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Friday, April 29, 2016

A Proper
2015-16 Chicago Blackhawks
Goodbye


by Gatekeeper

Since I walked away from this year's Puck Daddy Blackhawks Eulogy feeling completely unfulfilled (insert joke here), I thought I'd throw something together in typical Puckin Hostile fashion. This, folks, is how you properly roast the Blackhawks. And please save your defensive comments. This is a roast style eulogy, not a memorial. Have a sense of humor.


Fans / Former Fans / Tone Deaf Management / League Men In Black / People who aimlessly stumbled in thinking this was an AA meeting,

We gather here today, to mourn the sudden and untimely loss of the Uncle Gary's very special little boys (some more "special" than others). The NHL's most recent crown jewel and show piece. The proverbial NEO and Anakin Skywalker of the NHL. They were supposed to be the chosen ones! The Dynasty! Uncle Gary said so!

Where did it go wrong? Like an episode of Intervention, they started out as beautiful wide eyed babies. They were the "perfect babies", growing up in the perfect near west side crack shanty, with a faded yellow tinged fence, speckled with blood. Who could have guessed it would all spiral down into tragedy? Uncle Gary gave them everything! He fixed playoff series for years. He trained the officials to look the other way. He forced the hockey world to endure not 1, but FOUR insufferable outdoor games. And if all of that wasn't enough for all the petulant whining fans of the other 29 teams, Uncle Gary vowed to torture us with yet another outdoor game in the stinky, unbleached bunghole of America (St. Louis), next January. Every young child's dream. In return, the Blackhawks chose to stick the needle in their arm.

Isn't there some way that we could bring Joel and Stan's beautiful child back to us? What is Papa John McDonough going to think of the loss of his grandbaby?

The very best interventionist's suggest that we write letters to our beloved addicts, to tell them how their addiction has affected our lives. That might be out best course of action, so here goes:

Young #Kaner, You sleazy little dope.

::cough::
excuse me, sorry.
::cough::

You came to us with such promise. Your empty vapid smile and atrocious attempt at a mullet lit up our world every April. You put together one of the best single regular seasons in Blackhawks history. But you overshadowed this with your dark passenger. Loudmouth soup and your incessant need to chase trixie bar strange dun turned you stupid, boy. You willingly jammed that golden spoon that we handed you in Columbus Ohio nine years ago straight up your ass. Just to see if you could get away with it. We do recognize, though, that you've been grooming yourself for a very successful post playing career profession...

wearing an orange jump suit.


Shawzy,

You pock faced little meatball hero. It will probably be sad to see you donning that #65 in Edmonton next fall, where no one will see you, and it will be equally sad that you will somehow net the Blackhawks Andrew Ference in return. You took one in the chops for the cup and we will be forever grateful for this. And...We will (kind of) mourn your actual death when they put you down like Old Yeller, after you take a horrendous late third period cross checking penalty costing the Erlers a playoff berth and then call the referee a "f@#$%t".
Coach Q(uestionmark),

You peanut butter, nut grabbing, bull headed, old grey bastard. You have relentlessly trolled the fan base since 2010 with your you cutesy little lineup shenanigans like #leshfregs, Scott/Montador/Brookbank at forward, Bollig/Manshinter/Carcillo over anybody with a pulse and a fraction of a brain, Christobal Huet at all, Nick Leddy sitting in the playoffs, so forth and so on. You got away with it, though. You may be the luckiest son of a bitch in NHL coaching history. Your insistence on playing daddy dominatrix with young players has, no doubt, stalled a few young careers, as you beat them down like puppies that have pissed on the carpet until they developed PTSD. Hide behind those #3CUPZ, though. Like any other old casino junkie, the luck will run its course, if it hasn't already. If Jeremy Morin doesn't pull a "Danny McGrath" on you first, that is.


Sweet Soft Spoken Momma Bowman,

You are the loyal battered wife of this organization. You sneak out during the afternoon with Dad's old rotten disgusting Scuderi, bring home something nice and shiny, like a Christian Ehrhoff. How does dad show you his appreciation? He gets drunk, throws it through the front window, douses it in gasoline in the front lawn and lights it ablaze while you're screaming, "No Joel, NO! I did it for YOU! I love you!" for the whole neighborhood to see. Classic love story. Names like Dale Weise, Antoine Vermette, Tomas Fleischmann, and Nick Leddy wake you in the middle of the night with night terrors. You cook daddy Q a four course meal, he spits it in a napkin, walks out the door and spends the rest of his night at the local pub with his hand on some drunken pub floozy's ass. Yet, There you are standing between Grandpa McDonough and Daddy Quenneville the next morning, with a big smile on your face, eating that fat juicy shit sandwich on the news like Hillary Clinton in 1998. You're what the professionals, in the biz, call an ENABLER. No wonder you've aged 30 years since 2008.

Garret Ross,

Who?

Oh, THAT guy.

Direct decedent of another historic American figure, Betsy? Christ, I hope not. Got yourself bailed out of a little pickle, there, didn't ya, slick? Leave it up to the state of Michigan to jump in muck things up, just like the old days. How everyone let your fist pumping bald broski McNasty (how appropriate is that nickname?) off the hook is mind numbing. Well, maybe not exactly...
I hope you enjoy next fall in Binghamton. I'm sure the Tinder playing field is much more expansive than Rockford Illinois. Keep on swiping the good swipe, Kiddo. Based on that mugshot, you'll need the help.


Brent...Nacho Seabre,

My boy! The man that, apparently, never met an "all you can eat" buffet that he didn't like. You better find one of those lines full of more #FruitAndCrap before you turn into our version of Dan Girardi. Did you take nutrition advice from your former buffet line buddy, Dustin Flufflien? Just a touch of advice for your off season? Join a gym; because if the last season is any barometer of the future, you're going to be bailing out a lot of teammates and looking at the back of opponent's jerseys for the next...

Lets look this up...

Oh Jesus!

EIGHT YEARS




That about covers this emotionally exhausting season. It came to a merciful end and, quite frankly, this team didn't deserve a better fate. They were slightly above average all season, with a flicker of brilliance. That does not win Stanley Cups. Being a red hot, very good team does. Getting knocked down only to get back up again is what this team was built on.

Now, back to your fucking jobs, ya god damn boobs!
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Monday, April 25, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at St. Louis
Game 7 3-2 Loss
Season Ending Recap

"Killswitch Not Engaged"

by Gatekeeper

Who thought we'd be watching a game 7, Monday night in St. Louis. I certainly HOPED that the Blackhawks could pull off the comeback, but who could honestly EXPECT a team to look so terrible and then magically turn it around, again? It is not something that even seems to be a reasonable expectation. Here we were, though. Against the Blackhawks most hated rival. With a chance to drive a stake deep into their hearts. The question is, will they be able to finish their dastardly deed? Live from St. Louis, the Blackhawks and the Blues...

To say the Blackhawks came out a little flat in the first period was a bit of an understatement. The slow start may have had something to do with the actual FALSE start, due to some faulty glass that broke loose just seconds into the game and forced both teams to stand around yanking their cranks for over 5 minutes. We'll never really know, but it should not go without being noted. As far as play went, Once again, the official scorer was sniffing glue, because they claimed that the Blackhawks had no giveaway and they out shot the Blues 11-9, even though they were down 2-1.


The real Blackhawks came out for the second period and sent the cheap first period imitations home for the night. From the puck drop, the Hawks showed just why they were able come back from a 1-3 deficit to tie this series. The Blackhawks surgically drew a powerplay and then tied the game. This period, the "official" shots actually reflected the play, with the Blackhawks leading 13-12. How else would we go into the third period of game 7 than tied?

Looks like maybe half the imitations snuck their way back for the third period. The Blackhawks could not find a way to get that final goal they needed to move on. The Blues did score that goal, by none other than the guy brought in to be a Hawks killer, Troy Brouwer. That was the only goal and the proverbial dagger in the Blackhawks hearts. Final score, Blues 3 - Blackhawks 2. On to the golf course for the Indianhead.

I cannot finish this without thanking both the new fans and all the long time fans that take the time out to read our bullshit each game, and listen to our stupid potty mouthed podcast. Sincerely, without the fans, there is literally no reason for us to do these things. Have no fear, people, there will still be content and Shoutcasts all summer. As long as you keep coming back, we'll keep them coming. THANK YOU!

Lets also give a hearty thank you to the other stooges: Pat, Derek and Bryan. This site and team grows stronger every year. No matter what obstacles get dropped in our path.



