It's No Good, From Diego To The Bay:
Sharks 1 Blackhawks 0
Tonight, the Hawks were the bridge.
Many Hawk fans still have good memories of Black Wednesday 2 years ago. The debut of Marian Hossa, the manhandling of the Sharks and the belief that it was truly going to be the year.
This year was different. The Hawks were coming off two horrible performances in Alberta and a trip to Vegas that was coming under a lot of unnecessary heat. In the grand scheme of things the team has been playing well and a little R&R was well deserved.
A 1-0 loss in the Shark Tank is never bad. The team came out playing hard, winning battles and getting chances on Anti Niemi. A classic? Not really, not even a game to remember. A step in the right direction? Yes.
Onto the game….
After a terrible first period in Edmonton it was vital for the Blackhawks to come out and play their game. Lots of hits, lots of battles and even a few killed penalties. Marian Hossa seemed like a man on a mission all night created chances and looked (maybe) as dangerous as he's been all year. But, as Pat Foley would say, Niemi said no, again and again. But what annoyed me most about the first was Bryan Bickell not converting his chance on Niemi. Bick hasn't scored since late October and has seen his time on ice go down (Although tonight he played more than 11 minutes, his most since the 6-3 win over Edmonton.). But how much longer is the team going to put up with him? If he doesn't have his wrist shot then when does the team look at somebody else?
While the Hawks generated more chicness, San Jose adapted more in the second period. Crawford managed not to get too bored with the puck at the other end and made several big saves to keep the game scoreless. But after Joe Thornton got the best of Dave Bolland (kinda) for the first time ever, the Sharks benefited on a Jason Demers blast that was deflected by Jonathan Toews and into the net.
Despite the Hawks killing off a penalty to start the third, the Sharks were the ones who improved and looked to be the ones who were more likely to score. Early on the Hawks struggled to get the puck out of the zone. Nothing came of it, but at that point it did seem like the Hawks were really going to be up against it. The team looked tired as San Jose adopted to the game and the Hawks struggled at times to keep up. The Hawks best chance came when Toews went low in Niemi while on the man-advantage and the puck slid through the crease. You felt like Hossa was going to fly in and break through but alas, it didn’t happen. Hawks lose 1-0. Sometimes it’s not meant to be.
Couple of other things:
-I really hope this doesn’t start a bunch of “THE HAWKS SHOULD NEVER HAVE LET NIEMI GO AND HE PROVED THAT,” articles that could pop up over the next couple days. Luckily, the Hawks play 3 in 4 and the Cutler saga is still going on.
-Havlat intercepting the Hossa pass to more or less seal the game. Good for Marty, but still the Hawks made the right call letting him go.
-APB for Patrick Sharp.
-Keith was much better tonight compared to the last couple games, but really that was to be expected.
-First three game losing streak of the year. Not to worried, but would be nice to see the team respond.
-Back in Orange County on Friday. Really need two wins to salvage this Circus Trip.
-Happy Thanksgiving everybody. As Jim Gaffigan put it, “How about we eat a lot with people who annoy the crap out of us?” Seriously though, have a good one everybody. Since there’s no hockey on, might as well hang out with family.
Zach - I thought Bickell played quite well, he was saking and hitting and his breakaway attempt unfortunately was absorbed by the goalie the hawks should have kept (just kidding - IMO Corey's as good.)
Bolls has got to get that super feed from Kruger on net. Hey, how about that second PP unit lately!
Hang out with family and talk hockey!
Happy Big Bird Day!