The Chicago Blackhawks’ loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final featured plenty of moments, both good and bad, that had Hawks fans alternatively giddy and depressed.
Since we focused on the Three Stars of the game earlier this morning (aka the positive), here are some thoughts on some of the negative things that happened in the game:
-Marian Hossa’s shot that ended up in the net during the first period of the game should not have been a goal. The NHL’s situation room termed it thusly:
“The referee had blown the play dead prior to Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa pushing the goaltender’s pads and the puck across the goal line. No goal Chicago.”
While head coach Joel Quenneville disputed that characterization, saying that the official told him that it was “his intention to blow the whistle,” captain Jonathan Toews said that he did hear the whistle blow.
Whether it did or not, the goal should not have counted. The initial call on the ice was no-goal, and there was no video evidence that the puck crossed the goal line before an official either intended to or actually did blow the play dead. The only time the puck was ever visible was when Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask stood up and the puck was across the line.
-In addition to the officials making the right call, something else has to be said about that play: there is no way that any reasonable fan can blame the officials for the Blackhawks losing that game. Yes, the lead would have been 2-0 if the puck had found the net, but it didn’t and the Hawks had plenty of other opportunities to lengthen their lead.
Anyone insinuating that the Blackhawks lost because of this call is not only discounting the fact that the Hawks failed to play with much intensity after the first period concluded, but they are also dismissing the incredible effort of Rask in keeping his team in the hockey game.
-Finally, Brandon Bollig is getting a lot of heat this morning for his role in the Bruins’ overtime winning goal, but it isn’t completely deserved.
On the play, it was a pass along the boards to Bollig that ended up eluding him, and it gave Boston an opportunity to use a couple of quick passes to get the puck onto the stick of Daniel Paille, who flipped it past Corey Crawford for the winner.
Yes, Bollig probably should have immediately kept the puck moving along the boards to get it out of the zone, but he may not have been able to handle it cleanly anyway, given its proximity to the Boston bench and the deteriorating quality of that ice as the overtime period kept going.
In addition to cutting Bollig a little bit of slack, some of the blame on that play has to go to defenseman Brent Seabrook as well. Instead of cycling the puck along the boards towards the Boston bench, Seabrook could have kicked it out to one of the Hawks wingers closer to him in the zone instead, but went for the lower percentage play, and it cost the Hawks.
Obviously, the play wasn’t a completely boneheaded one by any stretch, but it wasn’t the smartest play to be made, and that needs to get more attention than a youngster’s inability to handle a long pass.