The Good
  • Very late in the first period, an innocent and patient neutral zone play by #DickPanik led to the first Blackhawks goal. Panik held the puck long enough for Marian Hossa to pick up steam coming off the bench and hit Hossa's tape with a rink wide pass. Hosss wasted no time crossing the blue line and lining up a half clapper. Brian Elliott, ye of stellar glove, whiffed on the shot and the Blackhawks were back in the game, just that easy.
  • Shortly into the second period, the Blackhawks earned a penalty and wasted little time capitalizing. Andrew Shaw took the puck on the goal line extended, and threw the puck through the crease. The puck deflected off Jay Bouwmeester's leg and past Brian Elliott.
  • Despite his 3rd period penalty, #DickPanik was a really nice surprise to this lineup all postseason.
  • This Corey Crawford was the biggest reason this game wasn't 5-2, and these saves were incredible:

    And don't forget this one:


The Bad
  • With about 6 minute remaining in the first period, the Blackhawks went down 2-0. The got trapped deep in their end, AGAIN. They tried to sneak a line change in, and ended up running around. Patrik Berglund set the table for big gun Colton Parayko, and Parayko unleashed a laser that beat Corey Crawford. David Rundblad was an enormous help as he not only stood and watched the shot beat Crawford, but he allowed Alex Steen to stand in front of his goalie to screen him and attempt to redirect the shot. I can totally see what he brings to the team.
  • Halfway through the the third period, the Blackhawks got spun around and ended up leaving Troy Brouwer wide open in their crease. He was able to take two whacks at the puck before he finally cashed in on the third chance.
  • Brent Seabrook had a prime chance to tie the game with around 3 minutes remaining and blasted a shot off both posts.

The Ugly
  • After St. Louis Blues took a solid 5 minutes to fix some glass problems, just 26 seconds into the game, the Blackhawks got pinned deep. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook failed more than a few times to clear the puck out. Eventually, the puck made its way to Jay Bouwmeester who uncorked a long clapper. Jori Lehtera got a piece of the shot about 10 feet in front of Crawford, and it was 1-0 with only a minute gone in the game. Swell.
  • Whoever told me that David Rundblad played good in game 6 because we didn't notice him, needed to watch this game. Rundblad took an absolute physical beating, was taken advantage of badly nearly every other shift, and was a total rotten apple.

The Lineblender
Panik - Toews - Kane
Panarin - Anisimov - Teravainen
Ladd - Kruger - Hossa
Desjardins - Shaw - Weise

Keith - Rundblad
Gustafsson - Seabrook
Hjalmarsson - van Riemsdyk

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs Blues
Game 6 6-3 Win Recap

"Controlled Demolition"

by Gatekeeper

It seems like just a few hours ago that Patrick Kane ended game 5 in double overtime, and the series was pushed to a game 6 back in Chicago. I cannot say that I was much more confident going into this game 6 than I was two nights previous. The Blues were still dominating the Blackhawks in most significant categories and the Blackhawks simply could not hold a damn lead. If they were going to win games 6 and 7 it was going to be on a wing and a prayer, and if they were going to go down, it damn well better be fighting and clawing.

So, about that fighting and clawing thing. The Blackhawks must have missed that in the pregame meeting. Even though they came out early and took a quick 1-0 lead, they then proceeded to cough up 3 straight goals which sucked every bit of air out of the United Center. After those three goals, the Blackhawks looked completely lost and emotionless, which really didn't leave room for much hope. Shots were 11-9 in favor of the Blues, but I'd be shocked if the Blackhawks truly had 9. They finished the period like a team with no heart.

As disgusted as we all were after the first period, the Blackhawks reeled us all back in second period. They actually looked like they cared about continuing their playoff run, and came out like their beards were on fire. They not only tied the game but took the lead before all was said and done. I'll be the first one to admit that I was sure they were done after the way they opened up, but here was sat, up 4-3. The shot were also heavily in favor of the Blackhawks 19-6.


The third period was certainly not without its worrisome moments. The Blues actually put up a bit of a fight, but Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks defense held tight. The Blues had an 11-8 shot advantage but the Blackhawks scored the only two goals. When all was wrapped up with a pretty red bow, the Blackhawks were heading back to St. Louis, Monday, for game 7. Excellent...


The Good
  • The new third line of Ladd/Kruger/Hossa gave the Blackhawks just under four minutes into the game. Marian Hossa played the forecheck perfectly, and the puck squirted off the boards to Andrew Ladd, who beat Elliott. The United Center was hopping, but it wouldn't last for long.
  • Just over four minutes into the second period a Kyle Brodziak penalty gave the Blackhawks the chance they needed to get back into the game. Marian Hossa tried to beat Elliott on a high danger chance in the middle but Elliott made the save. The puck, though, went straight up in the air and Artem Anisimov bunted it out of the air, past Elliott. Life? Life!
  • Just over halfway through the second period the previously cast off #DickPanik, who was moved back up to the top line, showed great composure. Panik led the rush all by himself and waited for Jonathan Toews to catch the play. Panik then dropped the puck to Toews, and Jonny blew around Panik to the net. As soon as Toews hit the corner he spotted Trevor van Riemsdyk on the back door. Despite El Capitan getting hooked worse than Peter Pan, he got the puck to van Riemsdyk and it was in the net.
  • Late in the second, the Blackhawks completed their comeback from an unlikely hero, Dale Weise. The Blackhawks caught Kevin Shattenkirk without a stick behind the net and Weise laid him out. This left Weise wide open in front of the net and Panarin hit him for the one timer. Like Eddie Vedder once said......
  • Late in the third period, #DickPanik out raced the Blues defense which got him in on a partial breakaway. He didn't get much of a shot off but he DID draw a penalty. On the ensuing powerplay, Patrick Kane found Andrew Shaw wide open in front of the net, and...
  • The Marian Hossa empty net goal sealed the deal.
  • I said it during the game, and I'm saying it again. #DickPanik is turning into the new version of Michael Frolik. Thanks Toronto, enjoy your pouty Morin.

The Bad
  • The Blackhawks only held their first period lead for less than three minutes. Roughly 10 seconds after Andrew Desjardins missed on what should have been an open net goal, the Blues turned the play back over the other way. Scottie Upshall's shot hit Brent Seabrooks stick and beat Corey Crawford.
  • Just over 2 minutes after the Pietrangelo goal, Vladimir Tarasenko made it 3-1 Blues. The Blues simply took advantage of their odd man breaks, and you can't leave NHL players 5-8 feet from your goalie, especially 40 goal scorers named Tarasenko. He'll eat up any goalie in the league.
  • I didn't think this was physically possible, but Erik Gustafsson played less than anyone on the blackhawks, including David Rundblad. I cannot recall seeing David Rundblad touch the ice once. I call bullshit.

The Ugly
  • Just over 2 minutes after the Upshall goal, Alex Pietrangelo used a very handy Nik Hjalmarsson screen to give the Blues a 2-1 lead.
  • Six minutes into the third period, a Hossa/Ladd 2-on-1 left Ladd with a wide open look on the back door and he put the puck off the crossbar.
  • Late in the final seconds of the second period, Corey Crawford took a high shot in the ribcage/arm pit area from Colton Parayko and went down hard. For a minute or so, it looked like he was in serious trouble. He eventually shook it off and finished the game.
  • Kevin Shitinpants...minus 3.
  • Frustrated with your pudgy coach a little, Vlad?
  • Dave Lozo perfectly summed up this game for the Blues on the Twittarz:

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • The Blackhawks actually led in posession by the smallest of margins, 54-52.
  • Hjalmarsson and Trevor van Riemsdyk got eaten alive in possession, but part of Hjalmarsson's issue is that he was WITH TVR
  • As you might expect with his horrible +/-, Kevin Shitinpants was the worst possession player on the Blues. Troy Brouwe, of all people, led the Blues with a plus 11 overall corsi.

The Lineblender
Shaw - Toews - Kane
Panarin - Anisimov - Teravainen
Ladd - Kruger - Hossa
Panik - Desjardins - Weise

Keith - Rundblad
Gustafsson - Seabrook
van Riemsdyk - Hjalmarsson

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Friday, April 22, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at St. Louis
Game 5 4-3 OT Win Recap

"SOUL HACKER"

by Gatekeeper

For the first time in the 2016 playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks were on the verge of elimination, Thursday night. Watching them play, we probably shouldn't have been surprised by this situation, either. The Blackhawks and their counterparts had essentially switched position in the world of ass hattery. The Blues had been the more composed team, while the Blackhawks continually shot themselves in the foot. The Blues goaltending was rock solid, while the Blackhawks were just getting average goaltending. The Blues were rolling 4 lines and 3 defensive pairings effectively, while the Blackhawks were the team that weren't quite deep enough. Hey, we're not #TeamMiserable around here for nothing.

Speaking of shooting themselves in the foot, Andrew Shaw was suspended for this game, after getting caught on camera muttering a homophobic slur to the refs. This was following a play where he took a terrible late game cross checking penalty, Tuesday night. The same punishment, mind you, that players get for almost paralyzing other defenseless players by pushing them head first into the boards. More punishment, mind you, than one would get for cracking an opposing player in the head/neck, if your name isn't Duncan Keith. I digress, though, because it's St. Louis that is still pumping the "It's a league conspiracy against the poor innocent Blues" hot air filled tires.

By the way, in the "beating the dead horse segment", I'm posting this video every day to the NHL.


For a league that claims to be so paranoid about the fans and their experience that they want to rig the game for things like more goals with glorified skills competitions, one would think that reasonable start times, in the middle of the week, would be a slam dunk.

Anyway, the first period started out with a little bit of a "feeling out" vibe to it. The Blues tried to come out and show their physical play (big surprise) while the Blackhawks needed time to feel out this Quenneville adjusted line up. As a result, the two teams only managed a total of 10 shots in twenty minutes. There were certainly scoring chances, but nothing that you could consider high danger. At this point, if they didn't lose any ground, perfect.

