Down The Stretch: Blackhawks 4 - Wild 4 (Wild Win Dodgeball)
We're in quite a precarious little position here as we close out the remainder of this regular season. With 80 games played and a spot in the playoffs a sure thing, it's now just a game of where do we fall and who will we face. We've all had the conversation of what spot is best of the Hawks in the comments, in the bars, with our pets, wherever.. If the Hawks had grabbed the extra point in the shootout last night, 4th place could still be an option. However, with Detroit doing what the Hawks couldn't last night, they now sit a point ahead with a game in hand. So it's not impossible for the Hawks to jump up but it's going to be a lot harder. Not to mention there's still the Predators who we're equal to in points but behind on tiebreakers. And just in case you were wondering - Scum play Scum Jr, Devils then Hawks to close out while the Predators will go against Wild, Stars and Avs. So Nashville has a much easier go of it and there's a couple question marks for the Wings.
But I digress, lets get to last night's tilt, shall we? Unbeknownst to all of us, these teams evidently don't like each other. Sure, there was the expected fight from Bollig but both Hayes and Shaw dropped the gloves as well. After the first was over, we had already seen 40 PIM between the two teams. We also saw 3 goals. Devin Setoguchi opened the scoring though the Hawks would be the ones to answer right back. After Dave Bolland's 18th dumb penalty in the last week, it was Dany Heatley who would put the Wild on top heading into the first break.
The second period calmed the teams down slightly (only 12 PIM this time) but saw a little more offensive action. Stalberg tied the game on a pretty little backhander as he continues to have a breakout year. The Hawks weren't much for momentum though as the Wild got two quick goals in response. Patrick Kane's "Fuck You" mode continues though - he scores the final two goals in regulation and a nice one in the shootout. It wasn't the prettiest of games and it may have doomed their chances at 4th. But it's not the end of the world either. To the bullets.
- I have no stats to back this up but it seems like the Hawks have been on both sides of goals on the first shift following goals. It happened three times tonight with both teams getting in on the action and once last night too.
- Andrew Shaw and Darroll Powe win the award for goofiest penalties of the night. Both were given Unsportsmanlike Conducts after a game of hockey stick dentistry in the faceoff circle. Bonus points for Shaw for getting the misconduct to go along with it.
- Is that the first time we've seen a penalty called for "Illegal check to the head"? I honestly didn't even know it was its own penalty. I just assumed they would call "Roughing".
- I mentioned it above, but Viktor Stalberg is really having a great season. In fact, the Sharpie and the Swedes line in general is really playing some dangerous hockey right now. I'm getting a tingly little feeling when I think of Toews' return so we can see Hossa playing with Daydream Nation. That could be a really nice top 6.
- While Ray Emery didn't have a horrible night, he wasn't great either. With two games remaining and Corey Crawford returning to early season form, I think we can finally declare a winner in the goalie debate.
- Perhaps no one is more excited for the return of Duncan Keith than Seabrook. He skated half the game again. Hopefully he gets some rest over the next three days.
- Devin Setoguchi has always annoyed the hell out of me and I really have no idea why.
- Every single forward had at least one shot on goal last night. Even Bollig had two.
- Keith is sure to be back and Toews is a question mark but one that is getting clearer to finding an answer. Thursday can't come soon enough