Phoenix Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks
4-0 Coyotes, they win the series 4-2
Goals: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Gilbert Brule, Antoine Vermette and Kyle Chipchura
Goalies: Corey Crawford (16/20, .8000); Mike Smith (39/39, 1.000)
Michael Jordan was in the Madhouse tonight!
The game started off great – a period and and half of strong play resulting in a 22-4 SOG tally in the Hawks’ favor by the 30-minute mark. It was like someone had lit a fire under the boys. Maybe it was a surprise visit to the rink by Marian Hossa that inspired them.
Despite the loss, I was still proud of my boys for their determination and heart.
Rostislav Klesla was accidentally struck in the face by Brendan Morrison‘s stick as they fell by the net in the first period. He was tended to for the rest of the period and emerged in the second with a full cage and a rapidly swelling eye. Thankfully, the swelling went down to the point that he could ditch the cage and wear a visor, but yeowch.
Then Jimmy Hayes was ejected from the game with a 5-minute major and a misconduct for boarding Michal Roszival in the third period, which resulted in him bleeding and being taken to the locker room.
A shoddy interference call against Jonathan Toews in the second period resulted in the Yotes’ first goal. That signaled the end.
After the second period, the defense fell apart.
And would someone please tell me why Patrick Kane got a 10-minute misconduct with 1:50 left in the game? I still don’t know.
Before you go calling out Corey Crawford for this loss, keep in mind something that Brendan Morrison said a few days ago:
“We aren’t going to single any guy out here and hang him out to dry. He’s played well for us over the course of the series. Bad luck on a couple of them. But it’s a team game. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”
There was nothing ugly about this game except my broken heart.
In The End
I stand by my boys. For all the ups and downs this season, they never failed to surprise and thrill me. Our rebuilt team will be back stronger than ever with everyone healthy. Free agency brings the possibility of new faces, re-signings will bring back familiar ones, and the draft will show us the future of the Blackhawks. The boys will spend the summer training and come to Convention with purpose for the next season. And I’ll be there to cheer them on.