Well that game was about as pleasant as the thought that Dany Heatley might one day reproduce; a combined 46 shots for two teams that looked like they'd rather be doing something other than playing game 81 of the season.
The Hawks controlled the opening frame, getting a handful of quality chances on Josh Harding while yielding very little going the other way. Jamal Mayers opened the scoring midway through the period off of a nice effort by Michael Frolik. Fro took the puck off the draw, shielded the puck as he carried it behind the net, and wheeled & fired from the left circle, causing a rebound that Jammer was able to tuck home.
The teams traded some chances in the second, but both netminders were up to the challenge, and the Hawks took a one goal lead into the third. In the final frame, the Hawks looked like a team that wanted to coast to a one goal win while obtaining that first elusive shutout. A late Bryan Bickell penalty lead to the Cal Clutterbuck equalizer on a redirected point shot.
The Men of Four Feathers had a bit of jump in extra time, and the puck possession was solid, but they couldn't get but 1 shot on Harding, and the teams headed to their second shootout in 5 days to determine the victor. Also for the 2nd time in that 5 day span, Devin Setoguchi netted the game winner and put us all out of our misery.
To the Bullets, one of which will undoubtedly require a video review......
- I'm not sure how the Bryan Bickell play wasn't ruled as a goal on the ice, but that ruling probably cost him the goal. The reviews that we had access to were in no way conclusive.
- I'm certainly not saying that I love me some Devin Setoguchi, all I'm saying is that it'd be nice if Patrick Sharp could execute the same high glove shootout move. I've seen Sharpie do something similar (a couple years ago in Detroit comes to mind), but it doesn't happen nearly enough.
- I've got no real beef with the Wild Organization as a whole, but as long as they employ Dany Heatley, I will take enjoyment in each year that they fail to make the playoffs.
- It was a fairly shitty game for Patrick Kane tonight; he didn't have much jump, and he made several lackadaisical plays with the puck. It's a shame that Kane and Hoss couldn't get anything going, because I thought The Jimmy had a handful of determined shifts that went for naught.
- Hey, BMO has a pulse! Despite Morrison being essentially useless for the Hawks this season, I was quietly rooting for him to get his first point in the Indian Head. He had a sure goal go off the pipe, and caught a tough break on the Bickell redirect, which he would've received an assist for. Maybe BMO will get another shot in the season finale against Scum, but I'm hoping that's the last time we see him in a Hawks uniform.
- The big plus tonight was the showing from the 4th line. Bollig-Mayers-Fro had a few very effective shifts, especially before Mike Yeo was able to get Koivu and Co out against them on a couple of different occasions. The personnel decisions with the fourth line come playoff time is still one of the big question marks for this team, but Michael Frolik definitely made his case to be the first one called in from the press box when the time comes.
- What else can we really say about special teams at this point? A fully healthy Hawks squad is one that can do some damage in the playoffs, but can they really win 16 games with that powerplay? Sure, Toews and Bolland will help on the man advantage, but even they can't help the issues that this coaching staff has continually failed to correct. 11 minutes of powerplay time and the best chance they got came on the first delayed penalty call. Minnesota's PK is average at best, and they killed 11 minutes with relative ease. What are the Hawks going to do in the third period of a tight playoff game when they're up a man and down a goal to the Kings (#3 PK), Nucks (6), Blues (7), Yotes (8), or Preds (10)?
- At least Q evenly distributed the TOI amongst the Dmen this evening. You know when OD skates over 16 minutes that Q is basically saying "well, whatever happens, happens."
- If you haven't figured it out yet, the Hawks are a regulation win on Saturday away from the 5th seed and a first round date with Nashville. A handful of the throbbing hockey brains around here laugh at the thought that the statistically deficient Preds should be feared in any capacity; I hope they're right, but I'm not so sure.