A thing I have never hidden from you, our gentle readers: I really love Jamie Benn. (So happy to read that his surgeries went well!! Also he was nominated for the Ted Lindsay this week, which makes me all sorts of proud and happy.)
Okay but that wasn’t what I was going to say. Thing I have never hidden from you: I absolutely loathe the Ducks. I have reasons, but I’m pretty sure that most of our readers are Stars fans and you all understand, so I won’t enumerate. Either way, last night was AMAAAAAAZING.
But let’s start with the Hawks, eh?
Game 1: Blackhawks vs Wild
Final score: Blackhawks 1 – Wild 0
Series: Blackhawks 3 – Wild 0
Look, I’ve got some feelings for Devan “did the best he could with the defense the hockey gods handed him” Dubnyk and if the Wild wanted to win one (but just one. maybe two, but ideally just one) for him, I wouldn’t be angry. No one expects a sweep in the second round, right? (Just to be clear: I still don’t.)
And I will say this, the Wild tried. They tried hard. The score sheet doesn’t show it and the stats only barely show it, but it felt like the Wild threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Hawks during this game. They certainly dominated the 3rd. *checks stats table* Visually anyway. God this game was weird.
It looked like they spent literally the entire period in the Hawks zone. But somehow they managed to have an even number of scoring chances for. And that’s with the Hawks only getting 4 shots on goal to the Wild’s 10.
What was the difference? Special teams. Well. Special teams and Patrick “anything you can do I can do better. and faster. and with more pizazz” Kane.
Only 8 penalty minutes were called this game, and three of those penalties went against the Hawks. (One of them was the “TOO MANY DICKS ON THE DANCE FLOOR” which ended up being served by Patrick Kane.) Their PK% in the regular season was respectable enough, 83.4%, which had them at 6th in the league. It’s actually dropped in the postseason to 73.3% but still has them at #1. (And as of last game they’re now scoring shorties on the pk. The Hawks, man. THE HAWKS.)
So the PK held strong again this game, and while no shorties were scored, they held the Wild to a minimum number of shots on goal. (I’m pretty sure the third “too much man” penalty had zero shots on goal.) Wild couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage, and the one penalty the Wild took themselves resulted in a goal from Patrick “you should probably not leave me unguarded but thanks for doing it” Kane.
Kane’s goal in the first, by the way, was probably as staid and simple as a Kane goal gets. No one had him, and I’m pretty sure the Wild should have figured out by now that you should always know where Patrick Kane is on the ice. This isn’t their first time at the Hawks’ rodeo.
(And yes, it’s the Hawks rodeo. I think we’re all agreed this is a Hawks world and the Wild just exist in it.) (Well, all of us but Wild fans.)
So Crawford ends up pitching a shutout, and while the Hawks helped him out a lot with 19 blocked shots, they also . . . didn’t.
What we learned: Hockey twitter is pretty universal in believing this might have been the nail on the coffin for the Wild’s postseason run, and if it is it’s not a bad end for the season. What Dubnyk’s done for this team is nothing short of a freaking miracle for them.
Also, everyone’s kinda bored by the Hawks’ success, which I don’t get and don’t agree with. Why get mad that awesome hockey players play awesomely? HOW CAN YOU BE BORED WATCHING PATRICK “S H O W T I M E” KANE? (Who, by the way, is tied for scoring in this series WITH THE ENTIRE MINNESOTA WILD.)
Some people hate joy, I guess. (Or perhaps more accurately, as Carolyn pointed out, some people hate that their team ISN’T the Hawks. Or in my case, their backup team.)
Game 2: Ducks vs Flames
Final score: Ducks 3 – Flames 4
Series: Ducks 2 – Flames 1
FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMES. DOING THE LORD’S WORK.
I’ll admit, I didn’t watch this game nearly as closely as the Hawks game, but it started with a goal from Brandon “cut my beard off and I will rise again” Bollig SCORING THE FIRST GOAL IN THE GAME.
Look, I know. I know. But here, I have a gif of it.
It really happened.
The other thing that really happened was the Flames then going down 2-1 before the end of the 1st. I despaired entirely of this game and this team and them WASTING a precious snowflake of a goal by Carolyn’s fake hockey boyfriend.
But Patrick “that’s a fake shade of red” Maroon and Corey “please vanity search yourself on twitter after a game. please” Perry also scored in the first. You’ll have to go to Gamecenter to watch those goals though, I refuse to sully my blog with the likes of that.
Both teams scored in the second, bringing the score to 3-2. Men skated. A couple of penalties. Idk, second period. The Hawks game was still going on.
AND THEN THE THIRD. I’ll be honest, I peaced out for Mass Effect because I had so much doubt, and the Flames made me pay for this.
First, with 6 and change left to go in the third, a seemingly nothing play and a save by Anderson becomes the most hotly contested goal call of the entire playoffs. Here’s the entire thing on the broadcast:
(Be warned, the audio cuts out at some point.)
Close up stills:
(The argument here, by the way, is that the puck was elevated. The darker patch on the red line is supposed to be the shadow of the puck. Idk, I think this is going to get broken down almost as much as the Zapruder film, and will still be just as inconclusive to some people.)
The overhead cameras, which are generally the most conclusive evidence, unless someone’s limbs are obscuring them, were also inconclusive.
(I don’t have any tweets that disagree because a) none of the people I follow disagree and b) I don’t agree with the people that disagree and c) this is my blog, get off.)
REGARDLESS, goal was deemed inconclusive and because of this, ruled a no-goal. Since there was never any call on the ice for or against, your mileage may vary on whether or not you think this was fair. Judging by the garbage thrown on the ice by Flames fans afterwards, I would say they thought it wasn’t fair at all, not by a mile, but you’d have to ask them individually to be sure.
ENTER FLAMES SAVIOR JOHNNY “I SWEAR I’M OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK LITERALLY EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD” GAUDREAU who, with twenty seconds left to go in the game, TIED IT UP. The call was hilarious, by the way. “Deft! Delicate! Deadly! Johnny Gaudreau!” I’m pretty sure that little ray of sunshine has never been called deadly before in his life.
Look at this thing:
He basically gets it through the puck-sized hole Anderson left him. If I cared about the Ducks I’d almost feel bad. I’d probably be mad at Anderson for not having that. I’d be a worse person for all of these things, obviously, so I’m glad I don’t care about the Ducks.
Johnny Gaudreau’s game tying goal was the latest in playoffs history, apparently.
This recap is already the longest BUT THEN THERE’S MIKAEL “MADE MERRIN CRY AT MIDNIGHT” BACKLUND’S GAME WINNING GOAL IN OT:
Look, I knew nothing about Mikael Backlund before last night because I’ve never paid attention to the Flames before, but his story, as told through this series of tweets, is pretty frickin great, actually. And now he has a big OT winning goal, scored at home, in his first freaking playoffs. How great is that?
Ryan Getzlaf spent some time arguing with the refs after the game about the delayed penalty. (The Flames scored with the man advantage because of it.) I think he thinks the Ducks touched it? Go cry somewhere else, bud, you already got the no-goal call in your favor.)
The important thing? FLAAAAAMES WIIIIIIINNNNNN. Also apparently they play “Ring of Fire” when they win, which basically makes them the best ever.
What we learned: