I’ve Always Been Crazy But It’s Kept Me From Going Insane: Hawks 4 – Preds 3 (2OT)

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

Oh right, the Hawks don’t know how to ease themselves into the playoffs in the shallow end, as this marks the 4th straight year the Hawks have gone to OT in R1G1, and the second straight year it’s been a mult-OT game. Why do things easy? Isn’t this more fun?

Rarely will you see a playoff game swing from one side to the other so violently so quickly. The Preds, at least about halfway through the 1st, took this one over and put up three. The Hawks tightened everything up in the 2nd and were all over Nashville in the 2nd. The Preds were slightly better in the 3rd and first OT, and the Hawks waited them out.

Of course, after we said this was two disciplined teams with anemic power plays, this turned out to be a game of indiscipline and special teams, which the Hawks actually won. Perhaps the excitement gets to the players too. And the ice didn’t help, but the Hawks should be used to that.

Still, you can’t be blowing three-goal leads at home, can you? Let’s try and clean this one up, if we can.

-The Hawks did most of the things we hoped they would tonight as strange as that sounds. Their breakouts, at least everyone was where they were supposed to be. They got beat by some bad bounces and rolling pucks, but no forwards were cheating or fleeing, at least for the most part. They don’t have to bat 1.000 on this of course, but they came close. Now if they can just tighten up the passing with everyone where they’re supposed to be, then the Hawks will be in serious business.

-Ok, so the goalies. Crow could only be blamed for the 2nd goal, and that puck strangely stuck on the wall and Keith can’t wait for the puck to come to him when he sees that Crow was in trouble (and Rozsival wasn’t even in the screen). Keith has to be above Stalberg there.

That said, the goalie switch was warranted if only to wake up the team, which it seemed to as they only gave up four shots in the second frame and tied the game. Darling was fantastic after that and deserves every plaudit he gets. However, you don’t toss the Jennings Trophy winner (for the 2nd time) overboard after one bad period in the first game. Crow has earned the right to bounce back. And he will, and you hold me to that.

-As for the other end, Rinne never looked comfortable tonight, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him less square to shooters than tonight. That’s why rebounds were everywhere and it looked like he was stabbing at everything. Toews’s goal simply can’t happen if you’re in yellow, and the Hawks could have had more.

-The only foot Seth Jones put wrong tonight was right before the winner when Saad and Toews were able to get to him after a faceoff, which the 4th line forced with an icing.

-Speaking of that 4th line, after watching the Hawks go without one last year it’s refreshing to see one that’s effective and that Q trusts. Their only point came 4-on-4 with Teuvo’s diseased pass to Hammer, and they were underwater in possession on the night, but they had their moments. And Nashville’s 4th line was far worse, and this is what should separate the Hawks.

-Kimmo +11.9 in Corsi-adjusted tonight. His penalty wasn’t good, and he was spotted, but when he was out there he looked as lively as he has and with some timely pinches. I don’t think the Preds have the size to make him truly squirm, and this should get better as it goes along.

-38% on faceoffs is kind of an issue, as this team isn’t as geared to get the puck back as past iterations. Vermette would help with this, unless the whispers of a wrist injury are true. Still, he’s got the track record.

-I didn’t think it would happen, but the PK has struggled without Ben Smith. It’s been everyone on the kill, and tonight it was Nordstrom losing his footing on the boards resulting in a weak clearance. It feels like the Hawks are getting beat when they miss clearances, but I’d have to go back and look at it all and I’m not going to.

-I actually thought Marian Hossa looked a tad lethargic all night, even beside his penalty, but he’s earned a pass if that’s even true.

-While a lot will be made of the minutes load of the top four, Keith playing 40 out of 87 minutes isn’t actually so ridiculous. It’s harder on the road, but Q did a nice job after the first period of spotting 32 and 44, if the horse wasn’t already out of the barn. And by horse I mean Colin Wilson.

-Did Mike Ribeiro play?

-Or James Neal?

I can’t do no more.


  • Sopel the catfish

    The game started with me noticing Hossa getting knocked off the puck or pushed around by Josi. I didn’t like it. Luckily Hossa is still a better hockey player than him and his overall play seemed to catch up during the night, although it still didn’t seem quite up to snuff for what I would expect of him. It’s tempting to take Friday off and drive down to catch game two, I would not cheer during the anthem (it should not occur outside of the UC IMO) But I could deliver the drunk Chicago asshole they seem to crave to keep out.

    • Bob Lanz

      But then hossa keeps the puck 2 press on him and gets it to dunc for a game winner. Yeah he’s fine

    • To Saad be the glory

      The “native Chicago” drunk asshole of course.

