Sunday, April 17, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs Blues
Game 3 - 3-2 Loss

"Closer to the Heart"

by Atomic Froster

After trading victories in St Louis the Blackhawks and Blues head to Chicago knotted at a game a piece. Both of the previous games were extremely close and with a couple calls that the Blues didn't think went their way you knew they were going to come in with a chip on their shoulder. A small change in the Hawks lineup as Desjardins is out and Weise is in.

The United Centre was electric despite the 2:00 local start time as the home crowd was ready for its first taste of playoff hockey in 2016. They would not have to wait long after the anthem for their first opportunity to cheer. The Hawks would go on the power play, courtesy of a Brokziak roughing call on Svedberg that in the end saw them both going to the box but Brodziak getting an extra two. Seabrook would take advantage from the point blasting one past Elliott; assists credited to Toews and Kane. St Louis was given two more penalties early on in the game--basically back to back--but the Hawks power play came up short. With eight minutes left in the period Svedberg would take his second penalty of the frame and go off for high sticking, Parayko would take advantage and tie up the game. With a total of seven penalties called in the first it was clear the officiating crew wanted to keep control of this one.  

Shots: Blackhawks - 10 Blues - 9

The second period would start with Shaw and Edmundson in the box due to some extracurricular activities carried over from the first. The offsetting minors would create a 4 on 4 situation that, you'd think, would play into the strengths of the more skilled guys. Despite losing a offensive zone face-off, Panarin would chase the puck into the corner and come out on top; he sent the pass in front of the net to an all alone Anisimov. The shot by #15 was anything but pretty as he flubs it and sends a knuckler Elliots way. Lucky this seemed to handcuff the Blues 'tender and the puck ends up in the back of the net. The remainder of the period would see chances at both ends but none would finish.

Shots: Blackhawks - 24 Blues - 13

The final period is a period the Hawks would like to forget. Patrick Berglund would carry the puck over the blue line and send a snap wrister towards Crawford. It bounces off Rosival and takes a second hop off the ice, changing trajectory, now opposite of what Crow was anticipating. The puck goes up and over Crawford's glove and ties the game 5 minutes in. Just when you start to think we may see another overtime tilt, Kane gets a double minor for high sticking. With eight minutes left in the third Kane takes a seat. The Blues would take advantage, with a tic-tac-toe play Tarasenk and Backes set up Shwartz to send the second goal of the period past Crawford. This goal would stick as the GWG as the Hawks fail to capitalize on a small section of time with the extra attacker. Repeatedly failing to get the puck into the offensive end left the Hawks 'tender on the ice far too long and left little time to get any sustained pressure.

Shots: Blackhawks - 12 Blues - 14

Total Shots: Blackhawks -  46 Blues - 36

The Good:

  • The Blackhawks send 46 shots in on Elliot, if they can continue that pace I would like our chances. 
  • Seabrook's goal from the point was classic playoff Seabs and hopefully we continue to see more. 
  • Crawford's save on Lehtera in the second was HUGE!
The Bad:

  • After a couple of early penalties by Svedberg, he would see a total of 5 minutes of ice time, call me crazy but I wouldn't be surprised to see a change back there. "By Gawd King, IS THAT THE GUSTAFSSONS MUSIC?!?!" Or maybe Rundblad, he did play last year and did win the cup after all. Just please not Ehrhoff and Rosival at the same time. 
  • 24 shots for in the second period and one goal to show for it, need to cash in on at least one more. 
  • Teravainen spent much of his time on the ice in his own end, his line constantly had trouble getting it out of the zone. 
The Ugly:

  • I was certain Ladd had a goal, but hitting it off two posts! Talk about rotten luck. 
  • Backes laid a huge hit on Toews half way through the second and I know I was sure nervous until the next time the camera showed him skating. The way he fell down to the ice it could have caused some serious damage. 
  • Ken Hitchcock has one of the most punchable faces behind an NHL bench (besides when Pierre McGuire does his coaches interviews) Why does he always have that stupid look on his face?!
  • The Hawks are now 6 and 15 in game 3's with Coach Q. 


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