Talk about a whirlwind of a third period.
There was a rollercoaster ride at the Mad House on Madison tonight. The Chicago Blackhawks played the Colorado Avalanche and things got real interesting. We saw a scoreless first period, then the Avalanche scored 2 goals in the second period. They did score 3 but Alex Newhook‘s goal was called offsides, which is a rude thing to do to the birthday boy. Regardless, that means Chicago started down 2-0 heading into the final 20 minutes of the game. Sure, 2-0 is a bad look but considering both sides here (Colorado is good and Chicago is Okay At Best most days) that didn’t leave much hope in my heart.
Clearly, both teams had other plans. Gabe Landeskog swooped in with his second PPG of the game just 1:16 into the period, giving the Avs a 3-0 lead.
THEN, when all felt lost, Brandon Hagel and his buddy Patrick Kane swooped in with back-to-back goals just 30 seconds apart to get the Hawks within one.
Not even 40 seconds after Kane’s goal, Alex Newhook (aforementioned birthday boy) got his goal back and gave the Avs a two-goal lead once more.
I thought we were watching a hockey game, not a tennis match. Within 3 minutes of play, there were 4 goals scored and suddenly, the Hawks were back in the hunt for a win. The scoring dried out for a bit but the gameplay sure did not. It’s like these teams planned for a thriller on a Friday night. And just when you started to think “well this might have fizzled out”, the scoring came right back.
Patrick Kane picked up his second of the game with 6 minutes remaining in the game, getting Chicago back within one.
The Hawks tried to stir things up and get the equalizer by pulling Fleury but Nazem Kadri just scored an empty netter to restore the Avs two-goal lead. But the hope was not dead yet. Who else but Bagel (Brandon Hagel) to get his second of the game with 1:29 remaining.
Alas, like said in Ted Lasso, it’s the hope that kills you. That Bagel hope did not last as Cale Makar came in with the empty netter to seal that 6-4 final fate but I can’t find it in myself to be too upset with this loss. Sure the second period was not great for the Hawks but they really came back in that 3rd and put up a damn good fight. That’s something you want to see from any team. That relentless fight to not give in no matter where the score stands. Going into the third, the Hawks led 20-19 in shots on net, just up by one. In the third period alone, they held the Avalanche to just 8 shots on net while putting up 23 of their own. That’s pretty damn good for the third period of a game you were losing.
If the Hawks were playing almost any other team in the league, with the third period like this, I think they might have had the chance to really come back and win it. But when you’re up against a team like Colorado, with closers like Cale Makar or Nazem Kadri — it’s gonna be hard to get past them. Not to mention, the Avalanche finished up 14-0-1 in the month of January. If the Hawks did win this one, it would have been biblical.
Overall, not the thriller I was expecting to see tonight but oh boy did I love it anyway.
Maybe it was some Sharpy good luck 🤔.
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