Twice in two nights the Chicago Blackhawks blew a lead and were unable to recover, dropping Friday’s game 5-4 to the Dallas Stars after entering the third period up 3-1, then falling to the visiting St. Louis Blues 4-3 Saturday night after going up 2-0 early in the contest.
“I really thought we had those two,” defenseman Adrian Aucoin said after Saturday’s game. “And then we just blew it. Man, now I know how the Cubs feel.”
On Friday, the meltdown came right at the end of regulation, with Mike Ribiero of the Stars scoring with 1:14 to go, tying the game up at four. Then, with only 29 ticks left on the clock, Phillipe Boucher netted one to put the Stars up a goal. They were able to hold on and stun the Hawks.
(Editor’s Note: The game against the Blues was untelevised. The rest of this recap has been adjusted accordingly.)
On Saturday, Radim Vrbata and Michal Handzus scored the first two goals for the Hawks, both in unique fashion. Vrbata picked up the puck, threw it up, and batted it into the net fungo style to put the Hawks up one. Handzus planned this out in advance.
Trying to distract Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford, Handzus had the JumboTron operator put a message up on the screen that read “Curtis, will you marry me? I love you. – Jessica Alba.” Curtis stood and stared at the sign with a big grin on his face as Handzus put the puck easily into the open net.
But the Blues would score three unanswered goals and hold off the Hawks to pick up the win. More concerning was the fact that star winger Martin Havlat sprained his ankle and is out 2-3 weeks.
Havlat attempted to dazzle fans during the second intermission with the figure skating moves he learned over the offseason. He came out on the ice in a Scott Hamilton-style outfit and attempted a triple axle “Spin-O-Rama” with a back flip but was not able to land cleanly. He was in pain, but more importantly, he was disappointed in himself.
“It went great in rehearsal,” said the injured Hawk winger. “I thought I was better than that. I don’t know. Maybe my uniform isn’t frilly enough.”
Number of the Weekend: 98
Percent of Chicagoans who won’t be disappointed to hear Martin Havlat, Nikolai Khabibulin and Michael Handzus were all injured this weekend.
Number of the Weekend Part II: 2
Percent of Chicagoans that have ever heard of Havlat, Khabibulin and Handzus.