Nikolai Khabibulin said something very naughty to Corey Perry in Russian and backed it up. About 14 minutes into the first period with the score 1-1, there was a skirmish in front of the net and Corey Perry, the proud owner of seven goalie interference penalties this year, got mixed up in a war of words with Khabibulin. No doubt Khabibulin knew of Perry’s peskiness in front of the net and let it be known to him, it wasn’t going to be flying tonight. Khabibulin chased Perry behind and around the net to give him a piece of his mind and was still jawing at him as he skated to the Anaheim bench. I’d say Khabibulin got the final word.
With the help of Habby’s stellar goaltending and a very timely goal, the ‘Hawks started off another ‘biggest road trip of the season’ (for real this time) with a tough 3-2 win. The first turning point of the game came three minutes into the second when Corey Perry was alone on Khabibulin. Habby beat him to the far post, Sharp picked up the rebound, led a 3-on-1 the other way, gave it across to Duncan Keith who dropped the puck to Toews. Toews didn’t miss. The ten seconds of play completely knocked the wind out of Anaheim. They looked like they had conceded the two points and weren’t going to get off the mat.
Then the ‘Hawks decided to give Travis Moen an inch of daylight. Everyone knows you can’t do that. And by inch, I mean three quarters of the ice. The ‘Hawks got caught on the power play with four guys below the hash marks with less than a minute and a half in the period. Moen got a nifty pass from Drew Miller and was off to the races. He made it rain when he beat Khabibulin clean, low to the glove side. Predictably, this gave Anaheim a breath of fresh air going into the locker room for the third period.
Anaheim dominated stretches of the third by controlling the puck. A lot of the time, though, it looked like they were searching for the perfect play instead of just getting the puck to the net and crashing their big bodies on top of the ‘Hawks. Khabibulin stood strong at the end including a save on a re-direction that almost gave Edzo and Pat Foley a stroke. I couldn’t tell for sure if the shot was going to wide, but it still showed excellent reflexes on Habby’s part. This was a playoff win to a T. Big hits, big saves, wild swings of momentum. In the end, the team usually left standing is the one with the better goaltender. On this night, it was the ‘Hawks.
The ‘Hawks win makes me feel a lot better than when I was watching the game. A couple of things really got me red-faced. First of all, in the winter time, Comcast Sportsnet has either the Bulls or ‘Hawks on about every other night or so. You’d think they would make it a point to provide their viewers with an actual liveshot of the game in HIGH DEFINITION at all times. If you’re going to talk about watching games in HD, you’ll probably want to make sure your audience is actually getting the game in HD. I’d understand if the audio feed doesn’t work or some kind of minor malfunction but for them to have technical difficulties before the game even starts is unacceptable. If this were a one time thing, I wouldn’t care so much, but this seems to happen at least once every couple weeks. This is Chicago, the number three market in the entire country, sorry, shouldn’t happen. The HD was finally fixed for the last 5 minutes of the game. Thank goodness we still got to see Chuck Boden in high def though.
I get it, Pat Foley is an icon and I love that he’s back, but please for the love of all things holy, will somebody please buy him a media guide. When was the last time you saw Adam Burish on the power play? And when did Troy Brouwer turn into a menacing black man? These are mistakes you’ll hear on a nightly basis. Is he that old already he can’t tell the difference between guys? He was only gone for like three years. Do announcers age in dog years? Seriously though, at this point, if he calls Colin Fraser Murray Craven tomorrow night, I wouldn’t even bat an eye. That’s not a good sign.
Did I mention I was glad the ‘Hawks won tonight?