by Vince Maranto on 04/20/12 at 02:45 PM ET
Mike Smith is better than Corey Crawford. Period. That’s it. You can break down board battles, hits, Penalty Kills, Power Plays, turnovers, or whatever all you want. What it comes down to in this series, OT in particular, is the goaltending. Crawford has let in back to back DUMB goals to end the game with a loss. Last night’s game winning shot cannot even be classified as a shot the way I see it. With all four of the games going to OT, this series could be anywhere from over to 2 - 2. As it stands, it is 3 - 1 Phoenix. The Hawks must now win all 3 remaining games, two of them on the road, not impossible, but pretty unlikely.
The lines last night saw 1) Saad / Toews / Brunette. 2) Sharp / Kane / Kruger. 3) Bickell / Bolland / Frolik 4) Bollig / Morison / Stalberg. With Hossa out, the lack of depth on this team is very evident. O’Donnell was the 6th D-man in the revolving d-door in this game.
The first period featured another unsuccessful Power Play by the Hawks (1 for 10 going into the game). Their was also a fight between Bollig and Bissonnette, 5 each plus a game misconduct for the Yote. (Not have the fight srtap secured is what was announced) Crawford wasn’t really tested until halfway through the period. A late shot off the post by Phoenix was really their only threat. I actually felt pretty good about the Hawks energy at this point. They out shot Phoenix 11 - 5 , in a scoreless period.
Crawford had a great break away save early in the second period. Overall, however the second period seemed to lack the intensity, on both sides, associated with ANY Play Off game. Smith stopped Frolik on a breakaway that period also. There was another failed Power Play and a good Penalty Kill to finish out the frame. 12-5 shots on goal favoring Chicago.
Crawford began the 3rd period being tested 3 times very quickly. I sensed that once some one scored, there would be a couple more quick ones. I guessed it would be Coyotes/Hawks/ Coyotes. I was close, Yotes/Yotes/Hawks was how it went. Moriison got his 1st point as a Hawk (so much for THAT trade) as his shot redirected off a Yotes’ stick. Later what I jotted down as a MUST SCORE Power Play, failed to produce. The Hawks had another good PK as time was winding down. But again, as Crawford left the ice with around a minute and a half left, Frolik one handed, a back hander in to tie the game at 2 - 2. It must be pretty aggravating to be a Coyotes fan and continue to see this happen….. It should be noted that Phoenix had recorded 48 hits through regulation.
It only took 2 minutes into the OT, as Boedker got the game winner again. This time, while coming in on Crawford, he failed to get a shot off. The momentum of the puck, I guess, made it slowly pass through Crawford’s legs. I still don’t get how that went in.
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