shooter. That quick (17 seconds into the powerplay) the game was tied.
- Thirty seconds after the Leddy goal, a spectacular effort by Saad ended up in the net after a lengthy video review. There was a huge scrum in the crease after Saad's shot skipped up and over Fasth's shoulder. dribbling towards the goal line. It looked at first like Sbiza saved the puck, but the video room in Toronto thought otherwise. 2-1 Hawks
- The Hawks penalty kill is no joke or fluke. They were saddled with a 40 second 5-on-3 and followed up with 40 more seconds of 5-on-4 time, late in the second period. They killed both off masterfully. Seabrook, Kruger, and Hjalmarsson were stellar for that entire 5-on-3 segment.
- Two games in a row with Roszival over Brookbank, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
- The Hawks sent an OT powerplay unit of Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa out on the ice, and I can't say I've seen the Hawks send out 4 forwards out there, like that, and they didn't generate the chances you'd expect those 4 to generate against a team that was 2nd worst in the league, coming in. Let me repeat that; SECOND WORST PK IN THE LEAGUE
- If it weren't for Bolland getting his dick knocked in the dirt at the dots, the Hawks could have been over 60% as a team. Bolland was a brutal 6 of 18 (33%). If this doesn't get better, something needs to be adjusted.
- Andrew Cogliano took advantage of a Patrick Kane turnover deep in the Hawks zone to tie the game up with just over 2 minutes left in the game. Kane waited too long to dump the puck out of the zone, or really do anything at all, and was muscled off the puck. I'm not really sure just what he was waiting for, but Lovejoy ended up with the puck and sent a wrist shot towards Crawford. The shot was redirected and landed right on the tape of Cogliano. Easy tap in, and tie game. Nothing Crawford could have done with that one.
- The Hawks shootout lineup continued to disappoint, going 1-3. Saad went third but couldn't pull out the shootout goal to tie it back up.
- I'm not really sure what Eddie O was bitching about after the Bickell hit/fight, but he had his knickers in a knot. He was babbling on about how he understands that Staubitz was sticking up for his teammate, but Bickell shouldn't have to drop his gloves just because he put a big hit on a player. Look Edzo, it's not Bickell's choice to be attacked, and he needed to defend himself. Just because you would have turtled like a 10 year old girl, doesn't mean it makes sense.
- Anaheim took a 1-0 lead on the powerplay, early in the second period. Getzlaf was open along the left goal line and tried to hit Corey Perry across the crease on the back door, Seabrook's attempt at blocking the pass turned into a redirection right past Crawford, and into the net. Flukey play, and again, nothing Crawford could do.
- Other than the Leddy goal, the Hawks powerplay didn't really do much. That one goal was enough to lull the casual fan into a false sense of security, but their power really hasn't been anything special.
- I'm so fucking tired of repeating that Dull-ig couldn't manage more than 7 shifts or over 5 minutes of ice time. Maybe Carcillo returning will fill the last spot, that will allow Quenneville to actually roll 4 full lines. Bollig belongs in Rockford, plain and simple. Enough of the bullshit. I can't believe I'm actually asking for Carcillo back.
- El Capitan beat Fasth through the 5-Hole
- Bonino juked Crawford
- Kaner was denied by Fasth
- Perry beat Crawford high stick side
- Saad was denied slow and low.