Oh so THAT'S what a power play looks like? In 60 minutes the Canucks were able to score as many power play goals as the Blackhawks have all season. The Blackhawks were all to eager to help them get there too with a long and stupid streak to the penalty box. The fun started with Brent Seabrook leveling Jannik Hansen in the Hawks zone and drawing an obvious interference call. The Hawks were almost able to kill it off but David Booth was able to get away from Dave Bolland and knock home his own rebound for the first of way too many goddamn power play goals.
Michael Frolik was able to even the game before the end of the first on the flukey goal that typically signals that Roberto Luongo was due for one of his off nights (which are coming far too often this year, the one year that I have him in a fantasy league... I hate this greasy pig). However the Blackhawks weren't able to capitalize on the momentum and energy inside the UC. With only seconds left in the first, the 5'10, 175lb Patrick Kane took exception to a snow shower given by one of the Sedins to Crawford and gave him a hard shoulder after the whistle. True to form, the Canuck toppled over as if hit by a freight truck. In the melee that followed, Kane comes out with a roughing call and the Hawks start the 2nd on the kill. After another power play goal from the Nucks, the Hawks were able to bring it to within one when Marcus Kruger crashes hard to the net and chips it over Lou. It wasn't meant to be though as the Canucks scored their lone even strength goal and the Hawks were never in it again.
To the Bullets:
- Other than the Penalty Kill, how was the game Mrs. Lincoln? While they had some speed and jump to their game early, the Hawks looked flat and dejected after it became clear the Canucks showed up to actually play. The third period in particular was one of, if not the most, difficult stretches of hockey to watch this year. They looked like they didn't give a shit and couldn't be bothered to play the dump and chase game it was become clear they needed.
- In retrospect, they didn't even have much jump early in the game. There were at least 2 or 3 odd man rushes, breakaways or fantastic chances given up by the Hawks early on that were thankfully saved by Crawford. The Hawks looked unprepared and surprised by the intensity the Canucks were bringing which is absolutely inexcusable. They had to have known the Nucks were going to come out skating and hitting.. it's how they always play the Hawks. Rather than respond with their own timely hits and quick passing, the Hawks let the Canucks deep inside their heads and ended up playing a retaliation game rather than a responsive one.
- It's particularly painful to watch the Hawks blow a game that had the chance to turn into the Luongo meltdown we've seen many times before. After that first goal, Luongo was ready to crack and all it would have taken were bodies crashing the net hard and few more shots on goal. Instead, the Hawks only managed two more shots on goal for the rest of the period. This let him time to compose himself and get the Canucks back into the game.
- Crawford certainly didn't have his best game of the year but the loss is far from pinned to his shoulders. The big stops he made early on are commendable but it wasn't enough as the Hawks were content to let skaters into the slot uncontested. The Canucks are one of the few teams that can pass just as well if not better than the Hawks, you have to make sure you've got a stick on anyone near the goal or the puck will find his tape.
- And just like that, Daniel Carcillo jumps near the top of the PIM leaders for the Blackhawks. If it wasn't for Jamal Mayers participating in a bit of fisticuffs of his own, Car Bomb would be on top for the team. I'm not sure what happened after his encounter with Rome but from the view I saw on TV it was Rome falling on top of Carcillo and almost immediately taking a few cheapshot punches. I'd normally hope he would show a little restraint there... but fuck it
- The defense is absolutely lost without Duncan Keith back there now. The clock is ticking on both Nick Leddy and perhaps more importantly, Niklas Hjalmarsson. Leddy started the season great but has regressed slightly in the past few games. Lets hope it is just a slump and he can break out of it soon because he doesn't have a ton of room to slide backwards right now. The lack of Keith means the Hawks have no true puck mover on the D right now and could be a need that needs to be addressed over a center come trade deadline time.
- The problem with Hammer runs a little deeper. He simply hasn't been the player he was in the 09-10 season. I know he had his stick tied up on the final Vancouver goal but we need more from him.
- The refs taking about 5 minutes to figure out whatever the hell it was they were trying to figure out after the Hawks goal didn't help anything.
- Really sucks when you just look forward to the end of the game so you can do something else. Oh well... on to St. Louis...