Let History repeat itself, The Blackhawks lose game 1 in Vancouver.

In the past 2 series between these 2 teams the Canucks won game 1 with pretty convincing scores. It would have been bad luck to win this game, right? After all, in those 2 series Chicago ended up winning in 6. I was not expecting much coming into this game. Figuring that the Nucks would want it more and that the Hawks are late starters in the playoffs, a win would have been a bit of a shocker. And still, I wanted it as did every Chicago Hockey fan, so I am still wanting more.

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Vancouver came out ready to win. It might even be better to say that they came out refusing to lose. In the first 20 minutes, Vancouver wanted this game much more, and it could not have been seen in any greater way than in the physical play. Chicago just kind of sat back and watched for a while, watched as Vancouver gave them a physical ass kicking. I thought that the Nucks overindulged a tad in this category and might have gotten away with a few, but it doesn't take away from their intensity.
Needless to say, this explosion onto the ice by Vancouver caused a 2 goal lead heading into the second. A tip in and then a breakaway goal and neither were ever answered by the Hawks. 2 was enough for the win in this one. The breakaway goal came off of a giveaway by the Hawks. 2 things about this play. 1.) Campbell circled way too wide considering he had just left the puck for the only defensemen behind him. 2.) Hossa got flat out beat in a race for the net. I wanted a dive by Hossa at the last second, but apparently he didn't want it that much and watching him get out skated was hard to watch.
Campbell had maybe his best game of the season besides that play, but Hossa had a very weak game all around. When a lot of the Hawks success this postseason depends on his ability to be big, doubt has set in on whether or not he can and if the Hawks can be successful as a result.
Vancouver might have started really, really strong, but there are some things to be happy about. The Hawks finished strong, and Luongo had a horseshoe up his butt. Give credit to the Hawks for battling back and almost taking it away. A few inches on two shots and we have a completely different outcome. Not finishing shots is the Hawks achilles heel.
After a strong PK by the Hawks late in the first, the tide of this game started to shift towards the Hawks. A couple of great shifts were put together, one coming off of a smart play by Smith, and others put together by the top line, and a few by the 3rd and 4th lines. A problem occurred when Kopecky was jumped and injured on a play. He left the game and the Hawks bench was short as a result. Johnson took a knee to knee hit later and shrunk the bench even more. Even given these unfortunate events, the Hawks still finished strong.
It has shown that a more consistent line combination is helpful to the Hawks and that was not to be in this game. It is quite clear that a healthy Bolland will be largely useful. Q has to be careful not to over play certain players. Having them tired by the 3rd helps no one.
A plus, Brouwer's return was felt in a positive way. I thought he had a strong game and played with intensity.
A negative. Kane, oh my god, shoot the puck on net dammit. I can not believe how many times he tried to force a pass when the shot was available. Especially given your history with Loungo, get shots to the net. Get the rebound. I almost broke through my wall on one of his chances to shoot.
Again, I want to reiterate that the Hawks hit the post a lot. Not only that, but they missed some clear opportunities. This game is easily a Hawks win even with the first period outing. Im not sure how Campbell, Sharp and Frolik did not leave this game with goals, but it happened, and Luongo earned his shutout.
Crawford put together a great finish after allowing the only 2 goals of the game, so no issues there. A breakaway and a tip were his demise and those are not the worst goals to let in. I am pretty confident in saying that this series will see a great deal of goals. The pace was fast and this will undoubtedly favor the Hawks at some point. This will be a long series.
As has been mentioned on this site, the Hawks live and die by Toews. He has to be a larger factor in game 2, but again, my attention is on Hossa to be better. He had Campoli all alone backdooor on the PP and he tried to stuff it on his own. The defense was strong, but not the difference. Two important factors to this series is just that, and Hossa being bigger than he has in past postseasons.
Game 2, come out stronger and get a few on Luongo. See what that does to his performance from then on. Things that need to happen. I really want to see Stalberg and Bickell earn their keep. Both strong skaters and big bodies, they need to answer some of the physical play handed out by Vancouver. Their roles need to be defined to them and hopefully they can bring it a bit more. The Hawks do not have to be a huge physical team, but this game was asking for a little kick-back. That, and lets park some bodies in front of Luongo. I feel like this was Vancouver's best and the Hawks were okay. Just history repeating itself.

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  • Well, I would love to launch a string of obscenities at Versus. When you don't live the home market, you get to wait until the Eastern game is done before you can watch the team you care about. There are some ways to find it on the net, but since I had to work, I didn't get to see the first period. Note to Capitals, pick your game up and finish in regulation. Thank you.

