Saturday, April 10, 2010

And then there was one

The Blackhawks racked up another franchise record tonight - 23 wins on the road - with their 5-2 win over Colorado.
The Avalanche is solidly locked into 8th in the Western division; that was reflected by the lineup of players on the ice, including their backup goalie. 

Antti Niemi was in net for the Hawks, and provided a solid effort. The first Avalanche goal came late in the first period, a wide-angle shot from the boards by Ryan Stoa; the second was in the third when Niemi seemed to lose sight of the puck in the middle of a pile-up in the crease and it got flicked in over him. I've been a little nervous lately with some of his puck play around the net; he's been very protective all the net all season, and only he could answer why he's been doing more stick work behind the net - sometimes in highly risky moments.

It was a relief to see the Hawks score on a power play; hopefully that will continue to drive momentum going into the playoffs. The teamwork looked solid throughout the game, and hooray - the Hawks actually played all three periods. This late in the season, and going into the playoffs, there is no such thing as a gimme-game anymore.

Colin Fraser has been kickin' up his late-season game and scored 2 goals tonight. (He got The Belt™ tonight, I'm guessing?) 

* * *

There's two scenarios now this weekend:

- If San Jose wins on Saturday, we can probably expect to see Niemi back in the net on Sunday for the game against Detroit, as the team will need that win to clinch the Conference title.

- If San Jose loses on Saturday, the question would be if Coach Q would want to rest some of his prime players (as the title would be clinched by a SJ loss) and consider the Sunday game a throwaway. 

However, either way the San Jose/Phoenix game goes on Saturday, it would be highly satisfying to beat Detroit on Sunday, regardless - end the season on a high note. 

(I hardly have to say without just one of those horrible Blue Jackets/Blues losses, the Conference would already be clinched. Blearg.)

* * *

And guess who received her Playoffs Round 1 tickets today? Oh, yes. If the Hawks don't go to game 7, I won't get to use them; but I have tickets for game 5 of the second round, so we'll see how things go. People keep saying how cool the playoff tickets look, but I guess only season ticket holders get cool tickets. I have SRO tickets, and they're just regular Ticketmaster ones.

*cues Chelsea Dagger and heads off for sleep*

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