  • Aaeismacgychel

    That 1st period stung pretty bad to be honest. It was just so completely unexpected. And I didn’t think we were that horrible that 1st period either just isolated really bad plays that led directly to 2 easy goals. It was my first time going to the Chicago bar here in Phoenix and it was just an awful feeling. A feeling I’ve rarely had for these Hawks- one in which I believed we were done. The guy next to me asked if I was thinking of leaving. I personally am never one to leave early or turn off a game, but I legitimately had that feeling in this one. I said “I’m staying, but I might have to never set foot in this place again- it’s terrible luck”. I am so so so happy that I clearly have to go back to this place on Friday. You know, this team… They just continually amaze. When things seem bleak, that heart, that desire, that hunger, that effort… Just unbelievable. Hell of a comeback. Hell of a bloody comeback. GO HAWKS!

  • Aaeismacgychel

    Oh and a few comments:
    1. Crawford wasn’t on his game tonight, but really hard to blame him on Rozi’s blunder setting up a 1 on 0 on the first goal. The second Preds goal was on him, but he’s one of the better goaltenders in the league playing the puck, and it just seemed like the puck stuck to the wall on him. He makes that play consistently with ease and just some real bad luck there. And that 3rd goal… That’s why you don’t leave opponents wide open a couple feet in front of the goalie with clear vision of the shot to tip. That was a momentum/mercy pull there and it worked. He starts Friday no question
    2. Scott Darling was sensational. He truly was. But this is not a goalie controversy. He did what every backup dreams of doing, and that’s what he’s there for. Crow starts Friday and he’ll be solid. I have faith in that. And at least we know if he does struggle we have some recourse.
    3. Kaner struggled in that 1st period mightily. In fact I may have said, “My god, he really should not be on the ice right now. He’s not healthy enough to play”. Thank god I have no idea what I’m talking about. He was sensational on the PP, and he got better after shaking the rust off in the 1st. It wasn’t a typical Kane style game, but it was maybe 70% Kane, and that’s good enough right now.
    4. Versteeg was phenomenal. I just wanted to say it. He was instrumental in our comeback by being a pest out there. Shaw too.
    5. The lines looked good tonight for the most part. I’d still dress Vermette and not dress Rozsival, but the lines looked solid
    6. Rozi… You know what, I’ll say that he excelled in that 3rd period and OT. Likely because everyone on the Preds was tiring out and could no longer skate all that well. And you also know what? That still doesn’t make up for that awful 1st period. He really doesn’t deserve to be on the ice. He’s done.
    7. Timonen- Really solid game. He’s slowly improving.
    8. How nice is it to roll 4 lines? Especially given that this one went to 2OT. This should greatly help us. If we can jump all over what might be a tired Preds in Game 2 early, we might be cooking.
    9. And finally the refs. This should be their first and last game this postseason. They were terrible in every single period and had awful calls against both teams. The Preds were beneficiaries early and often and took advantage, and the Hawks really got some gift calls late that they also took advantage of. Hawks got the better share of the bad calls, but my gosh were those refs awful. Awful.

    • Say what again

      Crawford one of the best at playing the puck? I’d say average for today’s goaltenders. Not trying to pick a fight, and I think he should start, but let’s not get carried away.

      • Bmichaelc

        Crawford is easily one of the worst at playing the puck. Every time is an adventure

        • bennicksic

          He is easily one of the worst at losing his net too.

    • chichicagochi

      Vertseeg was not ‘phenomenal,’ he was ‘serviceable.’

    • Jane Doe

      “one of the better goaltenders in the league playing the puck” NO
      “Versteeg was phenomenal.” NO

      That is all.

  • Brain Sprain

    No mention of Kaner? Come on.

    • Jim

      Kaner on the power play. He’s the puck distributor. Without Kane the power play sucks. With him it’s good. Oduya…he let at least 2 passes go by him on the PP that went to the other end. Not saying Oduya is bad but it looked like he was sleeping on those plays.

      • Johnny On The Spot

        Well to be fair, he let one of those passes go by on purpose to prevent a Too Many Men penalty as Kimmo had not gotten off the ice yet. So not touching the puck as actually a really smart move.

        • Jim

          great observation, didn’t realize that (and I had the sound off on the broadcast)

      • WookRN

        Also, if Bowman picked up Vermette to help this, why have we not really seen him on the PP to try to help that out?

