Credit: Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune

Dim the Lights: Down 0-3 Boxing with Blackhawks/Canucks

I know what you optimists are thinking, and you can stop right now. The Blackhawks are not the 2010 Flyers, and these Canucks are not the Boston Bruins. It ain’t gonna happen.

Even when the ‘Hawks were at their best in this series, it wasn’t enough. Vancouver took advantage of the few opportunities they were given to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 and pull within one victory of ending their rivals’ season.

This series may not end Tuesday, but it likely will be the last time you see the Blackhawks play at the United Center this season. Pardon the utter lack of faith, though I cannot fathom how you could disagree. The Canucks didn’t play their best game, and they still beat the Blackhawks when they played, well, a lot better than they had. It’s tough to argue with that.

A few thoughts before Boxing …

I’d first like to throw out a shit sandwich to anyone who believed dressing John Scott was a good idea. A dipshit penalty, one horrendous decision by Coach Q to put him out for nearly an entire power play, and 5:20 of ice time later, Scott sat the bench for the rest of the game. That should be the last time we see Scott in an Indian-head sweater.

Although the Blackhawks didn’t convert on 1:17 of 5-on-3, I wouldn’t say they pissed that time away. Roberto Luongo made two terrific saves on Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane at the doorstep to snuff out the Blackhawks’ attack. Though it would have been nice to go up two goals at that point and create some sort of cushion, it’s probably the best the power play looked in the series aside from …

Duncan Keith scoring off the draw five seconds into the first power play of the night. It marked the Blackhawks’ first lead of the series and last of the night, which makes me want to cause physical harm to myself.

Even though both ‘Hawks goals came on the power play, they finished 2 for 7 and couldn’t take advantage of Vancouver consistently taking penalties.

We all wondered where the Blackhawks’ “stars” were the previous two games. Keith scored, Toews had two assists and Kane added another. Marian Hossa? Well…

Here’s your Boxing:

  • Josh

    As a Canucks fan (and obviously not the target audience), I like Jeff’s writing a lot more than Tim’s. But that’s the point, I suppose. Tim’s writing makes the Canucks 3 wins feel even sweeter though. But to be fair, you are only feeling what we have felt twice already, and probably not as bad because many fans were under the delusion that the Canucks were the better team last year. You were generally expected to lose, even by many of the fans over at SCH.

    It’s been a great series, and the Hawks probably deserve better than 0-3, and a possible sweep. Vancouver papers are calling for a suspension on Torres; hopefully you can see that not all of them are idiots. And I really like your Boxing idea – it sums the game up nicely. It’s been fun!

    • Jeffrey Bartl


      Much appreciated with the kind words. If people thought the Canucks had the better team last year, it was this year it was proven correctly. The Blackhawks backed into the playoffs – not just because they blew it on the last day against Detroit and needed Minnesota to win – but with their last few weeks of mediocre play which put them in that position in the first place. And now, they’re backing out in similar fashion.

      Did I believe the ‘Hawks were going to win this series? Absolutely not. However, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. It’s not really because of this series, but more the season of being consistently inconsistent.

      Thanks again for stopping in.

  • The Ghost of David Krejci

    Taking a shot at the Bruins?? Maybe Dallas will lose and the firesale Blackhawks will back in to the second round too. What a joke of a title defense. Now, excuse me I need to drink some water as I am still dehydrated. Hey, Get Your Red On.

    • Bartl

      Oh Boston Joe, always good for a laugh. Not taking a shot at the Bruins – even though they had the biggest collapse in NHL history – but more taking a shot at the ‘Hawks for not having the capability to even come close to a comeback. At least Idzy has something to root for.

      • The Ghost of David Krejci

        And the B’s are back, thanks to Bartl. Your comments were on the bulletin board tonight. Z drank some water, now just thinking about how the Canucks – B’s match up against each other.

  • Miller

    Pretty solid summarization. However, you really need to watch this video on what is a legal hit and what is illegal:

    Note the hit at 3:55. Also note the reference at 4:37 in the “North-South” hit that Stevens lays on Lindros: “here is an example of a LEGAL shoulder check to the head where the player skating North-South with the puck has to be aware of where he is AND WHO IS ON THE ICE.”

    Okay, both those instances are of players carrying the puck. Point taken. Now consider this from Bob MacKenzie (a reporter in favour of suspending Torres):

    “My first reaction to the Raffi Torres’ hit was that it was a classic case of Rule 48. A blindside hit, principal point of contact to head or targeted head shot.

    That’s my view, but when NHL general managers created Rule 48 a year ago March, they allowed the area behind the net to be a “hitting area” and players need to be more aware than, say, in the neutral zone.

    In March of 2010, a DVD went to players, coaches, and general managers saying exactly that, that there was far more latitude given on hits behind the net on unsuspecting players. In other words, as one NHL GM told me tonight, a hit behind the net is viewed more like a north-south hit than an east-west neutral zone hit.

    The other big issue is principal point of contact. Was it a straight-on body check where the shoulder also struck head or a “head shot”? Remember, in the NHL, there are circumstances where a shoulder hitting an unsuspecting or vulnerable player in the head is entirely legal.”

    It’s not as clear cut as it would seem to be.

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  • Dave

    Looking more and more like the ‘young team learns hard lessons’ season. Winning the Cup makes the next season harder – not easier.

  • jj

    Two words, Fernando Pisani!!!!

  • Chicago Irish

    Please excuse any typos, but I’m still hung-over from last night’s debacle…

    It’s time to give a tip-of-the-hat to the Canucks…they are simply a better team – more depth and skill. It’s easy to look back and re-hash every game of the 82 game schedule and recall how the Hawks easily could have attained an additional 7-10 points.

    Did this year really surprise any Hawks fans? I was still a little Cup drunk when the season began, but it was quickly removed within the first 15-20 games when I realized just how talent-less this team was. Last year the Hawks had four lines deep of stud horses…this year they had/have two lines of horses and the rest are simply donkeys and mules. Even if the Hawks had somehow upset Vancouver in the first round…where were they going???? Too much talent walked out the door before the season began. I’m not crying in my beer, it’s just a fact. I’m not one to place blame on a single player, but where did Hossa go?!?!

    In my opinion…Kane, Toews, Sharpe, Keith, and the other top guys for the Hawks all have this facial expression – like they know the team doesn’t have the talent to play at this level. Sad end to a sad season for defending the Cup. Now we get to see how Stan (cough, Scotty) Bowman handle the off-season.

    • lee

      I gotta feel for you Hawks fans, poor cap management is what killed you guys. I mean just how many players can a team dump and expect to repeat.Unfortunately it doesn’t get any better next year with all the UFAs.

      • Bartl

        “Poor cap management” got us a Stanley Cup. It may not have been an ideal season in 2010-11, but that big, shiny, silver thing the ‘Hawks hoisted over their heads last season seems a lot better than not getting past the second round since 1994. We’ll be fine.

  • George Stevens

    I really dont think people should be calling the Torres on Seabrook hit a “blind side hit”. Torres and Seabrook were skating towards each other. No “side” involved at all, and the “blind” part is only because Seabrook has his head down looking for the puck.