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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blackhawks vs Wild
5-3 Win Recap

"Human Disease"

The Blackhawks were a the United Center, Tuesday night, to face the Minnesota Wild. They would be without Duncan Keith, who was out with an illness, for this one. With the mumps running rampant through the league, everyone is concerned. And they should be.

It took a good ten minutes into the game for either team to show life. Once they did show life, it was the Wild that had the momentum. Oddly enough, the stats said that the shots were tied 9-9, but no one with eyes would have guessed that. The Wild took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The Blackhawks had a completely different demeanor in the second period. They came out and out shot the Wild 21-8 and out scored them 3-0. Without a major member of their defense, this was very impressive. A 3-1 lead, at home, go time!

The Blackhawks went back into their shell for a majority of the third period, allowing the Wild to actually tie the game. Luck was on their side as they got a late lucky bounce and a late empty netter, holding on for a sloppy 5-3 win.

The Good
  • In the second period, Andrew Shaw laid a big hit on Prosser, but Prosser hot hit elbow up to protect himself. Shaw wasn't happy, but the trainer clearly made him go back for a concussion test. With the screw up regarding Toews just a few games back, this was a no brainer.
  • Roughly halfway through the second period, Patrick Kane led a rush into the Wild zone that went from Versteeg to the stick of a wide open Brent Seabrook. With all the time in the world, Seabrook unleashed a cannon over the blocker of Backstrom, tying the game.
  • With 8 minutes remaining in the middle period, El Capitan figured that it was about time to put on a little puck control clinic, as he has been known to do quite frequently. The end result was a saucer feed to Boss Hossa for a 2-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • Few minutes after the Hossa Goal, El Capitan got one of his own. First he stole the puck from Christian Folin and then fed the puck to Ben Smith, who was WIDE FUCKING OPEN in front of Backstrom. Smith got a few whacks, and the puck eventually squirted in behind the Wild goalie. Toews followed up his feed and chipped the into the net for a 3-1 lead.
  • Seabrook-Oduya, Hjalmarsson-Rozsival, Erixon-Rundlbad, ended up being the pairings for the second and third periods. That's more like what I would have expected, given the Keith absence. Why wasn't this the setup from minute one?
  • After blowing the lead, the Blackhawks caught a lucky break on the powerplay. Patrick Kane tried to hit either Toews or Versteeg in front and banked it off Jonas Brodin's skate, right into the net.
  • For good measure, Ben Smith got a late empty netter.
  • Three points each for Toews, Kane and Seabrook.
  • Another great night at the dots for the Blackhawks. They held Koivu, Granlund and Coyle to under 45% each.
The Bad
  • The Wild took a 1-0 lead about 13 minutes into the game, as Thomas Vanek was left wide open in the slot, about 10 feet in front of Raanta. Granlund carried the puck in behind the Hawks net and found Vanek on the other side. Raanta had no chance on the one timer. The second pair had already gotten bailed out by the post and then given up the lead goal at this point.
  • with 8 minutes El Nino Niederreiter got in behind the Blackhawks D and Marian Hossa got dinged trying to help Raanta out. There was no debating that it was a penalty shot. Niederreiter did what he was drafted by the Isles to do. Activate lead evaporation.

The Ugly
  • Right after the Shaw incident, rookie Brett Sutter, son of Darryl, crushed Versteeg into the crossbar for standing over Backstrom looking for a rebound. A borderline dirty play by a Sutter......Shocking.
  • Three minutes after the Niederreiter goal, Marco Scandella let a long one timer go, that seemed innocent enough; until it ended up in the net. Not the best goal.
  • Niklas Backtrom's team headshot looks like he's John Scott's bastard brother.
  • After the game Mike Yeo said that Keumper was sick, Spurgeon was sick, and Backstrom started feeling it after the first period. The plague is wiping out the NHL. As I said on the twitterz, it's like this is the Oprah Winfrey Show. YOU get the mumps, and YOU get the mumps. EVERYONE GETS THE MUMPS!!
The Lineblender


