It was men against boys on Tuesday night at the Xcel Centre. If it wasn’t for a rookie mistake by Nick Leddy, the game would have probably never got as close as it did.
With the Hawks holding a 3-0 lead early in the third and the Wild killing off a penalty, Leddy lost all awareness of the situation and Martin Havlat had a clear-cut breakway from the blue line in. He didn’t miss and suddenly the Wild were awake. They kept coming with pressure and with less than five minutes left, it was a one goal game.
On a seemingly innocent 3-on-3, Patrick Kane was a bit overaggressive on his backcheck and Jonathan Toews was a bit lazy. It allowed Brent Burns to get wide-open in the slot. He fired a shot from the slot, got his own rebound, and deposited it past Corey Crawford.
A bad situation turned worse when Tomas Kopecky flipped the puck into the stands with three and a half minutes left. The Wild had another mad scramble in front of Crawford. This time, though, they couldn’t find an opening and Pierre Marc-Bouchard made a completely ill-advised play. With his back towards everyone and the puck slowly leaving the zone, Bouchard dove to keep the puck in. Meanwhile, Toews was right there to pick up the puck and he was off with Marian Hossa the other way.
Toews fed Hossa on a perfect pass and the puck was in the back of the net to give the Hawks a 4-2 win.
–Is it possible that the corner has finally turned on the 2010-2011 Blackhawks? In a hostile environment with everything going bad for them, they cinched it up and hunkered down for another two huge points. If you took a poll amongst Hawk fans at the 17 minute mark of the third period on whether a win or loss was imminent, it probably would have come back 98% loss.
–In eleven and a half minutes, Michael Frolik created some pretty good chances for himself. It’s too bad he’s in the midst of the worst scoring drought of his career because if he gets going, the Hawks are really going to become a dangerous team.
–I would love to tell you how great or awful Chris Campoli is. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know who he was if he walked into my house and dropped a deuce on my floor. The Hawks did give up a conditional 2nd round pick for him. Though they did have a few of those. There were a couple things about the trade I find amusing/troubling.
- Campoli is another Stan Bowman acquistion where the same buzzwords are used to describe him. At this point, if you’re not a puck-moving defenseman and/or versatile, Bowman has no use for you.
- Maybe we’re all better off with the less Bowman says to the media. Since the Frolik acquisition, Bowman has told anyone with a microphone that he was in the hunt for a defenseman. So with the clock ticking today, Bowman had to either buck up and make a deal or risk getting pounded by the usually tame Hawk beat writers. In this case, he decided to save face even if he ended up having to overpay.
That being said, I’m interested to see how Campoli meshes with the Hawks. I’m also looking forward to watch Joel Quenneville coach him.
–Other deadline thoughts: Los Angeles is officially scary with Dustin Penner in the fold.
I don’t understand the lack of sellers. Buffalo, Columbus, Toronto, and Dallas aren’t going to do anything this year yet there they were holding on to all their pieces. Columbus even added Scott Upshall. Whatever.
If Nick Leddy was the asking price for Ladislav Smid as was reported, then Steve Tambellini should have just asked for Stan Bowman’s first born son as well. (Easy joke there. Nick Leddy is his first born.)
It will be very interesting to see how much teams like Vancouver and Washington end up going over the cap this year. Washington is beyond dry humping it with Dennis Wideman in the fold and Vancouver had to shuffle everything around for Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins.
–For one game, John Scott had a purpose. Brad Staubitz tried finishing his check on Brian Campbell on an icing call and Scott pounced on him like an elephant attacking a lion. Staubitz didn’t return after that.