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Ward outduels the Hawks.

Posted By Trent Kondo On Jan 31 2010 @ 2:57 am In Chicago Blackhawks | 4 Comments

A tough ending to a long roadtrip but overall a 5 win 3 loss record was a success for the Hawks any way you look at it. Tonight's game in Carolina was going to be a tough one regardless, the hurricanes have been playing very good hockey of late and with one of the top goaltenders in the league nothing is a given when playing the canes.

The hawks started off sluggish and definitely showed signs of being drained from an insane amount of miles put on over the duration of this road swing. The first period was undoubtedly one of the most uninteresting periods of hockey I have seen in a long time.

Moving on to the second period the hawks showed everyone they had some energy left hammering 16 shots against the canes pesky netminder with Hossa managing to get one past Ward. However, the hawks were still down 2-1 after 2 periods of play with the momentum and scoring chances still in Chicago's favor.

The third period was no different as the hawks carried the play and definitely outchanced the canes with Andrew Ladd potting a beauty wrist shot up high on Ward. But as we have seen of late for some reason the Hawks seem to give up that quick goal right after they jack one in against the opposition. This time however, we let the opposition get 2 goals instead of one. Sad but it happened, in defense of Huet both the last 2 goals were excellent tip in's from the Canes.

Some may ask why the Hawks lost this game, my answer to that is no it was not the long effects of the road trip it was the Heroics of one named Cam Ward. The young goaltender stood on his head making brilliant save after brilliant save. Chicago outshot Carolina by a 41-24 margin and had easily double if not more scoring chances the Carolina did against the Hawks.

Here are a few things I noticed in the game:

- Hjalmaarsson was excellent tonight blocking shots and breaking up some offensive zone chances by Carolina

- Hossa did everything right, he was all over the ice tonight and night after night he proves why he is constantly a top 5 player in the NHL year in and year out

- Faceoffs were dreadful, with the Hawks being one of the best faceoff teams in the league we were outclassed by the canes 32-16.

- 3 video reviews and all 3 went the canes way. The only issue I really had was an early whistle on the third review when the referee had excellent position to see that the puck was still loose, inexcusable in my opinion.

- I know there are many Huet haters and lovers out there, for me I am neutral. For the haters please watch all the goals against Christobal carefully, he really did not have much chance if any. I just can not blame Huet for this one but I know most will as it is the easiest thing to do is blame a goaltender.

- The Hawks powerplay was 0-3 and not effective, however the one powerplay was only 7 seconds long as it was nullified by a penalty to Byfuglien.

In ending, It will be good to get back to the United Center and get ready for a clash for the always pesky St.Louis Blues on Wednesday. A nice 3 day break in between will let the guys get energized and hope to begin a strong run prior to the Olympic break.

Thanks for reading!

TKON

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