The Third Line > You: Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes Review

Blackhawks win over the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2.

The Bolland-Bickell-Frolik line needs a snappy nickname. Any thoughts?

This is another game that I could see the Blackhawks losing last year.

After Hossa scored on the power play in the first period to remind us all what we were missing on Saturday against the Bruins, Taylor Pyatt came right back at the beginning of the second period to tie the game. Then Toews stuffed in a rebound to put the Blackhawks back on top… only to have Ray Whitney tie the goal again after Duncan Keith blew a tire in his own zone.

After Jamal Mayers scored his first goal as a Chicago Blackhawk on a tip-in of Duncan Keith’s blast (after Viktor Stalberg busted his behind to make sure the puck stayed within the zone), I was wondering when the Coyotes would come back to tie it again. See-saw games were a frustrating part of the Blackhawks repertoire last year, and they almost always always came back to bite them in the end.

Fortunately, that tying goal never came, and we can all thank Dave Bolland for that one.

As the Coyotes went on the power play in the third period (Patrick Sharp was called for tripping), Bolland trolled Vrbata, stole the puck, and skated down the ice to put in a short-handed goal. The Blackhawks now have as many short-handed goals as they do goals against on the penalty kill.

Bickell, with helpers from Bolland and especially Frolik (who had a beautiful bounce off the boards to Bickell — wow, say that one three times fast), put the game away for the Blackhawks later on in the third with a nifty little wrister.

Thank goodness.

Crawford wasn’t tested much tonight, since the Coyotes only managed 16 shots on goal. Meanwhile, the power play is still clownshoes, with only one goal out of five chances tonight. Get it together on the man advantage, Blackhawks.

Box Score

1st Period
15:06 CHI PPG – Marian Hossa (2) Slap – ASST: P. Sharp (3) AND D. Keith (1)

2nd Period
00:42 PHX Taylor Pyatt (1) Backhand – ASST: D. Schlemko (1) AND R. Klesla (2)
03:26 CHI Jonathan Toews (2) Backhand – ASST: A. Brunette (1) AND P. Sharp (4)
07:48 PHX Ray Whitney (3) Wrist – ASST: D. Langkow(3)
08:36 CHI Jamal Mayers (1) Tip-In – ASST: D. Keith (2) AND V. Stalberg (1)

3rd Period
02:27 CHI SHG – Dave Bolland (4) Slap – ASST: NONE
09:06 CHI Bryan Bickell (2) Wrist – ASST: M. Frolik (2) AND D. Bolland (1)

Captain Force Of Nature Watch: He had one goal and won 17-21 (81%) of his faceoffs. So. About that slow start I talked about last game… I enjoy eating crow, really!

Duncan Keith Plus/Minus Watch: +3. No, really. A plus-three. This is beautiful! If I could hug you, I would, Duncan Keith.

Post-Game Quotes from nhl.com:

Dave Bolland: “It’s a huge advantage to score on the PK. It gets the guys going on the bench and really gives you a boost. Then our line is able to get another one and Bick puts a great shot over the glove … playing with those guys has been great.”

Bolland, on his line being compared to the top number-3 lines in the league: “I think as of right now we could be … but to keep it that way we have to keep on rolling and playing our game. All three of us just click and we’re rolling. With Bick and his big body and Fro with his good vision and good speed, playing with those guys has been tremendous.”

Duncan Keith: “We outshot them by quite a bit and did what we had to do to win, but we know we can play a better team game. We’re happy to get the big road win and the two points, but you can see the things that need work.”

Post-Game Videos: Joel Quenneville, Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa

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