The second period was much the opposite of the first period, more specifically the second half of he second period. The Blackhawks opened the scoring shorthanded, but were almost immediately answered by a Blues power play goal. That was when the Hawks snatched some serious momentum. Two late goals gave them a 3-1 lead, heading into the final twenty, with an unusually high 16-14 shot advantage.

The Blackhawks couldn't hold the momentum in the third period, after repeated mental breakdowns from the coaches on down. The Blues jumped on the opportunities and tied the game, while out shooting the Blackhawks 14-6. Look! #ScibityDibity! Not exactly ideal, eh? The Blackhawks 2015/16 season had just come down sudden death overtime.

The first overtime seemed a lot like a Blues powerplay for a steady portion of the play. The Blackhawks had a few glowing spurts but there were several times when you could just feel a Blues goal coming on. I know i wasn't the only person that was certain that the game would end in the Blues favor. The shots were only 11-7 in favor of the Blues, but if you actually watched the game, it told a different tale.

The second overtime only lasted three minutes and three shots, at just after midnight the game was finally and the Blackhawks had forced a game 6 in Chicago, Saturday night.

The Good
  • In the first period, Andrew Ladd gave David Backes a little of the wakey wakey treatment, which is never disappointing.
  • The Blackhawks couldn't manage many shots even strength, or on the powerplay for that matter, so they opened up the scoring least expected way, shorthanded. Nik Hjalmarsson made one of his, now patented, blind clearing passes that magically ended up on the stick of Marian Hossa. Hossa quickly turned and raced up the rink with Duncan Keith. Keith wasn't needed for anything more than a diversion, as Hossa picked his spot on Elliott with a little help from Alex Steen's stick.
  • With four and a half minutes remaining in the second period, Artemi Panarin did his best Patrick Kane /Denis Savard offensive zone puck control impression behind the Blues net. The makeshift line of Panarin, Teravainen and Anisimov finally paid some dividends. Panarin wheeled around the net, reversed, turned around and found himself with with a clean look at the net. He let the shot go, and it glanced off Elliott's shoulder, eventually hitting the post. Anisimov fought his way through a tie up to the loose puck in the crease and jammed it by Elliott like #Fatrick jamming a handful of Timbits into his gaping gullet.
  • Jonathan Toews, Artemi Panarin, and Patrick Kane hooked up for the Blackhawks 3rd goal of the night, his time with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second period. Kane took a fairly harmless pass from Toews in the corner and somehow found his little Russian buddy wide open on the back door. Panarin one timed the puck past Elliott and the Blackhawks had their first comfortable lead in quite a while. Comfortable, now? Don't be.
  • Richard Panik was nothing but engaged and dangerous all game. Why it took so long for him to be consistently in the line up is beyond comprehension. The funny part is that Bowman got Panik for two time Blackhawks legend Jeremy Morin.
  • Three minutes into overtime number 2, Patrick Kane decided he had had enough. Panik held the puck long enough coming around the net to find Kane knifing through the slot, with momentum. Kane gave Troy Brouwer a little "how's your father" toe drag, and put a shot on Elliott. The rebound rolled to Elliott's right with only a wide open net facing it. Kane squirted behind the net and smacked the rebound into the net. Game over. That didn't stop Elliott from immediately jumping to his feet, palms in the air, no doubt looking for the obligatory goalie interference call. He changed his tune real fast when the referee informed him that the interference was, in fact, because his stick was trapped under the skate of his own defender, Jay Bouwmeester.
    This is what we're relegated to. Every goal will now be automatically blamed on goalie interference. That rule is fucking dumb. Period. And this is coming from a goalie.
  • Hey, there is going to be at least one more game, eh?

The Bad
  • The Blackhawks blew yet another clear breakaway chance, this time it was Richard Panik in the first period. This has been a reoccurring theme the entire series.
  • Seven minutes into the third period, after the Blackhawks forwards got caught flying the zone early several times and had to struggle to eventually get off the ice, leaving them with only 4 players. Robbie Fabbri used this advantage to cut the Hawks lead to 1. Funny how this highly respected and often lauded Blackhawks coaching staff just can't seem to figure out how to execute consistent clean changes. Lets all ignore it and have out "#3CUPZ" pajama parties. God forbid we point out any mistakes. More on this later.
  • With five minutes remaining in the third period, the Blackhawks ONCE AGAIN could not clear their own zone. I'll bet you can all guess what happened next, right? The puck ended up in the back of their net. Alex Pietrangelo let a long shot go that David Backes redirected enough the throw Crawford off the scent, as the puck slowly and sadly slid by him into the net.
  • Seeing the Manshitter on the ice in overtime is absolutely frightening. The stat line said he had 7 hits in 9 minutes of playing time. He's so slow and terrible that it couldn't possibly be right. If he had seven hits, it's because he bumped into 7 players getting on and off the bench. In a game when the Blackhawks played 23 extra minutes, Rundblad, Weise and Manshitter all touched the ice for less than 10, each.

The Ugly
  • David Rundblad looked like classic David Rundblad with a questionable turnover at the Hawks blue line very early, then plowing his own, then maskless, goalie over. Short of one very early third period shift, He finished the game with his ass stapled to the bench. What was the point of even dressing him? DRESS CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF! He can skate and has at least one redeeming skill, which is that he can move the puck from the back end. Just to show you how little Quenneville thinks of Rundblad, his only 3 zone starts were in the offensive zone, and he didn't touch the ice in the final THIRTY THREE minutes of the game. WHY is this happening, or even a thing?
  • Sixty three seconds after the Blackhawks took the lead, the Blues Jaden Schwartz surprised Corey Crawford with an innocent looking enough 55 foot clapper, while still on the powerplay. Not innocent enough, though, as it beat Crawford. You could tell by Crawford's reaction that he knew it was a bad one right away.
  • So, when is someone going to hold the bench coaches accountable for the repeated issues with line changes? ANYONE! One screw up blatantly led to a goal, and he other led to a late game Blues powerplay. No outcry. Just heads stuffed in the sand. It's been happening for YEARS, and now it's just accepted that the Blackhawks are a calamity of errors when it comes to line changes? It's very conceivable that the Blues could have ended the Hawks season on that asinine late game powerplay. Just a state of love and trust, I suppose.
  • Anisimov and Desjardins combined to win just 6 of 24 faceoffs. WOOF!

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • Anisimov was just whooped in overall Corsi, with a -19. On defense? You guessed it, Trevor van Riemsdyk tied with Hjalmarsson with -11.
  • Robby Fabbri and my mancrush, Colton Payayko, led the Blues in possession.
  • Jay Bouwmeester was literally an anchor on defense, with a Blues low -8 Corsi. Why does this guy get some much credit? He's average.

The Lineblender
Panik - Toews - Kane
Panarin - Anisimov - Teravainen
Ladd - Kruger - Hossa
Mashinter - Desjardins - Weise

Keith - Hjalmarsson
van Riemsdyk - Seabrook
Gustafsson - Rundblad


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 55


Please note that you may have to unsubscribe and re-subscribe, through iTunes.


In this 55th Puckin Hostile Shoutcast, the Christian Ehrhoff episode, the 4 clowns get together following another eventful day in Blackhawks land.

The group discuss the following:
-We have a special cameo from a certain diabetic.
-The Shoutcast move to Soundcloud.
-The Lumbus trip followup.
-More talk about the The Puckin Hostile Store, and designs.
-New iTunes reviews
-League wide news including the Leafs signings, Steven Stamkos injury, the Red Wings backing into the Playoffs on the last weekend, logo on the floor garbage, a portion of the Flyers fans being lowlife garbage.
-Blackhawks organizational roster moves.
-Regular season Games vs Blues and Blue Jackets and first round playoff series games against the Blues.
-The Andrew Shaw situation following game 4, including his game suspension.
-A long list of excellent and not so excellent listener questions.
-And of course, as always, an abundance of inappropriate references and jokes in incredibly bad taste.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link (you may need to update your subscription): iTunes

Get the Shoutcast on Soundcloud here:


Also, Check out and share the Puckin Hostile Stanley Cup Highlight video:

Music by "The Bloodline"
For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at: http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. Blues Game 4 - 4-3 Loss

"No Easy Way Out"
 
by Patrick Stankus

While Satan, I mean Gate, had other things to attend to tonight, the Blackhawks and Blues carried on without him with Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals match up at The UC. The Hawks were looking to avenge their Game 3 loss on home ice, and tie the series at two. As news broke during the day of a possible to return of David Rundblad to the Hawks lineup, Q decided he was gonna Q early, and went with Gus instead of Rundblad when it came to replacing Svedberg. With the line blending going early, who knows what combos we'll get during the game.

Once the puck dropped, it was clear the Hawks were looking to set the physical tone early. Andrew Ladd delivered a big body check to Alex Steen to get some more energy into the United Center crowd. With thirteen minutes remaining, Artem Anisimov looked as if he had given the Hawks an early lead, but the puck died on the goal line and we remained scoreless. As the period passed the midway mark, the Blues found their legs and of course Tarasenko would wind up giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead. In the final minutes of the period, following a Hawks turnover, Tarasenko had an opportunity to increase the Blues lead, but he mishandled the puck and the score remained 1-0. After a few chances in the waning seconds, the Hawks couldn't convert and found themselves in a 1-0 hole after the opening 20 minutes.

