For the second straight game, the Blackhawks took an inexcusable penalty in the final two minutes of regulation. Monday night, they were fortunate to protect their lead and win the game. Wednesday night, they lost a guaranteed point when Joel Ward banged home a loose puck with 26 seconds left in regulation.
Nick Boynton, who played one of his better games as a Blackhawk until his final shift, flipped the puck into the stands with just over 2 minutes left. While the Predators didn’t generate a constant pressure during the power play, it only took one blocked David Legwand pass to start a fire drill in front of Corey Crawford. Legwand poked the puck past Jordan Hendry, Nick Leddy, and Corey Crawford to Joel Ward standing all alone at the side of the net.
That was that. A 2-1 Blackhawks 3rd period lead turned into a 3-2 Predators win, which has happened far too many times to remember.
–That was one of the more unwatchable Blackhawk games of recent memory. From the halfway point of the second period until the end of the game, there was absolutely no flow to the game. The puck was bouncing all over the place. No fun for all parties involved.
–Jordan Hendry had a rough 3rd period. Colin Wilson’s equalising goal bounced off his shin guard and past Crawford. Then the aforementioned Ward goal all started with him blocking Legwand’s pass. If he didn’t have bad luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all.
–Please, please, someone explain this to me: Jack Skille and Viktor Stalberg once again played well. Their speed was forcing all sorts of mistakes and misplays by the Predator defense. So they each get one shift in the third period and then grab a seat next to Bryan Bickell as Dave Bolland gets promoted up to the 2nd line as Sharp moves to the wing.
Here’s a real easy solution: Troy Brouwer skates with the Patricks and leave Stalberg and Skille with Bolland while Dowell, Pisani and Bickell sit.
You could see Bickell’s benching coming as he was a disaster in his own end but Stalberg and Skille did absolutely nothing to justify sitting them for the final 15 minutes. This wasn’t Joel Quenneville’s best game.
–Patrick Sharp was diagnosed with a slight concussion. As if such an injury even exists. He either had a concussion and needs to sit a few more games or it wasn’t a concussion. Sharp looked off all night and if he was actually concussed, then he needs to sit.
–Corey Crawford got the start for the second straight game and he once again impressed. However, the question has to be asked: With Nashville’s suffocating forecheck and stellar neutral zone play, shouldn’t a Marty Turco start have been a no-brainer? This way the Hawks could easily stretch out the Predator defensemen while slowing down their ruthless forecheck with Turco’s passing. Like I said, this wasn’t Joel Quenneville’s best game.
–Please tell me Dave Bolland has some sort of health problem. Anything to distract everyone from the fact that he has been invisble thus far.
–Here’s another question to pose: What good does Joel Quenneville’s strategy of keeping two centers in for defensive draws do when the two centers both have a win percentage of 33%?