No Sentiment - Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)
The Blackhawks lost the first game of their opening round series with the Phoenix Coyotes after battling back to force overtime, 3-2. Frankly this was far from the best game the Blackhawks have played in quite some time. A sloppy second period put the Hawks at a one goal disadvantage until they managed to tie the game with the extra skater with just seconds left on the clock in regulation. After peppering Mike Smith with shots in the first few minutes of overtime the momentum reversed and the Blackhawks took a series of icing calls when finally the Coyotes broke through and sent the few people in Phoenix that care home happy. It's late and I'm considerably less excited than I was a few minutes ago so let's talk about some things so I can stop thinking about this game.
- Welcome back, Cap'n. Jonathan Toews scored within minutes of his return after 22 games and added an assist on the tying goal. Can't express how good it is to have him back.
- Brent Seabrook. What can he not do? He had the game tying goal but he's just one of the most solid players the Hawks have. Mr. Dependable. Everyone loves Seabs.
- Patrick Kane had a decent night with two apples. He created some decent chances and had seven shots on net tonight. He's got 16 points in his last 12 playoff games going back to the Stanley Cup Finals against Philadelphia (h/t to @PK9)
- Andrew Shaw played on the edge all night and could have taken a couple of stupid penalties but managed to escape each time. His edgy play is a necessary component and he was in the middle of every scrum. Andrew - you're young and you don't care about anything. Just don't get caught and we're cool.
- Quick note that Crawford was the Crawford the Hawks will need to advance. If he can maintain this level of play it's not going to be on him if the team cannot beat Phoenix.
- Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp should get a few extra hours of sleep before game two. They were basically terrible all night long. Hossa had a cool Hossa moment when he carried the puck into the Phoenix zone and elbowed a defender out of the way and kept going. Those moments need to be more often than they have been lately.
- Johnny Oduya was getting splattered all over the ice tonight and didn't have his best game.
- Sean O'Donnell farts dust.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson had a chance to let Crawford freeze the puck on the Coyotes' first goal but inexplicably poked it free and the Coyotes cashed in shortly after. Question marks circle my head as if I am in a cartoon.
- Raffi Torres fucking sucks.
- The Coyotes appeared to be going after Toews pretty hard in the first period. It slowed down a bit but I'm sure this won't change now that Shea Weber's set the precedence that it's ok to use people's heads like Gallagher uses watermelons.
The final word from me is that we all had quite a ride tonight. I know I had a feeling the Hawks would tie it and they did. Did they deserve to win? No. Too many turnovers, too many icings and some missed chances. Radim Vrbata, the Coyotes top scorer was knocked from the game with an undisclosed injury but if he's out for longer that's a big deal. I'll call a rebound game from Hossa and Sharp and some adjustments from the coaching staff. The Blackhawks just need to win one of these games to steal home ice and they've still got a chance to do so. Does anyone really think the Blackhawks are a worse team than Phoenix after watching that game? I sure don't.