Blackhawks 6, Flames 5 (OT)

That’s one way to steal two points.

Twelve minutes into the game the Flames jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead.  And really, you could blame anyone during that time frame and you wouldn’t be wrong.  Colin Fraser, Cristobal Huet, Antii Niemi, Cam Barker, Brian Campbell, Jay Blunk, Duncan Keith, Tommy Hawk, no one was blameless in the opening frame.

The Hawks came out completely flat and the Flames looked like a 4-1, head of the class, Western Conference team.  Every loose puck, there were two Flames on the puck and one Hawk getting pummelled into the glass. 

The onslaught began with Dustin Boyd burying a one-timer in front after a Cam Barker giveaway and a Colin Fraser missed assignment.

Forty-five seconds later, Eric Nystrom fluttered home a scramble in front of Huet.  Then fifteen seconds later, Duncan Keith was caught napping as Jarome Iginla blew right past him, Olli Jokinen sprung him, and he buried the breakaway.

After a time-out and Cristobal Huet’s banishment to the bench, Antii Niemi looked like a goalie who has all of 6 NHL appearances under his belt.  He let in two completely unacceptable goals from Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen.  Those two goals seemed like they were going to be back-breakers for the Hawks.

Then with just under two and a half minutes left in the opening frame, John Madden picked up his second goal in as many games when he banged home a Cam Barker rebound.  

In the second period, Patrick Kane decided it was time for him to take over.  Within a seven minute span, Kane racked up a goal and two assists.

He’ll probably have to pay copyrights to Martin Havlat for his goal seven and a half minutes into the second.  Kane picked up the puck in the corner, skated around the top of the circle, waited for all the traffic to get in front, and then quickly snapped off a shot in the top corner. 

Six minutes later, he feathered a beautiful pass to Dustin Byfuglien on a 2-on-1.  Byfuglien put a nice move on Mikka Kiprusoff himself, and the Hawks cut the deficit to 5-3. 

Just thirty seconds after that, Dave Bolland finished off a scramble in front that originated from a pretty Patrick Kane tip courtesy of a Brian Campbell point shot. 

Within a 20 minute span, the Hawks cut the 5 goal deficit to 1.

By the five minute mark of the third period, the comeback was complete.

The Hawks ran a set face-off play in Calgary’s zone.  Toews won the draw back to Andrew Ladd.  He chipped it back to Duncan Keith.  While this was happening, Patrick Sharp streaked across the slot.  By the time Keith’s shot was heading towards the net, Sharp knocked the puck out of the air and it went right between Kiprusoff’s legs (It wouldn’t be the last time).

When the game reached overtime, the Hawks had to feel incredibly fortunate they were going to walk out of the building with a point after their horrendous start.  Calgary probably wasn’t too thrilled they had to split the extra point after they jumped out to such an enormous lead.

Barely thirty seconds into the overtime, a loose puck in the Flames end found its way on Brent Seabrook’s stick.  He dragged the puck in tight to his body and shot a low one towards the net.  The puck appeared to glance off one of the three Flames’ standing in front of him and found it’s way right between Kiprusoff’s legs for the game-winner.

With that, the Hawks claimed their only lead of the game and they quickly fled the scene before anyone could charge them with grand larceny.

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25 Responses to Blackhawks 6, Flames 5 (OT)

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Had the Hawks not won this one, they could have been charged with mental cruelty.

    Q said it. ”A pretty amazing game. From the worst to as good as you can get.”

    So, Popeye Madden does it again. Those servings of spinach between periods have to become a habit. Maybe even a pregame meal.

    And will Q have any hair left before season’s end?

  2. Lou says:

    Wow. You said it best. I think it was a huge wake-up call that the Hawks needed. We aren’t good enough where teams are gonna hide just because they come here. We are the hunted now and everyone is gonna come at us. But they showed some grit. I wonder if Sutter has let them sleep yet or are they still doing Herbies?

    Huet just doesn’t seem to get it. Turnovers or not. He has to make a big save real, real soon. Niemi started off shakey but he flat out stonewalled Jokinen and that seemed to shift the momentum.

