Trap game (n.) — Contest against lesser opponent sandwiched between two important games versus quality competition which favored team is expected to win but often loses
I hate being right. I knew it. I f-ing knew, and that’s why the Blackhawks’ 5-4 loss to Dallas last night especially chaps my ass.
If Cristobal Huetever faces the Stars again while wearing the Indian head, I’m going to break shit. For whatever reason, the Stars bring out the worst in him. Huet gave up four goals on a mere 10 shots, with the two back breakers coming right at the start of the second period which erased the ‘Hawks 3-2 first-period edge.
Coach Q decided to pull him, and rightfully so. Antti Niemi proceeded to give up the game-winner after Brent Sopel stood there and watched Steve Ott skate around him to pot his second goal of the night.
Whether or not the Blackhawks were looking ahead to New Jersey tomorrow night can be debated until the end of time with no true answer. They’ll never admit they were, and a big part of me doesn’t believe they were. After all, they scored four goals and the red-hot Patrick Kanekept up his torid pace by netting two. Nonetheless, after the high of depositing Nashville twice to take a commanding division lead and the East-leading Devils looming in a marque New Year’s Eve matchup, the ‘Hawks fell into Dallas’ trap and couldn’t get out.
Two things that bothered me the most: 1) Marian Hossa getting stoned by Marty Turco on a short-handed breakaway which swung any sort of momentum the ‘Hawks had over to Dallas, which scored the game-winner almost immediately after on Ott’s goal. 2) 78-year-old Mike Modano scoring. I made fun of him in the preview, and he made me look like a jackass.
With all of that being said so you know how sufficiently mad I am, Dallas did play a good game and deserved to win. Yes, two goals were rather flukish — including the one off Troy Brouwer’s skate — but having far less talent than the ‘Hawks, they beat them where it matters most — on the scoreboard. They scored goals at crucial moments and the ‘Hawks couldn’t recover. I give the Stars credit.
Tomorrow night is the showdown with New Jersey. Time to get back to the Blackhawks who are capable of beating anyone.
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