    • wardrums

      Versteeg/Richards/Kane was absolutely awful in period one. Our weakest line by far all night. I believe it was Richards failed dump i that lead to Wilsons first goal-it wasn’t all on Rozsival.

      Kaner looked better as the game went on, but I thouhht 10/65/29 was way better as was the fourth line

  • Jim

    That play from Tuevo to Hammer was huge. Hammer is a good hockey player and Tuevo ain’t bad. Nice play by the backup goalie. Where is he from?

    • jordyhawk

      I’m going to disagree slightly with you Jim and say Hjammer is a great hockey player, particularly come spring. No one pays the price more than he does and that shot, when he uses it, is on-target and an absolute bomb. The new wrinkle he seems to have added this year is using the middle of the ice effectively on the short breakout passes. The days of the high-glass ringaround are long gone for Hjammer. If fans really knew the game there would be a lot more of them wearing Indian Head jerseys with #4.

      • Jim

        I agree, Hammer is one of the most underrated players on the team. The guy is rock solid, and only scores a few goals, but they seem to come at crucial times. And he is durable also, he is seldom out with injury. I’ve seen him take a high stick, then block a shot, and not miss a shift.

        • WookRN

          I enjoyed, I think it was last year, when he added the “chase the puck back to our D-zone while followed, look over my right shoulder and pass to my left”. I don’t remember it getting picked off, it threw people off and it drove possession. Less prominent this year, but still a weapon in his arsenal.

          Also, regarding Teuvo. I think he’s better than “ain’t bad”. Ain’t bad is what I’m thinking we got out of Desjardens or Timmonen. Teuvo has shown good positional awareness, in picking off passes and making good plays. Plus a pretty nifty back check for a rookie.

          Nice when we have this depth to look at and critique, knowing we can drive scoring from the fourth line if need be.

        • jordyhawk

          For sure. I wasn’t even really disagreeing with, rather, just taking the opportunity to blow the horn for Hjammer. Wish I knew the Swedish word for stud.

    • That pass was a beauty

    • wardrums


      • rhodes


        • wardrums


      • Jim

        That means he’s a Chicago Native. And now he plays for the Chicago team, get it? Chicago Native/Chicago team? Incredible stuff, that, no?

  • Preacher

    While Darling was indeed amazing, he also scared me several times tonight as he seemed to get himself way out of position multiple times. He was well outside the blue paint and not in front of the net at all. Had the Preds been able to get a stick on a puck, there would have been a few more goals against. But it’s all about the bounces in the playoffs isn’t it? Including the ones that bounce OVER the opponent’s stick blade as they’re trying tap one in.

    Good comeback. We’ll take the win. Crow starts Friday.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I had a thought this morning, and it likely isn’t true and we won’t know until game 3, but is Q keeping Roszival paired with Keith to shelter him on the road? I really really hope this is true and when they get back to the west side He and Timmonen are on the bottom so Q can pick his spots.

  • theuckstopshere

    So, only game #1

  • To Saad be the glory

    Sometimes Hossa looks lethargic because Saad is a damn freak of nature on skates tearing down the wing heading towards the net.

  • rhodes

    I have to say I was really pissed about Nordstrom’s hit from behind on Weber. IMO, it was a clear boarding penalty and a dangerous hit, to boot. Very surprised it was not called. Didn’t he just get suspended for an equally stupid hit a couple of weeks ago? Dumb.

    I’m hoping Q sits Nordy and puts Shaw back on the 4th line (on wing!) with 16 and 86. Vermette to center 10 and 29. There’s no reason to believe you couldn’t roll four lines all night with this setup.

    • Icdws

      There will be no changes mr Rhodes

    • To Saad be the glory

      A. Q probably isn’t gonna change shit after a win,no matter what it looked like.
      B. I don’t see Q using Vermette on the PK, just because he is a stubborn ass about shit if nothing else.In that regard,I don’t see Nordstrom sitting.
      C. Shaw and Bickell actually looked ok together last night,despite Shaw’s pretending to be a center. Remember,playoff Shaw at C is a “proven” commodity.
      D. I think Vermette would be an interesting choice with Richards/Kane.
      If he worked with Richards/Fuckhead,why not. Plus,no matter how he played last night,it gets fuckhead out of the lineup,which should make most of us happy.

  • Darling4theWin

    I’d just like to point out that the first goal scored was not an very good goal and it could’ve been saved. I’m not trying to blame the goal all on Crawford because there was a big defensive mistake when rosival pulled away, however, sometimes the goalie has to pull off big saves in order to win a game and he definitely didn’t do that. It would be much more satisfying to see darling in net tomorrow and he deserves it.