Blackhawks dominate for 40 minutes. Corey Crawford’s Hungry, Hungry Hippo routine in the third period wakes up Predators. Blackhawks win in shootout. That’s pretty much the recap. Now on to the important thoughts.
- Other than being incredibly annoying and frustrating, I don’t think the Blackhawks propensity to occasionally cough up a third period lead is any kind of indicator for future failures. After all, the Coyotes allowed four game-tying goals in the third period against the Hawks in the first round last year and they had no problem going to the Western Conference Finals. For me, it seems more like a thing fans and media alike latch onto as if there’s a) a cure for it and b) a logical reason for it. There’s neither. It’s just something that kind of happens and it’s happened more than a few times so THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE BLACKHAWKS!!!1!! It’s more of an anomaly than anything else.
- It’s a requirement that when Jonathan Toews is in a shootout, pants must be removed.
- Speaking of the shootout, there’s nothing more annoying than critiquing a coaches selection of a shooter. I like the way Joel Quenneville does it; just pick whoever the hell you want. These guys are all NHL players; they know how to make a move and score. If he thinks Ras al-Ghul is the right choice, then go for it. At that point, who really cares. The shootout is a meaningless tactic designed to make people with no souls leave the arena with either a happy or sad face.
- Funny how all it took for Dave Bolland to start winning face-offs was acquiring Michal Handzus. Then he proceeded to get hurt.
- On the topic of Handzus…meh. He can win face-offs and that’s something the Hawks desperately need. He can also kill penalties and even at age 36, he is a natural center, not somebody pigeon-holed into the position because of necessity (see Mayers, Jamal; Frolik, Michal). However, after watching Brendan Morrison and Ryan Johnson plod their way across the ice for two consecutive seasons, consider me hesitant to be optimistic that he’ll do anything of substance.
- I want to watch Nick Leddy skate with the puck in open ice forever.
- We have Jeremy Morin up here. Now let’s see what he does with more than 10 minutes of ice time.
- For how quickly people jump on Stan Bowman for lack of moves or lack of impact moves, it’s funny how people don’t give him any credit for the young talent he’s accumulated. Granted, Marcus Kruger and Nick Leddy were probably forced into roles far too early than they should have been, but between those two, Saad (who deserves an entire column on to himself) and Andrew Shaw, that’s a pretty impressive collection of young talent. Three of the four were 2nd round picks or later and all were brought up within a year of being drafted. If you look around the league, there’s not many teams that can boast of something like that and still be one of the top teams in the conference.
- I miss Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.