Well, perhaps lucky for all of you, I missed basically all of the first period because the brain trust at NBC seems to feel that we must see some commercials and hear what Tim Thomas has to say after the game. You're number one NBC (picture salute) I went back and looked at the video for the Toews goal and it was nice to see the captain get on the board after being out so long and it kind of encapsulates what it will take to score on Smith. Ugliness. Pure, uncensored ugliness.
Since I couldn't see the first period, I have no idea really what that looked like. From the second period on, I didn't think the Hawks played badly but they weren't doing enough of what they needed to to win. On the Yotes first goal, clearly they had too many men on the ice. We can be reasonably certain the Hawks would not have scored on the resultant power play, because they, like never do, but the play that followed for the yotes would not have happened. Score two for the officials in this years playoffs. On the Yotes second goal, the Hawks got caught tired and Crow gave up what might have been a goal he should have had. Outside of that, I thought Crawford played a good game. On the Yotes third goal, they outworked the Hawks and set up a nice redirected goal.
Crawford played well enough tonight to give his team a chance to win. It's a bummer I guess that the Hawks must score at least two goals a game to win in the playoffs, but it's not like they don't possess the firepower to do it. Thought I liked the effort I saw from the Hawks, it wasn't the right effort. Shaw and Kruger did their thing as always, but there was not enough chaos in front of Smith to score. Toews banked in a goal that was pretty crappy for Smith to give up and Seabrook scored on a wide open net after his teammates created enough chaos to prevent Smith from going from left to right quick enough. You have to give the Hawks a lot of credit for scoring with Crawford pulled. In the OT though, the Yotes were making the Hawks run around in circles and it seemed like it was just a matter of time.
The good stuff- The Hawks got 45 shots on net, they shut down a brief 5-3 and overall played a very disciplined game. What wasn't so good was that they lost on the dot, took more perimeter shots than I cared for and could not seem to sustain an organized assault on Smith's crease. It goes with out saying that Smith was very good and the Yotes were brutally tight defensively. This isn't going to change. If the Hawks lose this series, it will be because A) they can't score a power play goal, B) they don't spend enough time in Smith's grill and C) because they lose their patience and get frustrated. I'm pretty bummed they lost this game after coming back and if not for that blown call, they probably win that game in regulation. Still, if they needed a reminder of what's needed to beat the Yotes, they now have it. How they play Saturday will probably say a lot about where the series is headed.
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