Honestly, in some way, I am happy the streak is over. I had so many nerves going into each game during the streak that I didn't know how much longer I was going to be able to take it. Breaking the streak allows everyone on the team an opportunity to refocus on the important goal of making it deep into the playoffs, and taking a shot at winning that shiny cup thing.
The Hawks played hard, but there aren't too many other positive things to say about last night's game.
Jonathan Toews opened up the scoring for the Hawks, and the game at 5:44 into the 1st, on a play started by Brandon Saad, he intercepted a pass in the Av's zone, Saad drops the puck to Toews, who skated towards the net and played a quick game of catch with Marian Hossa before hitting a wrister past a sprawling Varlamov.
That was about the only good play from the Hawks for the next 45 minutes.
During a hooking penalty by Lord Byron, Matt Duchene fired a shot/pass to Paul Statsny who was able to redirect it past Crawford to tie the game at one with 3:24 left in the 1st. Unfortunately, that wasn't the last time we heard Duchene's name last night as he would eventually spout off three more points.
Crawford was able to stop an Av's flurry of shots late in the 1st and the game went into intermission tied at one, while the Hawks didn't look as on top of their game as they did Wednesday night in Chicago, there was still hope that the Hawks could at least pull out a point to keep it going, but as we would find out it was not to be and the onslaught was soon coming.
In the fourth minute of the second period, the Hawks were in the Avalanche zone, Stalberg was crossing the middle and had an awkward collision with an Av's player, tipped a shot from Oduya but then went down in Colorado's zone. in the ensuing odd man rush back from the Av's, Matt Duchene was able to slip a back hander past Corey Crawford short side to give Colorado a lead that they would not give up. Some are calling the goal soft and others defend that a back-hander, especially on a quickly moving player is difficult to read. In my opinion, it was soft, and Crawford's night as a whole was soft, but it doesn't change the great work they have done so far this season.
Exactly 33 seconds later, John Mitchell opened up the Avalanche lead to two, on a wrist shot on what was really a bad defensive play by Marlboro 72, in a 2 on 2 rush into the zon. Both Keith and Seabrook couldn't seem to get into position and allowed Ryan O'Reilly to get a pass over to Mitchell and a shot past Crawford.
Four seconds into a Corey Crawford tripping penalty, on one of many face-off losses by the Blackhawks, Colorado was able to win the puck and drop it back to their point, where Ryan O'Reilly was able to rip a slap shot for yet another Avalanche goal. Matt Duchene got his third point for his second assist on the night.
Two minutes later the Avalanche weren't done when Matt Duchene (again) beat out Duncan Keith for an icing call and was able to drop a pass to Jamie McGinn in support, who shot a wrister past Crawford making it 5-1. Crawford would be replaced by Emery going into the third, in what was probably a move made a goal too late.
During the third, Bickell gave us a slim glimmer of hope when he was able to score the Hawks second goal, and his sixth of the season, making it 5-2. But that would be it from our men of four feathers and the Avalanche would add one more just for good measure from PA Parenteau.
Bryan Bickell was given a game misconduct and roughing penalty late in the third when Gabriel Landeskog gave what looked like an elbow to the back of Duncan Keith's head. Bickell came in to defend Keith and Landy obviously wanted nothing to do with Bryan. Bickell dropped his gloves while Landeskog turtled giving Bick's the misconduct.
*I don't know if Gabriel can expect a call for the elbow or not but it's tough to watch young players do this kind of thing. They are the future of the game and ambassadors for youth in the game, it's a culture change starting with the stars and captains. You can't be doing that kind of stuff.
*Crawford did not have a good night, stopping 14 of 19 shots for a .737 sv%. He should keep his head up and hopefully get the start tomorrow. I expect him to bounce back just like the rest of the Hawks after getting a nights rest. I think they were tired last night, hopefully Quenneville recognized that as well and will give them some rest before tomorrow.
*Hawks were terrible at the dot, winning 35% of the draws as a team. Even Captain Serious who is one of the best in the league only won 45% of his draws.
*The streak was going to end, I am surprised it was that bad, but I guess it makes sense. The important thing is that the Hawks don't turn this into a streak of losses and are able to rebound Sunday against the Oilers. I expect the Hawks fans to give them a warm reception in honor of the streak.