In perhaps the worst officiated game of this season (or any season in the last decade), the Blackhawks lost to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. More importantly, they may have lost another defenseman int he process.
Former Blackhawks/current piece of crap James Wisniewski took a premier cheap shot on Brent Seabrook that ended his night in the second period. TSN’s Bob McKenzie described the hit on Twitter, saying “Wisniewski’s hit on Seabrook may be the Grand Slam: Charging, Interference, Boarding and pre-meditated malice.” Yet, somehow, he only received a minor penalty for the hit and Duncan Keith, who came to the defense of his fallen teammate, received the same seven minutes in the box as Wisniewski.
Then, with the game tied in the third period, a puck popped up about 20 feet in the air. Brent Sopel, in wide open ice, waited for the puck to come down in front of him. As the puck descended to Sopel’s grasp, Corey Perry took perhaps the most obvious shot-in-the-back in the history of the NHL and… somehow… didn’t get called for anything. After a flurry of shots in front of the net, Saku Koivu scored the go-ahead goal as Sopel was getting to his feet.
Considering the defensemen in front of him and the lack of officiating, very few complaints can be made about the job Corey Crawford did in net. Yes, he made a terrible decision and a worse effort in playing a puck 20 feet from the net in the second period that led to a short-handed goal for Todd Marchant, but overall the effort was solid from the youngster. He stopped 32 of 35 shots (.914 save percentage) in his first NHL game in 11 months, and first start for the Hawks in two years. Without Brian Campbell, Kim Johnsson and, for most of the game, Seabrook, the effort it took from Crawford to keep the Hawks in the game was commendable.
Also making his first appearance for the Blackhawks this year was Nick Boynton, replacing Campbell. Not much of his 15:29 on the ice was impressive, but his willingness to be the only guy on the ice to step up and throw down with Wisniewski is honorable. If there’s one way to win a locker room, it’s standing up for teammates and Boynton did precisely that on Wednesday.
If Alexander Ovechkin was suspended for two games for his hit on Campbell after already receiving a game misconduct at the time, Wisniewski shouldn’t see the ice for a long, long time.
Seabrook and Marian Hossa scored Chicago’s two goals in the 4-2 loss.