For the 6th straight playoff game and all 4 games in this series, the Chicago Blackhawks game could not be decided in regulation. This is very disturbing to most fans of the Blackhawks, but probably a big sales boom for Pharmacies around Chicago! These games have been so eerily similar that if you had made them up before the series no one would believe it could be possible. Two games tied in the last 15 seconds and a third tied in the last 1:30. This stuff could not be written by the best Hollywood writer!! Oh and throw in that back to back overtime goal winners would be by a player that tallied all of 11 goals for the season.
The Hawks came out with a great surge in the first period, but Mike Smith was sharp to start the game. The Hawks did a great job getting pucks on the net all night, they out shot the Coyotes 32-19 yet it was the only statistic the Hawks did win on this evening. The Hawks were outhit 50-32 and lost the face off battle 27-21. The only stat the does truly matter is the one that read 3-2 Phoenix Coyotes in OT. The 2nd period was won by the Coyotes, where it was more grinding defense and not too many good opportunities for either team after Corey Crawford stopped Ray Whitney’s short range shot early in the period.
The third period was very exciting but not after total depression set in at the United Center. First Johnny Oduya (who is having a terrible series) got picked clean by Shane Doan and opened up the scoring on a rebound from a Ray Whitney shot. Taylor Pyatt scored 44 seconds later and the score was quickly 2-0 midway into the third period with Mike Smith looking like a wall that would night be broken. A funny thing happened after the first 2 goal lead by either team this series, Branden Morrison ( a suprise starter to say the least) scored his first goal of the playoffs in his first Blackhawks playoff game. The Hawks had a power play opportunity that they didn’t capitalize on, then had to kill a Patrick Sharp tripping penalty. After the Sharp penalty kill the Hawks had 2 minutes left to tie the game, so they had the Coyotes right where they wanted them!!!
The best line of the last two games of Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik, and Bryan Bickell forced the action and with Bickell setting a good screen in front, Bolland sent a shot toward the net the Frolik tipped in. So for the third out of four games the Hawks had fought to force Overtime in the final 2 minutes (take note Jay Cutler!!) In every game this series when the Hawks took the ice the thought that the Hawks could lose never entered my mind. But apparently it crossed Mickkel Boedker’s mind because for the 2nd straight OT game in the United Center he scored the game winner. This one was bad in so many ways. First Sean O’Donnell got caught pinching in the Hawks offensive end. Secondly, Nick Leddy being the deep defenseman let Boedker get behind him, and lastly the weakest shot of all time just slid in from almost the face off circle through Crawfords pads and right into the record books. O’donnell should not ever be on the ice PERIOD. Crawford for the 2nd straight game let a tremendously weak goal in to lose the game in overtime.
I must say that every emotion is being used to watch this series from total despair going into the final minutes, to total jubilation when the Hawks score to tie, to total depression when the game that couldn’t end up any possible way but then to be a Hawks win, ends up as a Coyote victory. Each game and each lose makes the depression seem deeper!!
This was the first game without Hossa in the lineup after the Raffi Torres hit , Saad played ok but did nothing to distinguish himself good or bad. Oduya, Odonnell and Leddy were all bad. Frankly if it isn’t Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith on defense there is little confidence in the defense!! Where was this Bryan Bickell all season??? One could say that Frolik has been the best player on the ice for the Hawks the last two games. Crawford again had a very strong first and second period only to follow it with an average 3rd period and a horrific OT. Ray Emery could be in net come Saturday night in the desert!! The one major thing the Hawks have to figure before its’s to late is how to solve the Coyotes fore check because its killing them, including both the first two goals in the third period.
The Hawks could be just as easily up 3-1 or be tied 2-2 as it is down 3-1. This team has fought through all the adversity thrown at them this season, so a must win Game 5 should be a piece of cake!!The Hawks do need some offensive production from Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathon Toews. The Hawks can still win this one in 7 even if they don’t get time and half for all this Overtime!!!
Take it down in Phoenix errr Glendale!!
Let’s Go Hawks!!!