Post-Game Review: Blackhawks @ Calgary Flames

Blackhawks lose to the Calgary Flames 3-1

I know that I’m supposed to be professional in these posts. I know I’m supposed to be calm and break down the game as rationally as possible, no matter my emotional state.

But really, all I feel is this:

Remember the game against the Canucks on Friday? Take out anything said about effort and blown calls, and you have tonight’s game. It was Friday’s game on Xanax, and I’m not the only one angry about it. Here’s a quote from Duncan Keith, via Jesse Rodgers from ESPN Chicago:

“F— the power play. Nobody goes to the net to score goals. That’s why we don’t win.”

So what the f— happened tonight? Well, let’s see:

  1. I’ll have to disagree with Duncan Keith slightly. The power play was 0-4 tonight, and any of those four chances would’ve helped immensely. Calgary was 1-4 — but the power play goal they scored was an empty-netter.
  2. However, Duncan Keith is right about the team not going to the net. There were three shots on goal in the first period. The Blackhawks would end up being outshot 28-23.
  3. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa — two of the team’s leading scorers, mind you — combined for three shots on goal. Three. THREE! Are you kidding me right now? Tomas Kopecky had three shots on goal! Look at your lives right now!
  4. Jonathan Toews was a woeful 6-16 (38%) on faceoffs tonight. Bolland was 6-12 (50%), Jake Dowell was 3-10 (30%), while Sharp was 7-11 (64%). When Sharp is your best faceoff guy during a game, that usually means big trouble.
  5. Bad line changes. The two goals given up were the result of bad line changes leading to Calgary rushes, hanging Crawford out to dry.
  6. The defense was doing so well throughout the game. Seabrook, in particular, was having a good night — he had a couple of huge open-ice hits, a couple of shots on goal, a few key blocks – even drew a penalty at one point… and then he decided that the best thing to do with a couple of minutes left in the game with Calgary up 2-1 was to yell at the refs about a non-call a few moments earlier. Yeah. That’s some great discipline there, Seabs. He gets smacked with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the game ends with an empty-net goal from Rene Bourque. (He still ended up as the third star of the game. I’m not sure if that was a joke by the Calgary media or not.)

Are there any positives to take from this game? Hjalmarsson was a shot-blocking machine, making four blocks that would have most definitely ended in goals if he weren’t there to stop them. He and Campbell have been the most consistent D pairing this year, and it’s so nice to see them work so well together even when everyone else is failing at their lives. Boynton did not make me want to choke him tonight, either. He still had a couple of boneheaded plays, but at least those plays didn’t end in Calgary goals. He also had a couple of good blocks. Too bad that I expect this competent play to stop as soon as the rest of the team gets its act together, because I’ve seen it happen before. Prove me wrong, Boynton! Corey Crawford also looked solid in his first game in two weeks, turning away 26 shots.

Captain Force of Nature watch: Despite being so bad on the dot today, he did pretty much set up Patrick Kane’s goal all by himself. So that’s something.

Duncan Keith plus/minus rating watch: Even

Coach Q face color watch: He was stuck at Mauvelous for most of the game. Poor guy.

Postgame quotes from @TramyersCSN:

Brouwer on the weak first period: “To have a start like that in such an important game for us is disappointing.”

Coach Q on the power play: “We didn’t have many quality chances. We didn’t generate a whole lot. Probably lost some momentum as well.”

Coach Q on Seabrook’s unsportsmanlike penalty: “That’s an undisciplined penalty at the end we can’t take.”

Postgame videos: From CSN Chicago: Joel Quenneville, Jonathan Toews, Troy Brouwer, Brian Campbell

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