Last night's game might have been the most boring game I've ever seen that involved a hat trick. Usually a 4-0 game indicates one team completely dominating another. Last night was yet another adventure in the Blackhawks playing themselves right out of a game. While the Kings certainly deserved the win... the Blackhawks did everything they could to make it easy for them. It's a late wrap.. and we've got a preview to get to. Lets get to some bullets right away, shall we?
- Yes.. the Blackhawks power play and special teams are beyond any description. I'm fairly certain the refs were trying to hand the game to LA by letting their players take a nice and easy 2 minute break. At this point, I kind of want to see how long this streak can go on. We're so close to going all of February without a power play goal...
- Dustin Brown's shortie for a hattie is a pretty perfect example of how inept the Hawks have been. Leddy builds up a good amount of speed heading through the neutral zone and just before he gets to the blue line... he stops and dishes sideways. Turnover.. Mitchell springs Brown the other way. Ouch. I'm fucking shocked that somehow there are still 6 teams that have a worse power play % than the Hawks. How fucking terrible must they be?
- Completely disagree with the decision to pull Corey Crawford last night. He didn't have a fantastic game but he was clearly not the reason for the Hawks struggles. Pulling the goalie is a fine tool to use to wake up the rest of the team but probably not when your goalie is already struggling and might be a bit of a headcase. Not to mention, the Hawks also have another game today. So neither goalie is rested now.
- 19 shots is pretty pathetic. Add in the fact that the Hawks had 6 powerplays? Totally unacceptable. I'm never one to just yell "shoot" but... just fucking SHOOT!
OK.. lets just forget about this game and move on now.
It's been quite a turnaround this year for the Ducks. After putting together a 7-13-4 record, the Ducks got rid of coach Randy Carlyle and replaced him with the recently fired Haagen-Dazs enthusiast Bruce Boudreau. It's paid off in Anaheim as they've gone 19-12-6 since and they're 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. They're still out of the playoff picture but they're working their way back in to relevancy. They're only 6 points out but it'll be a hard battle since they've got a lot of teams ahead of them.
More after the jump...So what's the cause of the Ducks success? Jonas Hiller is certainly helping. He's been in net for all of the past 10 games and has allowed more than 2 goals in only 2 of those games. The Blackhawks struggle against hot goalies but have had some success against Jonas this year. He's started three games against the Hawks but hasn't won yet. He's allowed 11 goals against for a 3.92 GAA. So there's hope the Hawks simply have Hiller's number this year. Given their struggles to score in the last few games, the Hawks need any spark they can get.
Outside of Hiler, it's very likely that we get to see a bit of history tonight as Teemu Selanne could enter the top 20 of all-time scorers with another point. Selanne is having a remarkable year for a guy who is about 60 years old. Teemu has goals in all three games against the Hawks this year (all of them annoying) to go along with 2 assists. So while it's not a guarantee we'll see him enter the top 20... it's pretty much a guarantee.
The Hawks are in danger of entering another funk and now have to go through a team that's playing pretty damn well to get out of it. They've been here before so we'll see how they react.