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Welcome to the Shit Show: Hawks 2 @ Ducks 4 Game Recap

March 18, 2010

As if we needed more problems.

I could forgive the Blackhawks this loss tonight, only the 2nd time they’ve lost thrice in a row this season. In fact, I already have. I wasn’t expecting Crawford to hold his own–which he did–and I wasn’t expecting the defense to do their job as well as they did, either. A few lucky bounces as well, and the offense could have put up a sizable lead over the Ducks, but Hiller had the answer most of the night, and you know what– that’s fine too. This team’s played one of their better games since their lackluster play showed up, and hopefully it carries on to LA and Phoenix where maybe they could pick up a few more points.

Of course, thanks to former Blackhawk James Wisniewski, we’ll have to see if the team can do that without Brent Seabrook. Wisniewski basically skated all the way from the blue line to elbow Seabrook’s head into the glass after Seabrook’s hit on Corey Perry went uncalled. Granted, the Perry hit was borderline as well, but while Seabrook hit high he led with his shoulder, not his elbow, and it was a hockey play through and through. Perry had the puck though he lost it in the netting before Seabrook got to him.

Wisniewski’s hit, meanwhile, was a malicious, premeditated act of retribution.

Seabrook blacked out for a few seconds after this, and left the game once he got back to the bench. It is clear that he’s suffering a concussion and chances are, he won’t be playing tomorrow in Los Angeles. Wisniewski, meanwhile, got 2 minutes for charging and took Duncan Keith to the penalty box with him after Keith went after him for the hit.

It was a tied game at that point, but on an ensuing Blackhawks power play Corey Crawford erroneously attempted to play the puck, coming way out of his crease and getting caught outside it to allow Marchant a shorthanded tally. Marian Hossa, deflecting off a Duncan Keith wrister, went for the equalizer early in the third period but it wasn’t long after that when Saku Koivu took the lead. The goal was the result of Sopel failing to bat the puck out of the air when Perry shoved him from behind. No call was made.

The Blackhawks attempted to get to Hiller for the rest of the period, but he stood strong, and when Crawford vacated the net with a minute left to play, Bobby Ryan was able to seal the Ducks’ victory with an empty netter.

Notes:

  • Believe it or not, I am as sick and as tired of all these dirty shots and suspension debates going on as much as anyone and I would love nothing more than to stay out of it. So. Can we please stop being victims now?
  • I know many questioned Quenneville’s decision to pull Crawford when the Ducks still had the puck, but my theory is that after the Ducks scored the 3rd goal, which came after a non-call, Q decided to fuck it and just set the Hawks loose.
  • Why, when you have a team that includes Brouwer and Eager and Burish, do you instead get people like Keith and Versteeg and Nick friggin’ Boynton trying to pick fights?
  • We’re down 3 defensemen, by the way. I didn’t really pay much attention but it looked like Keith skated with Sopel, Hjalmarsson with Byfuglien, and Hendry with Boynton.
  • The defense actually did a pretty good job of clearing the puck from the net, I thought. Crawford did a fairly decent job of stopping most everything that came his way as well. The 2nd goal against was the most cringe-worthy, but I’m cutting him some slack because it’s a rookie mistake and he was trying to imitate Hiller, who made a similar (albeit more successful) play earlier, I suppose.
  • Quenneville is seething after the game, and with good reason. I think that’s a pretty obvious suspension (though the Ducks are already coming up with their Bruce Boudreau-like defenses) but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL Wheel of Justice found a way out of it. I mean, we already got a fair call on Ovechkin, but for every decent call Colin Campbell makes he fails on three more, so the law of statistics may be against us. I’m just saying.
  • Madden, Versteeg, and Ladd were once again all over the place tonight and creating plenty of good chances. There were, in fact, quite a few good chances generated across the board, but the 3rd line was solid so far.
  • My evaluation may be a little off because we were against the 13th place Ducks, but as far as I’m concerned the Blackhawks played one of their better games in recent memory. If they keep playing this hungry against the Kings tomorrow, they should be fine, probably even without 3 of their top 5 defensemen. One can hope, at least. Just, for heaven’s sake, don’t lose any more.
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