The Blackhawks returned from the Christmas break on Sunday night to take on the Carolina Hurricanes at The UC on Sunday night. Also returning to the rink on Sunday was Marian Hossa who missed the last couple of games due to an upper body injury. With four days off between games, tonight's game had the makings of being one of those trap games, especially with the fact the Hurricanes played last night. Oh, should I also mention, tonight marked the return of Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to Chicago?
When the puck dropped, the Hawks didn't look as sluggish as they could have been, but the Canes did have the extra jump to their step. As the period went on, both teams had a few quality chances, but neither could convert. With just over four minutes remaining in the period, Artem Anisimov had a great opportunity, but Eddie Lack denied him with a shoulder save. For the majority of the period, the Hawks fourth line was the best, but as the period wound down, the other lines started picked up the slack. As the horn sounded however, the game would be scoreless after 20 minutes.
As the second period got underway, it was mentioned that during the intermission the Hurricanes held a closed door meeting. Judging by the play early in the period, it didn't look like the meeting had much motivation for them. Just prior to the midway part of the game, Jonathan Toews had a great chance in front of Lack, but Lack made the save. A few seconds later, the Hawks would head to their first power play of the night, which would prove to be powerless. For the most part, this second period could have been brought to you by Serta because it damn could have put you to sleep. With 18 seconds remaining, Justin Faulk fired a wrist shot that beat Crawford five hole, and after two periods, the Canes would lead the Hawks 1-0.
The final 20 minutes of the game would be nothing short of frustration for the Hawks. They dominated the Canes in the shot department, out shooting them 19-9 in the third period. Despite that, it would be the Canes who would add to their lead. Off a lost face off in the defensive zone Victor Rask would increase the Canes lead to 2-0. Down the stretch, Corey Crawford came up big in net for the Hawks, keeping it a two goal game. In the final seconds, Brent Seabrook would score the lone, meaningless tally for the Hawks to cut the Canes lead to 2-1. With the final horn only seconds away, that would prove to be the final as the Hawks lost to the Canes on Sunday night.
- For the first 50 minutes of this game, Corey Crawford was the only reason the Hawks were even in the game. In the end he made 25 saves in the loss.
- The Hawks showed some fight in the final 10 minutes of the game, but it was too little too late. Frankly, I'm just stretching for something else to put in the good category.
- In the first period, the referees missed two, too many men on the ice penalties on the Hurricanes. Pat and Eddie made sure you knew that "they weren't even close."
- The Hawks first power play of the night just might be the cure for my insomnia. Talk about vanilla.
- Thanks to a Hjalmarsson hooking penalty, and a Joakim Nordstrom embellishment penalty, we were treated to 4 on 4 for two minutes in the second period. It was riveting to say the least.
- Typical loss for the Blackhawks tonight, another time when they make a backup goalie look like an all star. Eddie Lack was peppered with 36 shots tonight, and probably deserved the shutout.
- Carolina blocked 21 shots tonight. That screams laziness to me on the Hawks part of finding open shooting lanes.
- In the first period, the fourth line was the best line for the Hawks. That's a hell of a way to open a game.
- Early in the second period WGN had a nice blackout of the game for about 30 seconds. I guess they must have blown a fuse while charging Dan Roan for the second intermission.
- How boring was the second period? Pat and Eddie talked about the Cubs off season signings and what kind of sandwiches they'd make out of the Christmas dinner leftovers while play was going on.
- The shitshow that was the second period, ended just as you'd expect with the Hawks allowing a goal in the final minute of the period. Terrific.
- I love Q's coaching of young players. Phillip Danault loses a face off draw in defensive zone, and Canes score. The result? Q benches Danault. God forbid a young player makes a mistake. Nothing says great coaching of young players by making them feel like they're walking on eggshells.
- Who else enjoyed seeing Rob Scuderi's ass stapled to the bench in the third period while Q tried to "generate offense."
- What the fuck was the Kane-Shaw-Desjardins line in the third period?
- Man, Jeff Skinner would look awesome in a Blackhawks sweater. Maybe Eric Staal too. I wonder if those are 100% true rumors @TheHockeyPress is reporting on. Fuck off.
- Screw it, I'm gonna go back to my Twitter battle with Kelly Chase and other Blues fans. That was at least enjoyable.