This Ain't No Picnic: Blackhawks 4 - Avalanche 4, Lanche Win Red Rover
Well I think it's safe to say that the Blackhawks don't have the greatest record when playing after big PR moves and ceremonies. They lost to the Sharks after the "welcome back" for Stan and Bobby, they lost the banner raise and now tonight, they lost after the statues were unveiled. I know they did win on Tony-O night... but that totally fucks with my theory so we're just going ignore it, ok?
That's not to say the Hawks played poorly. They certainly did not. While they at one point found themselves trailing by two goals they were able to tie it up and take the lead before allowing the Avs to tie it up a win in the skills competition.
- While I haven't gone back to look at any actual date - it seems the Hawks are victims early of some tip in goals. Paul Stastny and David Jones' goals come to mind here... Stastny's goal was the result of solid positioning on his part and lack of coverage from the Hawks. He was allowed prime real estate right in front of the net with Bolland being the only Hawk near by. Jones' goal came from a tip off of Seabrook that handcuffed Crawford and ended up in the net.
- Of course the Hawks had a few lucky breaks of their own with Hossa scoring a tip and Jamal Mayers' low shot bouncing around off O'Byrne's feet before finding the net.
- The Avs didn't only fall back on luck though.. or at least Gabriel Landeskog didn't. Both of his goals were beauties and make me think we'll be cursing his name for some time to come. He took advantage of the Hawks 3rd pairing for his first, coming hard to the net directly from the bench. Steve Montador failed to tie him up and O'Reilly found his stick for a nice tap in. His game tying goal late in the third was again a great follow up on the play, taking advantage of a slight miscommunication from the Hawks. I'm fairly surprised they didn't let him go in the shootout just to rub some salt in the wound.
- Jonathan Toews is slowly powering up to the fuck you mode that Kane and Hoss have been operating on for the season so far. He came so damn close to getting another career highlight reel goal but had his stick tied up at the last minute and didn't get a shot away. That didn't stop him from leveling Hejduk after the whistle though.
- Toews also seems to have an early snarl to his game this year. Perhaps he's simply determined to not repeat mistakes from last year but he's bringing a nice physicality to his game that isn't always there. He does seem to be complaining more to the refs about calls he feels they've missed more often too... or is that just me?
- Duncan Keith had another solid game with two assists but ends up with an even 0 for the night on plus/minus. His keep in on the blue line and subsequent low hard shot to set up Toews' goal was great to see.
- One mission accomplished - stay out of the box.
- I know it's only happened two times so far but the Hawks have yet to convert in the shootout. Even the usual clockwork Toews has missed twice. Q, always one to hit the panic button fairly early, even sent Stalberg out there... first. Weird
- At least Scum finally lost too?