Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2 (OT)

It’s been awhile but the Hawks finally collected two points at the United Center.  That’s not to say it was easy.  The Hawks went into the dressing room after two dominant periods and held a measly 2-1 lead.  With the way things have been going, it was hardly a comfortable lead.

Then three and a half minutes into the third, Corey Perry weaved around Niklas Hjalmarsson as Corey Crawford gave him the entire right side of the net to shoot at.  Perry hit it and it was deja vu all over again.

The Hawks and Ducks traded chances the rest of the way in.  Tomas Kopecky had different ideas though with a minute left in regulation.  Kopecky, needlessly and foolishly, drilled a Duck into the boards and he went off for boarding.  For the second straight night, the Hawks had to kill off a penalty 4-on-3 in overtime. 

They survived it.  And then they won it. 

Brian Campbell gathered the puck along the boards and he is wont to do, he spotted his partner, Duncan Keith, wide open.  Keith put a nice slap pass towards the net and Viktor Stalberg tipped it right past Jonas Hiller for the game-winner.  The goal was Stalberg’s second in as many nights. 

Other Thoughts  

Duncan Keith giveth and Duncan Keith taketh.  After gift-wrapping the Ducks first goal by coughing up the puck in the slot, Keith’s pass in overtime is how Norris Trophy’s are won.  Forgetting about the goof-up resulting in Anaheim’s first goal, Keith played one of his better games of the season.  He gets going and so will the Hawks. 

–Do you realize it’s been six games since the Hawks held a 2 goal lead?  In four of those games, they also scored the first goal of the game.  You’d think they could accidentally score the second goal one of these times.  

–Pat Foley gave Jonathan Toews some tough love during the broadcast.  Early in the first, Toews missed a chance to extend the Hawks lead when he tried passing the puck to Patrick Kane on a 3-on-2.  The conversation moved towards Toews’ season and Foley said something along the lines of “You can keep saying look at how many chances he’s getting, but at some point, he has to produce.” 

Whoa.  Has Foley finally awoken from his two year slumber?  Of course, after Keith’s mess up led to the first goal, Edzo came up with a full menu of excuses for Duncan Keith.  Maybe we should’t start nominating them for Emmy’s just yet.  

–Six goals and four assists for Viktor Stalberg thus far.  I’m just going to go ahead and pat ourselves on the back for picking another fantasy breakout sleeper.  In 19 games this season, Stalberg has almost matched his output from 40 games of play last year.  I still don’t understand the logic of how a ‘1st line’ player like Stalberg can’t sniff power play time while ‘4th liner’ Troy Brouwer anchors the second unit, but I suppose in due time, this will correct itself.

–Speaking of the lines, the bottom two lines are still a horrific work in progress.  The Hawks are essentially icing two number one lines and two fourth lines.  Of their top six forwards, only Viktor Stalberg didn’t crack the 20 minute mark tonight.  No one on their bottom six cracked the 12 minute mark.  

I think a big reason for that is all the tight games the Hawks have been playing and Joel Quenneville doesn’t want to toss away points by getting too cute with certain match-ups.  Assuming they rattle off some comfortable wins here soon, we’ll probably start to see the ice times not be so top heavy. 

*On the Farm*

Rather than the traditional run-down of statistics from the weekend, here’s the biggest items to come out.

–Rockford continues to struggle mightily.  They got swept in San Antonio on Thursday and Friday by scores of 1-0 and 3-2.  The IceHogs are tied for last place in their division with the Chicago Wolves.  Unlike when some of the current Blackhawks were cutting their teeth in the A and were one of the top teams in the league, the combination of shoddy goaltending and lousy veterans are too much. 

So while the knee-jerk reaction may be to say the young prospects aren’t that great because their team is bad, it’s not a fair assessment just yet.

Also I’ve noticed some recent rumblings about calling up Kyle Beach.  Maybe this might change your mind.  No one outside of the Blackhawk organization has watched more IceHog hockey this season than Block.  His pain brings us more knowledge and we thank him for that. 

–1st Round pick Kevin Hayes sprained his knee at practice this weekend and is expected to be out for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  That’s kind of a bummer.

