Blackhawks Lose OT Thriller, Season Ends in Vancouver

Fans of the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks were treated to arguably the greatest series between a 1 and 8 seed in the history of the NHL. Unfortunately for Chicago’s fans, the final horn ended with the score favoring the wrong side.

A heartbreaking whiff on a bouncing puck by Chris Campoli gave Alex Burrows a one-on-one opportunity and he, unlike so many of his teammates and himself on an earlier penalty shot, beat Corey Crawford for the game-winner.

Crawford was incredible the entire night, outplaying Roberto Luongo and keeping the Hawks in the game despite a mediocre night from most of Chicago’s defensemen. He kept 36 of 38 shots out of the net (.947 save pct) and was, by far, the best player on the ice in the game.

But a missile from Burrows was the difference. He was responsible for both of Vancouver’s goals.

Despite dominating the action for most of the game, the Canucks weren’t able to extend their lead beyond one because of Crawford’s superior effort. The Blackhawks were able to hang around just long enough to drag a trick out of their history – a late short-handed goal to extend a playoff game.

It wasn’t a five-minute major this time, but with just over three minutes left in regulation, Duncan Keith was called for hooking Burrows. Just as they did in Game Five against Nashville in the first round last year, the Hawks looked to generate offense while short-handed in the closing moments and were successful.

Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the postseason with 1:56 left on the clock to tie the game.

However, early in overtime the whistle blew again for a play involving Keith and Burrows; this time, however, it was Burrows heading off for holding. The Hawks got one excellent look, when Toews found Patrick Sharp wide open on the back side, but he wasn’t able to put the puck past Luongo.

Burrows returned to the ice, and the rest is history.

9 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose OT Thriller, Season Ends in Vancouver

  • April 27, 2011 at 1:26 am

    That was such a great example of what a game 7 can be.

    Crawford stood on his head this series but was clearly the reason this game remained as close as it did. Lots of credit to the champs for pushing a 7th game but Vancouver really could have finished this in game 6 OT, where they dominated.

    The Blackhawks have shown the Canucks and our fans two years in a row what “not good enough” looks like. With all the roster changes on both sides, the scales tipped and this series should serve as an important lesson about showing up every game and overcoming adversity (mostly psychological).

    If the Canucks didn’t go through Chicago this playoff season, the win just wouldn’t have been as meaningful. I was seriously starting to feel like the Washington Generals.

    Congratulations to Hawks fans on a great show of guts and grit. This series had it all.

  • April 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Hawks were very lucky to get this far.

  • April 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I agree with everything said. We can hold our heads high. It was not a giveaway series. Now with this season over, the Cup Bonuses off the cap, the Bowman’s can start adding some more depth to the D and start looking for some more physicality. We may see some of our lost cup heroes even drift back.

    I will be anxious to see what our goaltending looks like next year. One thing is for sure, the right decisions were made on Niemi/Turco/Crawford. I hope that over the summer they get some rest, get healed up, and work some passing drills.

    Way to go Hawks! Thanks for another great post-season.

  • April 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

    What upset me the most about this game was the quick call from the refs when Hawks tied the game at 1-1 of a rebound after a shot by Kieth(?). Luongo hadn’t covered the puck, yet the whistle came right away. When Crawford covered the puck the whistle always seemed to take 1-2 sec extra than normal. Crawford by the way outplayed Luongo big time, I was sorry when Niemi left but now I don’t miss him anymore…

    In my opinion Vancouver still won this series fair and square, they felt like the better team. But we didn’t roll over and died after 0-3 and we gave them one hell of a fight and was just a pad save on Sharps shot away from completing the comeback.

    I must also say that I’m impressed with the way you run this blog, almost at least a new post every day and always well worth reading!

  • April 27, 2011 at 8:46 am

    We were just a few pieces short this year. We need a 1st line winger and a third line C. To much dead weight this year. I agree we traded away a lot of tough, grinding players and we need to bring that back next year.

