Tag Archives: Daniel Sedin

The Playoff Legend of Ben Smith: Hawks-Nucks Game 6 Highlights

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.

NHL.com highlights

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With my good eye closed; Hawks lose, return from Vancouver down 0-2

Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.

Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.

Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.

Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series.  But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond.   Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.

Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been.  Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point.  Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere.  Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much.  He’s been terrible at times too.  Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid.  Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.

Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level.  With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds.  Just a minor issue with that though.  Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick.  Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen.  The Hawks eventually got the puck out.

For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.

For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more »

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Friday night CHI-VAN Gm 2 Highlights

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