Too Cute: Hawks 1, Canucks 2 (SO)
Well, that was...odd.
This is one of those games you'd like to have back. The Hawks outshot and with the exception of one line outplayed the Canucks for 2/3 of the game. The problem was, instead of just going with the basics of getting guys in front of Roberto Luongo and throwing pucks at the net, the Blackhawks players seemed obsessed with making that extra pass.
That was still good enough to get the Hawks to a shootout, where we got to watch both coaches out genius each other. Quick, right now, pick the 3 Hawks players who should take part in every shootout. If you said Toews, Kane and Hossa, congratulations you're correct. If you said that both Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy should shoot before Hossa, please submit your resume to Stan Bowman.
Of course, it's hard to get too worked up over shootout tactics, I mean Alain Vigneault didn't use either of the Sedin twins and his team managed to win.
Corey Crawford - He still doesn't have a shutout, but Crawford stood tall this evening. He kept the Hawks in the game when they were floundering in the first period and he got them to overtime by coming up big when his mates took 3 consecutive penalties after tying the game in the 3rd.
Brandon Saad - Saad was by far the best forward on the ice for the Hawks tonight. He won board battles, drove the net and played with a confidence he clearly didn't during his stint in the NHL last season. I know he doesn't yet have a point to show for it, but those will come if the coaches stay patient. Saad belongs in the NHL.
Marian Hossa - Late in the third period, the Canucks had a 5 on 3 power play for 40 seconds, and Hossa pretty much killed off that 40 seconds all on this own, then saved the day in overtime by back-checking on Jannick Hansen's shorthanded breakaway.
The BOLLAND LINE: holy shit, Sharp, Kane and Bolland were all individually and collectively terrible tonight. Every time these guys got into the offensive zone they stood around for a while, then tried a terrible cross ice pass that resulted in a turnover.
Drop Passes: HATE
Blocked Shots: While the Hawks certainly didn't look great, credit must be given to the Canucks. Vancouver was clogging up the shooting lanes and many of the Hawks best looks never got through to Roberto Luongo.
Early in the third period Dave Bolland went down in a heap and had to be helped down into the dressing room. Bolland's injury looked serious, and losing him for any amount of time will once again open a hole at 2nd line center that Stan Bowman has been trying to fill for the last 2 years. So I'm just going to point out that Patrick Sharp did an excellent job taking draws in the overtime, and leave it at that.
Up next: Tomorrow the Hawks play in Calgary, and HOCKEENIGHT'S GONNA DRINKEN!