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Observations From Section 321 : A "Special" Loss

Hawks lose their second straight game via the skills competition and head to Calgary with 2 points in 2 games.

Rich Lam

Kind of a weird night to say the least, in Vancouver Friday. The Canucks started fast and seem to catch the Blackhawks flat footed a bit early on. Corey Crawford had to make a couple of key saves early but he was up to the task. Defenseman Alexander Elder put the Canucks up by a goal with just 4:18 left in the 1st period. Zack Kassian showed some great hands and vision to find the open Elder for his 3rd goal of the season. Thing 2 picked up his 5th assist as well on the play. Bryan Bickell back checked a bit too far on the rush and it allowed Elder to get to the net unmolested. It is starting to look like Vancouver is winning the Cody Hodgeson for Zack Kassian trade. This kid is a beast and I wish the Hawks had him. He is what Kyle Beach was supposed to be, instead being just a Grade A shit for brains.

The Hawks pretty much out played Vancouver the rest of the way. Roberto Luongo did what world class goaltenders do by standing on his head and making great saves. He was helped out by a couple of goal posts along the way to add to the Hawks frustrations. About midway through the 3rd period, Patrick Kane was finally able to get one past Luongo to tie the game up. Kevin Bieska got caught with his stick facing the wrong way which allowed Andrew Shaw's pass find Kaner. I still have no idea what Christopher Higgins was doing on that play. He was right in front of Kane and did nothing to prevent his shot. Patrick Sharp also was credited with an assist, his 5th, on Kaner's 3rd goal of the year.

The Blackhawks outplayed the Canucks during to overtime period, out shooting them 4 to 1. They even got a power play for the last 1:11 of the period but could not get one past Bobby Lu. In the end, the game came down to rookie Jordan Schroeder getting the only goal of a very curious shootout. Stop if you've heard this one before, but the puck trickled in between the legs of Crawford and over the goal line for the win.

* Special teams both kept the Blackhawks in the game and also cost them the extra point. The penalty kill was solid again, especially when the Hawks decided to take 3 straight dumb fuck penalties right after tying the game. They killed off a 40 second 2 man advantage late in the third that was essentially done all by Marian Hossa. The power play floundered at 0 for 5. One power play goal, in a big road game, would go an awfully long way. The only mustered up 5 shots on their power plays and did not get a single one during their late OT man advantage.

* Here is hoping Dave Bolland is not going to miss too much time. His apparent leg injury looked pretty serious at the when it happened. Even though the Hawks 2nd line was far too cute and ineffective last night, Bolland is a huge key to the Hawks long term success this year.

*Brandon Saad should have never switched to number 20. Jack Skille has cursed that number forever! Whoever wears it apparently loses all ability to finish a play. If Saad was still wearing 43 he would have at least 3 goals right now!

* What a goofy shootout last night. Again with the Patrick Sharp thing? Please somebody make it stop! Nick Leddy with the game on the line was a very curious move too. What does Hossa have to do to get on the ice in these situations? And Alain Vigneault's choices were just as strange. He sent out Kassian, Maxim Lapierre and Schroeder all over either Thing 1 or Thing 2 and still came out with the extra point. The Hawks suck at the shootout. Besides Jonathan Toews the rest of the team is a hot mess. And Crawford needs to learn how to close his legs during the shootout too! But, score a power play goal in regulation and then you do not have to go through the complete fucking sham that is a NHL shootout.

* Stop trying to make the cute pass and get to the front of the net!!!

* Alexandre Burrows is still the biggest queef in the NHL, but you already knew that.

The Blackhawks are right back at it tonight against the horrible Calgary Flames. Even with Ray Emery in net, the Hawks should erase the memories of going 0 for Alberta last season with a win. Preview and all that fun stuff coming later today.