by Vince Maranto on 12/06/11 at 12:45 PM ET
It looked like I was going to use the same title from a week ago (‘Yotes, YIKES!!) the way this thing started out on Monday night. As sharp and energetic as the Hawks looked on Saturday in St. Louis (5-2 win) they were equally as flat at the beginning of this one. Losing almost every board battle, getting physically outplayed, making horrible pass choices, and all around having a hard time staying up on their skates, was the early theme.The lines began, they way that they had evolved during the Blues game.. Most notably, Carcillo with Toews & Kane (I like that) on the first line, and Stalberg on the fourth line, where he deserves to be. The game began with Crawford in net against the “stick handling” Mike Smith.
In the 1st period, you wanted the Hawks to strike first this game. Phoenix has a great record (11-1-3) when scoring first. Unfortunately after a Montador blow out, a 2 on 1 resulted. Torres scored, 1-0 Coyotes. The Hawks had a Power Play opportunity (18.6%, 11th in the league and slowly improving as the season goes on) but failed to cash in. Vrbata made it 2-0 later on in the period. The Coyotes out shot the Hawks 15-11 during the period. As they went into the locker room, you felt fortunate to only be down by 2.
The first minute of the 2nd was all Hawks and things were looking up. 3-0, however is what the score board would read at the 1:09 mark. Once again, Coach Q having to go into jump start mode, pulled Crawford for Emery. Emery, by the way was the starter and winner in the St. Louis game on Saturday. This is also the 2nd time that Cro has been yanked under really no particular fault of his own. I hope this doesn’t start to have an affect on him. The thought process did seem to work, as the Hawks whipped off 3 straight in the period. Toews from Kane & Carcillo (again, I like when they are on the same line) to make it 3-1. On what I had written in my notes as a “must score” Power Play, the boys did just that. An great redirect right in front of the net by Toews off a Keith slap shot, closed the gap to 3-2. Toews, then on a 2 on 1made a sweet pass to Kane to tie it at 3. The Hawks captain is really starting to put together an MVP season (I can’t wait to hear from the HATERS on that comment). !st in faceoff %, and goals, top 5 in points, pretty impressive. Anyway 3-3 is where the period would end.
The Hawks started out skating again in the 3rd. A failed Power Play and a Successful Penalty Kill were had in this frame. Hossa AGAIN with the goalie out of the crease and a defense man in the net could not score from right in front. Stalberg also AGAIN missed a pass in front for the one timer. I say AGAIN because it is at least the second or third time this season it has happened. Marquette basketball coach, Al McGuire, used to say that there is a point in every game where you either win it or lose it, Needless to say, we moved on to overtime.
It was exciting to watch, but neither team scored in the 5 minute OT. On to the shootout.
I was wondering if the coach might put Crawford back in for the shoot out, but Emery remained. Toews and Hossa missed (I would have thought Kane would shoot second) and the Coyotes did not. Shoot out loss. If you told me when we were losing 3-0 that it was going to go to a shootout, I’d have been happy to get the one point. But when you get there it’s not as satisfying.
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