Apr 23, 2012, 11:49 PM EDT
The Phoenix Coyotes finally beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation – and ended their playoff run, in the process. The final score was misleadingly lopsided (4-0), but the bottom line is that the Coyotes took the series 4-2.
To the autopsy…
Smith stood on his head just about all series long. If you want a stat that summarizes Chicago’s frustration, just check Game 6: through two periods, the Blackhawks held a 28-8 shot advantage. The Coyotes had a 1-0 lead that eventually morphed into a 4-0 win. Yup, that must be frustrating.
Who takes the blame?
Smith’s brilliance only made Corey Crawford‘s inadequacies seem more stark. Tonight’s clincher is really the only game in which his numbers are awful (16 out of 20 saves), but the highlights of some of his softies will live on in the disappointed memories of many Blackhawks fans.
What will they do about it?
The overall core is what it is, really. Even Crawford and backup Ray Emery are under contract next season, although the Blackhawks haven’t been shy about scuttling out an ineffective netminder if necessary (see: Huet, Cristobal).
Beyond the big goalie question, the Blackhawks will likely do the same thing this summer that they did last year: stock up on cheap veterans to build around their still great-core. Hawks fans just have to hope that those veterans end up more effective than the last batch.
Having a healthy Marian Hossa wouldn’t hurt, either.
- Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency 2
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 38
- Getting clutch? Capitals sign Justin Williams for two years, $6.5M 11
- Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal 29
- Bruins sign Beleskey for five years, despite some warning signs 40
- Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’ 26
- Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million 24
- ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’ 39
- Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds 17
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins 131
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)