I hate to beat a dead horse but it’s still a sore point.
This season, only the Atlanta Thrashers (64) and the Ottawa Senators (63) have had more goals scored against them in the third period than the Blackhawks (61). The Hawks have played one less games than the Senators and three fewer than the Thrashers.
In Vancouver the Hawks should have been content with picking up at least on point after going into the final frame deadlocked. With playoff hopes flickering from game to game, coming away with at least one precious point should have been the prime consideration inside of five minutes of regulation time.
If there is any team in the NHL which needs to understand clock management it’s the Blackhawks. But the Hawks are still trying to sort things out.
Patrick Kane is asked to do too much at times, but at critical moments he doesn’t practice “safe hockey”. Kane and all other Blackhawks’ need to know when it’s time to not to take any chances.
Friday night, Kane raced up the ice and crossed the Vancouver blueline with 4:11 left in regulation and the score tied at three. Positioned in front of Kane were four Canucks, planted like a picket fence. Instead of practicing Hockey 101 and putting the puck into a corner, Kane tried to make an improbable pass to Bryan Bickell. The pass failed and the puck was launched out of the zone. The Sedins’ did the rest and the result was at least one blown point and a heart breaking loss.
The Canucks were fortunate as they scored a fluky winning goal. But especially on the road, with little time remaining, playoff implications in the balance, because the opponents’ best players were on the ice…..
Kane and every other Blackhawk should know better.
But this is still a group which tries to do too much at times and sometimes doesn’t do enough. Against the very best teams there is little margin for error.
The defeat was a bitter one because the Hawks can’t play much better. Against many opponents the Hawks would have won, but to beat the very best everything has to be precise.
Winning only 37% of the faceoffs versus the Canucks did not help the cause. Especially considering Dave Bolland was matched against the Sedins’, as he won only five of 22 faceoffs for a dismal 23%. Outside of faceoff trouble Bolland played a strong game. But the Twins’ don’t need anything made easier for them.
Marty Turco was ok….Although no matter how well Turco performs he often allows a goal he should have saved. At this point, it doesn’t seem likely Turco can play much better than against the Canucks. No matter what your opinion of Turco’s performance, the play of Roberto Luongo was stronger.
Often the difference between a third or fourth liner and a top six forward is the ability to score goals. Tomas Kopecky doesn’t have the “finish” of a goal scorer. He gets into prime scoring position but for a variety of reasons doesn’t convert. Kopecky could have scored two or three goals. A true goal score would have potted at least one against Luongo.
The Hawks fourth line had a great first shift and another good one late in the game, but for the most part they were outplayed. That group had little offensive zone time. If the third pairing is playing at the same time as the fourth line… Watch out.
The Canucks won the special team battle as they potted two power play goals. The Hawks 5 on 3 power play attempts have been awful the last few years. That was the case again. The Hawks get caught playing out on the perimeter when they have a two man advantage and that won’t work against Luongo. In general the Hawks shot the puck up on Bobby Lu….which made it easier of for him to control rebounds.
Give the Blackhawks credit, many clubs would have folded but they kept coming back.
The officiating was brutal and the Blackhawks could have deserved better in Vancouver.
The NHL is quick to point out they were the first major sport to embrace video replay. It has always seemed odd to me that every “no goal” call is not reviewable in Toronto. If the technology is there why not use it on the most important plays. If it extends the game time …..So what? The game is played in far less time than it was years ago.
Whenever a goal is taken off the board or a play surrounding a scoring sequence is in question it should be reviewed. Troy Brouwer’s goalie interference should have been looked at in Toronto and so should the blown offside call on Christian Erhoff’s score.
Concerning a goal……. What makes a questionable goal tender interference call or a wrongly whistled offside, any different from a high sticking review? Both involve a score change. If reviewing more plays increases the average time of every game by five minutes, it would be a good trade off. Maybe the end result would be more responsibility shown by officials on the ice.
A blown call could mean millions in lost revenue. In my view it is silly to limit the reviews to include only the following. …
*In the National Hockey League, goals may only be reviewed in the following situations:
- puck crossing the goal line completely
- puck in the net prior to end of period
- puck in the net prior to goal frame being dislodged
- puck being directed into the net by hand or foot
- puck in the net after deflecting directly off an official
- puck deflected into the goal by the high stick by an attacking player
Now it’s on to Calgary where the Hawks need the best from Corey Crawford. The Flames are playing inspired hockey and will be a difficult challenge on home ice. Hopefully the tough loss in Vancouver will inspire the Hawks to have a top effort tonight.
Maybe at last a lesson has been learned and poor clock management will no longer be an issue.
According to a Chris Kuc tweet….Yesterday, Brouwer was working with the No. 1 power play unit replacing Marian Hossa.
Hossa isn’t doing much in the way of scoring goals. He isn’t creating scoring chances either.
Maybe Hossa can do something he hasn’t done much of all season…..Force the opposition to take penalties.
If the light bulb hasn’t gone off in Hossa and Kane’s head it should have by now.
Teams are successfully defending these two by keeping them on the perimeter.
Kane at times goes to the slot, because he has Jonathan Toews to feed him the puck.
Hossa lugs the puck….He needs to play more north and south. Even if Hossa doesn’t score he could create a power play opportunity.
There probably isn’t a stat for only the amount of offensive zone time compared to penalties drawn. If there was, Hossa would be near the bottom in that category.
Having a very good power play doesn’t matter as much if power play opportunities aren’t being generated.
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