• Welcome to the all new, redesigned Puckin Hostile

    The goons here at Puckin Hostile have completely redesigned the website, to better enhance your experience no matter what devices you surf with.

  • The Puckin Hostile Blackhawks Shoutcast

    Join the Hostile crew for this bi-weekly look at the NHL and Blackhawks hockey. Of course, it just wouldn't feel right without plenty of inappropriate jokes and references. Available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

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    Head over and follow the Puckin Hostile Instagram page. We post up all the latest photoshop creations for you to enjoy. Click here to be taken over to our page.

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    Follow Gatekeeper (@PuckinHostile), Stankus (@Patrick_Stankus), Bryan (@AtomicFroster), Norton (@PDNorton3), and the Shoutcast account (HawksShoutcast) on Twitter.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Hearty Hostile Goodbye


Over the last few years, Puckin Hostile has grown to levels I didn't think were possible, especially from an angry little independent “blog”. We took some chances, and made some mistakes, but we came out the other end smarter and more hungry. Truth be told, I've had several offers to work for other websites. None of them felt comfortable enough for me to step away from what has become a large part of my personality. It just never "felt right". As a person who almost exclusively trusts my instincts, I held my ground.

Down to business, though. I know this sounds like a funeral, but what does all this mean?

Puckin Hostile will remain as an archive of the 7 plus years of hard work, but I'll be writing and recording exclusively for the team at The-Rink.com. You might still see a guest recap coming every now and then. I cannot say it enough, but thank you.

Please follow us over at The-Rink.com and all the social media:
The-Rink Facebook
The-Rink Twitter
The-Rink Instagram
The Rinkcast Twitter

On to the next chapter...

First of all, I want to thank Pat Stankus. While I was able to pull this Hostile tire fire off alone for a few years, it never really got rolling until Pat came aboard and we started the Shoutcast together. I may have been the initial creator, but Pat was an enormous part of what it became. Behind the scenes, he was a huge contributor and sacrificed so much of his free time to provide us all the edgy and humorous content that I started this website to provide. From day one, with absolutely no directive needed, we have been on the same page and I cannot say that about almost anyone. To say I'm a peculiar, paranoid and quirky person is to put it lightly. Go back and listen to the last 10 mins of Shoutcast 93 to hear my thoughts on Fatrick.

I'd like to also, give a huge thanks to Bryan (AtomicFroster), Patrick Norton and, yes, even the infamous Derek Harms. All three gave up free time in their personal lives to take part in the writing, recording, and graphical content. It's not easy, or even fair, in any capacity. Frosty, and Norton picked up the slack when Pat or I got bogged down, and seamlessly provided that trademark Hostile content, sometimes at a moment's notice. While Harms wasn't a writer, per se, he provided so much Shoutcast content (intended or not), as well as his photoshopping prowess. This helped free me up to focus on other things that I needed to focus on. We gave Harms a lot of crap, but he was a big part of the history of Shoutcast lore. Like Harvey Dent and Batman once said, "you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain".

Over the last couple of years, several people have stepped in to volunteer their time on both the Shoutcast and website. Writing accurate game recaps are not easy, especially when you haven’t trained yourself to do so. Stacy Sarasin, Ryan Leidig, Ray Ray, Kevin M, Ken K, Sharon, and anyone I might have missed, THANK YOU!

Over the years we've gained many new friends (and probably even more enemies). I can't thank them enough for their influence and content they selflessly gave us. From Forklift and CT at HockeeNight, who inspired me to start the Shoutcast (eventually becoming guests). To Jay Zawaski, from the Score 670, and James Neveau, from NBC Chicago, and their Madhouse Chicago podcast (who also have been guests). Keith Schultz and his merry crew of writers at Blackhawk Up. Greg Boysen, formerly of Second City Hockey, and more recently LetsGoHawks.net. More recently, we were able to reach out and become friends with William (Animal Mother) Bartrum from The Biscuit podcast, as well as John and Jacob from the Talkin Hawks podcast.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I want to thank YOU, the fans. The super fans like the Honorable Gonernor Wm_J_Lepetomane, Rockford correspondent Beth Sweeney, and CHISox_History. Our amazing international fans like Berns_Churches from South Africa, JMacBoii from Australia, and Heloiza from Brasil. You're all so wonderful and generous. We didn't deserve fans so good and dedicated.

I’m working on a possible Chicago area informal meet up just to thank everyone for their support over the years. There may even be one last Shoutcast nugget in the works as well, for old times sakes. Until then, Let me leave you with one of my favorite songs...

