Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)

It’s never too early to start collecting points on the road.

Especially when your opponent is playing with the tenacity of a playoff game.  The Hawks were outplayed in the first half of the game for long stretches and were able to stay close courtesy of big stops from Marty Turco. 

After trailing 3-1 through almost two periods, the Hawks caught a break when an apparent icing was waved off.  Patrick Sharp gathered the loose puck and hit Marian Hossa’s stick who was standing right in front. 

On their seventh power play halfway through the third, Sharp tied it when he banged home a bouncing puck.  The Hawks started swarming after that but only Craig Anderson stood in their way and he made sure the game stayed tied.

In overtime, both teams looked extremely gassed and that tends to happen when their top lines see well over 20 minutes of ice time.  Neither team was generating much in the first couple minutes but Colorado capitalized on what appeared to be a harmless dump-in.  It ended when Nick Leddy got twisted around on a give-and-go between Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene.  Stastny escaped Leddy’s stick and fired a shot towards the net that Turco would probably like to have back.

Dem’s the breaks and another season is underway.

Other Thoughts

Nick Leddy appeared very shaky early on.  He had a classic “Welcome to the Show” moment in the first period on Colorado’s first goal.  Ham Sandwich fired a bouncing cross-ice pass to him.  A difficult pass, for sure, but one he has to handle.  Before he even knew what was going on as he was looking for the puck, Chris Stewart was heading the other way on a 2-on-1 and he made an awesome hesitation move to deke Turco out of his pads. 

Leddy seemed more comfortable as the game progressed, even making some pretty impressive plays.  But mistakes like the one at the end of the game are going to happen.  

–Let’s put it this way: The Hawks can’t give up 41 shots and expect good things to happen.  Marty Turco was brilliant for much of the game, but the more shots he sees, the less effective he’ll become.  Unfortunately, it’s probably going to end up taking a while for everything to gel up front for the Hawks and more nights like this may be in our future.  At least in the first couple months.

–I think it’s safe to say Fernando Pisani’s greatest strength is not found on a scoring line. 

–It will be interesting to see which defenseman visits the pressbox once Nick Boynton returns.  John Scott and Jordan Hendry didn’t crack the 14 minute mark….with their ice times combined.  Maybe now would be a good time for resident genius Stan Bowman to start shopping for something -anything- that can play over 10 minutes a night.  Because having Keith and Seabrook play that many minutes in Game 1 does not bode well for the long haul. 

–Ok, who the hell is T.J. Galiardi and who possessed him with spirit of Mike Bossy for tonight’s affair?

–The last time the Hawks won a season opener was in the 2006-2007 campaign when they beat the Predators 8-6 in Nashville.  You may recall that game as Martin Havlat reminded Blackhawk nation what an actual NHL top line player looks like.  Havlat had two goals and two assists and was an absolute monster in that game.  That seems like a lifetime ago.

–That’s probably enough for one game.  The Hawks face a huge test on Saturday night as the Wings are almost as deep as a couple years ago and will be looking to make a statement on the Hawks banner night.

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10 Responses to Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)

  1. Seth says:

    I thought John Scott looked just fine tonight. I don’t see why he couldn’t play 10-12 minutes per night, I don’t think he’d hurt the team at all. Also, I don’t think I saw Skille in the whole 3rd period, but Stalberg and Dowell were out there a few times. Either Skille got benched or he was just invisible later in the game.

  2. Cam says:

    Skille actually played a minute more than Stalberg.

    .

    The defense seems to be a real issue, and by that I mean a team issue. Brent Sopel was certainly missed as Keith and Seabrook played a ridiculous 62 minutes, and both were turnover prone. Turco saved Keith’s butt at least twice in the first period.

    I was worried about the 5-7 spots on “D” and I can’t say tonite alleviated many of those concerns. Campbell’s absence was also felt obviously.

    The depth is certainly shallower, but is it so shallow that Kopecky gets first-line PP time? This team really needs Morin to develop quickly.

  3. Mick Durand says:

    I know Campbell is out with the knee, but why toss Leddy on the PK for his first real game? I thought he looked out of place except for a few stand-ups and the couple shots he ripped from the point. He played the PK when Seebs went to the box…why not throw Keith and Hammer or Keith and Hendry out there?

  4. Dave Morris says:

    As you say, Gentlemen, not a bad thing to get a point on the road to start.

    Obviously, giving up 40-odd shots is not sound Hawkey…but then the Avalanche are one of the quicker teams in the NHL and very well coached by Sacco. Colorado was clearly pumped for this game, with all the old stars back for the ceremony, etc etc.

    Very entertaining contest and strong comeback effort from CHI.

    Q giving Leddy his vote of confidence could be a very good thing…the young man has lots to learn but he clearly has the talent to play in the NHL.

    Bickell’s first goal off an outstanding play by Hossa is IMO worth a big kudo to BB.

    Marty Turco is clearly fired up…whatever mistakes he might have made, he made some spectacular and timely saves as well.

    Exciting times ahead.

  5. AC says:

    It was great to see Hockey for real again. I can’t wait for Saturday, but for me the season will really start after Saturday (due to the pomp and circumstance around the ceremony and game).

    Leddy looked horrible to start the game, but definitely seemed to get better and more confident as the game went on, that was very encouraging. I saw Skille a lot in the 3rd and thought he had a decent game, but needs to learn to play under control. He certainly made things happen, but seemed to be too far ahead of himself.

    Where was Bolland? He needs to be more present, like he was in the playoffs.

    It’s only 1 game and it was nice to get a point out of it. Here’s to another great year and, hopefully, another Cup run.

    Go Hawks!

  6. Big Tony says:

    KYLE BEACH, SAVE US!

    Just kidding. I liked a lot of what I saw and the stuff I don’t like can be tweaked. Turco is gonna be solid enough for us to contend again, thats for sure.

  7. Otter says:

    Let’s not forget the Hawks hit at least three posts (sorry was also watching Jersey Shore and the Giants/Braves game at times) and I thought Anderson was outstanding from what I saw.

    I missed Sopel last night. Never really thought I’d say that. But he was missed. I guess I sort of missed Versteeg (who logged over 22 minutes last night!) and Ladd. But I’ve got a feeling that in January I won’t be missing any of them.

    The D is going to be an issue for a few months, that seems pretty clear.

  8. Lou says:

    Dave Bolland is spending his early moments growing his coif so he can have a do like Sopel.

    We got a point. We saw some things work and some things blow up. Hossa was a monster last night. Leddy needs to continue to be given the chance to play.

    Brouwer needs to switch with Pisani.

  9. Patrick says:

    I found it interesting that the lines started clicking once the Sharp / Hossa and Toews /Kane combinations were reunited. To me it makes more sense with those pairs, then filling in around them.

  10. Brian Davies says:

    Hjalmarsson has now been on the ice for 7 of 7 goals against this year. I want Campbell back…

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