Blackhawks 2, Canucks 1 (SO)

It’s been awhile since the Blackhawks and Canucks engaged in a goalie duel but that’s where they found themselves on Wednesday night.  Marty Turco and Roberto Luongo traded big saves all game.  Both probably suffered an unfair fate by giving up a goal at all as both deserved the shutout.

The Hawks struck first in the final minute of the first period when Quenneville’s two favorite whipping boys put together another dynamic shift.  Jack Skille and Viktor Stalberg were in the midst of a strong cycle in the Canucks zone when Jake Dowell fed Stalberg in front.  Stalberg collected the bouncing puck and potted it past Luongo.

There were plenty of chances for the Hawks to extend their lead but Luongo was there every time and the Hawks weren’t exactly getting a ton of second chances. 

The Canucks finally bested Turco in the first minute of the third period on the power play.  Christian Ehrhoff had about half a dozen whacks at a loose puck lying to the side of Turco.  With Jassen Cullimore refusing to move Ehrhoff off the post, his ninth whack pushed Turco’s leg off the post and the puck slid across the crease to a wide-open Daniel Sedin who didn’t miss a wide open net.

The goalies saved their best performances for the overtime.  Luongo stopped Marian Hossa on a clear breakaway and Turco stopped 8 shots to be exact.  A few of them were of the high-quality variety.  

The shootout was even more fun as Turco didn’t make one save and Luongo made two.  Yet somehow, the Hawks were the team walking away with two points.  Oh well, no need to complain about that.

Thoughts    

–At this point, I feel like Viktor Stalberg and Jack Skille are my adopted sons and I’m their overzealous father with a stop-watch in the stands.  Seriously though, Skille didn’t crack 10 minutes yet had another 3 shots on net.  He also had more than a couple rushes up the ice where he completely undressed a Canucks defenseman. 

Stalberg saw just over 10 and scored the lone goal along with 4 shots on goal.  That’s 7 shots on goal and one goal from two guys who didn’t see over 20 minutes combined.  What will it take to get these two a regular shift?  There’s no reason for Bryan Bickell and Fernando Pisani to be taking shifts away from these two.  Not one.

–Speaking of ice times, it’s quite disconcerting to see Nick Boynton getting 28 minutes of ice while Niklas Hjalmarsson barely cracked 20.  That is not a good sign for someone who was expected to be a 1B type defenseman this year.  A big reason for the Hawks getting worked over in the last two overtime frames has to be because of three guys nearly racking up 90 minutes of ice.  At the end of the overtime, Seabrook looked like he needed an IV drip just to stay conscious.  

–It’s hard to take anything away from this game other than it was kind of fun to watch.  The Canucks came in pretty banged up.  Luongo is a different player in October than April.  The Hawks are still very much a work in progress.  

–Here was another reason why the shootout is such a crapshoot.  You could argue Kane’s shootout goal was legit as it slipped through Luongo’s legs but Sharp’s was pure luck.  Then Mikael Samuelsson completely faked Turco out only to have the puck roll off his blade as a wide-open net stared back at him.  For what it’s worth, I fully approve of Ken Holland’s new overtime format of five minutes of 4-on-4 and then three minutes of 3-on-3.  

–A pretty entertaining part of the broadcast came at the end of the second period when Dave Bolland had a clear breakaway from his own blue line.  Unfortunately, there was also only two seconds left when he gathered the puck.  Just don’t tell Pat Foley that.  Foley was completely befuddled as to why the refs blew the whistle only to soon realize the period was, in fact, over.  Apparently, this also confused about 10,000 in attendance at the United Center.

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20 Responses to Blackhawks 2, Canucks 1 (SO)

  1. Big Tony says:

    7uongo played his ass off tonight, which is kinda surprising after last night’s train wreck. That save on Hossa’s breakaway was clutch.

    Agreed on the Skille/Stalberg issue….those guys do nothing but fly around and cause havoc, yet they don’t get regular time. Maybe Q is getting them hungry. I don’t know, but I trust he knows what he’s doing.

    Turco is a superb netminder and has made us forget about Niemi so far. His passing has added a nice dimension to our attack, which should improve when Soupy returns.

  2. Brian says:

    I was there and saw Stalberg and Skille roaring around, making things happen, even taking the body and not looking lost on D. One of em will probably be in the pressbox next game.
    My 7 yr old was sitting by the SHOOT……HIT SOMEONE…………..SKATE guy. I hope that doesn’t rub off.

  3. Muhr says:

    No matter what they do to the shootout/overtime rules, it will not matter until the points available are zero sum. The easiest way to solve overtime problems is to eliminate many games going to overtime… 3 points for regulation win.. 2 for overtime/shootout, 1 for the extra time loser…

    Of course the owners will never go for it because it will eliminate the (crap) appearance that bad teams are still close to playoff positions late in the season.

