The Blackhawks tied the series 1-1 after a wild 3-2 win over the Blues in Game 2.
It doesn’t get more “peak St. Louis Blues” than scoring a go-ahead goal, having it taken away, and then giving up the game-winner minutes later. Great stuff there, Blues. With that being said I think the call to overturn Tarasenko’s go-ahead goal was incorrect. But the rules are the rules, and the Hawks caught a break as a result. Andrew Shaw once again being rewarded for going to the front of the net. The dude just finds ways to make big time plays in the postseason year after year.
That was another excellent hockey game between two really good teams. I thought the Hawks did a lot of good things. But the story will circle around the reviews, especially the one that took away the lead for St. Louis. Let’s try to wrap our head around this one…
-Ok. So those reviews… Yeah, I don’t have any good answers here. In all honesty, I hate the review rule. I understand why it’s there and why the league wants to get calls right. But I think it slows the game down and is incredibly flawed. The Blues have a legitimate gripe with Tarasenko’s disallowed goal. I don’t think there was conclusive evidence to call Lehtera offsides there. It was certainly a break for the Hawks, and they capitalized. But, Hitchcock complaining about some grand “injustice” tells me the Hawks are in the Blues heads once again. It was close, the refs made a call after looking at the video for about three weeks, and then Tarasenko chopped Shaw’s stick in half. Tough beans.
-I thought Corey Crawford was sensational once again. The Blues led the game with 31 shots, and early on really took it to the Hawks. Crawford stood tall, and made some really key saves early on and down the stretch. On the other end, the Hawks were finally able to crack through the wall known as Brian Elliott. Keith’s goal to tie the game with 3.2 seconds left in the second period changed the momentum in favor of the Hawks.
-That Keith guy… is really freaking good. The Hawks are just so different with him in the lineup. One guy doesn’t define this team, but having Keith back gives the Hawks such a relaxed edge defensively (played 31 minutes). He looks rested coming off the suspension, and that bodes well for the Hawks.
-The Hawks might not want to leave that Tarasenko guy wide open anymore. The first goal was the result of a brutal turnover by Roszival. The second (disallowed) just a good play behind the net by Lehtera, and a breakdown by the Hawks leaving Tarasenko wide open in front.
-Once again I think the Hawks looked incredibly comfortable all night long. There were Blues surges but they responded appropriately to each one. I never once got the sense the Hawks were panicked (not that they ever REALLY do anyways).
-I really wonder what else the Blues plan to throw at the Hawks. Especially now heading to road ice. From what I could tell they didn’t show anything different from what they showed in Game 1. One thing St. Louis did we;; was increase their forechecking. It pressured the Hawks at times, and led to the first goal. That could potentially be problematic for the Hawks going forward.
The series shifts right into the Blackhawks’ hands now. Heading back to the United Center where the crowd for Game 3 will be absolutely bonkers. The Hawks caught a break to tie the series and grab home-ice. Being at home will hopefully add some additional energy. Now is where we watch Q use the home line changes to get the favorable match-ups he wants. The Hawks top two lines have been buzzing and are due to explode for some goals.
Onto Game 3 Sunday afternoon.