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Friday, March 27, 2015

Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets
5-2 Loss Recap

Columbus Day

On Friday night the Blackhawks returned home to the UC to face the once division rival Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Minnesota Wild breathing down their neck, taking two points from a non playoff team was crucial. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the Jackets came ready to play, and caught the Hawks with their pants down.

Oh, how to sum up the start by the Blackhawks tonight. Words that come to mind are tire fire, train wreck, disaster, or, screw it, you should get the idea. The Hawks underestimated their opponent and they paid the price early and often in the first period. Despite goals by Saad and Toews, the Hawks yielded 4 goals to the Jackets, two of which were via the breakaway, and Q pulled Crawford to avoid the embarrassment that was sure to continue by the defense.

To say the Hawks were better in the second period isn't saying much considering how awful, just awful they were defensively in the first. With Lemont native Scott Darling in net, the Hawks found some energy, but couldn't solve Bobrovsky despite having 2 power plays. I know absolutely shocking the power play couldn't come through when needed. After two, the score remained 4-2 in favor of the Jackets.

The third period consisted of much of the same as the second period. The Hawks went 0 for 2 on the power play (sounds like a broken record), and couldn't get a puck past What About Bob. The only scoring in the period came by the way of an empty netter for the hat trick by Cam Atkinson. Yes folks it was that bad. Finally when the knife stopped twisting, the final ended up 5-2 in favor of the Jackets.

The Good
- Its hard to say there was anything positive tonight, but Johnny Oduya had a nice game. He had two assists, and was a +2 on the night along with Hjalmarsson. Considering the night the defense had, its shocking any of them had a night in the plus territory.
- While Crawford was not to blame for the debacle in the first period, he did get the hook, and Lemont native Scott Darling, came on in relief and stopped all 13 shots he faced. His highlight of the night was his save of a redirect off of Artem Anisimov's skate.
- For a change the Hawks won the battle at face off dot decisively 37-20.

The Bad
- Unfortunately for Blackhawks fans, we weren't able to see former Blackhawks 1st round pick Jack Skille, and Jeremy Morin saw limited time. So we'll have to wait until next year, hopefully, to see the Skorin' Line. But if the Skorin' Line is no more, we'll always have this Puckin' Hostile beauty of a photoshop by our own Derek Harms.
- Now that we're done shedding tears about the Skorin' Line, how about we shed some tears for having to watch Bryan Bickell skate around like he has no fucking clue on how to play hockey any more.
- Corey Crawford took the lost in net, but we all know who is responsible for that. The pathetic "defense" that was played in the first period.
- Apparently Pat Foley thinks that Antoine Vermette played for the Hawks the last time they played the Jackets in December. Sorry Pat, but #80's only two points with the Hawks came against San Jose, which is no where near Lumbus.
- I will NOT take the nickname of "That '80s Line." 1., lets come up with our own material, and not modify a Kings thing, and 2., That '80s Show was so bad it lasted one season. Then again, there might be something in common, since That '80s Line would probably only last one shift with the line blender that is behind the bench.

The Ugly
-Mr. Norris Trophy, Duncan Keith, had a horrendous night. Three turnovers by him in the first period ended up in the back of the Hawks net in the first period. Keith ended up the night a -3. Yuck. Oh, and can we stop acting like his shot in the 2nd period was so great? If it wasn't for a Columbus defenders leg, the shot would have been 10 feet wide.
- If you think Brent Seabrook was better, you'd be wrong. He was a -4 on the night. Double barf.
- The title of this recap is fitting, since in the first period, it looked like the Hawks defense was celebrating Columbus Day by taking the first period off.
- I'm shocked Lumbus could put up these offensive numbers without offensive powerhouse and former Blackhawk Rene Bourque in the lineup.
- The power play was just awesome tonight at 0 for 5.
- Oh, just look at all those chances the Jackets had in the first period. Did I even mention the numerous breakaways that the Hawks allowed?
- A loss like this is terrifying, because all signs point to a Michal Rozsival return to the lineup on Sunday.

  

Kyle Baun and Mike Paliotta Will Disappoint......Ahhh Nevermind

by Gatekeeper

For those of you that are surprised, you're about to get fooled once again.

