The Blackhawks dropped a rather boring game, 4-2, at the United Center last night. Follow the links for linear recaps and then scroll down for my quick thoughts. The All-Star break starts now for the Hawks. Hopefully a week to sit on this loss will motivate them for the final stretch.
- Nick Boynton is every bit the disaster I remember him being. I have no idea what he was doing on Chuck Kobasew’s second period goal. First, he dropped to a knee with Kobasew fading into the corner on his backhand. Then, as Kobasew circled back toward the slot, he again dropped to a knee and slid right out of the play. At no point had Kobasew even pretended to fake a shot. Oh, and how does a “defenseman” get a goaltender interference penalty?
- As long as teams refuse to cover Patrick Sharp on the back door when the Hawks are up a man, the power play will continue to rank first in the league.
- That said, Sharp is useless as a center and sole scoring threat on a line. He is an excellent sniper, but he needs a someone to get him the puck — even better if it’s someone like Marian Hossa who draws a ton of defensive attention and allows Sharp to get lost in the dangerous areas. With Hossa out, the Hawks’ second line was ineffective at best.
- Yes, it was a quick whistle, and yes, Jonathan Toews should have been credited with a goal. But quick whistles cannot be overturned.
- The Hawks had one of the best crowds of the season tonight. They were into it early and again late. It felt like the crowd was most into the game after the Hawks killed the five-on-three. Unfortunately, that is also when the Hawks seemed to lose interest in the game. From the end of the five-on-three until about 12 minutes remaining in the third, the Hawks played a boring game, saw a 2-1 lead turn to a 3-2 deficit and lost the crowd. The building was dead until the no-goal call when 20,000 people turned on the zebras.
- Despite his two assists, Toews didn’t look 100 percent. He wasn’t able to get back on what became the Wild’s fourth goal. If his leg is still hurting, he should stay home this weekend.
- Brent Seabrook had a terrible night. Not only was he a minus-three, but the penalty he took at 18:05 of the third took the Hawks off of a power play. Kyle Brodziak was already going to be sent off, but Seabs decided to try to drop the gloves after the linesman had already stepped in.
- Despite all of the mistakes, the Hawks dominated for stretches and Niklas Backstrom made several strong saves. The Hawks also missed a few open nets. Hopefully they finally learned that they can’t take the middle 35 minutes of a game off and expect to win.