In their first regulation loss at home, the Chicago Blackhawks were defeated by their old foe, the Vancouver Canucks.
The two teams’ famed rivalry was most recently spotlighted in the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the Blackhawks managed to overcome a 3-0 deficit to take the President’s Trophy winners all the way to Game 7, only to lose in overtime. It was a nail-biting series indeed, chock full of surprises and last-minute goals.
Tonight’s game was the first meeting of the ‘Nucks and ‘Hawks since the 2010-2011 postseason, but it was considerably less exciting that the last one before it.
The Canucks were dominant from the start, outshooting the Hawks 17-9 in the first period, but Chicago’s Corey Crawford was quick and on point, only allowing one Canuck goal (a powerplay goal by David Booth at the 6 minute mark) in. Michael Frolik answered the goal shortly with a wrister of his own to bring the scoreboard to 1-1 at the end of the frame.
Unfortunately, Booth’s goal was one of many to come for the Canucks, who managed to convert 5 out of 6 powerplays —3 in the second period and 1 in the third— and take the 6-2 victory. Marcus Kruger notched the only other goal for Chicago, late in the second.
It was the crucial matter of defense for the Hawks tonight, and it simply wasn’t there. Jonathan Toews was the first to admit it, saying that “[their] penalty kill went for a hike today, too.”
For the first time in a long time, the Blackhawks weren’t able to shake Roberto Luongo, who stopped 38 shots tonight. But on the other end of the ice, Corey Crawford stopped 32 shots of his own, and despite letting in 6 goals, made some pretty nifty saves to avoid any further running up of the scoreboard.He didn’t receive much help from his fellow teammates in that department, to say the least.
The rapidly-developing new NHL rivalry will be renewed between these two teams in just 10 days, when the Hawks travel to Vancouver in hopes of avenging this tough loss.
About the Author
Written by Anna Santiago
26-year old sports writer from Calgary, Alberta. A hockey and basketball lover above all.