    As for our team, it is almost a guarantee that they wil not be able to come back from being down two goals against the Nucks. If it's a night when both teams are scoring instead of hitting posts, maybe it's a different story. If there is some kind of link to history, the Hawks will come out and have a strong game on Friday. I sure hope so.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Senor Vegas,

    A suggestion for two. Try http://www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html and watch it online till Versus switches to the hawk game. If the feed is fuzzy, try the way I watched the '71 and '73 finals. On WGN radio http://player.streamtheworld.com/_players/wgn/ and in your imagination. Hope this helps.

    BW

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Many thanks! I will definitely keep that link handy!

  • You know the more I think about it, and the further I am from that first period effort, the better I feel about that game.
    Vancouver did get away with some crap, the first goal was shortly after a no-call on a high stick to Johnson that would have been a double minor. I hope Kopecky isn't too badly hurt from his attack, but I fear a head injury.
    The Sedins were shut down rather well by Toews, and I expect it to continue to a greater extent when Bolland finds his way back into the game-day roster. You have to be rather happy with the 3rd and 4th line efforts, Dowell especially had a great game.
    Like I said, the Hawks need to finish their chances more consistently. Kane left a bad taste in my mouth. He seriously blew it with those prime scoring opportunities.
    The PP could have been the difference.

  • "It's a game of inches" - right? This has never been more true.

    Apart from the disparity in the hits column, I thought the Hawks played fairly even with the Nucks. As usual, a bounce here or there and this might be a completely different game. You can bet all the games will be similar. The headlines read "Luongo stops the Hawks"... and although he played well, frankly "The Hawks miss or hit the post" was the real story of the shutout. A better PP would have been nice for sure, but they had some good chances there as well.

    Like Vegas, I missed the first period due to the Caps game OT. It's just as well since it seems the Nucks had their way in the first. I gotta say, I'm a whole lot less uptight this year watching this series. Winning the Cup last year and then coming in as a big underdog this season has made it a pleasure to sit back and just see how the game unfolds. Last year I paced around like a caged lion for the whole game, and then was pissed off for a couple days if the Hawks lost.

    Canuck fans are probably feeling the way we did after game 1 of the Sharks/Hawks series last year. Chicago won that game, but we were all feeling like it could have gone the other way very easily.

  • Eight words

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    They had exactly 2 posts if I do recall, and a few other strong scoring chances. When comparing in the arena of "should have scored" kinda stuff, I think both teams had even amounts of chances that should go in. The Hawks did just as good of at job at keeping Vancouver from Crawford, I thought. Besides the posts, Hossa had one that should have gone in, Sharp too, and Campbell had the chance of the night. There were more than a few times when Luongo had no idea where the puck was.
    The difference was odd-man breaks. The Hawks had few, while the Nucks a bit more.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    HH, I agree they did have scoring chances and Luongo had horseshoes up his arse to go along with a lot of not very high percentage shots. Can you think of many rebounds the 'hawks were able to snare and how many times did Kane and others make that one extra pass rather than shoot the darn biscuit? Too cute. On the rush they need to get the puck on the net and crash it with some authority to get the rebounds. I don't know if it is in this squad to crash the net.

    I know you guys aren't buying it, but the canucks have at least two more gears they didn't even need to shift into last night. The Sedins were neutralized and the 'hawks still lost.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    The Canucks are good but they're not gods. I respect your opinion, but it's total BS to say they weren't even breaking a sweat when the Hawks turned it on in the 2nd and 3rd. As HH mentioned, Luongo was lost on a bunch of plays and lucked out. If the Nucks are as invincible as you make them out to be, then they wouldn't have lost 28 of their games this year. That's one loss in every three games. The Sedin twins were neutralized because the Hawks played good D. You make it seem like it was their choice to not score. The Hawks easily have the ability to take them out if they skate and can get a bounce to go their way.

  • In reply to oneteam:

    Believe me, Carp, I'd like nothing more than for the Canucks to lose. Gods, no way. I've been pretty consistent all along in saying it is one of those years for them. Everything has bounced their way, and they appear to me to be much like the 'hawks were last year

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    I thought the Nuks were better- their rushes led to better shots on net. The hawks are going to have fewer prime chances, which means they have to bury those. Kane finishing a 2 on 1 by flipping a waist high pass toward Sharp and it ending up in the corner will not get it done.

    I was disappointed at their lack of moxie as well. For Cup champions they showed no swagger at all. They were physically pounded and it pissed me off.

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