When the Blackhawks find themselves in a dogfight for points in March, you can look back to this game as a time when they pissed away one point at the least. With less than three minutes left in regulation, the Hawks were winning 5-4.
Three minutes later, three Colorado goals later, the Hawks found themselves on the outside looking in.
—You really hate to say the game turned on one simple play but it may have. Just prior to Tomas Fleischmann tying the game at 5, Jake Dowell ripped a shot off the post. Fleischmann then took puck down to the other end and tied the game. Not exactly shades of Bobby Hull and Jacques Lemaire in the ’71 Finals but still the margin of no points and two was probably a couple of inches.
—So I guess that’s how you ‘bail’ out your teammates. After Marty Turco was lifted and Corey Crawford made a fairly big save early, the Hawk beat writers took to the Twitter war path to slam Turco for not making point blank saves after Hawk defensive miscues.
In the end, it was all in vain because the same thing that ended Turco’s night early eventually ruined Crawford’s as well. Crawford let in a questionable goal to tie the game when a 54 foot wrist from Tomas Fleischmann snuck past him. Then Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith couldn’t get out of their own way en route to Matt Duchene’s game-winner.
But, don’t let that stop anyone from blaming Turco.
I understand he was less than stellar, the second goal was just plain bad…but Craig Anderson was equally awful. And in the end, Corey Crawford was only a little better and that wasn’t enough.
–Is it just me or does Niklas Hjalmarsson look a full step slower this year? He was never Viktor Stalberg but he also never had a piano fully attached to his back either. It’s not like he’s hitting his 30’s either; the guy isn’ t even 24.
Several times tonight, Hjalmarsson was caught in between with Avalanche players behind the Hawks net. With a decision to either commit to the man or deny the pass, Hjalmarsson just kind of stood at the post. So the Avalanche carved him up with passes to the man in the high slot. Add in the fact that Hawks forwards didn’t do a great job of converging down low and it was a recipe for all sorts of problems.
Going into the season, I was a bit concerned that he’d still be worth two high draft picks at the end of this year and now, I’m downright frightened.
–On the bright side, Troy Brouwer is binging. 7 goals in 11 games is a real easy way to get out of Joel Quenneville’s outhouse.
–Jake Dowell is really starting to grow on me. It’s really a wonder how or why (and I suppose a bit concerning) the Hawks thought Colin Fraser was a better option than him the last couple years. In a game where the majority of the Hawks best players were a minus, Dowell was an even 0 in 17 minutes of ice time.
–This is the bottom, right? It can’t get much worse than this. In a game where the Hawks had no business getting a point, they were three minutes away from getting two, then in the blink of an eye, they had none. The world is, indeed, cruel.