Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Hawks went into the third period tied. They left it down.
As has been the trend this season, someone on the Hawks makes a critical mistake at the worst possible time and the ending is the Hawks lose.
This time it was Corey Crawford’s turn. At the seven minute mark of the final frame and his team in desperate need of a line change, Crawford had a perfect opportunity to get a whistle as the Canucks fired an unscreened 45 foot turn around wrister on net.
Instead, Crawford kicked the rebound out right towards the middle of the slot. The Canucks, not surprisingly, won the battle to the loose puck, and Mikael Samuelsson back-handed the winner past Crawford.
On the other side of the ice, Roberto Luongo robbed Patrick Kane of two sure goals, once in the first and once in the third and both with glove saves.
That’s your difference between winning and losing Game 3 right there. Don’t overthink it.
Yup, Here Literally Goes Nothing
–Here’s the thing that makes hockey different from baseball or basketball, everyone who suits up for the game is going to make a difference in said game, positively or negatively. When it’s playoff hockey, the difference is magnified ten-fold. So when Joel Quenneville decided to dress John Scott in the most important game of the season, I simply don’t see how it can be greeted with a shrug of the shoulders or a smile.
The trickle down of Scott dressing effects the entire line-up. Not only does it mean the Hawks have a slug on their fourth line who is incapable of doing anything, it also means their top wingers are getting double-shifted throughout the game making them doubly tired should they be chasing a lead. Patrick Kane should not be skating 26 minutes in a non-overtime game. Ben Smith, for the love of all things holy, cannot be skating 20 minutes in any type of NHL game.
Basically, dressing Scott forces the Hawks, by their own hand, to skate with one less player. If this is too difficult to comprehend, I don’t know how else to explain it.
The funny thing was the best hit Scott had all night was during warm-ups on his own teammate. During the scramble drill at the end of warm-ups, everyone was surrounding Turco just jabbing at the puck. Once the puck goes in the net, everyone circles away from the net, picks up a puck and shoots on the vacated net. You know how it goes.
Anyways, Scott was the one who scored on Turco. So as everyone is skating in their own direction, Scott decides to celebrate his achievement by doing the ‘scoop the ice cream’. He got on one knee and dragged his hand across the ice before lifting up his fist in victory. Naturally, Scott wasn’t paying attention and has he had his head down, he ran right into Michael Frolik sending him helicoptering into the air. You had to see it to believe it.
Other interesting items from the ‘dressing heard ’round the world’: In the opening skate before the anthems, Scott came ever so closely to bumping Ryan Kesler as they met at center ice. A linesman stood there for the remaining minute or so.
I cannot believe the Hawks thought putting John Scott on the power play was what ailed them. I also cannot believe how awful Scott looked trying to screen Luongo.
The icing on the cake tonight was Scott taking an atrocious interference penalty at the halfway point of the second period. Vancouver scored seven seconds into the penalty, added another goal 54 seconds later, and John Scott never touched the ice again.
What a night.
–Wait, another pass just bounced off Ben Smith’s stick.
–I suspect Raffi Torres will get double the suspension he just came off of 4 games for his hit on Brent Seabrook. While he should have been hit with a 5 minute major, the other disturbing part of the incident was how the Hawks simply let Brent Seabrook go right back on the ice following the huge head hit.
The Hawks basically ignored the newly installed NHL protocol, asked Seabrook a question or two on the bench (what is he going to say?), then sent him right back out there. It took two shifts for the Hawks to realize something was clearly wrong. Even though on his first shift back, Seabrook looked as though it was his second day on skates.
Mercifully, someone from the medical staff stepped in and took Seabrook off the bench and into the quiet room.
He returned to the action at the start of the third period. See, that wasn’t so hard. Instead, the Hawks recklessly risked the life and limb of someone they just signed to a 6-year deal, $30 million deal.
–Nick Leddy took one of the worst angles you’re ever going to see in professional hockey on Vancouver’s second goal. With Alex Edler rushing down the left wing wall, Leddy attacked Edler on his left shoulder. The problem was by the time Leddy got there, Edler was already screaming past him. Meanwhile, Duncan Keith was left having to defend between the pass and the shot. Edler got it over to Sedin and it was in the back of the net.
–While the knee-jerk reaction by most I’m sure is how awful the Hawks are and everyone needs to go, let’s take a step back and examine things. The Hawks have lost three games thus far by a margin of four goals, the last two being one goal games that could have gone either way. They finished the season three points from hosting a playoff series. The difference between winning and losing is clearly not that far off. So before we rip down our Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews’ Fatheads, light fire to our Duncan Keith jersey, or attempt to poison Marian Hossa’s dinner, let’s try to keep things in perspective and the fact is, the margin of victory in professional hockey is razor thin.