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This too shall pass: Blackhawks 3 @ Islanders 5 Game Recap

March 2, 2010

What the flying fuck was that?

I guess some will write this off as a letdown game, or a result of the Olympic hangover, but I really didn’t think the Blackhawks would come out tonight looking like they did.

And they didn’t, not really. They drew first blood, with Campbell putting in a nice, juicy Patrick Kane rebound, and when Blake Comeau tied it up later, Kane was ready with a power play goal. The first period ended 2-1 in favor of the Hawks, though with a crazy 22-9 shot total in favor of the Hawks, one would have hoped the score was more lopsided than it was.

The Blackhawks certainly needed it to be, as well. Entering the second period, something seemed to change. The Islanders scored two goals within minutes of each other, resulting in Quenneville yanking his “hot hand” Niemi off the game in favor of Huet. But the Blackhawks seem to have run out of gas, and couldn’t generate the chances they had back in the first. The Isles would score twice more, with Blake Comeau rounding out the end of the second with his third goal to complete his hat trick. The period ended 5-2 to the Isles, who also led the shots 11-8.

The third period showed much more promise, with the Blackhawks getting closer to their first-period form. Ben Eager found the back of the net but the goal was called off for incidental contact with the goalie. A third Islanders penalty was called, and Byfuglien scored, but with less than 5 minutes left in the game it was too little, too late. Huet was pulled in favor of the empty net with 2:25 left to no avail. The Hawks return home with a loss after the Olympic break.

Fun Facts of the Night:

  • The Islanders have had 3 hat tricks this season (Tambellini, Moulson, Comeau). The Hawks have none.
  • You know it’s really not your night when your “hot goalie” lets in 3 goals, your “on-the-trade-block” goalie lets in 2, and an empty net that gets shot at at least thrice lets nothing in.
  • Kane had a 3-point night (1G, 2A) and Toews had 2 assists to mark their return to the ice, but Duncan Keith (1A) was a -3 and Seabrook a -2.
  • Hossa, Kopecky, Sopel and Bolland were the only non-negative players of the night. They all ended with a 0 rating.
  • There are a few things in life that are so cliched, so storybook-timed, that when they happen the only thing you can do is sigh, shake your head, and hope no one blows it out of proportion. Sidney Crosby scoring the OT goal to give Canada its gold medal against the USA is one of these things. Another is Roloson outdueling both Huet and Niemi the night before the trade deadline when his name is floating around as a possible goalie for the Hawks. I don’t understand the timing either, but it’s all coincidental. Really.
  • Silver linings: the power play was 2-for-3 for the night, the Hawks did not get a power play goal against (because they were never on the penalty kill), and there is at least a quick turnaround between games. The Hawks face the Oilers tomorrow, and hopefully at home ice they’ll deign to play the full 60 minutes.
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