Look at those glorious 'staches.

Yeah, I know. Everyone says you can throw out the regular season once the playoffs start. Things begin anew and what happened in the past should stay there.

That’s probably how the Blackhawks should feel after going 1-2-1 against Phoenix, including dropping the final three meetings. While most – including myself – still believe the Blackhawks can – and should – win this series, the Coyotes were a giant pain in the ass in 2011-12.

And a quick “Did You Know?” … Joel Quenneville and Dave Tippett were teammates with the Hartford Whalers from 1983 through 1990. As you can see, Tippett also once had as fine of a ‘stache as his boy Q. That’s cute. If I was their teammate and saw them together, I’d call the duo “Q-Tip.” Jokes. I get jokes.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of the season series:

October 18 at Jobing.com Arena

Dave Bolland scored a short-handed goal 2:27 into the third period to put the ‘Hawks up 4-2, and they’d go on to win 5-2 to improve to 3-1-1 on the season. Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Jamal Mayers and Bryan Bickell also scored.

Taylor Pyatt and Ray Whitney had goals for the Yotes.

The Blackhawks controlled the action most of the way, outshooting Phoenix 15-4 in the first period and 35-16 for the game.

Corey Crawford made 14 saves to earn the win, while Jason LaBarbera took the loss.

Then things got pretty shitty the rest of the way…

Nov. 29 at the United Center

The ‘Hawks weren’t lucky enough to get LaBarbera again in any of the last three meetings, starting with Mike Smith’s near-shutout in a loss after the ‘Hawks had won back-to-back games in Anaheim and Los Angeles. Smith made 24 saves, and only Patrick Sharp’s goal with 42.9 seconds left prevented Smith from his second straight shutout.

Smith said this afterward:

“I don’t think they had their best game. I don’t think they were jumping like they usually do.”

Crawford allowed four goals on 21 shots and was pulled in favor of Ray Emery with 15 minutes left in the third.

Daymond Langkow, Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Whitney scored for the Coyotes.
December 5 at the United Center

Phoenix came into the UC for the second time in a week and took two points, getting 32 saves from Smith in regulation and two more in the shootout. The Coyotes got both past Emery in the tiebreaker after he had to again relieve Crawford, who allowed three goals on 16 shots in 21 minutes.

Goals from asshat Raffi Torres, Vrbata and Keith Yandle gave the Coyotes a 3-0 early in the second, but the ‘Hawks stormed back with two goals from Toews and one from Patrick Kane.

Vrbata beat Emery in the shootout, and Smith stoned Toews and Marian Hossa to deal the ‘Hawks another SOL.

Feb. 11 at Jobing.com Arena

And there’s that Mike Smith guy again. The Blackhawks caught Smith during a stretch from Feb. 2-28 when he went 11-0-0 with a 1.42 GAA, earning one of his two shutouts in that span against the ‘Hawks with 38 saves.

Vrbata, Boyd Gordon and Kyle Chipchura netted goals for the Coyotes.

The game was one day after the ‘Hawks lost to San Jose and was the eighth in the awful nine-game losing streak. That Sharks game also is rumored to be when Toews suffered his concussion, then didn’t tell anyone about it to make it worse. That means Toews played this contest concussed. Awesome.

Emery didn’t play horribly, but it’s tough to win when the offense does shit for you.


It’s unlikely the Blackhawks are going to be dwelling on those last three losses, but it’s safe to say that Smith is going to be one tough wall to crack.

To the playoffs we go!