"I thought Crow was great." - Q
"It was a clean hit too, right?" - Bolland
"It was a great move by Fro." - Q
"I was so happy to tie the game." - Frolik
"I really just wanted to get to the front of the net." - Ben Smith
"How the hell am I supposed to write about this game?" - Andrew Bernier
"We got the momentum...there's no pressure on us from game 4 on." - Q
"Anything can happen in Vancouver." - Ben Smith
How do you string together enough thoughts for a recap even after your head ASPLODES? That was my issue tonight. Since I had trouble with it, I used some quotes from the Hawks. And in case you're wondering, no Bolland did not crack a smile at all when talking to reporters.
So the game didn't start off so great. I let out an "oh...fuck" when Vancouver went up 1-0 on a goal from Creepy Sedin 1. Or maybe it was Creepy Sedin 2. Nobody can really tell.
Just when I decided to complain about the Hawks needing to forecheck, we get this:
Cue the loose puck to Bickell right in front. Cue up our favorite song.
But why let Hawks fans rest easy at the end of the first period? Nope, the Canucks just had to get one with just over a minute to go in the period to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Campolli whiffed on a bouncing puck in the slot, which Burrows potted in the top corner.
Thankfully the Hawks caught a break five minutes into the second. Schnieder came behind the net to play the puck. He made a beautiful pass right to the tape of...Patrick Kane. Kaner centered it to Bolland who fired a one timer past a sliding Schnieder. We found ourselves tied at 2. The Hawks controlled the play for the rest of the period, but went into the 2nd intermission tied.
This set the scene for the biggest period we've seen all year. It was 20 minutes before the fate of the Blackhawks would be decided. The Hawks took that information...and gave up a goal less than a minute into the period. Shit.
And then it happened. Frolik received a long breakout pass at the Canucks blue line. He got taken down by Bieksa and was awarded a penalty shot. Not only did he bury the chance, he injured the goalie by deking him out of his gingerness.
In came our old buddy Roberto. It looked like the Hawks would take a sure win when he entered. Joke was on us though. The Hawks only managed two shots on goal for the rest of the period. The Canucks got 9. Things didn't look good, but Crawford make some huge stops and the game went to overtime.
The Canucks dominated the OT period. There was no doubt that they were playing better. But the key for the Hawks was weathering the storm. They did exactly that for 15 minutes. With 4:40 left in overtime, Marian Hossa decided to show up. He stick handled through 3 defenders in the offensive zone and dished to Hammer who got off a shot from the blue line. Ben Smith was parked in front of the net and got a deflection on the shot. Bobby Lu made a sprawling blocker save, but he initially thought it got past him. While he was starfish'd on the ice and looking over his shoulder, Smith put home the game winner.
That was Smith's 4th goal in the NHL. Ever. Do you think he was entertained?
We'll see you on Tuesday in Vancouver.
Notes and Observations:
- Crawford played a great game. He faced a ton of shots. Without some huge play, the Hawks get destroyed.
- I think its a safe assumption to say Ben Smith is already the best hockey player to ever come out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
- Hossa has to be hurt. He was invisible until that set up on the game winning goal. That one posession can't give him a free pass for the rest of the night.
- Usually I just dismiss the girl they throw out there for the shoot the puck. They're all the same to me at this point. But not last night. Wow.
- There were 22 shots on goal during overtime. I think I almost had a heart attack 21 times.
- Some people didn't think Taters should have been awarded the penalty shot. In his post game presser, Vignault said he didn't have a problem with the call. That's all you need to know about it being a good call.
- The Sedins and Samuelsson were all -2. They were on the ice for goals from Bickell, Bolland, and Smith.
- AV really has himself in a bind with his goalies, eh?
- Hawks only had 4 minutes of PK time. Any more than that, and we probably lose the game.
- Luongo played 48 seconds more than Schnieder and faced seven fewer shots.
- John Scott had 59 seconds of ice time. His last shift was with four minutes left in the first period.
- The Hawks had the worst 5 on 3 of all time. It beat out their last 5 on 3, which previously held the title. Oh, and they went 0 for 4 on the powerplay.