    As for the end of the second period, I don’t have a problem with Foley missing the obvious… there are worse crimes than the TV guy getting too caught up in the play to realize what is going on… it isn’t radio…. (Also, his moment of pause when Bolland pulled up and he exclaims….. “And there’s a whistle?!?!?” is pure entertainment.)

  4. Mark says:

    Right? The roar from the crowd as that happening reminded me of the cheers from Cubs fans at each and every fly ball ever hit.

    Someone next to me at the game exclaimed “Wow, pretty crowded for a Wednesday night”, I couldnt help but smile because its that way every single game! Gotta love it

  5. Marts says:

    Wasn’t exposed to the Bolland/end of 2nd/Foley excitement as the game was covered by TSN up here (so the Centre Ice feed wasn’t an option). As soon as Bolland poked the puck loose Chris Cuthbert said (paraphrasing),” …and that will do it for the 2nd…”.

    Someone posted that Skille and Stalberg wrecked havoc. No question. I was thinking organised chaos, but they’re doing something right. I find myself sitting upright or edging towards the front of the sofa when they hit stride. More ice time please!

  6. Lee says:

    I was also there and have seats right behind the net that the canucks scored on. John, I see your comment about Cullimore just standing there but you missed Seabrook who also was doing nothing.Please tell me what the hell is wrong with him. I also thought our d was totally not physical last night. By the way Scott was not, by any means, the worst Hawk on the ice!

  7. Madara says:

    Q mentioned Skille in the post game interview. I think his line may get some more time in St. Louis. What’s the chances of Pisani scoring before Thanksgiving?

  8. John says:

    @Lee–After seeing the replay, it was more on Pisani just standing there and trying to tie up Ehrhoff’s stick rather than muscle him out of there. Cullimore couldn’t stand up on his skates long enough to really do anything. That’s not Seabrook’s responsibility to come to that side.

    @Madara — I’d be happy with Pisani getting more than one shot on goal in a game before Thanksgiving.

  9. CT says:

    Stalberg and Skille may not be “lost” in their own end, but they’re not exactly good. Of course, part of the reason may be that they’re centered by Jake Dowell who is flat out bad. He actually managed to win a faceoff cleanly last night, and I suggested to my wife that they stop the game and have a ceremony for him.

    As for Niklas Hjalmarsson, I’m not happy with his play so far, but he is still pretty young. I need only look back to two years ago when I was taking Brent Seabrook to task seemingly every other night for poor play and wondering if his $3.5M extension was a mistake.

    The moral of the story? I’m an idiot.

  10. Otter says:

    Bryan Bickell — again the Hawks can do better, right?

    Fernando Pisani — I haven’t noticed him all year, which I guess isn’t bad, but it isn’t good.

    How awesome was that Hossa play in the 3rd when he got the puck in the Hawks zone, made a move, and then all of a sudden was shot though a neutron accelerator into four Canucks and almost made it though them for a shot on goal?

  11. alpo says:

    @Otter – The Hawks can do better than both Bickell and Pisani. Just not at their prices.

  12. dominator says:

    Bickell started out good, his shot looked improved. He really needs to work on his skating though.

  13. Marts says:

    @ Otter – The Hossa neutron accelerator play was cash money. Finished with a goal or not, I won’t forget it anytime soon. Unreal.

    I will reiterate an earlier post of mine… Pisani moves like a drunk buffalo. He just can’t keep up out there.

  14. Lou says:

    Marts – the bigger question is how do you know what a drunk buffalo looks like? Maybe somethings are better left unsaid

  15. Marts says:

    Funny story actually… I live in Calgary and used to play some Senior A hockey for the Peigan Cowboys (an Indian team). They bring us down there and put us up in a hotel for the weekend and we’d play two games and then go back on Sunday morning.

    Anyways, there are a lot of cattle farms down there and on the reservation, there are a few ranches that farm buffalo (or the cross-bred beefalo). The indians in that neck-of-the-woods are all Blackfoot so they’ve got a long history with Buffalo. Occasionally, the stock would get treated to this funky rotten hay mixture (it would get wet and ferment) which they loved. They would, essentially, get slightly inebriated and when they’d take off to run (when they weren’t lying down hosed) they’d often trot side-ways with a bit of a lean. Literaly looking like Pisani moving through the neutral zone. Funny stuff!

  16. dominator says:

    Well I didn’t expect that.

  17. CT says:

    Ask a silly question…

  18. Lou says:

    CT – not a silly question but more like enquiring minds want to know… and then be careful what you ask for or someone might tell you

  19. dominator says:

    The Fifth Feather: Come for the Hockey Commentary, Stay for the Drunk Buffalo Stories

  20. Marts says:

    Sorry guys, that was some serious digression there but… question asked, question answered.

    I asked the same question a few years back when someone commented that a guy playing for one of our opponents “moved like a drunk buffalo”. Funny, I thought, how can anyone know how a drunk buffalo moves? I feel privileged to pass along the info. It’s befitting of a few players – particularly for guys that seem to be skating without purpose.

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