Game 3: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

The rule, as always, is don’t mess with a team owned by the NHL.

With another twist of the knife, the series between the Coyotes and Blackhawks continued to state its case as one of the worst officiated playoff series in NHL history.  It started a few hours before the game when Brendan Shanahan finally decided to slap a three game suspension on Andrew Shaw.  Nevermind, he could have made the decision on Sunday or Monday.  Rather, he waited until everyone was already at the rink getting ready for the game keeping the Hawks lineup in a state of limbo until the last possible moment.

Then, Raffi Torres murdered Marian Hossa early in the first period.  One of the Hawks team leaders was carried off the ice in a stretcher after Torres…well you know what happened.  Instead of a traditional 5 minute major and game misconduct given normally on such plays, Torres escaped scot-free with Brandon Bollig receiving the only penalty, that of a 2 minute minor and 10 minute misconduct leaving the Hawks with 10 forwards to play against Phoenix’s 12 for the majority of the game.

It caught up to the Hawks in the late stages of the game as the team appeared not only emotionally exhausted, but physically as well.  Phoenix kept coming and it was only a matter of time the game was theirs.  (Of course, if the Hawks had a goalie capable of stealing a game once in a while maybe we’re not having this discussion but alas.)

–Any time the Hawks second defensive pairing wants to become engaged in this series is fine by me.  Johnny Oduya has been a rumor thus far and Nick Leddy is so afraid of contact he makes Brian Campbell look like Larry Robinson.  Meanwhile, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith are asked to shoulder incredibly high minutes at the behest of their inadequate teammates.

–Normally, losing a game with the Coyotes missing Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpokoski would feel like a blown opportunity.  But with the extenuating circumstances leading up to and during the game, it’s not hard to see why the Hawks struggled to find any kind of wind.  Just six hours before puck drop, they were still waiting to hear if their teammate was suspended and still answering questions about the play.  Then once the game began, the moment they started to find their legs, one of their teammates dies on the ice.

I fully expect in Game 4 to see a much different Blackhawks team.  Just about everything has gone against them thus far and yet they’re only down two games to one.  At some point, the cream rises to the top and those shots ticketed over Mike Smith’s shoulder start hitting twine.

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12 Responses to Game 3: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

  1. Jim says:

    I think the circus that the NHL has become has superceded the games themselves.

    NHL management is a bunch of clowns. For league rule “enforcement” they hire a thug in Shanahan who sympathizes with Shea Weber for smashing Zetterberg’s head into the glass a few times as “reactionary”. I am bracing for the Raffi Torres verdict. Anything less than a suspension for the rest of the year, followed by at least 10 games without pay next year will be too little.

    What the NHL should do, of course, is fire Shanahan and hire an objective attornney to do the league enforcement. And not an ex hockey player thug who sympathizes with head smashing, face punching, concussing, and other physical violence not related to the game.

  2. Otter says:

    I’m done with Nick Leddy. The guy isn’t ready to be a defenseman in the NHL. He’s got a ton of skill and talent and a bright future… but he shouldn’t be on the ice unless it’s a power play.

    Get well soon Hossa.

  3. Tom says:

    The Hawks looked lifeless out there last night, following the Hossa hit. Sure, the quick high they got from scoring a couple of goals was nice, but it faded quickly. Phoenix and the NHL picked the wrong bone to steal from the dog.

  4. Cam says:

    Apparently, Brandon Saad will take Hossa’s place in the lineup. I’m shocked. He is capable of delivering bone-shattering hits and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing some.

  5. Nick says:

    Completely on board with your analysis. I have friends who are so negative about the Hawks being down 2-1 and your thoughts pretty much echo my own. Eventually, the Hawks are going to bust out and put up 5 or 6 on Smith and begin the ruining of him much like LOLuongo.

    Get well soon Marian.

  6. ArlingtonRob says:

    You’re an optimist, and I hope you’re correct, but I’m pessimistic that this Hawks team has anything left in the tank. We will all find out thursday.

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around what we’re seeing across the league in this years postseason. The last several years have given us great hockey, great matchups, exciting play, and little garbage. This year the players, and the league itself seem to have lost their minds. What the heck is in the water?

  7. jm says:

    Well I was hoping we’d get a chance to see Saad in the playoffs, although this wasn’t the reasoning I had in mind.

    Still, I love me some new talent, and am really excited to see this kid in action.

  8. Cam says:

    Q fined 10 grand for his accurate comments about the officiating in game 2.

    Good thing the league has its priorities in line.

  9. Jim says:

    Loss, bummer. Looks like the Blackhawks style of play just isn’t working, although they have plenty of talent. They are built to run and gun, and these teams like Phoenix, LA Kings, St. Louis, Nashville prefer to have a great goalie, clog things up and wait for turnovers.

    It’s not over yet, but it is irritating to see a team with the likes of be-yotch flopper Mike Smith and punk Raffi Torres advance over the Hawks.

  10. Cam says:

    I vehemently disagree with the plenty of talent notion. This team has carried too much dead weight since the start of last season.

    Those other teams play defensive systems and forecheck. It’s why the Blues are shutting down the Sharks again with a guy who barely won their backup position. The Hawks lose every physical battle for the puck whether it’s along the boards, behind the net or in traffic in the middle of the ice. They do not matchup well with teams that play the way Phoenix and Nashville do. Oh, and they have goalies who allow pucks that aren’t even shot to get past them.

  11. Jim says:

    With talent, I guess I was referring to our “core”, Toews, Sharp, Kane, (Hossa the first couple of games), Stalberg. Those guys came up big with the empty netters, but not so much during the games. Board battles and digging aren’t really their thing. Cleary the triumverate of Crawford, Leddy, and O’Donnell has been the margin of difference that the Coyotes exploited.

    The style that is winning is set defenses, great goaltending, and clogging the zones. Look at our finals LA Kings, Preds, Blues, and Coyotes. For me, that’s not very entertaining. I want to see guys like Kane, Toews, Malkin, Crosby run and gun.

  12. Pabs says:

    Bummer loss aside, was that a Blackhawk Bob sighting toward the end of the National Anthem last night?

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