Hawks 3, Blow-Jays 3 (Hawks win staring contest after 11 arduous rounds)

I apologize for not getting this up sooner, but I was out enjoying myself before, during, and after the game last night because a very prolonged period of unpleasantness finally came to a close at work.

Last night's game was a little bit more wide-open than we've come to expect out of Columbus, which one would think would play into the Hawks' favor. And for the most part it did (from my perspective), with the Hawks dictating the play, despite being severely outshot in the first period. The first period also contained a slick shorthanded goal from VERSTEEG!, who performed the same toe drag move twice and managed to fake out three Blue Jackets, including goaltender Steve Mason.

Columbus took the lead on two unanswered goals in the second, neither of which was as pretty as VERSTEEG!'s, but they certainly got the job done. The second goal is one Cristobal Huet would undoubtedly like to have back, as a weak shot from a fading-away Sammy Pahlsson eluded him. Patrick Sharp would even the score on the man advantage, however, off of a feed so sweet from Patrick Kane that he actually had time to flub the pass, shank the shot, and still bury it.

I didn't get back to my seat in time to see Kris Russel's goal, so if you need a description of it, I'm sure you can find it elsewhere on the intertubes. However, the power play once again equalized things about four minutes later when Jonathan Toews redirected a Duncan Keith shot from the point. There were never any real threats going either way for the remainder of the game, both in regulation and OT.

Once again, the Hawks found themselves involved in a marathon shootout, mostly due to their own ineptitude. With Coach Q electing to defend first, Huet rose to each challenge, giving the Hawks a chance to end the spank-fest with the puck on their stick. However, the Hawks, for all the skill they possess, look like a dachshund dry-humping a throw pillow in the shootout. Only Marian Hossa dented the twine before Brent Seabrook, who is starting to have a knack for OT theatrics, mercifully ended things with a backhand that got past Mason.

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Player of the Game
While he did let in a softie against Pahlsson, stopping 10 of 11 in the shootout is quite fucking impressive.