The Hawks actually won this one? In regulation? Even with that bizarre first period?
Right from the start this was one hell of a game. First shift for Toews ends up with him roofing one over Nobokov to end his two game shutout streak and put the Hawks up in fine position for the rest of the game.
Halfway through the first Bolland put in another great chance to take a huge two goal lead with plenty of time left... wait.. what?
For those that didn't read the comments here's the rule:
78.5 Disallowed Goals – Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee and the appropriate announcement made by the Public Address Announcer for the following reasons:
(viii) When a Linesman reports a double-minor penalty for high-sticking, a major penalty or a match penalty to the Referee following the scoring of a goal by the offending team, the goal must be disallowed and the appropriate penalty assessed.
So the refs got it right.. no complaint there. Here's the bitching though - why not let the linesmen stop play? And if you don't want to change that - then why not set time back on the clock? It was 2-3 minutes of play before the Hawks goal.. what if it went longer? What if it had been later in the game and the period ended before a stoppage in play? Why just a double-minor high-sticking penalty?
Great to see the zebras also show how stupid the penalty is by putting the wrong Hawk in the box.. Granted VERSTEEG! and Kane are about the same size so it's not like when Foley confuses Kris and Buff..
Here's another complaint about stupid NHL rules - everyone seems to be under the assumption that a high-stick that draws blood is cause for a 4 minute in the box. Here's the actual rule though:
Double-minor Penalty - When a player or goalkeeper carries or holds any part of his stick above the shoulders of the opponent so that injury results, the Referee shall assess a double-minor penalty for all contact that causes an injury, whether accidental or careless, in the opinion of the Referee.
When injury results? So yeah, if there's blood.. that's an injury. What about a bruise? Just a bit sore? Others have railed on this stupid rule before but if it had cost the Hawks the game we'd have a hell of a lot more on it.. but it didn't. So fuck it.
Even though the Sharks were able to even up the game the Hawks didn't let up the attack. This was exactly the kind of game we've been waiting to see for a few weeks now. Every shift was on - Everyone was flying around creating chances, blocking shots, getting in the way and generally annoying the shit out of the Sharks. We saw some of that frustration come out late in the third when the Sharks really started throwing their bodies around. Thankfully the Hawks were smart enough not to take the bait and continue to stay on their game. Toews and VERSTEEG! both had great games - We'll still have to wait for Toews' first hat trick but I don't think we'll have to wait forever.
The Hawks finally showed they were able to beat a high-caliber team even if they do it while still going something around 11 for 89 on the face-offs (approx.) - that might be something they want to work on, but for now lets all just savor these two points and get ready for another trip up to Western Canada..