Whatever advantage the Hawks had with a 1-0 lead heading into the third period, they lost it very quickly as they gave up the equalizer in the first minute. Their top line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Viktor Stalberg all got caught below the Ducks’ hashmarks. When the puck kicked out the other way, the Ducks had a full blown 3-on-2 coming against Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. As quickly as you could say, ‘legitimate Stanley Cup contender’, the puck was in the back of the Hawks’ net.
To complete the groin punch of a 3rd period, Corey Perry scored his second goal of the game and 44th of the season. The Hawks were unable to clear their zone when they had the opportunity, Duncan Keith’s stick wasn’t quick enough, and Corey Crawford was unable to stop a shot he got a big piece of.
And that was it.
Surely This Can’t Be All
–Hopefully in the light of day, the Hawks will take a step back and realize all is not lost. Judging by some of their reactions from last night, it was almost as though they think the playoffs are now a pipe-dream. Even though Dallas lost last night, the Hawks are a full two points up on them and they still hold at least a game at hand on every other team above them. So things aren’t nearly that terrible. Yet.
–The Ducks are a nasty team. Allow me to crown them as the team most likely to unseat Vancouver as the Western Conference representative. Corey Perry is probably going to replace Jonathan Toews as a Hart Trophy finalist. Lubomir Vishnovsky is having as good of a season as Duncan Keith did last year. If Jonas Hiller ever gets fully healthy, they are going to be a handful. The ironic thing is Hiller’s case of vertigo seems to be the best thing that ever happened to them.
Before, they were so reliant on him bailing them out every time. With him out, the rest of the team realized a full defensive effort makes your goalie that much stronger.
–So can we all agree that Duncan Keith playing 30 to 33 minutes right out of the gate this season was a pretty awful idea?