All good things must come to an end, Hawks fall in Florida.

The streak is over, and I no longer have any hair. I lost it during what some might call an onslaught of shots, a barrage of chances, and a ridiculous example of domination by one team over another. The Hawks outshot their opponent 40-15, and yet, against a team without any playoff hopes, lost in regulation. They managed to lose a game under these circumstances by playing hockey with their heads up their butts in the 1st period. Clumsy passing, bone-headed defensive plays, not finishing checks and a lack of hunger (I use that word because it was mentioned in a past post) allowed a team to score 3 unanswered goals in the 1st. A team that seems mostly composed of minor league players given that they could be man-handled the way they were in the 3rd. Not only did the Hawks miss out on an always crucial 2 points, and end a great streak in all the wrong ways, but they also put themselves in a bad place to win tomorrow. Tired.

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Have I set the stage well enough? Pure and simple, the Hawks lost tonight because of a weak mindset coming in. This game is the best example of how a team can dominate every area of a game for 40 minutes and then lose because of the other 20. You had to know that the late goal in the 1st was the nail in the coffin, and I still thought the Hawks had it in them to pull a win out of their hats. They have scored 3 or more goals in the past 9 games, so it was mostly plausible.
Flash back to the early 1st. Hawks come out of the gate well enough, and then a missed opportunity for a big hit goes unplaced, then a weak pass, and a poorly converted odd-man rush leads to a chance in the other direction. Now I notice that Florida is skating pretty damn good for a team in their condition and I start to worry. Not a moment later, a bounce goes the Panther's way which ends up leaving Leddy confused for once on what man he should take and that gives the Panthers enough time to pick up a huge rebound to go up 1-0. Not much later Hjammer makes one of those bone-headed plays I mentioned and hands the puck over to the Panthers on a breakout that should have taken advantage of Florida's line-change. Instead, a few bad bounces against the Hawks and a 2-0 deficit digs the whole a little deeper.
It seemed like the Hawk's ego was a bit too large, because they still kept from waking up and playing hockey. I honestly can't even remember how it happened, but with 8 seconds left on the clock, Florida went up 3-0 off of a killer wrist shot from Reasoner. And that my friends was the game winner. A goalie change and apparent verbal thrashing during the intermission caused an awful lot of excitement and scoring chances by the Hawks in the 2nd. A great goal by Kane (who was playing surprisingly good defense) off of a Campbell set-up brought the Hawks back into the game and also seemed to light a fire under the Hawks. Cut to a goal beyond beauty by the Hossa, Bolland, Bickell line which brought the Hawks within one, and where they ended up staying, but also game the Hawks life. This is where the game changed from being an actual game and turned into a brutal attack of an entire team against one man. 
I really don't think the Panthers should feel much glee over the win. 15 shots against 40 is nothing to be proud of. The only player who gets to walk away from this one with a smile on his face is Tomas Vokoun who was the only one left standing after that brutal attack. As good as Vokoun was, the Hawks missed as many chances, which is where my hair went. If anything can be learned from the game, and I hope something was learned. It is that the Hawks can be really, really good when they want to. I just hope they can decide to be good all of the time. Now I just wish they have saved a bit of energy for Tampa.
Some things I took away from the game: Campoli is a huge offensive threat, and he really wants to show his worth for the Hawks. One of the more physical players of the game, he was a strong foundation on D and always there for an offensive rush. He could have had the game tying goal on a few occasions, and he also caused a couple strong chances. Im still waiting for Seabrook to completely wake up. I realized that Sharp used to hit a lot more, and that Hossa has 7 goals in 8 games. The win could have brought them 4 points away from Detroit. It leaves them 6 points away instead, and still only 3 points out of 9th place. As I write this, Vancouver and Phoenix are tied, and so is San Jose and Nashville. It is a shame that winning 8 games in a row doesn't buy a little bit of insurance. Such is the West. So who plays in net tomorrow for the Hawks?

Filed under: Game Recap

Tags: Blackhawks, Campoli, Panthers, Vokoun

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  • "Clumsy passing, bone-headed defensive plays, not finishing checks and a lack of hunger"

  • 3 reasons for the sluggish first period:
    - 8-game win streak ego
    - Lack of intensity facing team with a losing record
    - Too much time in the Florida sun

    As I hinted at in my previous post, this loss doesn't surprise me. But it's definitely disappointing to see their streak end to one of the stupidest teams on the schedule. This should have been an easy 2 points. That said, realistically the only reason they lost this game was Tomas Vokoun. They dominated 2/3 of the game, and with any luck at all it should have been another (easy) win. Although it seems impossible for them to do it so many times a season, they learned yet another lesson about being responsible to play a full 60.

    Can't win 'em all. You're gonna hit a hot goalie here and there. As tough as a loss is, I'd rather have them lose while outshooting the opponent 40-15 than have them lose being outshot 40-15.

  • In other news: Vancouver beat Phoenix, and San Jose beat Nashville. So, the Hawks stay where they are for now, but fail to gain any ground on the teams above them.

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    It seemed to be a league-wide epidemic last night. In the race for the last spots in the east, the Devils, Leafs and Sabres all lost too. The red-hot Devils end up losing to an even weaker team than the Panthers. Go figure.

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    It may not have made a difference, but I thought it was probably time for Turco to start a game. Crow is no more or less to blame for that first period then the rest of the team, but in cases like that you need strong goaltending or strong play up front to weather the storm. We didn't learn anything new here and that's good and bad. On the bad side, this is something they frequently did last year; lose to weak teams. On the good side, after getting kicked in the balls three times, they came back for two periods and nearly took back the game. Any weak team, on any given night, can find the jam to play well above their ability. We knew a loss was coming and it could have been a lot worse. What they do tonight is more important then the loss last night.

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    As Q said, that goal with 7 seconds left cannot happen. Too me it looked like Campbell just pushed the puck right into the slot under a little pressure, inexcusable with time running out.. On the bright side, if they play like they did in the last 2 periods, no one will beat them. Hard to believe they couldn't dent the twine one more time with the constant wave of pressure and shots. I agree that the defense better learn to hit the net, especially Seabrook, my god how many times did he miss the net, a couple of times right in the slot?? Another play I remember is Bickell in a prime scoring area trying to make a cross-ice pass to Hossa, shoot the damn puck!

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    Q must be back on the Aspirin again. Turco gets the start tonight. We're gonna need to score 4 on Roloson to have any chance... don't like the move.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Another back-back situation coming up Sunday-Monday, I guess I would rather have Turco in this spot here, fresh off of getting some action last night instead of one of the games coming up (Washington/Sharks).

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    I have to agree on starting Turco as well. If the team is going to make into the playoffs, they are going to have to win some games with Turco in the net and tonight is as good a night as any to start.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    I dunno guys. To me that's like punishing C2. You need to bring him back and show some confidence in him. I'll be interested to see how the team responds.

    This years tandem is so, so much like last year's duo. Q finally got the message when Huet was shellacked in a game against Columbus, and never again did he see any ice in a 'hawk jersey, so Q is not averse to using a hot goalie.

    I think maybe Q had this mapped out all along and last night just gave Marty some extra playing time. Tampa is not a WC team so if you're gonna give one up, better to do it here. But two points is two points and C2 gives them the best chance, IMO.

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