Before we could even take our seats for the start of the second period, the Hawks dug themselves a bit of a hole. #DickPanik took a penalty 39 seconds in, but luckily for him the PK and Crawford bailed his ass out. As the period went on, the Hawks were able to draw a penalty, and looked to build some momentum. While they didn't score on the man advantage, Andrew Shaw had a Marian Hossa shot redirect off his sweater and beat Brian Elliott to tie the game. After the Hawks got a gift power play from a scuffle that involved goalie Corey Crawford, they took advantage of the opportunity. Duncan Keith picked up a puck off a goal mouth scramble to put the Hawks up 2-1. Late in the period, after a bad penalty by Andrew Ladd, the Blues again found themselves on the power play. They didn't waste much time in tying the game as Tarasenko added his second of the night to make it a 2-2 game. After 40 minutes of play, that's how we would stand.

With the game up for grabs at the start of the third period, the Hawks again found themselves in a hole. This time it was Duncan Keith taking a penalty a minute in. Unlike the penalty at the start of the second period, the Hawks couldn't kill this one off and the Blues took a 3-2 lead. The night went from bad to worse for TVR. After Schwartz picked off a TVR clearing attempt on the previous goal, Alex Steen decided he wanted in on the party. Steen picked off a cross ice pass to Rozsival, and beat Crawford on a breakaway to put the Blues up 4-2. With the Hawks peppering the net, they finally broke through in the third period. A point shot from Duncan Keith hit Tarasenko's stick and beat Elliott to pull the Hawks within one with just over five minutes remaining. With the net empty, it appeared Steen had sealed the win for the Blues with an empty netter, but the play was reviewed and it was determined that Paul Stastny was offside, giving the Hawks hope in the final minute. Despite a flurry of chances in the final seconds, the Hawks couldn't tie the game, and the Blues would hang on for a 4-3 win, and now have a stranglehold 3-1 series lead. Next up is Game 5 in St. Louis on Thursday night with Gate returning for the recap. Oh, and don't forget, Episode 55 of the Shoutcast is on for later today I guess. So that is exciting. Isn't it?

The Good
  • Seriously, who didn't enjoy seeing Ladd lay out that ballbag Alex Steen?? That's what you get for sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. Ask Brad Marchand.
  • #DickPanik redeemed himself later in the second period by drawing a much needed power play. While the Hawks didn't score on it, they did generate some momentum and score immediately after the power play expired.
  • We did see a power play goal tonight from the Hawks. That is some thing positive.
  • For someone who's been brutal at the dot all season, Anisimov had a good night tonight. He won 61% of his draws.
The Bad
  • Anisimov had the Hawks best chance of the first period for the Hawks, but couldn't find enough mustard to have the puck completely cross the line. Therefore it was no goal. Kudos to referee Chris Lee for making the correct call on the ice. It sucks he lost sight of the puck, but he did what he was supposed to do.
  • #DickPanik took a penalty 39 seconds into the second period. Nothing like starting 20 minutes in the hole.
  • Corey Crawford decided he had enough of watching his defensemen do nothing when the Blues crash the net after a whistle. In the second period, Robby Fabbri ran over Crawford (with a little help from Toews), and Crawford went after him. I know people will freak out and say settle down to Crawford, but there comes a time when you've had enough of the bullshit. Frankly it sparked the Hawks for a bit, so calm down.
  • TVR had a bad break on the Blues third goal. He was in the right position and everything, but had an unfortunate bounce on his clearing attempt go right to Jaden Schwartz who buried it.
  • Well he was going to go in the good category, because normally a three point night is good, but then Andrew Shaw decided to meltdown Chernobyl style in the 3rd period.
The Ugly
  • I'm still trying to figure out what the hell Brent Seabrook was doing by screening Crawford on Tarasenko's first goal.
  • A bad defensive zone turnover on a Kane to Keith pass nearly bit the Hawks in the ass in the first period. Enough with the let be cute passes. Just get the puck out of the zone.
  • After Tarasenko netted his second goal of the night, it'd be nice if someone would fucking cover him. Please. Thank you.
  • Once again the Hawks had two bad penalties comeback and bite them in the ass. Tonight it was Ladd and Keith's turn to take the skate of shame to the penalty box and see the Blues score.
  • WOOF at that ill-advised pass by TVR that Steen picked off and put in the back of the Hawks net.
  • All that garbage at the end of the game. Seriously show some of that fight during the game, then maybe your goalie wouldn't have to.
  • I really hope this wasn't my last game to recap for the season. This is way too much fun, and all of you readers and listeners are the best. If there's a team that can pull this comeback off, I'm confident its the Hawks. Lets hope it happens.
  • I don't blame Gate for skipping this game. At time's I was jealous of him for being at a Taylor Swift concert tonight.
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Sunday, April 17, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs Blues
Game 3 - 3-2 Loss

"Closer to the Heart"

by Atomic Froster

After trading victories in St Louis the Blackhawks and Blues head to Chicago knotted at a game a piece. Both of the previous games were extremely close and with a couple calls that the Blues didn't think went their way you knew they were going to come in with a chip on their shoulder. A small change in the Hawks lineup as Desjardins is out and Weise is in.

The United Centre was electric despite the 2:00 local start time as the home crowd was ready for its first taste of playoff hockey in 2016. They would not have to wait long after the anthem for their first opportunity to cheer. The Hawks would go on the power play, courtesy of a Brokziak roughing call on Svedberg that in the end saw them both going to the box but Brodziak getting an extra two. Seabrook would take advantage from the point blasting one past Elliott; assists credited to Toews and Kane. St Louis was given two more penalties early on in the game--basically back to back--but the Hawks power play came up short. With eight minutes left in the period Svedberg would take his second penalty of the frame and go off for high sticking, Parayko would take advantage and tie up the game. With a total of seven penalties called in the first it was clear the officiating crew wanted to keep control of this one.  

Shots: Blackhawks - 10 Blues - 9

The second period would start with Shaw and Edmundson in the box due to some extracurricular activities carried over from the first. The offsetting minors would create a 4 on 4 situation that, you'd think, would play into the strengths of the more skilled guys. Despite losing a offensive zone face-off, Panarin would chase the puck into the corner and come out on top; he sent the pass in front of the net to an all alone Anisimov. The shot by #15 was anything but pretty as he flubs it and sends a knuckler Elliots way. Lucky this seemed to handcuff the Blues 'tender and the puck ends up in the back of the net. The remainder of the period would see chances at both ends but none would finish.

Shots: Blackhawks - 24 Blues - 13

The final period is a period the Hawks would like to forget. Patrick Berglund would carry the puck over the blue line and send a snap wrister towards Crawford. It bounces off Rosival and takes a second hop off the ice, changing trajectory, now opposite of what Crow was anticipating. The puck goes up and over Crawford's glove and ties the game 5 minutes in. Just when you start to think we may see another overtime tilt, Kane gets a double minor for high sticking. With eight minutes left in the third Kane takes a seat. The Blues would take advantage, with a tic-tac-toe play Tarasenk and Backes set up Shwartz to send the second goal of the period past Crawford. This goal would stick as the GWG as the Hawks fail to capitalize on a small section of time with the extra attacker. Repeatedly failing to get the puck into the offensive end left the Hawks 'tender on the ice far too long and left little time to get any sustained pressure.

Shots: Blackhawks - 12 Blues - 14

Total Shots: Blackhawks -  46 Blues - 36

The Good:

  • The Blackhawks send 46 shots in on Elliot, if they can continue that pace I would like our chances. 
  • Seabrook's goal from the point was classic playoff Seabs and hopefully we continue to see more. 
  • Crawford's save on Lehtera in the second was HUGE!
The Bad:

  • After a couple of early penalties by Svedberg, he would see a total of 5 minutes of ice time, call me crazy but I wouldn't be surprised to see a change back there. "By Gawd King, IS THAT THE GUSTAFSSONS MUSIC?!?!" Or maybe Rundblad, he did play last year and did win the cup after all. Just please not Ehrhoff and Rosival at the same time. 
  • 24 shots for in the second period and one goal to show for it, need to cash in on at least one more. 
  • Teravainen spent much of his time on the ice in his own end, his line constantly had trouble getting it out of the zone. 
The Ugly:

  • I was certain Ladd had a goal, but hitting it off two posts! Talk about rotten luck. 
  • Backes laid a huge hit on Toews half way through the second and I know I was sure nervous until the next time the camera showed him skating. The way he fell down to the ice it could have caused some serious damage. 
  • Ken Hitchcock has one of the most punchable faces behind an NHL bench (besides when Pierre McGuire does his coaches interviews) Why does he always have that stupid look on his face?!
  • The Hawks are now 6 and 15 in game 3's with Coach Q. 

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Friday, April 15, 2016

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at St. Louis
Game 2 - 3-2 Win

"Indestructible"

by Patrick Stankus

After a day off, the Blackhawks and Blues resumed their best of seven, opening round playoffs series on Friday night in that hell hole of a city called St. Louis. The Hawks were looking to break into the win column, and scoring column for that matter, after their 1-0 loss on Wednesday night in Game 1. Returning to the Hawks lineup tonight after serving his six game suspension, was that "no big deal, just another guy" defenseman named Duncan Keith. Thanks for insight Hitch. Continue to lead by example when it comes to wanting your team to get 70 hits per game by hitting 70 ribs at the all you can eat buffet.

