Or so it was rumored Mrs. LIncoln said when things went bad at Ford's theater. And so it was for this game. There really was't much I can complain about. I mean, if this game is anywhere in the beginning or middle of the season, everyone is probably disappointed with the outcome but really not all that torqued about the effort. The brutal truth though is that they needed THIS game and quite honestly, I had a feeling going into it that they would do okay. And though I should take the blame for being so rosy right before a game, I'm going to try and find a way to pin this on HH for letting me near the bridge.
Anyway, to start things off, I thought the Hawks looked like they were trying to feel out the Ducks and vice versa. Overall, I think the Ducks outhit the Hawks. I don't think this made the difference, but it did seem to slow down the Hawks a little at first. The Ducks had some chances, and Crawford made some good saves. Later in the period, the Hawks started to seem like they were getting a little better puck movement and while cycling in the offensive zone, Frolik winds up with the puck near the boards and somehow bounces the puck of a Ducks skate. Off the deflection, the puck goes right to Hossa who quickly blew it right by Emery. The set up was a fluke, but the shot Hossa drilled was pretty damn sweet.
Second period, I thought the Hawks looked pretty good. Defensively, they were protecting the house, they were making mostly smart plays with the puck (some home run passes were a little too risky for my liking) and they were getting the Ducks to open up and start going end to end. It didn't carry the day today, but I will stick by what I said earlier. If this team is to have more success this year, it is going to come from forcing teams to open up and start playing run and gun. Anyhow, both teams traded some good opportunities and both teams got some PP time from some marginal looking calls. After two, the Hawks were still in the drivers seat. Or maybe not.
To start the third, the Ducks came out and scored right away. In a lucky break not entirely unlike the one the Hawks got, Toews was down low in the offensive zone and Kane had the puck at the half boards (kinda like he always does). As he attempts to pass out to the slot, the pucks bounces of a skate and deflects towards the blue line. This starts a three on two rush for the Ducks up ice that I actually thought Biscuit and Keith had under control. However, as Keith covered the guy in the slot, Perry comes zipping up the right wing boards and was all alone. A second or two later, Kane comes breazing in, but I don't think Perry was his guy to pick up. With time starting to wind down, Perry got himself in the right spot at the right time in the slot and appeared to catch Crawford in a spot where he was just a touch away from being square to him. The puck to me looks like it bounces off of Crawford's right shoulder and went in. From here, the Hawks really did push it and had some really good chances. They pulled Crawford in the end and kept control of the puck, but did not score.
Like I said at the top, if this is a game in the middle of the season, or a game against a team they are not in direct competition with for a playoff spot, the loss is not that big of a deal. But if there was any team of the remaining list they really needed to beat, it was this team. With eight games left, they realistically need to take five of those games and this will not be an easy task. So, does this negate everything we previously talked about? I don't think so. If they can pull off getting into the playoffs, they still have a lot going for them. Especially if they can get back Sharp. Dropping this game though hurt, especially because it happened on a night when everyone else who matters won as well. At this point, I don't see anything new for them to do. This one hurts, but I think they need to come back and play like this again on Monday.