Sunday, April 15, 2012

PLAYOFFS - Blackhawks at Phoenix Game 2 OT Win

"Cleanse the Soul"

Well, Game One didn't go as planned, but all hope is not lost. The Hawks played two very good periods, and one not so good period. They need to play 3 solid periods to beat the Coyotes. First of all the Hawks powerplay MUST get better. If they go 0-4 every night, they won't make it to the next round. Losing in OT, on the road, while not playing your best possible game, is something to take away as a positive.

The game looked promising when the Hawks opened up the scoring, but Phoenix scored two of their own in the first period. The Hawks had plenty of pressure, out shooting the Yotes 17-11, but they were going to need to put a few more in the net to win this one. The second period turned into a complete mess thanks to a long major powerplay for the Coyotes. The Hawks and Yotes each had a goal, and the Hawks out shot Phoenix once again, 11-10. The third period yielded only one goal, and that was the game tying goal with 5 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. Fortunately for the Hawks they were able to hold the fort together long enough to score the game winning goal halfway through the overtime period. All in all, the Hawks out shot the Coyotes 50-33.

The Good

  • Just as everyone was saying that the Hawks powerplay needed to come though, Bryan Bickell whacked the rebound of a Bolland shot past Smith with just over three minutes gone in the game. Bolland ripped a shot off Smith, and Bickell smacked a waist high shot out of the air and past Smith.
  • Two games in a row that Hjalmarsson laid big hits on opponents. What has gotten into him? This time it was Doan that he laid out, but where was this player all year?
  • Brandon Bollig tied the game back up, seven minutes into the second period. He skated up the left side and took a 40 foot shot that beat Smith that looks like it surprised him. I'm sure he wants that one back.
  • When Brandon Bollig has two of your best offensive chances in the third period, something isn't right.
  • Once again the Hawks tied the game with under a minutes to go. Patrick Sharp deflected a Brent Seabrook shot past Smith to send the game to overtime. Two huge Corey Crawford saves kept the game within reach. It's not often you see two last minute game tying goals with the goalie pulled.
  • One Trick Bick won the game halfway through the overtime period for the Hawks after an exhausted Adrian Aucion shot a clearing attempt directly up the boards at Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg directed the puck to the slot where a streaking Bickell was waiting and beat Smith low, to the glove side.
  • Brent Seabrook had yet another huge game. Five shots, five hits, and an assist on the game tying goal. The guy is just a STUD!
  • The Hawks were close in both blocked shots and hits at 10-17 and 34-40 respectively.

The Bad

  • Just as the Hawks took the lead, Raffi Torres took it away. Shane doan just out worked the Hawks behind the net and threw it out to a streaking Torres, and he beat Crawford. Of all the people, why don't they just let Alex Burrows score too?
  • Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette teamed up on the powerplay to give the Yotes their first lead of the game. Yandle was given a few chances from the point, and eventually took something off the shot to get it through the mess of bodies. Vermette got a stick on the shot, because he was left all alone in front, and beat Crawford.
  • Phoenix took advantage of the Shaw major powerplay as Vermette used the screens by Torres and Seabrook to snap a shot past Crawford from the right side of the slot. Complete and utter bullshit that the Hawks were in that situation, in the first place.
  • Seems like no matter what they do, the Hawks can't manage much better than 45% at the dots. This game was no different at 46%. Toews, and Bolland were above the Mendoza line but Kruger, Mayers and Kaner were all well under.

The Ugly

  • Shortly after the Bollig goal, Andrew Shaw and Mike Smith collided behind the Yotes net, and as you would expect, all hell broke loose. Smith flailed around on the ice like he was shot, which led to Shaw getting 2+5+10 and a Game Misconduct. Shaw left his elbows down, and bumped Smith no harder than any other players. If goalies can't take some incidental contact, they need to stay in the crease. Smith had the puck on his stick and Shaw pressured him. Shaw's momentum took him into Smith, whom he just grazed, and because Smith has no clue how to lift his head when he's playing the puck, he didn't see Shaw coming. Terrible dive and bullshit call.

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