DUCK FAT TUESDAY: Ducks 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)

Home sweet home? Sure.

The Chicago Blackhawks returned to the United Center following their 6-game road trip to host the Anaheim Ducks.

The Hawks got 2 goals in less than a minute during the second period, and it damn near stood. Andrew Cogliano scored with under 3 minutes left in regulation, and the Ducks held on until they were able to top the Hawks in the shootout, 3-2.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:

45 seconds better than all 88 games of last season - Bryan Bickell absolutely freight trained Ryan Getzlaf, took a few punches to the helmet from Brad Staubitz, then as he sat in the box he watched Nick Leddy one-time a power play goal. 28 seconds later, Brandon Saad scored a goal while airborne. The United Center sounded like the Stadium for the rest of the period.

The points streak reaches 13. I think it's safe to guess around 50 points keeps you off the golf course on April 15th, and with 23 in 13 games the Hawks are looking like a team that will be less worried about scraping into the playoffs, and more about getting a banner or two into the rafters.

Another successful 5-on-3 penalty kill. The Hawks' kill has been great all season (tonight's own goal while on the kill notwithstanding), but they are perfect when down 2 men. And this one was while one of the best PK forwards, Michael Frolik, was in the box.

Remember when we all figured Niklas Hjalmarsson could be gone at any minute? Yeah, not so much any more. Huge on the penalty kill.

Also, Marcus Kruger. He's been a demon on the kill as well , strong defensively overall, and he even won 7 of 10 at the dot. Great work by the diminutive Swede.

Brandon Saad. That is all.

THE BAD:

The Hawks' inability to convert either of 2 power plays in overtime. Ducks' dumbass Toni Lydman did all he could to giftwrap the game for the Hawks, taking two boneheaded penalties. Coach Joel Quenneville sent out a PP unit of Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, and Patricks Kane and Sharp. Still, only 3 shots on goal in 3:50 of 4-on-3 time? Substantially less than good.

Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith have varied this season from looking like world beaters to...I don't know, maybe a couple guys acting as if playing solid defense could make them come down with rubella or something. Seabrook knocked the puck into the Hawks' net for the first Ducks goal. If these guys get some consistency, we won't need to start clobbering them. I'm sure the fear of retribution from a hockey blog is all it will take for them to straighten their games out.

Wasting a good performance by Corey Crawford. Crow stopped 29 of 31, and his glove was probably better than it's been all year. He got pantsed in the shootout by Nick Bonino and Corey Perry, but it never should have gotten to that point.

THE UGLY:

I never got a pacszki today. They ran out. Fucking Boudreau.

Next up for the Hawks is a Friday night tilt with the red-hot San Jose Sharks. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

 

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