Before I delve into the game, I have to address this because I think there’s a bigger issue at hand here. Regarding the Stalberg non-call. I understand that the refs put the whistles away and wanted to let the teams play. I’m all for that, I think its better for the game, especially in OT. But that should only be when the penalties are marginal. A blatant, desperate hook on a breakaway isn’t something the officials should let the teams just play through. That call has to be made.
The big issue here, I think, and the reason I think the refs didn’t call the hook, is this notion that the refs have to be “fair” and compensate the other team for their bad/missed calls. While I understand the logic there: it gives a degree of equilibrium to the game, it puts the game in the hands of the officials, who can ultimately determine the fate of a hockey game by making or refusing to make a call to make up for an earlier mistake. I get it, referees are human, they’re going to make mistakes. But when those mistakes (the call against Ballard, missed against the Blackhawks) compound and lead to bigger mistakes (the Stalberg non-call) and possibly cost a team a hockey game, just because the officials we’re trying to be “fair”, then it becomes a problem. Am I crazy or do I have a point here? I’d like to hear your guys’ thoughts on it.
Anyways, onwards and upwards.
Condensed version: Canucks were better in the first, Hawks dominated in the second, they split the third, Hawks could not win a faceoff to save their life, goaltending was insane on both sides, Sedins ruined our night.
The Hawks probably didn’t get the outcome they deserved and certainly not the one they wanted. They really deserved the two points. They were the better team. Were it not for the Schneider Sideshow (say that five times fast) this game likely could have be over in the second period.
At the end of the day the Hawks will probably take the road point against a tough conference opponent. The bad news is both Detroit and Nashville won, with Detroit seizing a 3-1 victory over the Flames and the Preds having a 4-goal third period to rally against the Wild. Rough night for the Hawks.
Some concluding thoughts:
- Viktor Stalberg had a great game. I spent some time listening to the Team 1040 after the game (always like to hear what they have to say after Hawk-Nuck games) and they were raving about Stalberg and commented on how he’s the complete package: size, speed and skill. Of course they weren’t surprised that Toronto traded him away, like they seem to do with every talented player they get. Anyways, great game for Viking. Looking forward to seeing more of it.
- Corey…. where did that come from? Corey Crawford, out of nowhere, decided to go all “last year” on us and had a brilliant game, finishing with a .909 save percentage, despite allowing 3 goals. He made some huge stops and brought back some pleasant memories from last year’s playoff series. The question is: is this the Crow we can expect the rest of the way? We will find out over the coming weeks.
- Brendan Morrison had an okay game. He started out bad, got better, and then stayed pretty mediocre the rest of the way. He showed flashes of his upside: he sees the ice well, he can find open ice and make good passes, can play the cycle game, not bad on defense. My only issue (no surprise) is that his speed is lacking, which will affect the second line’s transition game. Also I’d like to see him win more battles down low and along the boards, come up with loose pucks and create some space for Hossa and Sharp. To what degree he’ll be able to do that is yet to be determined. But overall, not a bad first game. He didn’t look too out of place and given some time to form chemistry with 10 and 81, I think he could work out.
- I think Andrew Shaw just got hit again.
- I thought Duncan Keith, despite his minus-2 rating, had a very, very strong game. His ability to read and anticipate plays was on full display as he broke up a number of passes that could have resulted in high quality scoring chances and rushes. Brent Seabrook too had a solid game, as he and Keith did some fine work against the Twins. The Hawks need these two at the top of their games if they have any chance of surviving this road trip.
- Speaking of which, want to know what John Scott’s ice time was? 5:21. Meanwhile Keith played 30:22, Seabrook 27:42 and Leddy 24:42. Quenneville can you please explain your logic of forcing this many minutes on your defenseman at the beginning of a gruelling 9 game road trip? For “toughness”? There was almost zero animosity in this game. Just two, competitive teams trying to get 2 points. I sure hope you learned your lesson and you keep that gorilla in the press box the rest of the way.
- Keith Ballard is an overpayed pile of uselessness. He thinks hockey only consists of hipchecking, turning pucks over and whacking your own goalie in the head. I find it absolutely hysterical that Canucks fans think he has any kind of trade value.
Thanks for reading.