    But wow, what a captain we have. Hawk fans are fortunate because we are gonna be good as long as he is our leader. Just not quite good enough this year.

    But lets give the boys credit, they took the presidents trophy club to the max plus some. No quit in this team. They are warriors.

  • April 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I took the day off today…I can’t imaging how drained the Hawks are!

    I woke up the neighbors when Captain Serious tallied that shorty with less than two mintes left. I’ve never felt more confident the morning after being eliminated.

    The Bad news is that we still have some work to do in terms of a few bloated contracts (read Campbell). The Good news is that the core is there, Bowman can evaluate talent and isn’t just counting on drafting high, and the Blackhawks we have are indeed Committed Indians!

  • April 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I’m proud of the Lads- they put up a fight despite being short-handed all season. This team has tremendous leadership no doubt about it. Now, we need one or two more players with size and skill- guys like Ladd. Looking forward to the offseason moves..

  • April 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Last night, both teams brought the style of play that got them both to where they were (Vancouver with the Presidants trophy and the Hawks backing in to the playoffs), and as has been the case all season the Canucks were the better team when getting down to playing a pure hockey game not based on who beats up whom worse. Game 7 is what I envisioned the series to look like–a tight game, Vancouver spending too much time in the Hawks end, good scoring opportunities on both sides, and solid goal-tending–but if that exact strategy was played 7 times, the Hawks would have been very lucky to take 3 games. Despite the Hawks being a good team with a goalie that made a very good case for at least being mentioned for the Vezina and/or Calder, Vancouver had deeper talent in all aspects (except goalie). And the Hawks played like they did all season–good, but not good enough.

    The aggressive game brought to the ice in the first three games by Vancouver then the next three games when Chicago hit back was not typical of either team in any of the games, but it showed how great these two coaches can be. They played some chess and changed their strategies around to take advantage of the other teams weaknesses and in game 7, it turned into a pure hockey game–which did not favor the Hawks.

    To make up for the talent deficit, Coach Q was forced to spend too much time getting the matchups he wanted, and in the end, I think the Hawks suffered. Not that he was wrong in doing that, but h0w many times did the Canucks get an odd man rush as the Hawks were changing lines? The wrong guys on the ice is better than setting up odd man rushes. They needed to be smarter in playing the matchup game.

    Not to dog Sharp too much, he has had an incredible year, is a great player and I’m happy he wears the Indian, but I think missing that shot on the OT power play was the biggest missed opportunity of the game, if not the series. He’s made that shot so many times, often in clutch situations, I could not believe he missed it. If that puck had hit net, Campoli would never have flipped the puck within reach of the guy who gave Burrows a second chance at Crawford and the Hawks would likely be practicing in San Jose now.

    I know getting past the Hawks was a huge mental barrier for the Canucks, but they celebrated like they won it all. I hope it is as fulfilling as it looked, because my money says they don’t even play for the cup. The other teams were watching and even though the Hawks did not win, they did expose some glaring weaknesses, namely re-exposing Luongo’s fragile charectar is still fragile. Also the team as a whole did not respond well to game 4. It looks like there is a lack of leadership on a very talented team.

    Overall, for a slightly better than mediocre season, I’m very broud to be a Blackhawks fan for how they finished.

    Heading into the offseason, I really hope the Bowmans can find a way to keep Crawford and Frolik. Campoli and Brouwer have been great contributors and I hope to see them next year, too.

    Mr. Bamford, Thanks for the great coverage and I’m looking forward to your offseason insight and analysis when things start to move.

    go hawks

  • April 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    the canucks ended up being the ones doing the ‘exposing’; the hawks could barely skate with the canucks–the hawk goons and cheap-shot artists messed up the sport in 2010, and this bunch proved in 5 of the 7 games that they just can’t compete without them. 80% of game 7 was played in the hawks end of the ice because they don’t have the talent to play against an actual HOCKEY team like the ‘nucks. they looked like boys against men; junior A players, mostly. they had NO business being in the playoffs at all, and next year will likely finish about 14th in the west, like the one-hit-wonders that they are.

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