The Chicago Blackhawks are served with their second loss of the year after playing 4 periods of terrible hockey. An offensive surge through 2 periods just wasn't enough to get the Hawks back on the winning track as both Emery and Crawford allow 3 goals each against Edmonton.
The Blackhawks already have their concerns with the Oilers, who coming into this game were scoreless in their past 8 periods of play. A complete lack of support, stagnant legs, horrible passing, and a bad goal on Emery's part sent the Oilers to a very early 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. They even allowed a goal after initially winning the face off, because of Hawk bodies standing still watching as the Oilers won back the puck and slammed it home. Shockingly, the Hawks left the 1st winning 74% of their face offs.
By the end of 1 period, it was 4-0 Edmonton.
To start the game, the lines looked a little more pleasing to my eyes. Bollig was out and Mayers was in. Stalberg was moved up to the 2nd line with Kaner and Bolland, and Frolik had a chance to show his stuff on the 3rd line. Not perfect, but a vast improvement on last games combos IMO. This ended up mattering little, as there started to be some shifting, and the game got out of hand anyway.
The god awful performance by the Hawks in the 1st period had me asking if it was fatigue, illness, injury, or a will to play some hockey? My best guess based on how bad it was, was that this team was nowhere near 100%, but the response in the 2nd and 3rd kills that assumption. This response actually makes me more pissed about their play in that 1st period. Every single player was a -1 after the 1st period with the exception of the 3rd line, and they showed later that they had the strength and legs to avoid it.
Edmonton scored their first power-play goal late in the 1st after Mayers took the type of penalty that gets my blood boiling. Trying to start a fight with Chicago native, (someone who I have had the luxury of playing with) Mike Brown. Mayers dropped his gloves and Brown just skated away from him and into his bench. This was a huge moment in the game, and a big example of why this crap needs to stop. Now Mayers is a smart veteran player, and you have to ask yourself if he was given instructions to do this to change momentum.
Fights do not change momentum, but power-plays sure as hell do. Terrible moment in a terrible period, and the 1st of 3 power-play goals against the Hawks tonight. This makes 5 PP goals against in them in the past 2 games. Oh crap.
This is a very struggling team, a bottom feeder, and 2 games in a row the Hawks made teams like this look like playoff teams.
In a complete 180, the Hawks came out in the 2nd with something to prove, and all they ended up doing in the end for me was proving that they didn't give a crap in the 1st period, because they absolutely dominated for the next 40 minutes sans the 2 power-play goals in this same timeframe. By all evidence, they should have walked away with a win after the full 60 was played. This fact makes that 1st period less acceptable.
The scoring for the Hawks began with a Kane goal, who missed having a hatty by about an inch later on, because Dubnyk made a fatal mistake trying to play a puck near the blue line. Toews made a huge play and fed the 2nd goal to Hossa moments later, and you most likely thought this was going to end up a Hawks win.
A very bad call by the officials changed that tune when the wrong call was made on a Leddy play, and the PK couldn't silence that change in tune.
Dubnyk would end up leaving the game after his own player ran right through him, and in came a very inexperienced goaltender in Yann Danis. He would end up making a couple of nice saves, but would give up 3 goals and almost gave up the win to the Hawks. Unfortunately, the Hawks just didn't have that equalizer in them and they couldn't keep enough pucks out of their own net.
There is a lot of individual efforts and big plays that we could talk about in the 2nd half of the game, but in the end it came down to the 3 power-play goals against, and a bad start.
Seabrook, who was nowhere in the 1st period, made some big plays later, including a blast to make it 6-4.
Brookbank had a strong effort, and continued the aggressive offensive play by the Hawks defense to make the game 5-3 and on a short handed goal mind you. 3 Hawks players were in their crease on this goal and it was on the kill. Now, I personally believe that there should be a rule change here, because Edmonton took a penalty just as this rush was getting started by interfering with a powering Hossa. I think that penalty should still stand in instances like this, and I have always thought that in these scenarios. Whatever, it doesn't really matter.
Obviously, Kane was huge late, and he was probably the worst forward in the 1st period. He caught fire, and we are all waiting for the hats to rain down, but it just wasn't going to happen this time. The Hawks luck had run out.
The Hawks had some absolutely dominating shifts late in the game, but it all came down to the inexcusable start. After the game, coach Q took the responsibility for that. Even if the Hawks weren't ready because of decisions made by Q and his staff, this was an all team effort, or non-effort which caused the loss. Maybe, the Hawks needed a practice yesterday to get used to playing with new linemates. In the end, I think this rough season schedule is more to blame for what we saw.
And this is no hit on Mayers, but I have to question the reluctance to call someone up from Rockford who has more of an ability to skate and score in the absence of Sharp. I wonder if that will change with the 3 days off, which the Hawks are in obvious need of, and the time to practice.
Looking at the schedule for the rest of the month, the Hawks are in good shape to start a new streak. The biggest road block in that will be the equally impressive Ducks, who are in a very good place to match the Hawks start and find themselves at the very top of the conference. The Hawks have the Ducks twice in the next few weeks.
Filed under: Game Recap