by Patrick Stankus
Send a McRib to #Fatrick
After taking six of a possible six points during their three game road trip in Eastern Canada, the Blackhawks returned to the UC on Sunday for a meeting with the sorry ass Colorado Avalanche. Sunday's game also marked the last of set of back to back games for the Hawks, something that will be more than welcomed for a now banged up team. With this being their third game in four nights, and facing a last place team, it's all setting up for the Hawks to lay a big, fat egg on home ice. Luckily, if it happens, the rest of the country is preoccupied with March Madness and the World Baseball Classic, so no one will really notice.
To the surprise of many, the Hawks actually came out with a decent start despite the week long road trip and this being a back to back. The Hawks used that energy wisely, and less than five minutes in, Patrick Kane, gave them a 1-0 lead. Sadly, that was the high point of the period for the Hawks. Following Kane's goal, the Hawks were guilty of taking their foot off the gas. During the opening twenty minutes, the Hawks had a power play chance, but nothing came of it, and the momentum shifted in Colorado's favor. Mikhail Grigorenko added two goals before the period ended to give the Avs a 2-1 lead. Frankly the Hawks were lucky they weren't down more than that after the first period.
Whatever was said to the Hawks during the second intermission to try and get them motivated, clearly did not work. I don't use the schedule as an excuse, because that's taking the lazy way out. The Hawks to me looked like a team that thought they were scrimmaging a beer league team. Their passing was pathetic, and they weren't moving their legs. The Avs finally took advantage of the Hawks lackluster performance, and increased their lead to 3-1. Late in the period, Scott Darling made a couple of nice saves to give the Hawks some energy heading into the second intermission down by two.
With some momentum building for them at the end of the second period, the Hawks took to the ice, looking to erase a two goal deficit. It took the offense some time to get going, but Scott Darling was there to make the saves when needed in the first half of the third period. Once we got to the midway point of the third, all hell broke loose. The Hawks exploded for three goals in thirty-four seconds to go from down two to up by one. Jonathan Toews added another to make four goals in four minutes to give the Hawks a 5-3 lead. With time winding down, Marcus Kruger added an empty netter from 130 feet away to give the Hawks five unanswered goals in the third period, for the 6-3 win over Colorado.
- Patrick Kane opened the scoring for the Hawks just over four minutes into the game. That makeshift line of Panarin-Schmaltz-Kane is clicking on all cylinders. (See more below)
- #RandomPatFoleyStats made a return in the first period. This time Foley pointed out TVR has been a +10 over his last seventeen games. Funny, I don't recall hearing stats like that said about Kempny before his ass was stapled to the press box before tonight.
- Jonathan Toews had a night only a "lard ass, who has quit on the team" can have. Tonight he had two goals, one of which was the game changer.
- Speaking of the Panarin-Schmaltz-Kane line, all three of them had had two point nights. The only knock on them is Schmaltz was 33% at the dot.
- John Hayden had a two point night tonight, tallying two assists. Can't wait to see someone sporting a Hayden jersey in the near future.
- For awhile it looked like Duncan Keith was the only Hawks player that wanted to shoot the puck or play for that matter. No matter how much hockey he plays the guy never looks tired. He's simply a machine.
- For a change, the Hawks were stomped at the dot. It was only 51%-49% tonight.
- #DickFuckingPanik reached the nineteen goal mark tonight with a third period goal. By all means continue to laugh at us for saying he would reach the twenty goal mark.
- Scott Darling got the start in net. Not because Corey Crawford has a concussion that only one person claims to know about, but for the reason it was a back to back. Darling was shaky in the first period, but in the second period he regained the form we've come to expect from him. His sequence of saves towards the end of the second period started to shift the momentum in the Hawks favor. In the end he made twenty-two saves on the night.
- I have nothing against John Hayden, but the slobbering love fest from Pat Foley and Edzo has to stop. The gushing over his hits is what causes so many people to say hits are overrated and meaningless. Just let the kid play hockey.
- Scott Darling had a bonehead play on Colorado's first goal. Instead of covering the loose puck, Darling swatted it towards the top of the crease, where Kempny couldn't control the bouncing puck, and Mikhail Grigorenko tied the game at one.
- Colorado challenged Toews' first goal for offside. From the replay it clearly looked like Toews was indeed offside. However the officials ruled it was inconclusive when Richard Panik touched the puck, thus rendering the play onside. This is exactly what happened on the Parise/Coyle play against the Hawks in Minnesota. That night, since the call "went against" the Hawks, no one wanted to listen to the explanation. Hopefully after tonight, people will understand the rule a little clearer. Nevertheless, replay, and the challenge need to go away, and go away permanently because it sucks. Period.
- Just how bad of a season has it been for the Avalanche? Tonight they started Jeremy Smith in net. This is eerily similar to the turn style the Hawks had in net in the mid 2000s. Basically its just plucking random guys from Gate's Sunday night league to play net, while skipping over Gate.
- The first period only got worse for Darling and the defensive pairing of Seabrook and Kempny. Late in the first, Grigorenko split the defense and a lazy shot beat Scott Darling to put the Avs up 2-1. Not Darling's finest twenty minutes of play.
- The second period was summed up nicely by Tracey Myers. It really really did feel like we were watching two teams on the penalty kill for the majority of the period.
- Andrew Desjardins was a -2 and had 5:35 of ice time. Not to be outdone, Jordin Tootoo was also a -2 and had a team low 4:48 of ice time. Remind me again why Rasmussen isn't playing?
- The Colorado Avalanche are fucking terrible. There's no other way to put it.