When the puck finally dropped, the Hawks were victims of sleepwalking right from the start. Just over six minutes in, the Hawks were rewarded with the first power play of the game. Aside from a couple of decent chances from Hossa, they couldn't get much going and the game remained scoreless. That proved to be the tone of the period for the Hawks, as they couldn't get good looks at the net, and their passing was quite sloppy. Finally just over thirteen minutes in, the Hawks recorded their first shot on net, and ended the period with a whopping two for the opening frame. Luckily at the other end of the ice, Corey Crawford came up with a few big saves to keep the game scoreless after twenty minutes.

In the second period, it was a completely different Hawks team that took the ice. Within the first minute of the period, Patrick Kane had a breakaway, but a slash from Jay Bouwmeester prevented Kane from getting a quality chance. The Hawks received their second power play of the game just over five minutes in to the period. For the majority of the time, they couldn't get much generated and the game remained scoreless. After the Blues killed off the penalty, all hell broke loose, and the game turned into a goddamn track meet. The final ten minutes of the period featured end to end action, and both goalies making huge saves. Tarasenko opened the scoring with four minutes and change remaining. Just as it appeared the Hawks would go into the intermission down one, they managed to tie the game with four seconds left in the period off a point shot by Duncan Keith. Finally after catching your breath, the game was tied at one heading into the second intermission.

With all the momentum on the Hawks side, the third period would open up with four skaters aside after some post whistle penalties carrying over from the end of the second period. Both teams traded chances back and forth throughout the period, but neither team found the back of the net in the first ten minutes. With about eight minutes remaining, it appeared Tarasenko put the Blues up 2-1, but Joel Quenneville challenged the play for offsides. After a lengthy review, the it was determined that Jori Lehtera's skate was above the blueline and he was indeed offside by a toenail, and the call on the ice was overturned. The Blues and their fans followed up the call by acting like a bunch of six year olds who shit their pants, and showed their hand of cracking under the pressure. Not long after, Tarasenko took a slashing penalty that Paul Bunyan would be proud of, and handed the Hawks a late third period power play. As is the case with most of these selfish penalties, the Hawks made them pay after Andrew Shaw scored on a goal crease scramble. Following a review by The War Room in Toronto, it was deemed a good goal, but Hitchcock then challenged for goaltender interference. After two reviews the call on the ice of a good goal stood, and the Hawks were on top 2-1. In the final minutes Artemi Panarin added an empty netter, and Kevin Shattenkirk scored a meaningless goal with one second remaining, to make it a 3-2 final score. The series now heads to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 with the series tied at one. Our favourite Canadian will have the recap for Game 3.

The Good
  • In a last minute change, Q FINALLY scratched Mashinter and inserted #DickPanik into the lineup. Its about fucking time.
  • The Hawks first goal of the game was a textbook playoff goal, and shows the importance of offensive zone draws. Faceoff won, chip the puck to the point, get a shot on net.
  • That second period was a thing of beauty. You can't ask for a more entertaining 20 minutes of playoff hockey. When is the last time you saw two teams combine for 32 shots, and the majority of them be quality? Dear God, that was fun to watch.
  • Andrew Shaw's goal was the exact type of ugly goal you want to see scored at this time of the year. Nothing fancy, just be willing to go to the net and pay a price.
  • Duncan Keith had a two point night with a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup. On top of it, I really enjoyed those boos every time he touched the puck from the "Oh my GAWD Kelly Chase is so awesome" crowd.
  • The Hawks won the face off battle 36-28, and had the edge in the blocked shots department. Its the little things this time of the year.
  • The Hawks made Vlad Tarasenko and the Blues pay for that slashing penalty in the third period. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing that happen.
  • Corey Crawford was excellent in net tonight. He stopped 29 of 31 shots, and survived a 15 shot second period en route to the victory. Oh and with the win tonight, he set the Blackhawks franchise record for playoff wins.
                                                                 The Bad
    • Artemi Panarin had a chance to open the scoring for the Hawks in the second period. He beat Elliott with a twisted wrister, but drew iron.
    • Even though the goal was taken away, Artem Anisimov was caught staring at the puck behind the net, while the Hawks already had two defensemen beneath the goalline. This allowed Tarasenko to become wide open in the slot for the pass. You'd like to see some better positioning in Game 3 if this scenario occurs again.
    • Teravainen for some reason had 7:24 in ice time. Can't shelter him for his entire career.
    • Everyone enjoy seeing Ryan Reaves skate around like an asshole for 5:49 tonight?

    The Ugly
    • The Hawks waited almost fourteen minutes to record their first shot on net. They would end the first period with two total shots. That's playing with fire to say the least.
    • I've been a big supporter of Michal Rozsival this year saying he hasn't been as bad as the majority of you think he has been, but that turnover that lead to Tarasenko's goal was brutal. To be fair, it wasn't 100% on Rozsival. He had some help with a bad change, but he has to realize that in that situation he can't bring the puck up along the boards where all the traffic is. You're asking for trouble and he got it.
    • Yes, the Hawks came out on the good end both times, but the replay/challenges are ridiculous. All they did tonight was kill the momentum of the game.
    • You're welcome for the nightmares this face will give you......
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    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at St. Louis
    Game 1 - 1-0 OT Loss

    "We Carry On"

    by Gatekeeper

    First of all, I'm never going to stop bitching about 8:30 central starts. They are asinine. If you don't want to hear it, tough shit. Minimum 11:15 to 11:45 PM for game end times is completely unacceptable for two teams that call the central time zone home. Lick my ballbag, NHL.


    Wednesday night the NHL playoffs began, with the Blackhawks travelling 5 hours south to that disgusting butthole of America, St. Louis. We are all very familiar with the history of this insufferably entitled team and fanbase, and their history with the Blackhawks. Not only are they entitled, they are completely undeserving of praise or respect on top of it all. They have earned nothing relevant in their entire existence. If the Blackhawks can beat them, it will be colossal asshurt circus for months upon months. If the B-Lose actually win the series, we can look forward to a "first round win / finally beat the Blackhawks" banner raising, in the fall, because they won't make it much farther than that. On to subjects that don't incite extreme nausea or violent diarrhea...

    The Blackhawks came in nursing some injuries and the had a significant forward that had to rush from a Chicago delivery room to St. Louis for the game, in Andrew Ladd. Corey Crawford was coming in having played a grand total of 60 minutes in the last month. Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa, and Andrew Shaw all spent significant time with the team doctors resting their injuries, over the last few weeks as well. Duncan Keith was also off the menu, while serving the final game of his suspension for swinging his battleaxe in the face of Charlie Coyle. This could be two weeks of pure hell.

    The first period was somewhat the pace you might expect from these two teams. The Blackhawks looked extremely sluggish while the Blues threw their bodies around like a bunch of clowns. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks weren't able to take advantage of the three gift powerplays they were handed. That cannot continue to happen. The Blackhawks out shot the Blues 11-4 and, if I was a betting man, I would say there were a few missed shots on net by the home scorer in favor of his team. Miraculously, the Blackhawks and Blues were still scoreless, when the horn sounded.

    The second period was less physical, and saw the puck handlers showcased much more often. This let to a more even shot total, as well as a few really tense moments. The Blues actually led the middle frame in shots by a slim 10-9 margin. This time, the Blackhawks were the team taking brainless penalties, but they magically avoided any harm done. There was no way that Quenneville didn't have smoke coming out of his ears in the locker room.


    The third period was a little cleaner, but the rest of the action was business as usual. THe Blackhawks out shot the home team, once again, 8-2. Without their top defender. That's amazing. Other than that, it was a pretty pedestrian period, ending up 0-0, and sending this one into overtime. The OT lasted about 8 minutes and the Blues got a fluke goal to win the game. Morally and emotionally, this was a win for the Blackhawks. Back at it, Friday, with Duncan Keith back.

    The Good
    • Andrew Ladd was just all over the ice. Maybe he needed to just not think about what was going on back in Chicago, but he was as physical as any Blackhawks player without doing stupid things. He had some nice looks on net as well.
    • Corey Crawford did everything he could, to win this game. He deserved a better fate.
    • The Blackhawks held a team to 18 total shots and 1 goal, in their own building. Oh, right, without their best defender. Nothing at all to complain about there.

    The Bad
    • The Hawks didn't learn their lesson from the Blues first period ass hattery, and came out in the second and Rozsival quickly took a poor penalty.
    • The few times that Erik Gustafsson was pressured by the Blues, he completely pissed right down his leg. Welcome to the NHL, kiddo.
    • The Blues came back out in the third period with their usual physical goonery, laying big hits on Rozsival and Svedberg, which left open spaces elsewhere.
    • Seven seconds into overtime, the Blues took a delay of game penalty. Should be game over, right? The Hawks had a chance or two, but spent a majority of the powerplay was spent chasing the in their own zone.

    The Ugly
    • Watching the Blues players take whacks at the Hawks players after the play is just maddening. Bunch of cheap shot artists. Patrik Berglund is a prime example. Complete bag of douche.
    • The Blackhawks moved the puck with urgency during their first period power plays, but could not get their shots through to the net.
    • The Manshitter took a late second period, lazy, offensive zone penalty. He is completely overmatched on the ice. Joel Quenneville will continue to put him out there to do everything badly, without any logic. Clearly he's on the "does no wrong" list, in Q's eyes. Weise, and Ehrhoff would like answers as to why. For example, late in the third period Ryan Reaves hit Erik Gustafsson pretty heavily with Mashinter on the ice, without a worry in the world. Seeing Q throw this meathead out on the ice in OT is both baffling and frightening.
    • The game winning goal was as ugly as most of the Blues fans' family trees. Backes was deep along the Blackhawks goal line and tied to send a pass across the crease to a Blues player, but the puck went off Trevor van Riemsdyk's skate and between Crawford's legs. Super weak.

