Scroll down the main page to see period by period details of Game 7.
Corey Crawford was phenomenal and the only reason this game was ever close. One incredible, determined individual short-handed effort by Blackhawk captain Jonathan Toews miraculously extended this game to overtime with less than two minutes to play in regulation. Roberto Luongo made a lot of good saves (31 in all), but also gave a bunch of rebounds. This happened to be one his teammates in front of him didn’t get to first, a rarity on Tuesday night.
Game 7 lived up to the hype and then some. Vancouver dominated, then flirted with disaster, the Hawks hung in there but the better team definitely won in the end.
Alex Burrows scored both Vancouver goals. On top of those, he was also awarded a penalty shot 21 seconds into the third period off a Duncan Keith tripping infraction but was stopped by Crawford. A score at that time would have put the Canucks up two goals.
Toews’ short-handed tally was his lone goal of the series (1g, 3a, -4, a team-worst plus/minus). Crawford allowed 16 goals in the series, finishing with a .927 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average.
After losing the first three games of the series, the Blackhawks made a valiant comeback in attempt to pull off the upset. Sure, the pressure was off by Game 4, and Alain Vigneault’s Canucks took their double foot-stomp off the gas mid-series, but the defending champions showed their character and would not go quietly. In the end, this amounted to one great series.
Vancouver now moves on to face Nashville in Round 2. San Jose will matchup with Detroit. The Western Conference obviously will have a new Finals representative this year. Detroit will attempt to make their 3rd Finals appearance in four years. Vancouver has been there twice (’82+’94) before. San Jose and Nashville have never been. For the Predators, this is their first time advancing past the first round.
NHL.com Game 7 highlights after the jump Read more
Incredible hockey game. A punch, counter-punch type affair but in the end the Blackhawks had a horseshoe in their back pocket.
Corey Schneider was a late surprise starter for Alain Vigneault. Schneider did pretty well until two and a half minutes into the third period when he pulled a muscle while attempting to stop Michael Frolik’s penalty shot score. That tied the game 3-3 after Kevin Bieksa put the Canucks up 3-2 a minute into the third frame. Roberto Luongo was sharp in relief, stopping 12 Hawks shots, 10 in overtime, until the Niklas Hjalmarsson shot Luongo seemed surprised by rebounded to overtime hero Ben Smith. Marian Hossa made the game-winner happen but it was the line of Bolland-Bickell and Frolik that carried Chicago as they did in Game 4.
In a scene straight out of the parallel universe, a huge Dave Bolland check behind the Vancouver net led to Bryan Bickell’s goal, tying the game 1-1 late in the first. Bolland struck a lucky puck twenty minutes later to answer Alex Burrows’ lead-taking tally after Corey Schneider coughed the puck up to Patrick Kane behind his goal.
Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows (first goal and second point of the series for him) were the other Vancouver scorers. Sedin was first to the scoresheet, putting the Nucks up 1-0 early in the game after a horrible defensive play by Niklas Hjalmarsson. A nice 25-foot wrister by Burrows beat Corey Crawford’s right pad from the slot.
In this game, the Blackhawks blew a minute and forty-three second 5 on 3 man advantage and went scoreless in 6:17 of power play time overall; Patrick Kane blundered a clear breakaway straight out of the penalty box and the ‘Hawks played the 75-minute game a man-short (John Scott dressed and skated less than a minute; coach’s decision).
Go figure. Vancouver played a great road game and still lost. Luck probably runs out for the Hawks in Vancouver. Or, maybe not. Doesn’t matter. The hockey was great. Vancouver’s still the better team and capable of raising their game a notch. But the Hawks have better big-game performers. Chicago can’t play the no-pressure card anymore. They’ve won 3 in a row, have the Canucks on the ropes, play very well in Vancouver and have the Canucks’ number historically. Everyone is anticipating Vancouver to choke and they’ll need a Vezina-like performance from a supposedly ailing Roberto Luongo to win Game 7. Should be fun.
Game 7 Tuesday night in Vancouver. Game time is now listed as 9pm central/7 pacific. Versus broadcast nationally, ComcastSportsNet in Chicago. Since the Chicago Bulls game Tuesday night starts at 7pm and is likely to run until around 9:30, the beginning of the Hawks-Canucks game will be shown on CSN-Plus.
A lesson to all you young hockey coaches out there: Don’t be a Vigneault. Taking any game (4) off, no matter the series score, has its consequences. Alain Vigneault has been bitten once again. Now he has a rattled team and a shaken goaltender heading back to Chicago for a Game 6 he almost can’t lose if the Canucks are to close out the series successfully.
NHL.com has the highlights
They have “Bad Moon Rising” on continuous repeat in B.C. tonight.
Blackhawks are still in a 3-1 hole, but are now back in the series, relieved by the “no pressure – nothing to lose” position they earned over the previous 85 games.
NHL.com has the Game 4 and some guy named Bolland – highlights.
Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday night.
The referees tried. Raffi Torres tried. But no one could hand the Blackhawks the game and they weren’t good enough to take it own their own. A demoralizing defeat at the hand of the Canucks after the Hawks saw a first period 5-on-3 and eight and a half minutes of power play time (to VAN’s 1:17), the Blackhawks find themselves facing elimination Tuesday night in Game 4 at the United Center.
NHL.com highlights after the jump. Read more
Rockford is visiting their Interstate-90 rival Chicago Wolves on Wednesday night. It’ll mark the 7th of 10 regular season matchups between the two teams. The Wolves and IceHogs have split the first six even, with the Wolves technically having the better points percentage because it took overtime for Rockford to win their first meeting on October 23rd at the MetroCentre.
Here are the highlights from their most recent meeting…. Chicago’s 4-3 victory last Friday night in Rockford.