The Chicago Blackhawks definitely showed up at Rogers Arena Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the return of Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews to the line up was spoiled with 37 saves by Cory Schneider and an overtime tally by the Sedin twins.
Chicago picked up a point in the first game on the road over the next three weeks, but Vancouver prevailed by a score of 3-2.
The momentum ebbed and flowed throughout the opening period. Vancouver got an early opportunity when David Booth beat Niklas Hjalmarsson for control of a puck. Booth found himself fight in front of Corey Crawford 90 seconds into the game, but his shot was knocked away.
Andrew Shaw drew a clipping penalty from Keith Ballard that the Canucks killed in the fourth minute. Patrick Sharp found Marian Hossa streaking up the ice and it appeared as if he would get a breakaway attempt on Cory Schneider. Alex Burrows make a nice play to thwart Hossa, then helped set up the game’s first goal at the 7:58 mark.Continue reading »
The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their 6 game road trip on Wednesday with a visit to Rogers Arena in Vancouver to square off against the Canucks. This would be the 33rd time these two teams have met since the 2008-2009 season. The last meeting on Nov 6th ended ugly for the Hawks as the Canucks went 5 for 6 on the power play and beat the Hawks 6-2. Revenge is always a dish best served cold.
Cory Schneider got the start in net as Roberto Luongo had missed the last 2 days of practice with an upper body injury. Dave Bolland returned to the line up for the Hawks after missing the last 3 games with a foot injury. Brent Seabrook did not dress for this game after going hard into the boards during the Edmonton Oilers game on Sunday night.
The first period had a Game One playoff feel to it, as both goalies were tested early and both coaches tried to get there preferred match ups. Bolland returned starting on the 4th line. It didn’t take long for him to regain his center position on the 3rd line pestering the Sedins. Continue reading »
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.