The Blackhawks signed free agent college forward Kyle Baun and 2012 3rd round draft pick Mike Paliotta to similar 2 year entry level deals, Thursday. I want to start this all off by saying I have nothing against either of these kids. I hope they light the fucking world on fire and turn into the next Trevor van Reimsdyk and Brandon Saad. The reality of the situation is that they are more likely to turn into the next Drew LeBlanc or Shawn Lalonde. That isn't what chafes my ass, though...

There are two things in particular, about this situation and these deals, that are burning me from the inside out.

First of all, the general consensus around the fan base is that the Blackhawks needed to beg these two players to sign. By "beg", I mean that they had to concede extra years on the deals and promise to allow both players to play, while burning a year off this season. I don't fully buy this rationale, and this is why.

Baun, reportedly, had 18 other teams that were bidding for his services. It is not Stan Bowman's style to beg and plead for such a wildcard. In fact, Bowman is notoriously overconfident when it comes to swallowing his pride, and the Nick Leddy trade is a prime example of this theory. At least from the outside, he refused to take deals that may have landed him a better return, because he wasn't getting what he thought he wanted in return. Confident and stubborn to a fault. He was backed into a corner with the cap deadline quickly approaching and probably ended up taking even less than he could have gotten earlier in the summer, for a pretty hot young prospect like Leddy. There is no other reason that he would have waited as late as he did.

The next example of this theory is the Patrick Sharp situation. Not THAT situation.

As much as is has been downplayed in the media, it's pretty well known that the Blackhawks were feverishly trying to find a reasonable deal for Patrick Sharp. The entire league knew Bowman was over a barrel and he refused to pull the trigger for anything less than what he felt he deserved. As a result, The Blackhawks will have their backs against the wall once again, when they need to shed salary, following the season. Again, confident and stubborn to a fault.

That is why I'm perplexed as to why Bowman signed both of these guys to 2 year deals with which they are willing to burn half of, in a handful of the remaining 10 games this regular season. This leaves the Blackhawks roughly 15 months to develop these two players, and let them become RFAs. The last players to make any sort of impression on Quenneville that fast were the aforementioned van Reimsdyk and Andrew Shaw. Not even Saad progressed through the ranks that fast.

The money is really irrelevant in these deals, but giving the organization that little time to develop 2 college players into NHL players doesn't make sense. Especially an organization that has been notoriously slow in maturing their prospects, partly, because of the lack of room and lack of trust by the head coach. Yes, The Blackhawks will hold these player's rights and, more likely that not, they will able to re-sign them to bridge deals. That is another reason that these essentially one year deals are questionable. Bowman will be forced to give them SOME sort of raise. In Paliotta's case, he may have held the cards, but Baun is going to be a depth guy in Rockford next season. Among those 18 teams, there had to be a better opportunity, and Stan didn't "need" to "beg" for this guy.

This brings me to my second concern. Paliotta is one situation, because he was drafted by the Blackhawks. I can see the urgency for this to not turn into the Kevin Hayes situation again. Kyle Baun is an undrafted college free agent, though. If someone can point me to the last college free agent position player that has amounted to anything, I'll show you 100 that didn't. Drew LeBlanc was the best college player in the entire country when he signed in Chicago. The "Jack Eichel" and "Johnny Gaudreau" of that year. Right now he's mightily struggling to be a regular AHL player. Matt Carey is the same situation. He was as hyped as Baun, last year, and is currently sitting at 20 points in 59 games, in Rockford. A little better than LeBlanc. Even Stephen Johns was highly lauded right before he signed. He's currently adjusting in the AHL, too, after concussion problems.

Players rarely step right off a college campus and into succeed in the NHL. Fifteen months isn't enough.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blackhawks at Philadelphia
4-1 Loss Recap

"Night of Long Knives"


by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks and travelled to the city of big shoulders Wednesday night to face the disappointing Flyers, which turned out to be less than disappointing for the Hawks.

The Hawks came out in the first period and let the Flyers control a majority of the play getting out shot 13-10, and getting out scored 1-0. The Blackhawks had their chances
but could not tie up the game...before the video feed went out, and we were left guessing what was going on.