Scratched = Mumps, Nordstrom

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 17

In this EPIX Joe Murphy pre Christmas Shoutcast Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by Keith Schultz from and

We cover latest news, we Light em Mumps Mumps Mumps, discuss the end of the winning streak, some kid who we think is from Lemont IL, the trade of Jeremy Morin and, of course, and EPIX rant.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 17 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blackhawks vs Flames
2-1 Win Recap

"Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good"

The Blackhawks had no time to lick their wounds after losing the previous night in NY. They rushed home and too kthe ice Sunday night for a tilt with the Calgary Flames. The not only had the chaos of a weekend back-to-back, but it was announced Sunday morning that the Blackhawks had traded Jeremy Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Tim Erixon.

There were a few decent scoring chances in the first period but, overall, I felt like I was watching the Winnipeg game a few weeks back. Calgary out shot the Blackhawks 9-7, for the period. If you missed it, you didn't miss it.

The second period was slightly more eventful than the first. Each team had a goal, and the Blackhawks out shot the Flames 11-10. The Blackhawks also had a few very high quality scoring chances, only to be beaten by the Flames goaler.

The third period was all Blackhawks as they out shot the Flames 10-5 and scored the game winning goal late. Even when the Hawks aren't at the top of their game, they were able to squeak out a tough win. Two points are two points.

The Good
  • About 5 minutes after the Flames goal, El Capitan drew a penalty deep in the Flames zone. Just nine seconds after the call, a quick Kane to Toews to Sharp bang-bang play resulted in a nice goal.
  • With just under 7 minutes left in the game, Hjalmarsson stopped Johnny Hockey at the Hawks Blue line and fed El Capitan, who had snuck in behind the Flames defense. Toews led the rush with Brandon Saad, who had also gotten in behind the Flames defense. As soon as Saad cleared the Blue line, Toews hit him on the tape and he snapped a shot up and over Hiller's glove for a 2-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • The Hawks were STELLAR at the faceoff dots at 61%
  • Tim Erixon really didn't show much. He had just over 10 minutes in his debut. That's all they really need out of him.
The Bad
  • Five minutes into the second period, the Blackhawks got mesmerized by Johnny Gaudreau, and let former Red Wing Jiri Hudler slide into a kushy soft spot high in the slot area. Gaudreau fed Hulder, who snapped a half clapper past Raanta. Raanta didn't push over into position real strongly, but the shot was a lazer.

The Ugly
  • Thank god, we didn't have to deal with the Brandon Bollig show.
  • Not much more to complain about which is just fine by me.
The Lineblender


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blackhawks at NY Islanders
3-2 Loss Recap

"Public Display Of Dismemberment"

The Blackhawks were in Uniondale New York Saturday night to face the young surprising Islanders, in what should be the last Blackhawks game in Nassau Coliseum. Good news for the Blackhawks was that Jonathan Toews was good to go for this one after an ugly play Thursday night.

The first period ended up scoreless but there were plenty of chances. The Goalies stood tall at each end, with the Blackhawks out shooting the Isles 10-8. Could have easily been 1-1 with the breakaways each way.

The Blackhawks came out in the second period and were out shot 10-0 to open the period. It really didn't get much better after that, with the Blackhawks getting out shot 17-7 for the entire 20 minutes. Some how; some way; The Blackhawks managed to take a lead, which they promptly gave up.

The Third period seemed to start out well for the Blackhawks and they pulled the same thing they did in the second period. They took a 2-1 lead and proceeded to give of two goals in 51 seconds to, eventually, lose the game and their winning streak came to an end.