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11 Responses to Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2 (OT)

  1. Dominic says:

    You really think the bottom two lines are that horrible? It is the only place we have plus players? Dowell is playing solid hockey, Skille (while deficient on the defensive end at times) creates chances/draws penalties. Pisani has been solid defensively and showing a bit more offensively. Think that line with Kopecky and Brouwer will gell nice. All in all the beating to death the depth guys and bottom line guys we have is way overplayed. Whenever given chances they have been solid. Sure be nice to get a little more offense out of third line, but would wager that our 5 or 6 4th line goals to be among league leaders.

    Gonna go out on a limb though today and announce that the hawks will trade Brouwer to Toronto for Lebda..then Morin comes up and plays third line.

  2. Patrick says:

    What, no Walking Dead comments? Oh wait, the Hawks won…

    Just kidding – good show on both accounts last night.

  3. alpo says:

    Don’t agree with trashing bottom two lines. They are slowly improving and it’ll take time for them to adjust. We’ve been spoiled past two years with ability to roll four lines. Hjarmalsson, Keith, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Kane etc have not been playing up to their abilities. Before the season I hoped the continued improvement of Toews and Kane into elite status would reduce the effect of the purge. So far not so good.

    Walking Dead….Shane definitely put an ass whooping onto Ed. How he survived that I have no clue.

  4. Dave Morris says:

    Hm, the trade rumors begin already…Brouwer for Lebda, eh.

    Good write up, FeatherMen.

    Not having having seen Young Beach play I won’t attempt to offer an opinion but the shellacking he is taking from certain quarters means that he must actually have some talent.

    Les Hawques finally got TRAFFIC TO THE NET…hence, they won.

    PS Mr Corey Crawford looks more and more like a legit NHL netminder, and I seem to remember he got slagged by certain observers in the recent past.

    And now, Ladies and Gents, The Circus Trip. Hm, Hawks need to go 3-1-2 at the very least. IMHO.

  5. John says:

    Reading comprehension is important. I never said the bottom two lines were horrible, just that right now they have 2 4th lines. Nor did I say there was anything wrong with Dowell or Skille. They need a legitimate 3rd line. Right now, they don’t. Sorry for asking a little more than Fernando Pisani as a 3rd line center.

    I don’t like putting any in-depth thoughts on the Walking Dead in the body just in case someone hadn’t watched it yet. Very good episode again last night. I don’t recall watching a show with the kind of range it has. One week, it’s balls to the wall action and then the next week, it’s a well thought out drama.

  6. feyer says:

    I still don’t know what to think about moving Bolland into top 6 territory. He has been a fixture on the 3rd line for ages, and maybe his absence from there does turn the 3rd line into a fourth line. Going back to the Havlat days, the Hawks have had the luxury of a real good shut down line, but there hasn’t been the right combination to make it click this year.

  7. william says:

    No thoughts on the Saturday game in Nashville?

  8. John says:

    Losing in a shootout to a divisional opponent blows. Bobby and I were both unavoidably detained on Saturday night so by the time either of us had a chance to recap the game, a new one was already starting.

  9. Marts says:

    I like the OT result last night because it had that “monkey off the back” feel to it. The Hawks, for all tense and purposes, chased the Ducks up and down the ice last night. For me, that was the 3rd game in a row where they carried more of the play. Admittedly I might be off on the Nashville game because my wife invited people over for dinner so I wasn’t glued to the TV (WTF?). Anyway, I digress… it was starting to feel like a team that was getting things moving in the right direction only to be snake bit aroudn the net, gripping the sticks etc. (fill in your favorite cliche here).

    Not that they shouldn’t, but the guys were all smiles and seemed realyl happy that they ended that game prior to the shootout. Maybe I’m just extolling my feelings onto what I saw on the ice after the game, but I’ve got to think that win was/finnish was good for the psyche…

  10. Marts says:

    Jesus, and I’m typing like I’ve got 3 thumbs on one hand and 9 fingers on the other. Sorry… should be able to figure out the gist of my post.

  11. AC says:

    I would really like to see them change up the 2nd powerplay forwards. Brouwer, Bolland and Kopecky? When I see them out there I start to look around for chores to do around the house for 40 seconds, so I can be back for the real PP unit. I would prefer to see Stalberg out there for Kopecky, among other things.

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