Bring Me the Head of James Wisniewski: Blackhawks 2, Ducks 4
What bullshit. No, not the game, the officiating. For those who didn't see it, early in the second period, Brent Seabrook hit Corey Perry hard behind the Hawks net. The puck was held in, and former Blackhawk and Chris Block favorite, James Wisniewski made a run from the blue line, left his skates and used his forearm to drive Seabrook's head into the boards. Seabrook was out on his feet, Ducan Keith made a gallant attempt to defend his comrade, and when the dust settled, Wiz got...2 minutes for charging. Wow. Complete bullshit there, as if ever there was an intent to injure, that was it. The Hawks didn't even get a power play out of the deal, because Keith got some bullshit penalty as well. I spent the rest of the game hoping Burish or Eager would go knee-to-knee on Wisniewski's bad wheel.
Don't even get me started on no-call when Perry shoved Sopel from behind while Sope was trying to play a puck in the air that led the Ducks 3rd goal.
The Offense: Despite the absence of Campbell, the Hawks puck possession game was in full effect and Anaheim managed a goal on a defensive breakdown and 2 more on fluke plays.
Jonas Hiller: The guy was incredible. The Hawks should have won this game in spite of the terrible officiating, and if anybody but Hiller was in goal they probably would have. Switzerland's Olympian made key stops on any number of Hawks, turning away chance after chance. The good news? Chicago likely won't see him in the playoffs. In fact, nobody will.
Nick Boynton: Boynton looked fine in his first game as a Hawk. He stayed home, and made the smart plays, and also ended up being the one who fought Wisniewski at the end of the game. Boynton definitely made a case for himself to remain on the 3rd pairing when Kim Johnsson returns from injury.
Officials: See above. A fucking travesty. I mean Jesus Christ, open your fucking eyes.
Ben Eager: Ben doesn't seem eager to do much of anything lately, be it hit, fight, score, instigate or whatnot. He's been terrible, and if anybody was going to wreak vengance on Wiz, it was him. Instead, Eager was the invisible man.
Defensive Depth: The corps of d-men is looking pretty thin after the last two games. Seabrook sat out more than half this game, and likely won' play tomorrow. This pressed Dustin Byfuglien into duty on the blue line, where we can all confirm that he still has a big shot and is still slow as hell. Brent Sopel and Jordan Hendry looked uncomfortable together, and Sopel looked terrible on the point for the power play.
Wiz's hit was the ugliest thing here, but since I've already covered that, I'll go with the Ducks 2nd goal. With Byfuglien and Boynton manning the points on the power play, a puck got past them and Corey Crawford found himself racing Kyle Chipchura for the puck. Crawford won the race but completely flubbed the clear attempt, then couldn't get back to the net in time to prevent the shorthanded goal.
Up Next: Another late night for Chicago fans, as the Hawks take on the Kings at 9:30pm tomorrow.