Blackhawks 2, Rangers 1 (OT)

There are two reasons and two reasons alone that Henrik Lundqvist didn’t steal his team two points from the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

  1. Despite playing a mostly ‘meh’ game, Marian Hossa used his ‘savvy veteran’ card during the Blackhawks fifth and final power play.  Receiving the puck to the right of Lundqvist and just above the goal line, Hossa bulled his way toward the net.  He established inside position and let the Ranger defensemen push him towards their goalie while he got a couple free whacks at the net.  Hossa did nothing but carry their momentum right into Lundqvist’s crease.  The play forced a mad scramble in front of the net and it ended when Jonathan Toews poked a loose puck into the net to tie the score at 1.
  2. Last year’s Hobey Baker winner, Matt Gilroy, is not a NHL defenseman.  If Dustin Byfuglien blows your door off in a 1-on-1 situation, you’re probably in the wrong line of work.  Bobby and I spent a good 15 minutes following the game trying to figure out what Gilroy was thinking during that sequence, but whatever it was, he chose….poorly.

Our apologies for the unorthodox recap, but with both of us attending tonight’s action, it was destined to be a little different.  Check back during the mid-day for an update from Bob.

*On the Farm*

–Shawn Lalonde was held scoreless in Belleville’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Peterborough Petes.

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8 Responses to Blackhawks 2, Rangers 1 (OT)

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, last year’s edition of the Blackhawks would have lost this game.

    This year’s edition is getting the job done. And they broke the four year skein against the Mob From Manhattan.

    Marian Hossa said it before the puck drop: “We can’t be too cute because other teams are ready for us.”

    An ugly goal–about as ugly and creasy as they come–with The Hoss Man and Captain Jonny crashing and bashing–to tie it against The Best Goaltender in The World.

    I’ve seen Worsley, Sawchuk and Giacomin in their time–albeit only as flickering images on a cathode ray tube–and last night Lundqvist was as good as any of ’em.

    But the Hawks machine-gunned his turret until they broke through.

    Byfuglien’s Saturn V blast off and slick finish were, as Q’s quote encapsulates, “Maybe the highlight of the year.”

    Here Come The Hawks.

  2. Patrick says:

    John & Bob – you summed up the game perfectly – loved the campfire around Lundqvist to get the first goal (I think the Hawks were singing camp tunes on that one, there were there so long) and who knew that Buff had that extra gear? He should use it more often.

    Dave – great line – “But the Hawks machine-gunned his turret until they broke through.”

    One more question – why does it seem that every opposing goalie is having “the game of their season” against the Hawks right now? I know they’ve had more than a few “posts” lately, but are the Hawks just shooting right at the goalie, is it a lack of screens, or are they just getting through an unlucky few games?

  3. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    @ Patrick. Because it’s been a few weeks since they got to face Kiprusoff.

  4. Mike says:

    Bingo! I have been asking myself the exact same question Patrick has. Henrik did have a good night, but then again, the Hawks also blasted a ton of unscreened pucks right at him. To me, it seems like more and more teams are letting the Hawks have their nightly passing and slapshot clinics as long as they are doing it from the outside without traffic in front of the net.

    On the plus side, the team is playing much better defensively while production has gone down and that’s a much needed change over last year. Seeing the Buff breakout in OT was eerily reminiscent of what the Wings did to us repeatedly last spring. If they can continue to play this well defensively while controlling the puck like they did last night, I am optimistic they will eventually get the goals too.

  5. John says:

    I don’t know….I doubt teams are basing their game plan on the Hawks controlling the puck for 75% of the game and wait for them to blast shots from the outside. I thought there was almost too much traffic in front of the net last night. It seemed like about 10 shots hit somebody, whether they were wearing red or white, in front.

    To me, it’s just a funk that every team goes through. And since the San Jose game, the Hawks have gone 3-2-1. Not too shabby for a prolonged goal-scoring drought.

  6. Patrick says:

    John – yes, the Hawks are on a good streak that we should appreciate, but I think we’re all a little fatalistic. If things aren’t prefect, we’re going to question it (and we armchair GM’s would trade away half the roster to fix what ain’t broken – me included)…

  7. Mike says:

    No, I don’t think opposing coaches are concretely telling their team to aim for controlling the puck only 25% of the time while pushing the Hawks to the outside. On the other hand, if you are an opposing team watching the Hawks get held nearly scoreless despite controlling the puck so much, are you going to play an open game and try to match the Hawks in run and gun? Right now, traps and pushing the Hawks to the outside is working at limiting their scoring despite volume of shots on goal and time of puck control. True, it’s not winning games but it’s definitely giving other teams a chance against a team that can be explosive.

    Teams do hit funks, but I don’t think that’s what’s hitting the Hawks right now. Players are backchecking now and forwards are covering pinching D rather than just rolling the dice and getting caught giving up multiple break aways. I’d like to think that rather than a funk the Hawks are making a structural change in how the play for the better. Either way, I do think the goals will eventually come.

  8. Lou says:

    Just what would Buff do if he played like that every shift?????

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