    Barker has cost us nearly a goal a game with his defensive play. God I wish we had Burish instead of Fraser and I think Jack Skille is auditioning to be part of an immenient trade.

    And no we do not need an enforcer, goon or thug. Brouwer did exactly what he was supposed to do. Not to back down eventhough he was gonna get his ass kicked.

    This was actually Madden’s first goal the other was changed to Ladd. The guy adds hustle and plays true two way hockey and makes a difference.

    There were some analysts stating that we had no one to fill the Havlat void. Havlat is having what kind of year so far??? And Kane and Sharp are just filling that void and then some.

  3. John says:

    The credit for the save on Jokinen should go to Olli just as much as Niemi. On the replay, it looked he just gently placed it right in his glove. I wouldn’t start showering Niemi for turning around the momentum of the game based on a save he barely had to make.

    Yes, it would be nice if Huet could make a big save every once in a while, but I’m pretty he sure he understands he’s not playing up to standards.

    I’ll take Brouwer off the ice for five minutes in exchange for the other team’s best player every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  4. No... says:

    Jokinen shot it literally right into Niemi’s glove. He didn’t even have to move it. Agree that Madden was a huge, huge pickup.

  5. Lee says:

    Ok, here come the enforcer mentality again. I was at the game an Buff was about to get into it with McGratton. I know he’s a ex drunk but I am afraid what he would have done to Buff

  6. Lee says:

    sorry about the duplicate but the paper this morning also says Eager is out and they have no idea when he will come back. My bet is not for a while.

  7. Lou says:

    Niemi stayed up and got it with his glove. He made the save. At that point in the game, it was a breakaway stoning of their #1 Center. Big play. I can’t say Huet wouldn’t have made the play but with his propensity to get beat high glove and and go down early, he may have been on his belly when Jokinen touched the blue line. Moot point. So, I think that save changed some momentum, Niemi got some confidence, and woke the team up. He doesn’t and your down 6 with both of your goalies letting in three goals.

    Huet knows he is playing sucky (if he doesn’t I am sure he’ll be reminded). He isn’t the only one so are some of the D and F. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see Hendry in a game real soon maybe even for Barker b/c the Beautiful on Brent Sopel is playing pretty good.

    If Hossa is about six more weeks out as Stan said, I think a move could be coming soon. I don’t think it will be necessarily limited to just a D man as often speculated.

    Brouwer for Iginla absolutely with a buy one get one free coupon. At that point, Brouwer had leveled Giordano, knocked Pardy into the boards cracking the glass and was hitting everything in site. Someone had to try to do something to slow him down. It would even been more impressive if Brouwer would have won that fight too. Iginla is a smart Captain and a great leader and did what he thought he had to do to change the game.

  8. Lou says:

    I read somewhere that eager has concussion like syndromes. Takes big stones to take on a 260 guy that is fiesty.

  9. Lee says:

    Who was the 260 pound guy that is feisty, Buff?

  10. Lou says:

    Yes Buff. He was listed at 257. Maybe it is 247. But he is one big dude

  11. cb says:

    Byff showed very impressive presence last night. He made some solid passes and just seemed to know what to do with the puck. The closer shots of his goal show that he’s not just hacking away in front of the net but can be pretty smart about puck placement.

    Keith? Bueller?…

    I have no intention of fomenting unnecessary panic, but what’s the explanation for Toews hardly showing up on the score sheet this year?

    Most impressively of all, the Hawks won two out of three periods and all 20 some seconds of overtime after putting themselves in a 5-0 hole against a supposed Cup contender.

  12. John says:

    How about Niemi staying up on Rene Bourque’s wicked wrister from 45 feet out? This shouldn’t turn into some tribal debate where everyone has to pick sides and no one budges either way. Both goalies look shaky right now. One has a track record of success. The other doesn’t. That’s why Niemi should be pretty nervous when Q says they’re going to discuss the goalie situation.

    It appears Toews not showing up on the score sheet early in the year is, indeed, a trend. No explanation other than that. Just one of those things.

