Hawks Win In Shoot Out 4-3; Escape Being Beaten By "Superior" Goaltending

Well, I was not able to watch the game from start to finish live. By the time I left in the middle of the second, I was reasonably satisfied with what I saw. It was a gut punch to give up a goal so quickly after scoring one, but from the outset, the Hawks were on the Blues like stink on hockey gear. I wouldn't say they played a desperate game, but they looked like they wanted to win and for the most part, kept it simple. More importantly, they pried open the defense of the team likely to win the President's Trophy this year. That's not a bad outing.

First period, the Hawks went up one zip about half way through the period on a Bickell wrister that looked like it surprised Halak more then anything else. Did Bickell precisely place that shot to squirt through Halak's armpit? Probably not, but it didn't matter. However, on the next faceoff, the puck went up ice and Alexander Steen put the puck past Crawford on his left and the puck bounced off the far post and hit Crawford in the back before going in. Crawford did not look like he came out to challenge much on that and Leddy got completed danced around. At the end of one, both teams had an ugly goal.

Second period, no scoring. Decent chances both ways and the Hawks outshot the Blues 10-3. More on shots later. Into the third, Brunette notched another ugly goal that resulted from the Hawks having great net presence and about four minutes later, Sharp and Stals forced a two on none breakaway from center ice and and Stals carried the puck, Sharp set himself up for the one timer that he drilled past Halak. However, once again, the Hawks gave one goal right back a minute later as Arnott stopped a puck behind the Hawks net and brought it forward and eventually whacked it past Crawford. Crow had the paddle down, but Arnott had no one to stop him from the hack and whack he was doing to the puck. After that, The Hawks settled back into a decent groove all the until the very end of the game when the Blues, with a minute and thirty seconds to go, set up a pretty wicked redirect. Though the Hawks locked it down after that, it really sucked to be that close to a regulation win. With no goal in overtime, it went to the shootout and both teams first three went dry. Then Bolland showed some real nice patience to hold on the puck long enough to slide it around a committed Halak. Crow blocked the ensuing tie up chance and that was that. Niemi and the Sharks lost tonight, 2-0.

Random- Hawks outshot the Blues 40-20, won the faceoffs 31-25 and as I said before, they pried apart the Blues defenses and scored some dirty goals. Oduya played 31 minutes; Stan sure as hell did himself a favor picking this guy up. Stalberg had a great night, Kruger again looked good and though he will never score in the NHL again, Frolik has done some nice things defensively. Kane's line was on for all three goals against, but I think Leddy and O'Donnell have more to do with two of them then the forwards did. One more win is probably needed to lock up sixth place and with the Preds coming up next, it's hard to not just look past that game, accept the outcome, and look forward to trying to finish strong on the Wild and Wings.


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  • Thanks for the wrap Vegas.
    I am not so quick to let Hossa off for the 3 goals he was out there for. On 2 of them, he had a chance to win the puck. Like I questioned in the last post, is Hossa getting back to his usual playoff form?

    I love the "superior" goaltending remark, Ha! And, yet again, we see 2-1 shot margin end with a tie after regulation. I do think we can blame the offense for not finishing, just as much as we do Crawford, but that does not take the ownership off of him.

    Once again, Stalberg (speaking of finishing) and Sharp were 2 of the best players on the ice. This line combo, with Kruger as center has been super impressive. Stalberg is truly starting to show his worth in the NHL, and is finding great chemistry with Sharp, who can keep up with Stalberg's speed, but knows how to finish. Has anyone else noticed Stalberg's passing ability rise exponentially since having Sharp around? Their combined speed is just too much for the opposition to handle.

    I am so impressed by the Hawks for that matter. What they have done without Toews has been very pleasing to watch. They have finally started playing as their talent would suggest. We might have seen a less interested Blues squad last night, already worrying about the playoffs and being healthy over gaining points, but the Hawks still looked pretty good. The goaltending worries me, but if Crow can get hot, and Toews is truly ready to go for round 1, the Hawks are definitely in the running to be conference champs. More on that later I guess.

  • In reply to Hostile Hawk:

    On that last goal, Hossa looked gassed trying to take away the forward to point pass. However, even on that one, the D, I thought, had a chance to tie up the puck on the boards before it went up to the point. That said, Hossa looked like he was in fire drill mode.

  • I forgot to say this: I know Bolland was 0-7 until last night, but it has been a continuous complaint of mine that we do not see enough of him in the shootout. Based on what he has shown over his career on breakaways, it seems like he should be a top 3 shooter in the SO every time. And, at least Kane looked half interested in scoring. You know, if he just tried something fancy (which he is capable of) in every chance, I would forgive him for missing.

  • Great "hockey" game last night. If not for a couple of softies let in by CC—and yes, I realize others were responsible too—it shouldn't have been close. Can you imagine if we had the Blues goaltending …

    Stalberg was the best player on the ice by a mile and a half. That line was clicking well and Vic kind of reminds me of Hossa when he bears down on the puck and does his loopty-loop in the O zone. As one of his biggest critics, I have to say he has come a long way this year and when his hockey IQ catches up with his feet, and his hands follow suit, this man will be an all-star for a long time.

    Agree, HH, I haven't seen any other teams' D cope with Stalberg's speed yet and if he could ever finish (as opposed to swedish) … wow!

    If the Wings beat the Preds tonight then we're playing for the 5th seed on Saturday? Go figure …

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    No soap buddy, Wings lose and almost got shut out. On home ice. Preds are looking built to destroy right now.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    never thought i would be wanting a hawk lose but i dont want nashville in round one...im ok with the sixth seed ,i know thats not how a real hawks fan should think but i cant help it...rather face them later when toews has some games under his belt.....

  • In reply to mchawk:

    I don't disagree with you, but I feel like you get into trouble when you start hoping for a loss.

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