    The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
    • The overall Blackhawks corsi was at 54%. I'll take that every game
    • Hjalmarsson was a team worst -22 overall corsi, but a lot of that had to do with the Blues powerplays.
    • Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin were the best overall Blackhawks possession player, each having a +19 overall corsi

    The Lineblender
    Ladd - Toews - Hossa
    Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
    Mashinter - Teravainen - Fleischmann
    Desjardins - Kruger - Shaw

    Svedberg - Hjalmarsson
    van Riemsdyk - Seabrook
    Gustafsson - Rozsival

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    Wednesday, April 13, 2016

    Fatrick's Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions


    As we sit here on the eve (or morning of by the time I finish this) of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I felt it was time to reveal my first round predictions. I don't know about the rest of you, but this really is the greatest time of the year. I mean who doesn't welcome the return of 5 on 5, sudden death overtime? You know, the way hockey was meant to be played. Anyway, enough about that, lets roll onto the predictions since midnight is fast approaching.


    Western Conference

    Central Division

    1. Dallas Stars vs. WC. Minnesota Wild - Dallas in 5 games
    2. St. Louis Blues vs. 3. Chicago Blackhawks - Chicago in 6 games

    Pacific Division
    1. Anaheim Ducks vs. WC. Nashville Predators - Anaheim in 6 games
    2. Los Angeles Kings vs. 3. San Jose Sharks - Los Angeles in 7 games

    Eastern Conference

    Metropolitan Division

    1. Washington Capitals vs. WC. Philadelphia Flyers - Washington in 7 games
    2. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 3. New York Rangers - Pittsburgh in 5 games

    Atlantic Division

    1. Florida Panthers vs. WC. New York Islanders - Florida in 5 games
    2. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 3. Detroit Red Wings - Detroit in 6 games


    -What to watch for in the opening round-
    • Look for the Flyers to give the Capitals all they can handle
    • The Panthers and Penguins are the two teams most likely capable of pulling off a sweep in the opening round.
    • I said it on the Shoutcast, and I'll say it again. The Detroit Red Wings will catch people by surprise.
    • The Blues/Blackhawks series will be one for the ages, filled with absolute nastiness.
    • >Martin Jones will steal a couple of games for the Sharks, against his former team.

    Now these are only my first round predictions, and they are sure to be way the hell off, but that's what makes this time of the year so great. Nothing like making a complete ass of yourself. As the playoffs go on, I'll give round by round predictions, but right now I will give you my pre - playoffs Stanley Cup Final. Its the NHL's worst nightmare; Los Angeles Kings vs. Florida Panthers, with the Kings hoisting the Stanley Cup again.

    Feel free to forward all hate mail towards Gate, he'll appreciate it. That is Puckin Hostile at GMail.com...
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    Tuesday, April 12, 2016

    #PuckinHostileInvadesLumbus
    Trip Wrap-up


    This past weekend the Puckin Hostile crew, minus our Canadian import, made the trek to tropical and balmy Columbus Ohio to see the Blackhawks face their adopted little brothers, the Blue Jackets. Unlike the paranoid, tin foil hat wearing #PERDS fanbase, the Lumbus fans have been fairly welcoming and accepting of the swarm of Blackhawks fans heading 5 hours east a couple of times a year. I honestly and truly respect them for hanging in there, because some Hawks fans can be fairly intolerable, like maybe #NowDerek.

    Shocking, I know, but more on that later.

    Saturday morning, two separate Hostile sponsored jalopies packed full of large mostly older, out of shape, men packed up and headed southeast. The #Fatrick family, including @UncleRozsival, squeezed into one vehicle, while I fired up the Hostile-mobile with an old friend, who was also former player/goalie of mine, Andy. Thanks to the unpredictable midwest weather, there was a nice layer of fresh snow coating the grass but, as we would find out later, the snow and cold weather had much more serious effects on other motorists. Not to worry, though, #Fatrick had the Canadian with him in spirit:


    As we made it into the hell that is Indiana, we noticed quite a few spin out accidents and it became evident that there was not only snow, but black ice throughout northwest Indiana. Shockingly, I guess hell really CAN freeze over. Once we hit the Rensselaer area, our comfortable 80 mph was quickly reduced to 15 mph, thanks to a gapers block due to the first of multiple serious accidents as a result of the slick roads. This accident was an overturned Target truck. If you look closely to the top right of the picture, you can see the Indiana State Trooper (neon green vest) that mocked me for snapping a picture as we rolled by at 4 mph. Hey, what else are we supposed to do, pay attention to the road?



    Luckily, we weren't set back too far by the traffic and shortly hit Indianapolis to pick up Frankie the Fish, aka @Hostile_Derek. After a quick pit stop, we were off to Lumbus. The #Fatrick family was not far behind, but were slowed down by some fast food establishments they could not possibly pass up. From Indy to Lumbus was an interesting two hours. We hit several pockets of heavy snow that ratcheted visibility down to hundreds of feet and then, within seconds, opened up to bright sunny skies. Midwestern weather; UGH!





    Once we got to Lumbus, more specifically the Sheridan Capitol Hotel, it was pretty evident that the entire Chicago fanbase has traveled to see the Blackhawks play this game, even though it was a line-up full of 3rd liners vs a team that really didn't have much to play for. Based on what we heard later, the Sheridan was not the only hotel to have check-in lines down the hallways and almost out the door. I guess Blackhawks fans are the only ones this eager to actually get INTO Lumbus.


    After a quick half hour break to decompress, we saddled up, grabbed an UBER, and headed over to the Nationwide arena. Pregaming wasn't exactly an easy task, because all the bars around the stadium were packed solid. Packed with red jerseys, that is. The embarrassing Chinese knockoffs were on full display, too.

    Nationwide reminded me a lot of the Bridgestone arena in Trashville, in that there was only one entrance, which left everyone to stand out in the unusually cold weather. The arena itself is a really nice building. When you walk in there is a big open area where you can look out over the ice, which is a really nice touch.



    The Canadian recapped the mess that was the actual game, but it was not without incident, in the stands. We were up with all the upper balcony heathens, and probably 100 feet from Pat Foley and Steve Konroyd. Our not so little Frankie the Fish got into several shouting matches with opposing fans, which then led to a little pride swallowing when the Hawks eventually choked and lost in OT. Some of the highlights were chirping the CBJ fans about their golf swings, and Derek getting told to, "shut up!" by a 9 year old Jackets fan. Well played, kid. I had to personally run down the aisle and fist bump the kid for that one. For those wondering if Frankie the Fish is just as annoying in person, check these videos out:

    Is @Hostile_Derek annoying?......Yes!

    Posted by Puckin Hostile on Saturday, April 9, 2016



    I want to give a shout out to the group of Blackhawks fans right in front of us that we celebrated with, for at least the first period. Good times! I also want to thank the Jackets fans for tolerating us. In any other city, punches would have been thrown. I made sure I went down and smoothed things over, after the game, with the groups that were chirping back at us, mainly because I didn't want to have to carry a drunk AND concussed Derek out of the arena. We followed up with some team pics and some pictures with the CBJ Pepsi Power Patrol cheerleaders. As you can see, one of us was sloppy drunk, like a high school girl after her first beer.





    Right after these pictures were taken, our third wheel (Andy) saw CBJs player Nick Foligno leaving a postgame fan meetup in the concourse and shouted, "Enjoy working on your golf game". We were promptly asked to leave by security. Whoops.

    As you can see below, #Fatrick and @UncleRozsival decided to have a nice romantic candlelight dinner at OH Pizza and Brew, before retiring to their cozy King sized bed for a night of snuggling and spooning, while us remaining clowns decided to head to Dick's Last Resort to meet up with some fans, drink a few beers and have a late dinner. Twitter follower @MichaelWeaselo met us for some hockey chatter before we all retired for the night. Good times.



    The trip back home was largely fueled and sponsored by Tim Hortons, because you can't pass up Timmies, I guess.


    Until next year, Lumbus!
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    Puckin Hostile
    2015-16 Season Report Card


    This year I thought I'd take a load off the crew, just a bit, so I split the end of year report card up between the three of us. We have all put in a lot of time, and we might as well take advantage of the benefit of having an actual team of writers.

    ...and I use the term "writers" very loosely.