  13. Lou says:

    John you’re right and I think we are saying the same things from different perspectives. Not sure where there is a tribal debate picking sides.

    My point is that save seemed to shift montemum and gave him confidence for the rest of the game and you know the rest of the story. He makes a great save later on Bourque and shuts the door. He misses we are down six and it probably turns into another hairpulling fiasco. And our two biggest ambassadors of that kind of fun are out on IR.

    And by no means was this the greatest save ever made but it helped us and gave him some confidence. The only point I disagree with that first line centers on breakaways don’t place the puck in goalies gloves. He had to do something in that moment. And given what I have seen from Huet this year, Cleary goal and the Bourque goal, I am not sure he wouldn’t have been down and out. But that point is pure speculation.

    I fully agree both Goalies are shaky and Huet’s stats indicate he shouldn’t be this bad. Which is friggin frustrating. Huet is playing just horrible and Niemi is unproven to say the least. What’s worse is our D surely isn’t helping this situation one bit.

    Like you, Toews will be fine, just fine (use ur best Wannstedt emphasis on fine). He is plus 4 and winning faceoffs and playing good two way hockey.

    We are on the same page and I too bleed Hawk Red and am Committed to the Indian and have been for about 30 years. And I probably should be committed along with a lot of our fellow fans. Can you say steamroller!

  14. John says:

    Should have been more specific regarding the tribal debate, I wasn’t talking about your response but rather where we’re headed if Huet doesn’t start to play up to his numbers. We may already be there in some quarters.

    As always, your passion and thoughts are extremely appreciated.

  15. Lou says:

    Yours as well. Now if we could just shore up the back end. We can play until July!!!!

  16. rags07 says:

    I really want to watch that game again. Does anyone know a place to find it?

  17. Dave Morris says:

    Lou, only thirty years? 😉

    No wonder you guys missed my Pilote/Vasko reference.

    I better not make any Tod Sloan jokes.

    @Rags07> has all the games archived.

  18. Lou says:

    That’s it sorry. I am still just a kid!!!!!

    I saw it and I know who Chiko Maki is!!!

    What is the scoop with the Skille Turnstyle. It has to be more than “cap reasons?”

  19. John says:

    Lou, more on Skille in our next post but we’ve both done our best investigative work and have come up with nothing. The whole thing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  20. Dave Morris says:

    John, help me out here. For price of a Skille, could the Hawks bring up a Bickell and a Klinkhammer? Just wondrin’.

    @Lou> don’t worry, I won’t hold your youth against you. Fifth Feather being properly PC, there is no age discrimination here. We’re all Hawkey Flocked.

    And you get bonus points for ‘Chico Maki’.

    PS @ The Fifth Feathered Ones> any truth to the rumor that Ed Belfour is coming out of retirement to save Q’s bacon?

    I love rumours.

  21. John says:

    Dave, there seems to be a lot of grey area surrounding this whole Skille call-up, go back down thing. If they just put Hossa on LTIR, then all their cap headaches would temporarily go away.

    That’s why it’s probably more along the lines of saving the team a few thousand dollars.

    If Ed Belfour comes back, I’m out. They might as well let a drunk Tony O stand between the pipes for four nights a week.

  22. Lou says:

    I am all for bring back Jacques Cloutier and Greg Millen tandem. Or better yet, Jimmy Waite can you hear me?????

  23. Dave Morris says:

    Lou, there was a movement afoot among Hawks management to bring back Mike Karakas. But during the seance at Madame Zara’s South Side Gypsy Tea Room, McD kept asking “So how much does this guy expect to get paid, and will he do the ‘One Goal’ commercial'”?

    Incidentally, Darren Pang has also been seen playing ball hockey behind the United Center. Just sayin’.

  24. Dave Morris says:

    …and where’s Warren Skorodenski when you need him?

    Drastic times call for drastic measures.

  25. Sox Machine says:

    It appears Toews not showing up on the score sheet early in the year is, indeed, a trend. No explanation other than that. Just one of those things.

    Just gotta wait until the weather warms up.

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