Sunday night’s game presented both some good news and perhaps some devastating bad news.
With the Hawks struggling and their playoff spot slipping, Sunday night’s game presented something of a must-win against another Western Conference contender. Among the good news was the Hawks’ first period. En route to outshooting the Coyotes 7-4 during the period and dominating significant stretches while doing so, a couple unnecessary passes and a few decent saves kept the game scoreless until a Blackhawk power play late in the frame. With less than a minute showing on the clock, Duncan Keith blasted one past Ilya Bryzgalov (who is no joke) to give the Hawks the lead.
Perhaps the best news, though, was the Hawks’ desperation, on clear display for everyone to see during a seemingly do-or-die third period. With the score tied (thanks to a late second period goal by Hawk killer Eric Belanger), the Hawks came out of the dressing room for the third looking like they wouldn’t be stopped. They weren’t. A (soft) penalty against Shane Doan during the latter half of the third gave Chris Campoli a chance to do his best Patrick Sharp impression on the off-side point. Campoli could barely contain himself, sneaking in over and over again, but it paid off when Jonathan Toews hit him with a beautiful feed from across the slot.
The Hawks weathered the late storm to take two points – and, perhaps more importantly, to keep the ‘Yotes from claiming any.
The bad news is that a seemingly innocent mash-up between Sharp and Rostislav Kesla during the Hawks’ first period power play turned ugly when Sharp was slow to get up. After being helped to the dressing room, he didn’t return. Of course, per usual, no one within the Hawk organization knows whether he’s even still alive at this point. As they say down south, that ain’t no good.
You’d Shut Your Mouth if You Knew What Was Good For You
– Without a couple important pieces, the Hawks needed a few of those players in the line-up to be better than usual. The Hossa-Kopecky-Frolik answered the bell last night. Viktor Stalberg also pretended to be alive for a better part of the evening. They’re so cute at that age.
– If anyone sees Troy Brouwer, please alert the authorities.
– Rarely does a United Center National Anthem go by without goose bumps breaking out on my arms, but for the love of everything patriotic, please tell the 2,000 bozos who attend games in visiting arenas to stop making asses out of everyone in Chicago. Everyone gets it – we cheer during the National Anthem – but clapping through our nation’s song with five hundred of your buddies while 16,000 others stand with their hands on their hearts is more than a little idiotic. (And, no, it doesn’t matter that there may have been more Hawk fans than Coyote fans last night.) If clapping through the Anthem at the UC is patriotic – and I firmly believe that it is – a minority of fans drawing attention to themselves at a visiting rink is more about being a Blackhawk fan than an American. And, in my opinion, that misses the mark. (I’ll now hang up and wait to get pounded for even thinking this.)
– It’s a poorly kept secret in the hockey world that most hockey people know little to nothing about goaltending. (It’s a lot like how nobody involved in football knows how to kick one.) Inevitably, though, hockey people are forced to talk about goaltending – either on television or otherwise – and the phrase “making himself look big” almost always comes up. While I have absolutely no idea what this means or how it is accomplished – I assume it would help me with the ladies if I ever figured it out – I have even less of an idea how one “makes himself bigger than he is,” as Steve Konroyd claimed Corey Crawford did yesterday evening. At least football coaches and analysts don’t pretend to know anything about kickers.
– I believe Pat Foley and Konroyd were also attempting to break Jay Bilas’ record for the use of the phrase “compete level” during a sports broadcast. Thankfully, Konroyd never spoke of Marian Hossa’s upside potential.
– It only took a few months, but I’ve completely changed my outlook on Jake Dowell. My God, is he a waste of space.
– National Hockey League jerseys without a horizontal stripe at the bottom look like spring league jerseys. That’s all I have to say about that.