With 9 minutes to go in the first period, the ‘Hawks and ‘Yotes were knotted up in a 0-0 game. By the end of the period, it was 4-0 Chicago and the Coyotes looked like they wanted no part of the remaining 40 minutes. Dave Bolland opened the scoring by ripping one from the top of the circles past Bryzgalov. Jonathon Toews added his third goal in two games less than a minute later on a pass from Martin Havlat. Dave Bolland missed his second goal of the game on a redirection but Dustin Byfuglien was there to pick up the garbage and deposited it in the empty net. The onslaught ended when Patrick Sharp scored another back-door power play goal and the ‘Hawks went into the locker room up 4-0.
At this point, any sane coach would’ve yanked Ilya Bryzgalov but for some reason Gretz’ had him start the second period. With his team in front of him not offering any support, Bryzgalov helped ice the game for the ‘Hawks by letting in three more goals, two of which were as soft as pudding. He looked like he wanted no part of being out there but Gretzky left him in. Let us be reminded that it’s rumored this is a similar situation for why Savard was let go. In a preseason game, Huet was lit up by Columbus playing with the ‘Hawks B team and Savard left him in there the whole game rather than pulling him and letting the other goalie get barraged. I don’t see this ending well for the Great One.
The other story of this game will be the ending. The Mongoose decided he wanted to fill the ‘Hawks quota for enforcer by picking a fight with Kyle Turris with two seconds left. This was incredibly dumb on four different levels.
1) The Mongoose didn’t have his fighter strap on so when his jersey got tugged, it went right over his head resulting in a game misconduct.
2) The Mongoose got a game misconduct for an instigation penalty which can also result in a one game suspension. I thought it was automatic but according to Judd Sirott on the post-game show, the NHL looks into each scenario and decides if the punishment fits the crime.
3) Kyle Turris wears a visor. The Mongoose didn’t care and let loose with about four haymakers. Any one of those could have landed on Turris’ visor and ripped open his hand resulting in an injury that would sideline him for quite some time. Even as he was skating to the bench, the Mongoose was shaking off his hand and looked at it like it was stinging.
4) There was two seconds left in a 7-1 game! What good could possibly come out of a choice like that.
Regardless, that can’t take away from a game where the ‘Hawks absolutely dominated for 40 minutes. It is a fun sight when the ‘Hawks can dismantle a team and leave no doubt who is the better team. It’s still a new feeling for long suffering ‘Hawk fans and I don’t think it will ever get old.
Editors Note: Ok so according to Tim Sassone, there’s a pretty good reason why Phoenix let Bryzgalov take a whipping.
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov had to endure the beating with backup Mikael Tellqvist unable to play because of a lower-body injury.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Phoenix to not dress two goaltenders but at least I can let Gretzky off the hook. Now we’ll both be able to sleep tonight.