    On to parent/teacher conference:

    The Pivots bought to you by Gatekeeper

    19 - Jonathan Toews
    Gatekeeper - It's no secret that Jonathan Toews has had a down year. Yes, I know he draws hard matchups. Yes, I know he is one of the two most concerning opponents for teams facing the Blackhawks. The fact of the matter is that point totals in the mid 50s isn't enough for future hall-of-famer, Captain Serious. He needed to be that stabilizing force, with Hossa, that allowed Quenneville to plug in just about any player at left wing and compete. At the very minimum. Instead, it has been a revolving door of left wings that even saw Marko Dano swapped for Andrew Ladd. The jury is still out on that move. This isn't the first time his linemates have been changed. While Kane is having a career season, Jonny is having one of his worst. In fact, the only worse seasons were the shortened lockout season (for obvious reasons), 2011-12 (only 59 games due to injury), and his rookie season. I get that he is the captain, and yadda yadda yadda, but he needs to be better going forward.
    GRADE - B minus

    15 - Artem Anisimov
    Gatekeeper - I think everyone was pretty critical of Anisimov, especially for what the Blackhawks gave up, but he has fit in nicely. He has his flaws, but as we saw with Jonathan Toews and his line mates, it's not always as easy as just plugging a guy, or in this case guys, in. His faceoff ability is, quite frankly, dog poop on a stick. He might still be better suited for a 3rd line role if Teuvo Teravainen can make that jump to legit full time threat, but for the foreseeable future the top two spots are locked. This is fine and well, because he's locked up for the next 5 seasons. Ride this pony while it's a raging inferno. The Hawks have Teuvo's rights for a few and Kruger is signed for 3 more, so they have a strong core up the middle, which is the complete opposite of past years.
    GRADE - B plus

    86 - Teuvo Teravainen
    Gatekeeper - The great Quenneville conundrum. World class talent in a miniature package, but where do you play him? He can play right wing, and has played quite a bit at wing, not only in the NHL. Everyone seems to be stuck on this notion that he needs to be a center to be successful, but when you put him with defensive wings on the third line, you're wasting his talent. Do you slide Anisimov down? Do you slide Hossa down? WHERE SHOULD TEUVO TERVAINEN PLAY? The answer, at the trade deadline, almost sounded like it could have been "some other team". Teravainen might be the epitome of "this is why we can't have nice things". I was of the opinion that they could slide Hossa down to the 3rd line and carry those slugs while Teravainen can play El Capitan's little buddy. Hell, with Ladd playing up there, the size is taken care of. I'm just an idiot basement dwelling blogger that lives with his parents

    wait, that's #Fatrick.

    Anywho, While he can have a flash of brilliance playing with the slugs, it's not doing much for his confidence. For example, look at the jump in his step when he played with Kane and Panarin. He didn't look that much out of place at all. The bottom line is that he deserves better. The positions that Quenneville puts him in aren't the best for maximizing his talent. If you don't like him, and want to give him the run-a-round, then just trade him for a defender. The kid has been an absolute trooper. Give him some stability.
    GRADE - B Minus

    16 - Marcus Kruger
    Gatekeeper - Another company man. Kruger took a pretty decent one year home town discount last summer, after the dreaded "Bowman promise" left him twisting in the wind. He was performing his usual duties like a good soldier when he had his wrist dislocated, putting him in IR for 4 months. I fully expected that we had seen the last of Marcus Kruger, and he would get his reward elsewhere. Stanbo surprised us, once again, by signing him to a 3 year extension followed by his unlikely return to the lineup. Surprisingly, Kruger stepped right in, like he never missed a step, and has bolstered the penalty kill since his return. He is going to eat a decent size chunk of their cap, but he has a place.
    GRADE - A

    70 - Dennis Rasmussen
    Gatekeeper - Moose has had an interesting year. He was unexpectedly called up and played well. I honestly didn't expect to see him at all this year, but here we are. He played 46 games and was able to chip in 8 points. Rasmussen is not ever going to be flashy, but he's a decent sized guy that is pretty flexible. This came in handy with Marcus Kruger missing 4 months. His only hope next year is playing the wing, because the Hawks are set up the middle.

    And then they send him to Rockford.
    GRADE - B

    Players like Tanner Kero, Philip Danault and Vince Hinostroza made appearances, but weren't worth full assessments


    The Wingers bought to you by Gatekeeper

    88 - Patrick Kane
    Gatekeeper - What an eight month period for this dudebro. If you don't know the story of what happened in August, this is not the place for it. I've never been a big fan of Patrick Kane the person, and I'm even less a fan, now. Nonetheless, he's having a career year. He's the most likely candidate for the Art Ross and within reach of the Rocket Richard trophy. He finished with 46 goals and over 100 points. If it weren't for Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks would be in serious trouble. Artemi Panarin probably isn't close to as successful without Kane on his line. All of this while being a pretty detestable human being to anyone with a shred of decency. The fan base is completely divided over their loyalty, or lack thereof, and it has made for a fairly bittersweet regular season thus far. Nothing I can say here hasn't already been said, so I gave him this grade simply because of the distraction he created for the rest of this team and, honestly, the entire league. Obviously, based on hockey alone, he'd be an A plus.
    GRADE - B

    81 - Marian Hossa
    Gatekeeper - One of the great debates, other than the obvious stinky elephant in the room, is whether Marian Hossa is declining or just having an off season. I would say, possibly both. It's been gone over again and again, but the Blackhawks are really going to need to suck up this decline and find a way to use him effectively. If they don't he could retire early with another team and the Blackhawks would get hit with a significant cap recapture penalty, which is something they absolutely cannot afford. So what should they do? It has been my opinion that they should drop him down the line-up to a less significant role, like the third line, and maybe move a younger wing up to Hossa's original spot. This take the pressure off and allows him to stay somewhat under the radar, while being a great mentor for some of the other young players. All this said, he has had a down year and the years will catch up. Preserve him as best you can, Blackhawks.
    GRADE - C

    72 - Artemi Panarin
    Gatekeeper - I am not ashamed to admit that I had my doubts about Artemi Panarin, as everyone should have. He was coming from a league that, whether you agree or not, is inferior to the NHL. That was reason, alone, for tempered expectations. He's smallish, and played with Ilya Kovalchuk in the KHL. All that has been cast away, though, and he should finish the season as runaway the Calder trophy winner. The mainstream media dropped off the Gostisphere bandwagon, but they are still trying to convince themselves that there is some rational reason to vote for someone else, ANYONE! This is complete bullshit, of course, but this is nothing new. Panarin was an enormous find. Credit to Stan Bowman for convincing him to join this organization, when he could have literally gone anywhere. He definitely softens the blow of losing both Saad and Sharp. Great for everybody.
    GRADE - A plus

    65 - Andrew Shaw
    Gatekeeper - This guy is like a cockroach. He will survive nuclear fallout. Shaw is that pest that never goes away. In addition, he is the player that Quenneville loves. That #GRIT, #MOARHITZ, and his versatility basically make him the other son that Quenneville never had. I'm sure I'll be wrong about this, but I cannot see a way that they can bring him back this summer, based on their salary cap crunch. Don't get me wrong, he's a very useful bottom 6 player and can adequately temporarily jump into any role when needed. The key word is "temporarily". He's a bottom 6 player and needs to stay there. Paying him any more than his current salary to be himself is too rich for the Blackhawks blood. Someone will need to step into this role next fall, and it should be interesting.
    GRADE - B

    16 - Andrew Ladd
    Gatekeeper - He only played 19 games with the Blackhawks, but had 12 points. Eight of those points were goals. I'd say that filled the huge left wing hole that Saad left. All that said, he's going to be a free agent on July 1st, and there is no way the Blackhawks will be able to afford keeping him. I've always loved Ladd's game, and it'll be sad to see him go, once again, but that is life. Stan brought the pieces in to help, and Ladd was one of them.
    GRADE - B plus

    25- Dale Weise
    Gatekeeper - Dale Weise has become Antoine Vermette. Despite bringing him in to bolster the bottom 6 along with his teammate and line mate in Montreal, Joel Quenneville seems to have no plan of using him in a position where he can succeed. When he has played, it has mostly been on the 4th line. When he has played on the 3rd line with Teravainen and Fleischmann, they have been good. That's not good enough for Coach #3CUPZ (should have been 4). If you're going to wonder why he's not producing more than one assist, look a the game logs. He has played more than ten minutes in only 5 of those 15 games. No surprise to anyone, but his hard headed coach, the most productive line he's played on was with Teravainen and Fleischmann. When he is saddled with Desjardins, Rasmussen or Mashinter (roughly 30% of the time) on his wing, he is not as successful. I would have given him a worse grade if he wasn't getting jerked around by Quenneville so much.
    GRADE - C

    12 - Tomas Fleischmann
    Gatekeeper - Going from Weise to Fleischmann is like night and day. Quenneville loves this guy and I have no disagreement about that. Flash has come in and filled that affordable bottom 6 role beautifully. He has chipped in 5 points, including 4 goals, in his 19 games with the Blackhawks. This makes you wonder what Bruce Boudreau DIDN'T see in Fleischmann last spring when he was only dressed for 6 of the Ducks 16 games. Makes you wonder, because Joel Quenneville might be the most stubborn coach in the league, and even HE likes Fleischmann.
    GRADE - B plus

    11 - Andrew Desjardins
    Gatekeeper - Desjardins is a bottom 6 guy that can play all 3 positions and not get you killed. Nothing more, nothing less. I can't complain about him, but I also cannot praise his play much either. He is just a guy that unspectacularly fills spots economically. This is a job the Blackhawks need filled and he does just that. He shockingly played in 77 games and dumped in 13 points. I can't believe he only missed 5 games all season either.
    GRADE - B

