For just the fourth time since Feb. 1, the Chicago Blackhawks did not collect two points in a game, losing 5-4 in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday
Chicago Blackhawks fans saw a rare sight Tuesday — at least as far as the team’s recent results are concerned. The Blackhawks did not win a game for just the fourth time since Feb. 1, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision at home to the Vancouver Canucks.
Frankly, the team didn’t deserve even one point. It put forth about the same effort as it did Sunday against Colorado, and it got close to the same result — minus a win. But with the Minnesota Wild upending the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday as well, the Blackhawks will certainly take that extra point for getting to overtime.
The Blackhawks are now up six points on the Wild with nine games to play (10 for the Wild). So they’re still in decent shape to capture the Central Division and Western Conference crowns despite the loss. Oh, and the Blackhawks were the first team in the Western Conference to reach 100 points on the season.
The only other teams in the league that have at least 100 points all reside in the Metropolitan Division, and have all clinched a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth like the Blackhawks. The Washington Capitals (102 points), Pittsburgh Penguins (101) and Columbus Blue Jackets (100) are the others over the century mark.
Let’s talk about some commentary
Now that I’ve gotten the basics of this morning links post out of the way, let me touch on something that really bothered me during last night’s game, before I give you your morning links.
During the third period of this game against Vancouver, Brandon Sutter converted a 2-on-1 chance to put the Canucks up 4-1. It seemed pretty obvious why this goal occurred. Blackhawks color commentator Ed Olczyk did not agree.
On this play, defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk decided to plunge deep into the offensive zone. The Blackhawks trailed 3-1, so perhaps he thought it wise to get down there to try and kickstart a goal-scoring offensive possession.
In my mind, watching this game, this goal was entirely TVR’s fault. Somehow, Eddie O found a way to blame Tomas Jurco for the goal against.
This left me incredibly infuriated, especially when coach Joel Quenneville seemed to agree. TVR was quickly back on the ice, while Jurco was unseen until the third period’s late stages.
It was so obvious TVR was to blame for this odd-man rush, yet one of the two sources of in-game commentary — also a former NHL player — completely ignored what had happened. TVR decided to chase a puck that was nowhere near deep enough in the offensive zone for him to chase, and it cost his team tremendously.
And yet, Eddie found a way to blame Jurco for not anticipating TVR roving like a 10-year-old, wanting to show his friends how awesome a shot he has. This is absolutely incredible to me.
Admittedly, I haven’t had TV audio of every Blackhawks game this season. But based on things I’ve read and heard after games, it would seem this isn’t the first time Eddie or someone else on a broadcast has gone out of his way to discredit a Blackhawk when someone else is to blame for an on-ice mistake.
Jurco has by no means been an amazing member of the Blackhawks since being acquired, but that doesn’t mean the team’s main color commentator should bash him when there’s no reason to. Eddie’s commentary on this play was absolutely ignorant, and reeked of getting orders from up high to keep TVR safe on commentary.
I would hope that isn’t the case, but we’ve seen in the past how the Blackhawks’ commentary team tends toward certain players over others. Ultimately, this has no bearing on what’s happening on the ice, but it’s incredibly frustrating to hear as a fan.
Let’s move on to the morning links
Before I start going off on a tangent related to this relatively minor issue, let’s get to some Chicago Blackhawks morning links.
— These guys are pretty knowledgeable. Faxes From Uncle Dale
— So are these guys. Puckin Hostile
— Can’t say I disagree with this take. CBS Chicago
— Please observe. The Athletic
— We’ll go ahead and do that. Grand Forks Herald