by Vince Maranto on 02/01/12 at 02:50 PM ET
The Hawks lost in overtime, in Vancouver, to the Canucks on Tuesday night. It was the first, in what I predict, will be many 3 point games for the top 8 western Division teams. The good news, however, was the return of Toews & Sharp. Sharpie had missed the previous 8 games with a wrist injury. Toews, only one. The All Star break could not have come at a better time for both of them. With the two stars back in the line up, plus the addition of center Brendan Morrison, the lines looked like this. 1) Kane, Toews, Stalberg. 2) Hossa, Morrison, Sharp 3) Kruger, Bolland, Shaw 4) Brunette, Mayers, Frolik. On defense, Scott returned for the first time in a while & was paired up with Montador. As the game progressed however, we saw less and less of Big John. Bickell, Lepisto, & O’Donnell were “healthy scratches” as they say. I would still like to see either Bickell, Frolik, Lepisto, and or Kruger traded for another D-man. I want to see Jimmy Hayes (assigned to Rockford) remain up with the club. Crawford (18-12-4) matched up against Schneider (10-5-0). Crawford is now 4-5-3 in his last 12 games. Not good.
In the first period, the Hawks went on the Power Play four and a half minutes in. A clipping call (the crowd strongly disagreed) on a low hit to Shaw. The Hawks 8th in the P.P. at 19%, could not convert. Vancouver went up 1 -0 after a Kesler shot was inadvertently re directed by Keith. Mayers answered to make it 1 - 1, at 11:11. The period ended that way. Both goal tenders played well as the pace was very quick moving. The Canucks won the face off battle, a ridiculous 19-4.
The second period saw superb goaltending on both sides. The more amazing saves were made by Schneider. Both teams, however, had great scoring opportunities thwarted by the men in the crease. There would be no change to the score board for this frame, still knotted up at one apiece. The Hawks out shot Vancouver 15-6 for the period, bringing the game total to 24-18 in favor of Chicago. No penalties for either team.
In the 3rd period, early in, (1:17) Stalberg scored on a nice pass from Kane. 2 - 1, Hawks. Less than 3 minutes later, Hodgson tied it back up at 2-2. Later in the period, with around 5:30 to go, Burrows got hit with a boarding call. The Hawks P.P. could not convert. Just after the penalty expired, the Hawks had a near miss. At that point, I felt that we were out of chances and just wanted to hang on until overtime. The Hawks did and ended up out shooting the Canucks 36-28 in regulation.
Overtime. The Sedin boys (you hate to see it end that way) combined to win it with around 1:30 left in the OT. With the way Schneider was playing, I don’t think we would have won, even if it went to a shoot out. Oh well, 1 point is 1 point.
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