WOW is really all one can say with yesterday afternoons tilt between Chicago and Nashville.
For the first 36 minutes the Hawks seemed to have complete control of this game leading 3-1 and playing arguably the best game of this year’s playoffs. Chicago was outhitting Nashville, complete puck control, and getting multiple scoring chances.
However, as Hawk fans we all know about the one period per game break down that has been happening since the latter part of the season and that happened with about 2 minutes left in the second frame where Chicago was outshooting the Preds by a margin of 24-7 and going to the powerplay. With the puck deep in the predator zone Sharp blindly throws it at Kane not realizing that the mullet man had a guy on him forcing him to give up the puck and ended up being a goal for Nashville shorthanded. The tide has turned.
Nashville came storming out of the gates scoring early in the third and then again at around the 11 minute mark to surprisingly take the lead in this game turning Hawk nation into a frenzy thinking what the puck just happened here. The hawks came out flat in the third and for one I could not believe they came out like that in the biggest period of hockey thus far in the playoffs. Unfortunate.
The Blackhawks then did the impossible.
Marian Hossa hot on the puck chasing down Dan Hamhuis gives him a two handed push while Hamhuis turned to play the puck. Unfortunately the force of Hossa’s push and Hamhuis’ awkward positioning sent him hard into the boards which looked like a sure injury.
The ensuing much debacled power play for the Predators began…Chicago needed some sort of possession to even have a chance and getting an offensive opportunity. They got it and it was all they needed. Patrick Kane reaped the rewards of some panicking puck movement with time winding down and scored the most important goal of his short career with 13 seconds left in regulation.
It moved to overtime with Chicago having to kill off 4 min of Powerplay time still due to the Hossa 5 minute major. Every Hawk fan there is thought the Hawks were most certainly doomed however the Preds powerplay continued it’s failure for the 4 minutes of a huge advantage. They did have 5 shots but the “nieminator” stood very tall stoning the scoring attempts by the swarming predators.
With the powerplay winding down super speed skater Brent Sopel did his best impressions of Brian Campbell bringing the puck into the Predator zone at this time Hossa was out of the box, planted himself to the right of Rinne, shot came from the point and deflected off of Joel Ward’s stick right to Hossa for an easy tap in for the Overtime goal and series lead.
Talk about rubbing the salt in the wounds of furious Predator fans while Hawk fans are blowing the roof off the United Center.
This short summary of the game is no where near the excitement that the game actually was and if you did not see it I suggest you find a clip and watch the game is it was one of the most exciting games in hockey history. Yes that’s right the so-called “most boring series” had a gut wrenching and controversial finish.
A few questions and answers via twitter about the Hossa hit which is all over the internet and news today so I will not touch on it too much.
Q: Do you think Hossa should be suspended
A: Honestly Yes I do. Personally no I don’t. How’s that for an answer It was an intense time of the game and Hossa was doing anything possible to get possession of the puck. Hamhuis turned his body in an awkward position and the force of Hossa’s push sent him into the boards. The key word here is push, he pushed him and received a major penalty causing what could have been a serious injury although not to the head or face it was an infraction.
Q: Do you think it was intentional
A: Absolutely 100% NOT. He was trying to get Hamhuis off the puck somehow to get possession, he did not try to hurt the #3 d-man on the Predators it just so happened that he almost did. In comparing this to the Ovechkin hit well Ovie’s hit/push was purely intentional as Hossa’s was obviously not.
Q: If you don’t think it was intentional or an attempt to injure why do you think he should be suspended?
A: Purely because the NHL has been trying to make statements with their punishments on infractions going back to the Ovechkin hit. What better time to make another statement to players and fans by suspending an elite player in the playoffs? It was a pushing motion therefore my decision in thinking he should be suspended is purely going by what the NHL has been doing with suspensions of that nature not what I personally think.
Q: What the heck are you talking about, should he be suspended or not you’re confusing me!
A #1 In my most humble opinion thinking along the lines of what the NHL has been doing with repercussions of this matter absolutely he should be.1 game suspension.
#2 Thinking along the lines of just a Hawk fan no he should not be because it was not an attempt to injure but In all honesty how can I think against the NHL guidelines as rules are rules.
Thanks for the twitter questions twit friends.
Denis Grebeshkov- why have I read nothing on what this guy brought to the Predators lineup, he adds so much to that team and was excellent last night. I guess the loss and Hossa hit overshadowed Denis’ play but he was outstanding
Martin Erat- clearly has taken over the reigns of Hornqvist in his absence
Joel Ward- what a game the guy had and had over 26 minutes of ice time. He is a keeper and one heck of a hard worker.
Jason Arnott- no comment, well OK maybe one. He was not good again. Nuff’ said.
Dave Bolland- awful in general yet he had a ton of ice time. He really needs to step it up if he is going to be our unsung hero.
Jonathan Toews- fantastic game especially compared to his previous game.
Dustin Byfuglien- with limited amount of ice time he laid some punishing hits which really helped the Hawks out. Fantastic.
Brent Seabrook- probably his best game in a month, I was so impressed with his play last night making few mistakes if any
Nashville- had tornado like occurrences last night during the game and at this point I have heard nothing on it but I wish and hope all the families and residents of that area all the best and be safe.
This series is far from over as every hockey fan knows but in Chicago’s case let’s hope we can end it in game 6 because if it goes to game 7 everyone knows it’s pretty much a flip of the coin. What a series this has been thus far.
Thanks for reading as always.
Edit: 3:07 MST TSN announced no suspension for Hossa. Also a write up on NHL.com
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )