Blackhawks Fall In Winter Classic

An old friend came back to haunt the Blackhawks as the host Capitals were able to escape a terribly officiated Winter Classic with a 3-2 victory.

88 Winter Classic

Troy Brouwer scored the game-winner with less than 13 seconds showing on the clock as Washington converted a power play for the first time in the game. It was the Caps’ third power play of the game; they finished 1-4 with the advantage, as Brandon Saad went to the box for slashing during the sequence of events that concluded with Brouwer’s game-winner.

The Hawks got off to another slow start, allowing 15 shots in a first period that saw both teams struggle with the sun light reflecting off the ice. Eric Fehr scored at 7:01 to give Washington the lead before the two teams switched ends at the 10 minute mark because of the conditions. Alexander Ovechkin scored 11:58 to extend the lead to 2-0, a familiar position for a Chicago team that came back from a 3-0 deficit in their last game of 2014.

Only seven seconds into their second power play of the game, Patrick Sharp put the Hawks on the board with his seventh goal of the season.

Chicago scored the only goal of the second period, as Saad was able to beat Braden Holtby for an even strength tally. The Hawks had 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage in the middle of the period but weren’t able to capitalize; the Chicago power play was ultimately where the Hawks lost the game.

There were a number of bad calls going both ways in the game, and many Blackhawks fans will point to the questionable hooking call on Jonathan Toews in the game’s closing minute that led to Brouwer’s game-winner as the reason the Hawks came up short on New Year’s Day. But the Hawks converting only one of six power plays was a bigger issue.

In the third period, a potentially bigger issue for the Blackhawks than Brouwer’s goal was the loss of Kris Versteeg. He was hit in the left hand by a Fehr shot and labored to the bench, eventually heading to the dressing room. Versteeg did not return to the game, and coach Joel Quenneville indicated after the game that he could be out for a while, evoking the dreaded “we’ll know more tomorrow” language that often indicates weeks, not days, will be missed.

Corey Crawford made 32 saves (and got some help from the posts a couple times on Ovechkin shots) in the loss, while Holtby made 33 saves in the win.

Toews took 30 of 78 faceoffs in the game for the Blackhawks, winning 17 while picking up an assist on Saad’s goal. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith also had assists in the game. Patrick Sharp was credited with 10 of Chicago’s 35 shots on net, by far the most in the game for either team.

Daniel Carcillo skated 3:38 in only seven shifts.

23 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall In Winter Classic

  1. Not one to complain about officiating, but with a big game like this, being watched by millions of people, you would want to have a better officiated game. Bad calls for both sides. Gotta score on that 5-3 guys….

  2. Really let down on the outcome…we should have walked away with a point at the very least. We had a power play with 3 minutes to go. Thought Crawford looked real bad on the winning goal…he was not screened, a simple grab. Looked like he just was not ready. Don’t think he’s in the form he was to start the season. He was a 2 goal a game guy, now he is a three lately. I’m a huge Crawford supporter so for sure I have confidence that he will get back to it and even improve. Washington special teams beat us fair and square and were the difference. 5 on 3 with our talent, for ninty seconds, and zip. Why did Carcillo have only 3 minutes and change. He damn near got one on a Kane pass when he quickly came in for Versteeg. 5 minutes a night lately and now three! Why is he in Q’s doghouse? Luv this guy…what the heck can you do with that kind of time…very little. Not a good start of the year for me!

  3. Offical decides the game on a crap penalty, maybe he told his mom to watch for him to call a penalty with almost no time left . Kane was invisible i would have rather let him sit and play Carcillo and least his passion for the game was there Bronco

  4. I agree with you Tab, the game was lost on the power plays, especially on the 5 on 3 where most of the 1:23 was spent standing around and playing catch on the perimeter. I thought the d-men didn’t have good games, with each of them making a poor play or two. And Crawford didn’t have his best game either. On the Caps first goal (after Seabrook couldn’t hold the puck in the o-zone and let Fehr get around him for a breakaway), it was basically a shootout chance and usually CC slides across and stops that shot, but for whatever reason CC didn’t slide as fas as he needed and Fehr had an easy goal. CC also probably should have stopped Brouwer’s game winner although that was a scramble play and maybe CC didn’t see the quick shot soon enough.