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Blackhawks at Colorado
6-3 Loss Recap

The Sin and the Sentence
A Hostile Fan's Farewell


by Ray Ray


Tonight was the second of back to back Central Division tilts for the Blackhawks, losing last night to the #PERDS 2-1. Colorado also played yesterday afternoon (if you want to call it playing) getting trounced by the not so expansion looking Vegas Golden Knights 7-0 . Both teams have struggled after their white hot starts to the season. Something's gotta give!
Remember a few weeks ago when I said fast starts are going to be a good thing for this team? Well, not when they have a power play to start off. A 14% power play percentage and dropping is fucking atrocious. Nobody has the mindset to just go ahead and do something productive. Another oh-fer night. Constantly shooting into the goalies pads doesn't count as being successful. *cough cough Toews cough cough*. Get the pucks into the air geniuses!

Minutes after the first unsuccessful power play of the night, heavy forechecking by the Avs leads to an easy one time opportunity for Mikko Rantanen. Forsling and Rutta were out there on an adventure together that none of us would like to see ever again. They both just got bullied out there like schoolkids. 1-0 Avs.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Another unsuccessful power play, back to back penalties and the Avs score their second goal of the night. After John Hayden nearly scores his second short handed goal in three games hitting the post, Nathan MacKinnon snipes one over the blocker of Forsberg. 2-0 just like that. The goalposts can be a fickle bitch.

Stop me if you have heard this before. Ryan Hartman takes a bad penalty in the offensive zone while they have pressure on. This time a double minor for high sticking. Towards the end of the period. Awesome. For that, he was rewarded by joining Q's Ass in Seat program for the majority of the second period. Does Colorado sit back with thirty seconds left in the first? Hell no. They score just seconds before the period ends. Rantanen gets his second one of the period banking it in off of Forsberg, who lost his net scrambling around. 3-0. Ugliness meter rising to FUGLY.

Second period doesn't start off too much better. 3 minutes in, MacKinnon scores his second of the game on a nice 2 on 1 opportunity set up by Gabriel Landeskog. 4-0 bring in the coroner. 4 minutes later, broken coverage after a faceoff led to a wide open Sven Andrighetto, who one times it past Forsberg, officially ending his night. Not a good evening for the Hawks backup. Crawford comes in. 5-0.


Finally we feel a heartbeat as a Kempny blast gets redirected by Nick Schmaltz and past Jonathan Bernier to make it 5-1. A few minutes later, Artem Anisimov buries a slick shot far side on a 2 on 1 break making it 5-2, suckering us into a sense of false hope. Trust me, there's none.

A solid start to the third period for the Hawks was negated as Rocco Grimaldi scores on a redirect halfway through making it a 6-2 game. Hartman gets a little redemption scoring off of a rebound, but again way too little, way too late. Q decides to pull the goalie with 3 fucking minutes left, because why the fuck not? It always works right?


6-3 is your final score.

There was no good, way too much bad, and even more fugly. Thats all you need to know about this game. I don't envy you for missing out on this game if you did. Time for a reset button on this roster. Internally, externally, somewhere, I don't care. Losing like this needs to stop and fast. Otherwise, Sikura watch 2018 is in full effect (I had to piss you off somewhere Gate).

Time to get a little teary eyed here folks. If you haven't heard yet, this is (likely?) the last game recap on the Puckin Hostile site. To Gate, Fatrick, Patrick, Atomic Froster (and in some sick, twisted, demented way) Derek, thank you guys. It has been amazing corresponding with you during games and on Twitter and Facebook, along with a couple of meetups over the last few years. I'm also thankful to you for allowing me to do a couple of these recaps as well. All I wanted was a foot in the door and you guys gave it to me. It means a lot. Listening to your podcasts over the years was never, ever boring. I will always remember you guys having no idea who the fuck Kyle Cumisky was in the team photo from 2015 when they got their rings. That was by far my favorite and your funniest moment. All of the public inside jokes were great too from McRibs to Yaroslavl aviation faux pas, to flip flops and paper plates. Always laughed (maybe way too hard at some jokes) in every episode. Your insight on the game has made me a smarter fan, and (hopefully) less of a meathead than when I first started reading and listening to you. Hopefully, one day I can continue on doing something like this, whenever I can find the time. It looks like you guys have an awesome setup at the-Rink.com and I can't wait to see what all else you have in store and I wish you all the best.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blackhawks vs Predators
2-1 Loss Recap

"The Bad Thing"

by Gatekeeper


The Nashville Predators were in Chicago, Friday night, to face the slumping Blackhawks. Joel Quenneville tried to shake things up a little by doing a little line juggling. Alex Debrincat, Richard Panik, Ryan Hartman, and John Hayden all moved lines, while the defense was thrown in the wood chipper as well. This, of course, led to some adjusting for what turned out to be the entire game.

Both teams traded power plays that each failed to capitalize in the opening half of the first period. All that said, the Blackhawks dominated 3/4 of the period. The Preds came back late in the period but were subjected to a second shorthanded breakaway very late, with #DickInTheBox™️. This time Nick Schmaltz stripped the puck from PK Subban and went in all alone on Pekka Rinne. Rinne made the stop but Artem Anisimov barely jabbed the rebound into the net. The official scorer must have been counting all shots on one side of the scoresheet, because they claimed that the Blackhawks out shot the Predators 21-7. As good of a period as the Hawks were playing there is no possible way that number was correct.