The Good
  • The game started off with several good chances from Blackhawks big men Bickell and Saad.
  • The Blackhawks finally scored on a bizarre bounce. Gorilla Salad took a long snap shot on Halak, and it shot straight up in the air. When the puck came back down, it hit Halak in the top of the mask and dribbled into the net.
  • About four minutes into the third period, Patrick Kane worked some of his magic and grabbed a 2-1 lead for the Blackhawks. He was actually played very well, defensively. Given the chance, you would want him on his backhand, but like so many times before, Kaner snapped a backhand from an impossible angle over the goalie's shoulder. Magic, I tell you.
  • Scott Darling is most of the reason the Blackhawks didn't lose 5-2. I'm sure this will result in him being rewarded with a bumpy bus trip to Rockford when Crawford is back...CUZ BOWMAN GENIUS.
  • The Blackhawks were 59% at the faceoff dots, so they have that going for them.
The Bad
  • It took a third period powerplay and a flurry of action in front of Darling for the Isles to tie the game back up. It was really just a matter of time.

    Oh yeah, it was assisted on by the castoff; Nick Leddy. He sure sucks, doesn't he Quenneville?
  • Just a 51 seconds after the game was tied, Visnovsky took advantage of the third pair out on the ice, skating around first Dahlbeck and then, well, net even needing to avoid the slow and useless Roszival. That quick, the Blackhawks were down.
  • The Blackhawks were out shot 41-25 and only lost 3-2. Could have been much worse.

The Ugly
  • The powerplay has dropped back down into the bottom 1/3rd of the league again.
  • Michal Roszival was just blown the hell up by Matt Martin in the second period. He just stood 5 feet from his own net, with plenty of time and waited for Martin to fright train him. Of course Q kept trotting him out there. If that was any of the young guys, they would be sitting in the cheap seats for 3 games.
  • SIX SECONDS after Gorilla Salad goal, Duncan Keith got extremely flippant with the puck and basically gave the puck to Cal Clusterfuck, who was able 4 feet from Darling. Darling was as surprised as we all were, and had no time to react to a play that should have never happened. The moral of the story was that the the Blackhawks held the lead for all of 6 seconds. Keith owes Darling a fucking steak dinner.
The Lineblender


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Next One To Want Out Of Chicago

With the recent saga of Jeremy Morin starting to drag out, I thought it would be the perfect time to look into the crystal ball, and think of who the next Blackhawk it could be to want out of Chicago.

Remember this past summer when Antti Raanta signed his extension and said he wanted to give Crawford a run for the starting gig? I know it was a long time ago, but fast forward to the present day and you have to wonder what the young Finnish netminder is thinking now. You would think with two separate injuries to Corey Crawford, that Raanta the "backup" goalie would be seeing regular playing time. Instead it would appear Raanta has just become a backup goalie, to Rockford call up Scott Darling.

Make no mistake about it, Raanta is a work in progress, but at the same time, how the hell is he supposed to improve when he is continually super glued to the bench? You're kidding yourself if you don't think there's some frustration starting to boil over with Raanta.

My suggestion to the Blackhawks is either ride Raanta as the starter while Crawford is out, or send him to Rockford to see regular playing time. When I compare Raanta to Darling, I think of Darling as the more prototypical NHL backup goalie than Raanta. With the way Finland is spitting out goalies as of late, I think there's more of an upside to Raanta than Darling. Other GMs around the league that need goaltending depth realize that. Which leads me to believe that if or when Raanta wants out of Chicago, he could hold the key to another team taking a bad contract off of the Blackhawks hands, cough, cough Bryan Bickell.

We've all seen how the Blackhawks have mismanaged their beloved prospects in the past. Remember Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy and Kevin Hayes? If the Blackhawks keep playing this game of sitting Raanta on the bench, its going to kill some of that value he has.

With the goalie status in Chicago cemented with Corey Crawford for the foreseeable future, there is no future for Raanta as a starter. If the belief is (which is what I think), that Raanta can be a starting NHL goalie, then the Blackhawks need to showcase him to the league. With the current cap situation of the Blackhawks, someone taking a bad contract off of the their hands, is the best scenario for the Hawks.

The risk the Hawks take in letting Raanta ride the bench, is the frustration that could be mounting. The last thing the Hawks need is for this situation become even more messy, and letting it get out that Raanta wants a trade. In the end, I do think Raanta will be traded at some point, but I'd much rather see him go at max value and take a bad contract with him, than just him for a 3rd or 4th round draft pick.