So I didn't actually see last night's game. I had other plans and missed the game but did make it home just in time to see the skill competition that ended the game. So I don't have anything to say for the game itself. As usual though - Fifth Feather, GOEL, and Hockee Night are all over it.
One special thing to note - my attempt at a reverse curse had odd results. Ruutu played a bizarre game from Fifth Feather:
–Tuomo Ruutu had a bizarre game. He negated two Carolina power plays. In the second, he was called for the ever popular ‘diving’ penalty and in the third period, he got a high sticking double minor. Then with just under a minute left, he got absolutely destroyed by Brent Seabrook, dusted himself off, and scored the game tying goal. In the shoot-out, Ruutu made one subtle move, and picked out a corner on Huet. Like I said, weird.
So it looked like it may have worked.. right up until he nets the goal to tie the game with 30 seconds left after a Hawk blowout. Interesting...
Take a look at the Shift Charts and CORSI ratings here though for a good sense of the game.
It's good to see VERSTEEG! out there playing on lines as a wing and actually returning to the player we saw earlier this year. Take away the albatross known as Byfuglien and our boy actually seems to remember how to play hockey again.
Lets talk about the shootout though since that's what I witnessed. Here's the video in case you want to watch it again - link
First of all - like many people - I hate the shootout. Sure there's the "bastardization of hockey" argument which is valid but there's also the "feel like I'm going to have a heart attack on every shot" problem. I can't stand watching a shootout because it really messes with my head - way too nerveracking for me. Why does it take so long to get started too? I felt like Toews was standing out there waiting to take his shot for 5 minutes.
Anyways, the Hawks hadn't been to a shootout since Dec. 6th when the lost to Detroit. They hadn't won a shoot out since Nov. 18th against the Yotes. Compare that to the Canes who won their last shootout on Feb. 26th and things get a little more intense with every shot.
Luckily Toews, as usual this year, was money. Kane was on his game too, even Bolland beat Ward only to come up hitting iron. The game came down to the Frenchman on the final shot and he was able to close up his 5 hole to keep Matt Cullen off the scoresheet and send it to extra rounds. VERSTEEG! put home a great shot and Frenchie came up big again on Samsononv for the victory.
Beating this team was no small task - as I said in the preview they were playing some great hockey going into the game while the Hawks were slumping. I wouldn't say the Hawks are out of it yet but with a lot of their key pieces coming back to the ice, along with the possible return of VERSTEEG! the Hawks could become dangerous again real soon.
Second City Player of the Game - Showing that he might have returned to the player we fell in love with earlier - it's