Observations From Section 321 : Check The Calander

Blackhawks lose in a shootout to the Coyotes as Mike Smith steals another game in Chicago.

Stop me if you've heard this before in April, but the Blackhawks completely outplayed the Coyotes yet lose the game because of Mike Smith and his lucky golden horseshoe. I could go back and copy and paste any one of my recaps from Games 1 through 5 of last year's playoff series and would not have to change much. It was frustrating to watch at times, and brought back 2012 playoff rage, but in the big picture, the Hawks dropped a meaningless game to a desperate team trying to stay alive in the playoff picture.

The Hawks got on the board first with a goal from their all of a sudden red hot power play, at 11:20 of the 1st. Patrick Kane won a puck battle in the corner and got the puck to Nick Leddy at the point. Leddy walked the puck into the middle of the ice and found Brent Seabrook all alone at the top of the left faceoff circle. Seabs blasted a one timer that deflected off of Zbynek Michalek, who was battling in front of the net with Andrew Shaw, and past Smith for a 1-0 lead.

The jubilation at the United Center did not last long as the Coyotes tied the game on a brutal goal just 36 seconds later. Rostislav Klesla flipped the puck in from center ice that hit the ice about 5 feet in front of Corey Crawford and bounced over his glove. Yep, the Crawford center ice goal shows its ugly face again. Radim Vrbata gave the Yotes their first lead of the night with his 9th goal of the year at 14:40. This goal is on Marcus Kruger who made a flat out dumb decision. He had the puck just outside the Coyotes' zone, but instead of going forwards he decided to pass the back into the zone where it was stolen by Rob Klinkhammer. It was a horrible play and hopefully one Kruger learns from and never does again.

The Hawks used yet another powerplay goal to even the game up at 3:39 of the 3rd period. Brent Seabrook scored his second of the night and 8th of the year, with the help of Kane and Leddy again. Kane drew the attention of the entire Phoenix team by skating towards the goal line. He then made a sick backhand centering pass to a wide open Biscuit who buried the one timer past Smith. I have no idea how Kane even saw him, let alone got the puck to him.

The Coyotes played tough in the 3rd period and overtime. They had more shots in the 3rd than they had in the first 40 minutes combined. But, the teams when into a shootout where a hard fought hockey game turned into a game of chance. David Schlemko, of all people, sealed the win for the Coyotes with his goal in the 3rd round of the shootout.

* I thought Corey Crawford played a pretty good game despite the horrible bouncing center ice goal. At one point the Yotes had 2 goals on 6 shots and the UC crowd was getting restless and angry at Crow. That is except for the couple behind me who thought Ray Emery was in net all night. Crawford would settle down and stop the rest of the 25 shots he saw in the game, including 18 in the 3rd period and overtime. Not even going to worry about his shootout performance because in another week we would have to worry about it until next October.

* We got the full spectrum of Mike Smith, the world class douche nozzle, last night. We got it all, the lucky saves, the over dramatic glove save, and of course the flopping. Smith did another great sell job to draw a penalty on Bryan Bickell late in the 3rd period. Bickell's skate lace might have grazed him and Smith went down faster as if there was sniper in the 300 level. As much as he gets my blood boiling, I do take great pleasure in knowing he will be working on his short game instead of his rebound control in a week.

* I take back all the bad things I have said about Brent Seabrook all season long. He is doing exactly what I hoped he'd do and become his normal self by playoff time. He has become a weapon on the power play and watching him dump Andrew Vermette on his ass in the 3rd was great. The change in Seabs' game started when he was paired up with Nick Leddy. This was a bold move by Q that is paying off. I am not really surprised because when Leddy and Biscuit were together last season they worked very well together.

* Speaking of Nick Leddy, as I pointed out during Friday night's game, having him and Patrick Kane on the same power play unit is only going to lead to good things. In the last two games the Hawks are 4 of 6 with the man advantage and Kane and Leddy have combined for 5 assists on those PPGs.

* Dave Bolland must have had playoff flashbacks last night because he looked a bit like the real Rat. He played good defense and blocked some shots. He pretty much looked like he wanted to be there, for the first time in a long time. We even got to see a little Dave Trolland late in the 3rd period. Bolly was left behind in the offensive zone when the rush started heading the other way. He used this time to skate by Mike Smith and give him a little love tap with his stick. Playing the Canucks tomorrow should get keep his troll juices flowing. This is a good sign heading into the playoffs.

* Boy Phoenix is really going to screw with Bettman and the realignment if they go to Quebec next year. That's why I think Seattle is what the league would want because you can keep them in the same division and it would actually be less travel for most of those teams. I would love to see them move to Quebec, just so Bettman has to tell the Wings they are back in the West. That would be so much fun to watch unfold!


* Finally, a stick tap goes out to Boston native Keith Yandle who wore the Martin Richard on the back of his jersey during warmups. A great way to honor the memory of the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon tragedies. Well done sir.

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 20:38 17 18 -1 -1 -1
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 17:33 12 15 -3 -2 -2
Brent Seabrook D 16:17 26 13 +13 0 +13
Nick Leddy D 15:58 19 13 +6 0 +6
Marcus Kruger C 10:27 7 9 -2 0 -2
Sheldon Brookbank D 12:52 14 14 0 -1 +0
Jonathan Toews C 15:48 14 12 +2 0 +2
Brandon Saad L 14:32 17 10 +7 -2 +8
Jamal Mayers R 6:48 6 7 -1 -1 -1
Viktor Stalberg L 11:18 16 14 +2 +2 +1
Michal Handzus C 8:22 8 6 +2 -3 +3
Johnny Oduya D 13:32 16 11 +5 0 +5
Bryan Bickell L 11:01 14 14 0 0 0
Dave Bolland C 12:18 11 8 +3 0 +3
Andrew Shaw C 10:49 14 13 +1 0 +1
Michael Frolik R 6:17 6 6 0 -1 +0
Marian Hossa R 16:21 16 11 +5 0 +5
Patrick Kane R 16:26 15 10 +5 +1 +5

Coyotes Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Keith Yandle D 20:19 19 21 -2 +1 -2
Zbynek Michalek D 19:57 10 18 -8 -1 -8
David Schlemko D 15:49 11 18 -7 +1 -7
Martin Hanzal C 15:45 13 11 +2 +2 +1
Paul Bissonnette L 2:42 1 4 -3 0 -3
Chris Conner R 10:18 12 12 0 0 0
Boyd Gordon C 12:16 9 15 -6 -1 -6
Rostislav Klesla D 15:28 19 18 +1 +2 +0
Radim Vrbata R 16:09 15 15 0 +2 -1
David Moss R 12:39 9 12 -3 -1 -3
Shane Doan R 15:04 16 20 -4 +1 -4
Oliver Ekman-Larsson D 12:25 5 14 -9 -1 -9
Kyle Chipchura C 8:40 4 11 -7 -1 -7
Michael Stone D 12:59 20 15 +5 +2 +4
Rob Klinkhammer C 12:02 11 11 0 -1 +0
Alexandre Bolduc C 5:52 4 8 -4 +1 -4
Antoine Vermette C 14:36 16 20 -4 +1 -4
Mikkel Boedker L 14:15 13 11 +2 +2 +1