The Second period picked right up where the first left off. The Flyers took a 2 goal lead in the first 1/3rd of the period ,and then took a 3-0 lead later in the second. Some how, Some way, the Blackhawks were credited with 14 shots to the Flyers 9. I don't think anyone rooting for the team in white would have guessed that, based on the way the Blackhawks were being throttled.

The third period was SLIGHTLY better but, in the end, the Blackhawks still only tied 1-1 for the final 20 minutes. The Hawks mustered up some pressure and even broke the shutout early in the period, but late penalties killed them and the finally succumbed 4-1.

The Good
  • Early in the third period, during a quick power play, Duncan Keith walked the blue line and got a rare shot through to the net and somewhere along the line Andrew Shaw redirected the shot and it beat Mason. Of all people.
  • Classy move by the Flyers, honoring Kimmo Timonen.
  • Believe it or not, Vermette and Kruger were pretty good at the dots, but the rest of the Hawks were not. All in all, they wont 54% of their draws.
  • I'll put it under good, because there is no "meh" category. Crawford wasn't great, nor was he terrible. The Flyers goals were all decent plays, but he was not all star Crawford this game. If the Blackhawks are going to tempt that fate for the rest of the season, it's going to be ugly.
The Bad
  • When I'm actually not sad to see the mess that is Gorilla Salad over Bryan Bickell, shit is getting serious. That said, Quenneville sat Teravainen for Desjardins. Stupid as hell. Let your opponent dictate your lineup, and they already have the advantage. The stupid line combinations got even more stupid in the second period. So much so that Carcillo/Vermette/Desjardins was actually a thing.
  • The Flyers took a 1-0 lead about 7 minutes into the game. The Blackhawks were running around in their own zone and not on the same channel. First Crawford turned the puck over behind the net, then the ever reliable Marian Hossa also turned the puck over. Once the puck came back Duncan Keith was caught trying to help Michal Rozsival and let Wayne Simmonds sneak in on the back door. Read to Simmonds, to a wide open back door.
  • About 8 minutes into the second period, Andrew Shaw lost a defensive zone faceoff and the puck ended up in the Blackhawks net. Discarded ex-Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo took a long one timer that was deflected half way to the net by Ryan White, and past Crawford.
  • With about 5 minutes to go in the game, Jonathan Toews took a hooking penalty and you can imagine where this is going. Michael Raffl worked a pretty nice 2-on-2, looking off Seabrook and snapping a shot past Crawford.
  • The Blackhawks actually managed to out shoot the Flyers 35-33. Still far too many shots to be giving up, though.
  • Nordstrom played a team low 7:32 but that has to do with an injury, that we sgould find more about later.

The Ugly
  • The fucking NBCSN feed was still screen and radio audio for the last 5 minutes or so, of the first period. Thanks for that, assholes.
  • Late in the second, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux hooked up to take a 3-0 Flyers lead. Voracek looked off Keith and his eyes must have lit up, when he saw Claude Giroux bearing down on the Blackhawks very own pylon, Michal Rozsival. Voracek saucered a pass to Giroux, who redirected the puck over Crawford. Initiate infuriation.
  • In the matter of 30 minutes, Andrew Shaw went from 1st line, to 4th line, to benched. Keep chomping on that acne faced pacifier, though, Q.
  • I must have missed it, but I read that Gorilla Salad got in a fight. I was probably taking a dump at the time. I regret nothing, and probably accomplished more.
  • When Brad Richards is credited with 5 hits, you know you have a flawed stat.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Shaw
Sharp-Richards-Hossa
Versteeg-Richards-Carcillo
Nordstrom-Kruger-Desjardins

Keith-Rozsival
Timonen-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 25


In this special Bob McGill episode of the Puckin Hostile Shoutcast, Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by special guest CT from Hockeenight.com.

CT stops by to talk to us about Tonker.co.uk, GeorgeHutchins.com, and Veet for Men...



