Still Half Full: Avalanche 5, Blackhawks 4 (SO)

A pessimist would look at last night’s game in which the Hawks had a one goal lead with 5 minutes in regulation and be disheartened about losing the lead and the second point in a shootout.  An optimist would look at the fact that the Hawks battled back from a two goal deficit in 20 minutes to take the lead for themselves and conclude they were fortunate to get a point out of the game.

It’s still early enough to be more encouraged than discouraged.

–The Avalanche, save for one bad Erik Johnson turnover, played a perfect road game for 39 minutes.  Then one penalty at the end of the second period changed the whole complexion of the game.  Jonathan Toews scored on the ensuing power play and the Hawks took their game to a whole other level.  A fluky Jamal Mayers goal pulled the Hawks even and a Marian Hossa tip shot looked to be the difference.

Then, a defensive breakdown left Gabriel Landeskog wide open in the slot with less than two minutes to play.  He didn’t miss.  So it goes.

Both teams took turns scoring weird goals.  Both teams blew defensive coverages that led to goals.  It was only fitting after 60 minutes that they were tied.

–Give credit Ed Olcyzk for only taking three games to realize that Patrick Sharp and Andrew Brunette switched wing spots.  In the third period against Boston, Sharp took his customary spot on the left wing and has remained there.  After their first shift on Saturday, Olcyzk said to ‘look out for that, folks’.  We have been, Eddie.  Welcome to the party.

–The WGN cameras caught a great little moment late in the first period when Joel Quenneville grabbed Michael Frolik’s stick and shook it out after he missed a scoring opportunity.  Frolik opened the scoring for the Hawks in the second.  In the ultra-serious world of the NHL, it was pretty cool to see a light-hearted moment on the bench during the middle of action.  Especially when it involves the head coach.

–The one nice thing about Colorado being relevant again is, at the least, they’re going to make Vancouver earn the division this year as opposed to the past few years where the Canucks clinched it by November.

–Halfway through the second period, Joel Quenneville moved Dan Carcillo down to the fourth line, Viktor Stalberg to Toews’ line, and Patrick Sharp to Kane’s line.  It seemed like that switch reminded Carcillo what he needed to do to be successful.  After the first two games that saw Carcillo be a forechecking demon hitting everything that moved, he was a little more (for lack of a better word) calm in the offensive zone.  What made that line so successful though was Carcillo flying around on the forecheck and Hossa and Kane to clog up the passing lanes.

After his demotion, Carcillo went right back to it.  He hit two Colorado players on his first shift with Mayers and Kruger.  Suddenly, the Avalanche defensemen were a little more jumpy when he was on the ice and there was a little more room to skate.  Sure enough, it led to a goal shortly thereafter.  Fluky as it was, it still counted like the rest.

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8 Responses to Still Half Full: Avalanche 5, Blackhawks 4 (SO)

  1. Brian Donohue says:

    Carbomb leads the team with a +5 (!?!)

  2. feyer says:

    So do you think Stalberg earned the promotion, and how long do you think he will be in the top 6? I was surprised to see him get rewarded with a spot on the shoot out.

  3. John says:

    I’m not sure if he earned it as much as he was really their only option. He’s actually pretty good at the shootout and I was surprised to see people so upset by his selection. Sharp is horrible at it and Hossa isn’t a whole bunch better. His move worked too; the puck just slipped off his blade. It’s not like when Denis Savard tapped a young Cam Barker to go third in the shootout with Martin Havlat twiddling his thumbs on the bench.

  4. BobbyJet says:

    Q always keeps us guessing when it comes to his lines. Just when the first 3 lines seemed established for a while, Q in typical fashion makes changes. Carcillo may have been getting a tad complacent in his mind, after playing with Kaner and Hoss, and he had a bad giveaway in the first 5 minutes of the game, which may have prompted Q to make the change. Who knows? But Q did say he planned to try 13 in different situations and could play on any line for a stint … and we all knew Q would put that plan in action sooner or later. In this case, sooner.
    As for the game itself, yes it was disappointing to lose in the SO, but the team showed shades of the SC champion year by overcoming a 2 goal deficit and taking the lead like they did. I know I would have been happy with 1 point after they went down 3 -1 after a few flukes against. CC was ok in the nets but again was outplayed by Varyimov … and that was the difference in the end.

  5. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    The end of the game was disappointing but the Hawks took 3 of 4 points against a good Avs team, now they have another team they have problems with,….Ana

  6. dominator says:

    Why is it that they always seem to play the Avs early in the season before they realize they are a bad team and fade away?

  7. leer3388 says:

    John: Do we see your favorite player Tuesday night, John Scott, to go with Georgie Parros?

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