Observations From Section 321 : Sloppy Firsts, Seconds and Thirds

The sloppy and shorthanded Blackhawks blow a late 3rd period lead and get beat by the Ducks 4-2.

Last night's game didn't start very well and it sure as heck did not end good for the Blackhawks either. The Hawks gave up a goal early in the 1st period and then gave up back to back goals just 64 seconds apart to blow a late 2-1 lead. Let's face it, the Hawks probably had no business having a lead late in the 3rd period in first place, but they did. They played a very sloppy game and were outplayed for the majority of the night. For most of the game the Hawks looked like they had reverted back to their bad defensive habits of the 2011-12 season. The forwards couldn't wait to start the rush going the other way and ignored their defensive responsibilities. The defensemen were sloppy and a step behind most the of game. There were too many turnovers trying to pass the puck through the middle of the ice. Despite all of this and missing two of their best forwards, the Blackhawks still almost won the game. That is the sign of really good hockey team.

The Ducks got on the board first when Peter Holland scored his 3rd goal of the year at 1:24 of the opening frame. The play started when Patrick Kane surprised Brent Seabrook with a pass from his blue line back towards the goal line. Seabrook misplayed the pass the the Ducks gained control of the puck. Daniel Winnik got the puck out to Luca Sbisa who fired a one timer wide of Corey Crawford's left side. The puck hit off the end boards and came right out to Holland who had a wide open stick side of the net. A lot of people wanted to blame that on Biscuit, but I feel the blame lays a bit more with Kaner for starting the play with an ill advised pass. Jonathan Toews got the Hawks even at 3:52 with his 2nd shorthanded goal of the season and his 15th overall. Tazer stepped up and blocked a Sheldon Souray slap shot at the blue line and was off to the races. The Hawks were out shot 11-4 and were thoroughly outplayed, but somehow were tied at the end of 20.

Jonathan Toews was instrumental in getting the Hawks a 2nd period lead. He drew a holding penalty on Souray, at 10:29, by skating hard to the net. He still nearly scored despite being pulled down by the Anaheim defenseman. The birthday boy, Nick Leddy, tallied his 4th goal of the season on the ensuing power play. Leddy blasted a shot from the point with Viktor Stalberg providing a screen in front of Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller. Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad assisted on Leddy's 2nd PPG on the year. Kane would miss a wide open net in the closing seconds of the period that would come back to haunt the Blackhawks.

It looked like the Hawks picked up and insurance goal and the hockey world would be turned over on its ear with a Brandon Bollig goal at 5:57 of the 3rd. The video replay showed a distinct kicking motion by Bollig and Toronto correctly ruled the play a no goal. Bobby Ryan was able to tie the game with just 5:27 left in the game when he took advantage of a juicy rebound off a Ryan Getzlaf slap shot. The ageless wonder Teemu Selanne gave the Ducks a lead just 1:04 later on another play setup by Getzlaf. This linesman who got in Brandon Saad's way, at the blue line, and caused him to turn the puck over, should have been given a secondary assist on the play. Sheldon Souray would add an empty net goal to finish off the 4-2 win for the Ducks.

* It is time to make a call up from Rockford. Brandon Bollig, Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers are just wasting roster spots. Gorilla Salad took three shifts last night for a grand total of 2:26 TOI. Why? You can't tell me Jeremy Morin or Ben Smith can't give you more than that! If Marian Hossa is going to miss any more time you need to bring somebody up. Patrick Kane can not keep skating as much as he has the last two nights. Despite the way he has played most of the year, he is not super human. A forward should never lead your team in ice time.

* Speaking of Bollig, I would not be surprised if he gets a call from the league regarding his high stick to Andrew Cogliano in the 3rd period that left him spitting out some teeth. Not sure how the officials on the ice missed it but the video never lies.

* The 2nd line got torched last night. Bolland, Kane and Jimmy Hayes finished a -9. Kane was on the ice for all 4 Anaheim goals, but why wouldn't he since he was one the ice the entire night? Conversely the 4th line provided the Hawks with some of their best scoring chances.

* Stan Bowman is hopefully looking for that elusive 2nd line center for the playoff run because it isn't Dave Bolland. He has been invisible most of the season and doesn't have the offensive skill to run a 2nd line. Sure, he is a great shutdown defensive center but he can't win an important draw these days to save his life.

*Corey Crawford deserved a better fate than he got last night. He kept them Hawks in the game but there are only so many times you can leave your goalie out to dry before it bites you in the ass. Crow looked very confident and aggressive playing at the top of his crease most of the night.

* Johnny Oduya had an off night as well, finishing a -3 and lead the team with 3 giveaways.

* Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were a combined +25 in Corsi last night. More of this please.

* Please don't get hung up on regular season losses, it doesn't change anything. If the media wants to anoint the Ducks the best team in the NHL, let them, it doesn't mean a thing. Being the best team in late June is better than being the best team in late March. Don't get angry if the Ducks overtake the Hawks for the top seed in the West. I remember the Blackhawks doing pretty good the last time the were the #2 seed. These two teams, at full strength, could give us a great playoff series if they should meet come June.

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 21:10 23 10 +13 -2 +14
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 16:04 13 14 -1 -4 +1
Brent Seabrook D 19:21 23 13 +10 -3 +11
Nick Leddy D 15:43 9 20 -11 -4 -9
Daniel Carcillo L 2:26 0 3 -3 0 -3
Marcus Kruger C 14:27 15 12 +3 -6 +5
Sheldon Brookbank D 17:11 9 21 -12 -2 -11
Jonathan Toews C 15:38 14 17 -3 -2 -2
Brandon Saad L 14:33 16 15 +1 -2 +2
Viktor Stalberg L 13:52 8 15 -7 -3 -6
Johnny Oduya D 19:41 15 20 -5 -5 -3
Bryan Bickell L 14:55 11 16 -5 -5 -3
Dave Bolland C 13:34 8 12 -4 -2 -3
Jimmy Hayes R 13:15 7 10 -3 0 -3
Brandon Bollig L 10:55 15 4 +11 -1 +11
Andrew Shaw C 14:05 11 16 -5 -4 -3
Michael Frolik R 13:15 16 6 +10 -1 +10
Patrick Kane R 23:25 19 23 -4 -4 -2

Ducks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Cam Fowler D 19:21 17 17 0 +6 -2
Luca Sbisa D 16:59 13 15 -2 +3 -3
Andrew Cogliano C 15:34 12 14 -2 +2 -3
Teemu Selanne R 15:02 17 13 +4 +4 +2
Bobby Ryan R 14:15 13 10 +3 +6 +1
Saku Koivu C 16:41 16 14 +2 +2 +1
Ryan Getzlaf C 15:38 15 15 0 +5 -2
David Steckel C 9:46 8 14 -6 +1 -6
Francois Beauchemin D 18:59 20 16 +4 +1 +4
Brad Staubitz R 6:39 3 12 -9 0 -9
Toni Lydman D 19:32 17 18 -1 +6 -3
Daniel Winnik C 18:17 20 16 +4 +2 +3
Matt Beleskey L 10:29 7 13 -6 0 -6
Sheldon Souray D 17:13 18 12 +6 +1 +6
Kyle Palmieri C 15:02 14 5 +9 +4 +7
Bryan Allen D 17:47 14 16 -2 +3 -3
Emerson Etem R 12:28 10 5 +5 +2 +4
Peter Holland C 13:13 11 5 +6 +2 +5