Like Old Times: Hawks 2 Canucks 1 (OT)
Man, that got the hate flowing. While some of the names may change, it appears some things will always be the same. The Sedin twins will always be creepy. Alex Burrows will always be a penisloaf. And the Hawks and Canucks will always hate each other.
What we got was some playoff-like hockey. Two teams that played with a lot of skill and a bit of snarl and an overtime victory for the good guys. Since their 9 game losing streak, Chicago is 13-4-1, all without Jonathan Toews. The defense has tightened up, the goaltending has been a bit better and they've played themselves back into the picture to challenge for the 4th seed. So, are you still panicking?
Goalies: Roberto Luongo was virtually unbeatable in the first two periods, while the Hawks as a team kept the Canucks offense at bay. But in the third, Vancouver took the initiative, and Corey Crawford was put on the spot. Crow answered the bell, turning away 14 shots (after facing only 9 through the first 2 period), including several redirections in front of his own net.
Viktor Stalberg - Stals was very good tonight, using his speed to create chances and set up Patrick Sharp on the doorstep only to have Sharpie denied by a Canucks defenseman.
Johnny Oduya - I wasn't expecting much from Oduya when the Hawks got him, but he's been very good since he came over at the trade deadline. Oduya's been a rock on the second pairing, a nice trigger man on the power play and most importantly, he seems to have calmed Nick Leddy down.
Remember when the Canucks would lose their cool and take a slew of stupid penalties and the Hawks would bury them with power play goals? Well, that formula would have worked tonight had the Hawks been able to convert on the man advantage. Instead, they went 0 for 5, looking anywhere from decent to absolute horseshit. It's been said many times, but needs to be said again: if the Hawks want to put a stop to the wanton assholery of teams like the Canucks, they HAVE to convert on these power plays.
Marcus Kruger - Kruger didn't play poorly, but he went to the locker room in the second period with an upper body injury and never returned. Based on his history, let's hope this isn't a concussion.
Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa - Anytime these assholes are on the losing side of a hockey game is good with me. When it's a game against the Hawks, well that's even sweeter. Burrows got tangled up with Duncan Keith during a second period fracas and got in a couple of cheap shots and both were given 4 minutes plus misconduct penalties. And Bieksa, as usual, spent more time running his fat mouth than doing anything constructive on the ice.
Fuck both these guys.
Ah, that's good hatred. I'm almost playoff ready.
Up Next: Hawks have a bit of time off, then play a huge game against the Predators on Sunday. This will be BIG.