Get off the schnide night at the UC. Blues 4, Hawks 3 after shootout.

Well, we could keep going with the theme of giving up in the third as the Hawks gave up 2 goals late, but I don't really think it fits here. As has often been the case lately, the Hawks gave up one goal that was really just a bad back. 16 minutes in, Keith has a blowout and goes down at the offensive blue line. The puck then went to Adam Cracknell who started to break right up the middle. Seabrook actually played it pretty well and closed the gap quickly enough to make Cracknell shoot instead of try to carry it in. On replay, the puck does seem to change direction off Seabrook's stick and in it went. I don't know if Crow has that if it doesn't hit Seabrooks stick, but after 1, it was Blues up 1-0. Goal aside, I really didn't find much to complain about in the Hawks effort in the first.

Second period was a lot of Hawk dominance. Hawks outshot the Blues 15-5 and came away with two huge goals. On the first, the Hawks move the puck down the right side, drew four Blues towards the puck which left Seabrook wide open driving down the left side. He put a wrister on net that Elliot didn't handle cleanly and Toews came right through the crease and picked up the loose change. Just a couple of minutes later, Toews did a sweet spin move in the right corner and found a wide open Saad on Elliot's doorstep who one tapped Toews pass right in. For the rest of the period, the Hawks had quite a few chances and though there were a couple of sloppy plays, they were good enough to carry the period.

Third period. On the Blues first goal, Roszival made a really bad......pass? I'm not really sure where he was going with the puck, but from the right point, he put the puck right on the tape of a Blues player near the face off dot just to the left of Elliot. As soon as Cracknell saw this, he streaked up the boards past Roszival and caught a beautiful stretch pass and was in one on one on Crawford. Give Cracknell credit, he outwaited Crawford and buried the puck in the absolute smallest of space. On the second goal of the period, Bouwmeester put a shot on net that seemed to hit Crawford right in the mid section. Instead of hanging on to it, it popped out to his right where a completely uncovered Backes backhanded it in. I would put some on Crawford for the rebound, but Backes was completely unmolested in his crease. On the Hawks third goal, Stals got in the right place at the right time and buried a rebound from a Roszival shot. From there, I thought the Hawks had a lot more chances in the OT, but it came to the shootout and Hawks lost the skills competition.

Observations.
Hossa looked like Hossa always does. A freak of nature puck beast. I hear you HH about wanting to see him play 3rd line with Bolland, but man does that line with him, Toews and Saad look really good. Saad was inches away from potting his second goal of the night from a really sweet Hossa pass.

Handzus did what he was likely brought here to do, he won face offs, 10 of 14. Around the ice, he didn't look bad at all, but it it will fall on Q to find good ways to use him. Speaking of that, Q juggled lines in the third and after putting Handzus out with Bickell and Stals, Stals knotted the score at three. Just sayin.

Not sure what to make of Roszival tonight. His bad pass led directly to a goal, but I generally like what I see out of him out there. He typically knows when to pinch, he brings some grit and in general, I like what he brings over Brookbank. Still.

Crawford. Made some nice saves, but the rebound on the third goal was a really bad time to puke up a rebound like that. My feelings on him have not changed, I believe he is adequate for the job.

Power play looked really nice with Hossa back. Nice movement, crisp passing and some one timers. I think this will improve.

Hawks, (shocker here) allegedly were outhit. Blues, on the other hand, were outshot 36-22 and got pretty handily dominated in overtime. In a real playoff game, I think the Hawks win tonight. The Blues, currently, are a team fighting tooth and nail to get a playoff spot and it showed tonight. Hardly any asshat stuff. Hawks played what I thought was a good game. Nice hustle, good forecheck and quite a few real quality scoring chances. I know this next gripe has no earthly basis, but it just seems to always happen that Foley and Edzo either rip on a team for not being able to score or rip on a goalie for a low save % and said team or goalie prove them wrong.. They brought up Elliot's numbers before the game and I have to say Elliot's night looked a lot tougher then Crawford's. Elliot .917 for the night, Crawford .864. But, I don't expect them to stop flapping their yaps about it.

Ultimately, it's a point that keeps the Hawks two games ahead of the Ducks and one ahead of the Penguins. Next up, a shitty schedule with Preds back to back, the Wild, the Wings and again the Blues. No gimmee's in the group.

As for the schnide, Cracknell potted his firsts of the year, Stals broke a 14 game without a goal drought and the Blues broke an 8 game losing streak on UC ice. Last time they won there was 2010.

Comments

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  • I don't know, the scene was a little too familiar for my blood. The Hawks outplayed the Blues for a large percentage of the first two periods, and then give the game up within the first 10 minutes of the 3rd.
    The Hawks were outshooting the Blues almost 2-1 until the start of the 3rd, when they were outshot 2-1 in the first 10 minutes of that dreaded period. They rebound, and make the period look more even by the end, and in this one, save a point in the process, but ultimately surrender a point because of 10 minutes of bad hockey with a lead.
    To make matters worse, this is another off performance from Crawford, who's numbers are starting to fall at an important part of the season. I am hearing a lot of comments out there who believe Q is going with the wrong goaltender into the stretch.

  • “The first five or six minutes in the third we need to establish our game and not play on our heels,” Handzus said. “That’s the lesson learned: even with the lead, push forward. Don’t sit back.”

    Maybe I was wrong about Handzus being just a face-off coach. He learned that lesson in one game. Let's see how many more it takes the rest of the Hawks.

    Because all things aside, the Hawks are outplaying everyone for most of the game, and that is something to get excited about.

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