Oh right, and we also talk about their Gonna Drinken event on 4/11 at Galway Bay, since Forklift ditched us for tropical weather. We talk about the late Matthew Wuest of GapGeek, and it wouldn’t be a Shoutcast without 6’6’ Monster, Lemont Native Scott Darling and new local guy Bartlett Native Vince Hinostroza. We also go over the last few games vs the Coyotes, Sharks, Islanders, Rangers, Stars, and Hurricanes.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Also, please consider helping out our friend Lauren's ailing sister Caryn, in her quest to get treatment at the Mayo clinic:
http://www.gofundme.com/o5x7o4

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
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 25 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blackhawks at Carolina
3-1 Win Recap

"Sad But True


by Gatekeeper

Despite the snow in Chicago, the Hawks traveled to Carolina to face the terrible Hurricanes. This was sort of a reuniting of coaches, with former Ice Hogs coach at the helm of the Canes. This team is just terrible. They are looking for the end of the season, and booking tee times.

The first period was pretty favorable for the Blackhawks, considering that they scored on their first two shots, and nearly scored on another. If you check the box score, it looks pretty even in shots at 10-9, in favor of the Canes, but that wasn't necessarily the case while watching.

The Blackhawks came out and played to the level of their opponent in the middle period, getting out shot 12-0 to begin the period, and 18-6 for the entire 20. Oddly enough, the few shots that the Blackhawks had were really good and the Hawks still held the lead.

The third period was almost as bad as the second. ALMOST. The Hawks spent a vast majority of the period in their own end, and it looked like they were going to surrender their lad at ant moment, if not for their goalie. They held on long enough to get a late empty net goal and pull one out by the skin of their teeth.

The Good
  • Andrew Shaw opened the scoring for the Blackhawks about half way through the first period on a pretty easy play. He was allowed to camp out about 8 feet from Khudobin, and one time a pass from behind the net by Marcus Kruger. Not really sure just what the holy fuck the Canes defense was doing, but two of them got mesmerized with a player behind the net and left Shaw wide open. Not a good idea in ANY league.
  • Just over a minute later, the line of Sharp/Vermette/Hossa put the Blackhawks up 2-0, on their second shot of the game. Hossa held up at the half boards, and waited for Sharp to drive the net. Once he cleared the defense, Hossa hit him for a perfect redirect through Khudobin's wickets.
  • Crawford was a beast in this game saving 43 of 44. After the first period, the Canes had 34 shots in the final 40 minutes.
  • Jonny Toews got his 500th career point on Shaw's empty netter. Not that exciting, but noteworthy nonetheless. Congrats to this very serious individual.
The Bad
  • Watching Michal Rozsival get completely walked and then hearing Eddie O gush all over this supposed "great play" makes me want to kick puppies. Stop making excuses for him being a huge liability.
  • Teuvo Tervainen showed a little immaturity late in the second period, when he was fed the puck by Toews and made a nice play to get a shot at being in all alone. He eventually made a pretty soft pass back to Toews for a nice one timer, but I would have liked to see the kid take that quick step and go 1-on-1 with the goalie, instead of conceding. In due time.
  • Crawford took a physical beating. Several times, he took high shots in the collar bone area, and a shot off the face. All of those shots take a toll on you.
  • Not the best game at the dots, by any means, but the Hawks won half.

The Ugly
  • A questionable Blackhawks change early in the second period turned first into an Eric Staal breakaway, and then into a Victor Rask goal. Staal got in behind Hjalmarsson and Keith during said botched change and Crawford made the save. The defense kind of failed him when the rebound popped out and Hammer was neither able to get to the puck nor tie up Rask.
  • Bryan Bickell has been just atrocious and he's not getting any better. The playoffs are all we have to hold on to, and that's getting really fucking old. After a brutal turnover in the third period, Bickell was benched and only saw 13 shifts the entire game for a whopping 9:17. If you're looking for a healthy scratch next game put your money on 29 white.
  • Versteeg was right behind Bickell in the battle of waning ice time, with only 15 shifts and 11:58. As a result Richards only played 12:11 in 16 shifts. What is the point of this awful 3rd line?
  • Talk about a boring game. There was ONE penalty called all game and it was early in the first period.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Tervainen
Sharp-Richards-Hossa
Versteeg-Richards-Bickell
Shaw-Kruger-Nordstrom

Keith-Rozsival
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Timonen-Seabrook