    14 - Richard Panik
    Gatekeeper - Panik came over in the deal that sent Jeremy Morin away once again, this time to Toronto. We were all just happy that Morin was gone and was going to get a chance to play, rather than rot in Rockford, again. Panik has turned into a really nice return, when Quenneville will play him. Six goals and eight points in 29 games is pretty good, despite the line mates he has been dragging around. He has gotten top line time, but sparingly. When most of your time was on lines with Ryan Garbutt, Andrew Desjardins, Dennis Rasmussen and Brandon Mashinter you're lucky to produce at all. The weird thing is that when someone like Hossa gets hurt, Quenneville with throw him with Toews. It baffles me, and anyone with eyes. I hope they keep Panik around. He can be affordable, and he is still young. When he's dressed you regularly see him in the action. I just want to see more.
    GRADE - B

    53 - Brandon Mashinter
    Gatekeeper - The Man SHITTER. This fucking guy. The next generation of useless Brandons with numbers in the offensive lineman ranges. He's big. That is his redeeming quality. Someone, somewhere told people in this organization that Mashinter could fight. They were wrong. He is not good offensively and he is barely serviceable in the defensive end. Most of the goals he did have were basically garbage goals. He did have 4, though, so that brings him from a "D" to a "C". He can sweep a puck into the open net when asked, which is more than we could say for Viktor Stalberg. It ironic part of Mashinter playing is that they have gotten far more out of him than anyone has gotten out of the guy they traded for him, former 1st round draft pick Kyle Beach.
    GRADE - C

    29 - Bryan Bickell
    Gatekeeper - I really should have left him off the hook because he has only played 24 games, but fuck him. I went out on a limb and defended him for far longer than I should have, citing his past playoff performances. Then he absolutely laid an egg in last year's post season. His agent claimed that he had hard to diagnose ocular issue that gave him vertigo like symptoms and he was good to go this year. TWENTY FIVE GAMES, AND TWO ASSISTS. That was all he was able to pitch in. The Hawks tried to trade him, and eventually dumped him in Rockford, much to the chagrin of his wife. This was one person's fault. Bryan Bickell. It's not like he is not physically able to play any more. His problem is between his ears. He goes to Rockford, where it's easy for him to use his size to dominate, and he puts up 31 points in 44 games. He's a bum slaying head case and he needs to go. The Blackhawks have no room for $4 million dead dollars on their cap next year. Whatever it takes, One Trick Bick must go away.
    GRADE - F

    Ryan Hartman, Mark McNeill, Kyle Baun, and Marko Dano are incomplete because they were here for all of 30 seconds. Ryan Garbutt was traded away. Jiri Sekera and Viktor Tikhonov were snatched up off waivers

    The Blue Liners brought to you by Pat

    2 - Duncan Keith
    Pat - Keith had an up and down year by his standards. He missed time at the beginning of the year after having knee surgery, but bounced back nicely. Throughout the year, Keith had his mishaps of being caught out of position, which almost every time would end up costing the Hawks. His production was on par with at of his past years. In the end he tallied 9 goals and 34 assists in 67 games. He was also a +13 on the year. Its hard to rip a guy who has production like that while coming off in season surgery. Perhaps his biggest mistake though was being suspended for the final 5 games of the regular season, and the first playoff game for swinging his stick at Charlie Coyle's face.
    GRADE -A minus

    7 - Brent Seabrook
    Pat - While Eddie Olczyk said Seabrook had a "Norris Trophy kind of year," the majority of us would tend to disagree with that statement. While Seabrook set career numbers in goals (14) and points (49), he had stretches of the year where he was absolutely atrocious. There were numerous times where he was caught out of position, missed assignments, and most importantly, turned the puck over at the most inopportune times, which would cost the Hawks. Seabrook is as reliable as they come. We haven't seen these kinds of mistakes out of him in some time, so it was bound to happen. Overall, I thought Seabrook wasn't as bad as people made him out to be.
    GRADE -B plus

    4 - Niklas Hjalmarsson
    Pat - Throughout the season, Hjalmarsson was the most consistant of the Hawks defensemen. He managed to put up 2 goals and 22 assists, while being a +13 on the year. Continuing his theme of being a shock blocking machine, he blocked 151 shots. Year in, year out Hjalmarsson is always willing to sacrifice himself by blocking a shot, or taking a hit to make a play. My one knock on him is his famous blind backhand passes while in the defensive zone. This year however, those seemed to be fewer than in years past. This season was just another solid one in Hammer's career, and he continues to show that he might just be the best bargain in the NHL when it comes to defenseman.
    GRADE -A minus

    32 - Michal Rozsival
    Pat - Oh Rozsival. The guy who gets the most shit from everyone. Overall, you can't deny it, Rozsival had a very solid and respectable year. Surely, there were mistakes. Those are going to happen. I mean he wasn't the one who swung his stick carelessly into the face of an opponent, was it? No. Rozsival played 51 games and matched his previous totals with 1 goal and 12 assists. He was also a +3, which was an improvement from last season. All this while coming back from a horrific looking ankle injury during the playoffs last season. So while you continue to use him as your scapegoat, I'm going to disagree, and say he wasn't that bad this year. Plus, we were treated to this ICONIC photo after he scored his loan goal of the season.

    GRADE - B

    57 - Trevor Van Riemsdyk
    Pat - Similar to Rozsival, TVR found himself returning this season after suffering a couple of significant injuries last season. While he did return during the playoffs last year, the true test for TVR was how he would be able to hold up this season. He answered that question by appearing in all 82 games, and tallying 14 points. Nothing flashy offensively, but I'll take that production from a depth defenseman. With that production and reliability came some bad when it came to skating and turnovers. I'm not going to get into corsi or all those other flawed fancy stats, that's Derek's area of "expertise." I don't know what people want out of a guy like TVR. He's nothing special, he's just a guy, who I would gladly take on my team as a depth guy. He's a work in progress, but next year he'll be relied upon more as some more roster turnover occurs.
    GRADE -B minus

    52 - Erik Gustafsson
    Pat - There was a lot of hype when the Gus Bus left the shop for Chicago. I believe Gate was the one driving that bus. Like TVR, Gus struggled at times when it came to turnovers and missed assignments, but Q seemed to discipline him more than TVR. While he failed to find the back of the net, Gus did record 14 assists, and was a +11 on the year. Those numbers are hard to ignore when it comes to placing him behind TVR on the depth chart, but he hasn't earned Q's trust yet. I look for that to change.
    GRADE -B minus

    43 - Viktor Svedberg
    Pat - As the Hawks tried to put the pieces together of the puzzle on defense, Svedberg was one of the guys who rode the Rockford Shuttle to Chicago. Svedberg appeared in 27 games, and found the back of the net twice. When it comes to the term "under construction," Svedberg fits that category. He needs to work on being more aggressive, and using his reach, there is some optimism when it comes to his development. After being recalled from Rockford, he looked like he had gained some confidence, which is key for his future.
    GRADE -C plus

    55 - Christian Ehrhoff
    Pat - Ehrhoff came to the Hawks in a trade deadline deal for Blob Suckderi. How Bowman managed to get someone to take Suckderi is beyond me, let alone get a guy like Ehrhoff in return. At first Ehrhoff seemed like he could be a reliable defenseman down the stretch, until he had one bad game, and was placed in Q's doghouse....... FOREVER. I still think the Hawks may need his experience in the playoffs, but based on Q's history, its unlikely. I'll grade him based on how Q would want him graded. The only thing stopping me from giving him an F is the fact he already has two of them in his last name.
    GRADE - D minus

    5 - David Rundblad
    Pat - I'm going to have to ask why Gate even wanted me to grade this colossal disaster of a defenseman. Rundblad "played" 9 games for the Hawks before he was sent to Rockford in January. Before ever playing a game with the IceHogs, the Hawks announced they were loaning him to ZSC Lions of the Swiss league so he could party it up in a hot tub in the Swiss Alps with another Hawks castoff, Cristobal Huet. (Remember him) What else can you say about this turnover machine that somehow registered 2 assists? I guess I could say he's back with Rockford now. Terrific.
    GRADE -F

    Trevor Daley and Rob Scuderi came and went.

    The Goalers bought to you by Atomic Froster

    50 - Corey Crawford
    Bryan - Crawford is just an average goalie, Crawford is only good because he’s on a great team, Crawford has a weak glove. These are a few of the many comments heard around the league when you bring up our two time Stanley Cup champ. Unfortunately the best second line in hockey overshadowed his stellar play this season otherwise he would be our main story line. It’s disappointing that he had this mysterious injury late in the year otherwise he would be a strong contender for the Vezina. With a record of 35-18-5 he puts up a career best in the wins column and looking back at the 23 loses you would be hard pressed to find more than a couple you could call a goalie loss.
    GRADE - A minus

    33 - Scott Darling
    Bryan - While our Canadian contingent was one of the shining points of the season his American counterpart was lacklustre. In the first three quarters of the year Darling only got the start when the Hawks played a back to back and often was given the tougher assignment. Coming off the bench once every couple weeks made it really difficult to get any rhythm going, but such is the role of a back up tendy. When he was put is a starters role due to a injury his play remained the same, with a record of 12 – 8 – 4 he only wins half his starts. As we saw by his engagement this all-star break he is prone to over committing and often finds himself well out of position. Hopefully he is only needed to open and close the bench door this post season but if called upon brings the talent shown in the Nashville series of 2015.
    GRADE - C plus
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