The San Jose Sharks were in town Friday night to take another shot at the Blackhawks, but this time it was in the Hawks territory. After losing to the Hawks on Feb 5th, the Sharks continued the cold streak, losing the next three games (1-ot, 1-so, 1-reg) while only scoring 2 goals in that span. This should be prime fishing season against a struggling team.
Ray Emery was slated to start the game, even before it was announced that Crawford had sustained an injury in practice Thursday. Newly acquired Henrik Karlsson was recalled friday morning to take Crawford's place backing up Emery. Other than that development, the Hawks were in tact, and still riding that regulation undefeated streak. Live from the United Center, in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and the Sharks.
The Hawks opened up the game with dominance in the Sharks zone, but that ended about half way in, when the game slowed down as a result of a plethora of whistles. With a late goal, and 9 shots on net, the Hawks out worked the Sharks on top of out scoring them.
The Second was more domination by the Hawks. They scored two goals and yielded one, but they out shot the Sharks by a wide margin, 17-8 in the period. The Sharks looked exactly like the team that everyone expected before the season began. Tired and over the hill. It'll be entertaining to watch everyone abandon ship in the very near future.
The Sharks put a feeble fight up in the third, but the game was pretty much out of hand with a terrible fourth Hawks goal, which put the Sharks on the slab. The final shot totals heavily favored the Hawks at 37-28. The Sharks continue to fall and the Hawks continue to roll.
- After killing off most of a 4 minute powerplay courtesy of the El Capitan and drawing a penalty of their own, Dave Bolland and Crazy 8's scored the first goal of the game. Bolland drew the penalty on the previous play, and followed up the next shift scoring the goal on his own rebound with Kaner driving the net. Niemi lost site of the rebound on Bolland's initial shot and he easily stuffed it into the net.
- Just a few minutes into the second Antti Niemi looked like a three year old chasing a puppy, trying to handle a soft Kruger dump in on net. The puck jumped up over Niemi's glove, hit the post, and skipped around behind him. Kruger followed up his rebound in enough time to find a puck and a wide open net. UC terrible Ice 1, Niemi 0.
- Shock-N-Shaw put the Hawks up 3-1 on the powerplay, after a patient play by Deuce at the point, with 5 minutes remaining in the second period. Deuce drove up the slot with the puck and put a relatively unopposed shot on Niemi. Shaw whacked away at the rebound, and the puck flipped up and over Niemi, ending up in the net.
- Hjalmarsson put the Hawks up 4-1 on yet another terrible goal in the third period. Hammer let a 55 foot shot go that looked harmless, but ended up floating over a lazy Niemi.
- Crazy 8's spun Brent Burns around like a top after a tremendous rush that ended up drawing a penalty in the middle of the second period. It's scary how dominant Kane is controlling the puck. That's what you call some silky mitts, folks.
- Everyone but Kruger was over 50% at the dots, including Bolland. I like!
- When your fourth line is a combined plus 6 with 4 points, you're doing something right.
- The Sharks got back in the game with a goal by Tim Kennedy after him and Logan Couture were able to get in 2-on-1 against Seabrook and Emery. Kennedy caught Emery over pursuing, reversed back through the crease and around Emery. 2-1 Hawks
- In probably the only time I've ever seen such a display, El Capitan instigated a fight with Jumbo Joverated Thornton in the first period. Must be some hard feelings after Thornton sucker punched Toews last year, and likely cause his concussion. This was immediately after Thornton's knees buckled like a child when Toews nudged him from behind in the corner. Thornton is such a big soft pussy that it's sickening, but this doesn't explain Jonny's actions. I'm not really sure what inspired him to, not only get into a fight, but instigate the fracas by chasing Thornton down. Bizarro world. Honestly, I would have loved to see Toews knock his teeth out.
- Swedeberg had an awful turnover in the second period, that resulted in a great Sharks 1-on-Emery chance, and was followed up by about a good minute of threatening San Jose pressure. Terribly selfish and brainless play. He only saw about 9 minutes of ice time but, honestly, none of the forth line broke 10 minutes. That being said, Kruger had a goal and an assist on HIS 9 minutes.
- Just when you think the Hawks powerplay is ass, the Sharks show up. That was one terribly awful powerplay. I can't honestly say I remember one solid powerplay chance.