    But, the two points are less consequential than Versteeg’s injury. Hopefully he’s back soon and contributing the way he has so far this season.

  5. Terrible officiating, terrible camera work by NBC. Way too much camera movement. They are trying to get like the NFL with all the overhead shots and the camera’s along the top of the glass. The last thing I want the NHL to do is try to become more like the NFL. The NHL is too fast for 35 cameras and 100 different camera angles.

    Let’s get past this game and move on in the schedule. Hopefully Steeger isn’t out for too long. Looks like some broken fingers or a broken hand.

  6. You cannot not call those two penaltys against both teams in a tie game with 3min left in 3rd, especially in the outdoor game. That ruined the winter classic regardless of who got the 2pts. Both teams deserved a tie worst case. We win division then this doesn’t matter, we donot (by 2or1 pts) then will be, Not thrilled though. ANA took a hit as well so this didn’t count against the 1or2 seed. Most important thing is win division and Steeger injury is only short term.

    Miningman, Ill throw in for the cash brown paper bags.

  7. It is what it is , a gimmick. The game winning goal ovechkin breaks his stick, charges at the ref , waving his hands, Brouwer grabs the puck shoots and scores. Oh well, no use trying to point out who played well and who did not.

    Why doesnt the nba play an outdoor game on a playground with the sun shining and wind blowing ?

  8. That last goal Crawford let in was soft. He was looking right at it and he wasn’t screened at all. Unfortunate, but it happens. Anyone know how TT is doing in Rockford with Versteeg getting hurt, maybe he gets a chance with the Hawks now?

  9. I was pretty annoyed at the end-the refs wanted to be too big a part of a great event.
    But about an hour later it was easy to reflect that unlike many of the games this year the Capitals had just as much right to win that game (and you take those games with a grain of salt-the bounces we’re unreal).
    Versteeg will be back at some point with fresh legs and someone will get to fill in and gain some valuable experience-it’s great to be a HAWK fan and looking forward to the second half.

  10. Fun game to watch despite the horrible outcome. Yes the Hawks should have converted on that 5-3, yes that penalty was very ticky tac on Toews, yes Crawford should have had that shot. At the end of the day the Hawks lost to an Eastern team in a novelty game. At one point my wife asked “does this game even count?”

    You can’t win them all. The bigger take away from yesterdays game is how serious is Versteeg hurt and why do the Hawks keep spotting teams goals early in games? The Hawks have had this trend in recent past seasons where they slump after starting out hot.

  11. 5 games in the next week basically. Woof.

    Since 11-12 with the exception of the shortened season, the Hawks have had pretty a mediocre January and February.

    Would not be at all surprised to see them go 500 or maybe a little worse over the next 6 weeks or so.

  12. Can’t complain about bad calls when those bad calls add up to like 90 seconds of 5 on 3 in favor of the Hawks! Ouch, again same ole same ole, power play weakness, it is NOT so much the first line on Power play that often controls at least puck possession but it’s that dreaded awwwwwful second line which needs to get it’s act together what a nightmare performance. Not a bad game, lucky last goal like the KINGS in game 7 but Hawks Scrambling in their own end at times, the game is played on ice we need to remind ourselves. Hawks looked just a little out of synch which is all it takes to make them look average!

  13. Ouch!!! to Team USA. That loss to Canada sending them to the quarterfinals against the Russians just got them sent home.

  14. Nice,….. Tuevo has been playing well recently it will be interesting of the Hawks play him as a wing of center w Versteeg out of the lineup

  15. For what ever reason have always won the bulk of the games (as good as any team can) in nov. and dec. ervey yr since weve had our team. (except for 2011, when we played short handed with 6ahl players)(and we still were 16games over 500 at game81). I can see a 4-4 stretch or so at some point in these 6wks coming up.

    It goes with the territory when your really good long stretchs then have a few wks before and after where you have to fight threw it. Its not peaking to soon, sucking, refs, the genius sch makers, etc. yua.

    Teravainen best player at world juniors since kane.

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