Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

Is anyone else sick of the damn shootout?

Everyone would have liked to see the Hawks take two points in their first game back at the United Center and they were just a hair away from getting it done. The good news is, the Hawks are 13 games into the season and have gotten a point in each of the games. The bad news is, they should have had two tonight.

There were definitely good things to take away from this game. This was perhaps the most physical game the Blackhawks have played all season. Bryan Bickell throwing his weight into Ryan Getzlaf was beautiful. When you’re a big body guy with decent speed, you need to hit people. It was nice to finally see him doing that to one of the Ducks’ core guys. It seems the team has been playing with a bit of an edge ever since Jamal Mayers’ scrap with Raffi Torres.

The Blackhawks’ penalty kill continues to shine. They play with active sticks and are more aggressive on the penalty kill than I’ve seen in years, leading to an important 5 on 3 kill tonight. Credit to Niklas Hjalmarsson, Michael Frolik, and Marcus Kruger for their newfound PK skills. I know I wasn’t the only one cussing these guys out last year; their turnaround is nothing short of a Chicago miracle.

You can thank Corey Crawford for getting them to overtime with some outright robberies, including a beauty of a glove save on Corey Perry.

The rest of the team’s effort in the third period was disappointingly complacent. I can only imagine that Quenneville told them to “****ing move” more than once, but they pretty much gave the regulation win away.

The effort the Blackhawks put forth in overtime on the power play was equally, if not substantially more, disappointing. Three shots on two power plays led by Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane? Unacceptable. One for seven on the power play doesn’t win Stanley Cups.

Credit Viktor Fasth on a good performance though. This guy came out of nowhere for the Ducks and is good enough to take over the starting role from Jonas Hiller when he returns.

I liked Joel Quenneville giving Brandon Saad a chance in the shootout. He played a great two-way game tonight and scored his second career goal. He has great speed, great awareness playing both ways, and isn’t afraid to put the puck on the net. All good skills to have for someone trying to save his spot on the top line.

In short, a disappointing outcome and a disappointing effort late in the game ruined an otherwise pretty decent game against a pretty decent team. Nothing to cry about. Time to regroup; the next few home games won’t be cupcakes either.