It sure felt like the post season in the United Center last night. There was more intensity and snarl to the Blackhawks game, but that’s what happens when the Vancouver Canucks come to town. These two teams hate each other. These two fan bases hate each other. It shows up on the ice and in social media and makes for very entertaining hockey. Both teams showed tremendous skill and both teams had their ugly moments. Both goalies made huge saves, both teams took their fair share of penalties and both teams showed their displeasure with each other. In short, it was a typical Blackhawks/Canucks game. In the end the Blackhawks walk away with their 5th straight win. These two teams are going in opposite directions. The Hawks are playing their best hockey of the season and the Canucks are struggling. After last night’s game, I would love another post season meeting with Vancouver. It is so much fun beating these guys and listening to them whine afterwards.
- Duncan Keith is going to get suspended and he deserves to be. There was no need for the elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin. It is very disappointing to see Keith sink himself to the level of the Canucks. I expect Keith to get a 1 game suspension, 2 games tops. He has no history of dirty play so that should help him out. On the flipside, Daniel Sedin got what he deserved. If you take a run at someone’s heads do not cry when that person cleans your clock. If Sedin has a concussion and has to miss some time then that is karma, no sympathy from me.
- Marcus Kruger did not play in the 3rd period after leaving with an upper body injury. Hopefully it is not another concussion. Concussions have been spreading through the Blackhawks’ locker room faster than herpes on Kid Rock’s tour bus. Hopefully Kruger won’t miss Sunday’s game against Nashville, a game where winning faceoffs will be very important.
- Speaking of faceoffs, the Hawks were miserable at the dot last night. Patrick Kane went 3 for 18 that must improve.
- After giving up a soft goal on the first shot of the game Corey Crawford was very good in the net. He didn’t see much action in the first 2 periods but made quite a few good saves in the 3rd period. The defense is playing much better in front of him which is a huge help. Johnny Oduya has improved the defense by leaps and bounds and it is helping the goalies.
- What Andrew Shaw lacks in talent he makes up for with an incredible knack of being in the right place at the right time. He is having the run of a life time. I have no idea how much longer he can keep this up but I am sure enjoying the ride.
- How was Robert Luongo not a star of the game? He was excellent last night by making 35 saves. He was the only reason the game got to overtime.
- The Blackhawks power play is a farce. The Canucks gave the Hawks plenty of chances to bury them but they could product with the man advantage. While most people where shouting for the Hawks to shoot I was yelling “move your damn feet!” Once the Hawks get the puck in the zone, which is a chore, everyone stops moving. You are never going to score goals by just standing and watching.
- The penalty kill unit was fantastic last night. The Canucks got 3 chances on the power play in the 1st period but the Hawks were up to the task. Vancouver only managed 2 shots during their 6 minutes with the man advantage. With the way Bobby Lu was playing, giving up a power play goal would have ended any shot the Hawks had at a win.
My Blackhawks Player of the Game
Besides being miserable at the dot Patrick Kane was great again. He reached the 20 goal mark with his game tying goal in the second period. Say what you want about Kane but this kid lives for the spotlight. The bigger the game is the better he plays. Kaner has been on fire of late and is a major factor in the Blackhawks late season surge.
My Turd of the Game
The Canucks make it so hard to pick just one turd out of a locker room full of them. Alex Burrows is the biggest turd in the game. One day karma is going to get this guy and I am going You Tube the crap out of it! Just watch the scrum with Duncan Keith where he takes his usual cheap shots and knees Keith in the groin. You can add knees to the groin to a resume that includes pulling hair and biting. He plays hockey like 12 year old girls fight. I don’t want to hear anybody from the Canucks cry about dirty hits when this guy is on your team. If you are a fan of this guy and own his jersey go get yourself some professional help.