All it took on Sunday was 14 seconds for the Edmonton Oilers to score all the goals they would need.
In the third period with the Hawks nursing a one goal lead, the Hawks successfully killed a Viktor Stalberg penalty. Then 15 seconds after it ended, Niklas Hjalmarsson yanked Magnus Paajarvi down on a semi-breakaway and the Oilers immediately went back on the power play.
8 seconds later, Kurtis Foster blasted a ricocheting puck past Corey Crawford.
On the ensuing face-off, a 3-on-3 turned into a 3-on-2 when Marian Hossa was undressed at the blue line by Ales Hemsky. Sam Gagner snuck behind the defense and all he had to was tip in a Dustin Penner dish.
That sequence of plays was all it took to take down the Hawks on Sunday night.
Jonathan Toews should have tied the game with about 5 minutes left when he gathered a loose puck around the crease. Nikolai Khabibulin was out of position in his crease and all Toews needed to do was wait it out and he would have had a wide open net to bury the puck.
Instead, Toews shot the puck just as he cut across the crease and Khabibulin was able to make the kick save. Had Toews simply waited a second longer, it would have been one of the easier goals of his career.
A mad dash at the end of the game also saw Troy Brouwer with a golden chance to tie it. He had scooped up a rebound with Khabibulin taking away the lower portion of the net. Brouwer couldn’t get any elevation on his shot and it turned into a fairly routine save.
—Half of Edmonton’s wins have come at the Hawks expense with both coming at the United Center. Any way you slice it or dice it, that is inexcusable.
–One of the more entertaining portions of the game was John Scott beer-battering Zach Stortini. Scott got Stortini’s jersey over his head and landed about four or five blows to the skull. Fortunately for Stortini, he’s already a hideous human being. Is this really what it has come to? John Scott is now providing us with our entertainment?
–In the first period, Scott cost the Hawks a hefty bill when three of his composite shafts exploded in his hands. That’s $600 worth of damages. If one of my Synergy sticks snapped, I would be inconsolable for days, maybe weeks. John Scott thought it was funny. Such is the life when your employer fits the bill.
–This was Brian Campbell’s fourth game back. There is absolutely no reason to still be riding Duncan Keith like a two-dollar whore. It’s not even at the point of wearing Keith down by the end of the season; he’s simply not playing good enough to warrant 30 minutes of ice a night. Keith had several brain farts and questionable decisions again, which is pretty much a given these days. His worst came early in the third when he threw the puck right in front of Crawford to a wide-open Andrew Cogliano. The sequence ended with Taylor Hall ringing the puck off the post.
–Like so many other associated with the Blackhawks these days, Pat Foley and Ed Olcyzk felt like taking the night off. It only took them until the final 10 minutes of the game before they realized Shawn Horcoff wasn’t in the game anymore. Horcoff left the game early in the second period. He’s only the damn captain of the team.
–Congrats to Jim Vandermeer for successfully completing his first two checks since the Clinton Administration.
*On The Farm*
–Rockford opened the scoring on Friday night’s tilt against Manitoba, but the Moose responded three unanswered goals. Ben Smith scored at the six minute mark of the third with a power play goal. Igor Makarov and Ivan Vishnevskiy had the assists. With less than five minutes in regulation, the Moose scored three goals in the span of a minute and a half.
Hannu Toivonen stopped 18 of 21 shots.
On Sunday, they took a beating at the hands of the Peoria Rivermen 5-1. Hugh Jessiman scored the lone goal for Rockford. Alec Richards made 19 saves.
—Dylan Olsen had an assist in two games against North Dakota. Dan DeLisle did not play in Saturday’s game.
–The Hayes brothers were scoreless in a 2-1 loss to New Hampshire on Friday night.
—Byron Froese had five points in two games this weekend. He has 28 points in 19 games and is 5th in the WHL in scoring.
—David Pacan had a goal in two games this weekend. He currently has 12 points in 16 games.
—Phillipe Paradis had 2 goals and an assist. He is a team best +12 for PEI Rocket.