With all the hard work the Blackhawks put in during the first period, they handed over the lead just 57 seconds into the middle period. This goal was egregiously bad, too, which will give the casual fan the illusion that the defense is the issue. More on that later, though.

Duncan Keith just handed the puck over on a platter in the slot, which is sure to infuriate your goaltender. Later, The Preds took the lead, midway through the second period, with a powerplay goal. With Jan Rutta in the box, Craig Smith used Connor Murphy and Colton Sissons as screens to beat Corey Crawford, which was how the second period ended. Nashville led the period in shots 13-8.

The third period was a battle of attrition between these two rival teams. The Blackhawks put forth a valiant effort to tie the game and, at least, send it to overtime but Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne continued his mastery of this team. As the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks went down with a whimper, making them 1-3-1 in their last 5, and .500 on the season. No time for the Blackhawks to feel sorry for themselves as they headed to Colorado for another game tonight.

As most of you probably read earlier this week, this is my last game recap at Puckin Hostile. Starting next week, I'll be writing exclusively for www.the-rink.com. Thank you all for reading here, over the years, and I hope you follow me over to the new site. You'll get the same type of trademark Hostile content, just slightly cleaner. The old site will remain to come back and read, but there will only be a handful more article posted here in the future.

The Good
  • There hasn’t been much to be positive about, lately, but the PK has actually been really good. Brandon Saad had an early shorthanded break-a-way, while forward lines like John Hayden and Lance Bouma had great shifts, as well. The Anisimov shorthanded goal was, of course, a highlight and all of this action was just the first period. Even though they gave up one powerplay goal in this game, the Hawks creeped into the top 10 for penalty kill percentage. Interesting statistic is that these were 2 of the top 3 teams as far as being shorthanded.
  • If you're blaming a one goal loss on the goalie or defense, you're doing yourself a great disservice, as well as just being flat out wrong. One of the goals was on the powerplay (through 2 screens), which also needs to be taken into account. The lack of scoring, the middle 6 forwards and the awful powerplay are the problem. a defense that essentially gave up one goal and held their opponent to under 25 even strength shots is not the problem.

The Bad
  • The parade to the penalty box is all fine and well when you’re getting shorthanded breakaways, but eventually all that powerplay time will yield a goal. That is exactly what happened in the second period. The Blackhawks are officially tied for 3rd in the league in being shorthanded at 46 times.
  • I'm not sure I'm understanding this Alex Debrincat fascination, or the justification to put him on the top line. Let me clarify; I understand the desire for something new to be excited about, but this experiment is going tepid, at best.
    Richard Panik led the entire team in corsi and was 2nd in Fenwick coming into this game. Alex Debrincat was near the bottom in both Corsi (16th of 21) and Fenwick (19th of 21). He also hasn't scored anything of substance in SEVEN games, other than a late assist in a game that was already far out of reach against St. Louis. Can we stop the excuses and the carrying on of this stupid PR charade and do what needs to be done? Call me a hater all you want, but there is nothing to support this stunt other than, "well, we wanna do it".

The Ugly
  • The Preds goal 57 seconds into the second period was just horrible. He tried to touch pass to Nick Schmaltz, who didn’t have his stick on the ice. The pass went right to Calle Jarnkrok, who beat Crawford with a one timer.
  • Pat Foley had a rough night. Honestly with Steve Konroyd by your side, who wouldn't have a bad night? He sat and told the entire audience that a goalie interference penalty was a challengeable play, and was having problems with Preds player names the entire night.
  • I sound like a broken record but the powerplay was 0-6. If the Blackhawks could have scored just once, if would have been enough to continue this game. It's astounding that Quenneville and his staff cannot make some simple adjustments to make this talented group useful. Personnel is not the issue, it's 100% the approach and methodology.
  • Gustav Forsling is back to being "Swedish Mr. Hyde". Pairing him with Brent Seabrook benefits no one.


The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Richard Panik - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - John Hayden
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - Ryan Hartman

Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta
Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Brent Seabrook


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 94


In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 94 (the Sergei Berezin episode) Gatekeeper and Double J, John Jaeckel, breakdown the last week in Blackhawks hockey.

The topics discussed include:
-The Blackhawks go 1-2-1 in the week, with games vs St. Louis, Edmonton, Arizona, and the Vegas Golden Knights
-Edzo is back in the booth on a part time basis
-Why you shouldn't "Panik", but should be concerned
-The powerplay still sucks
-potential moves with the lines and lineup
-The Blackhawks look no better thas week than last
-Listener/Reader questions
-The big announcement is here, DON'T MISS IT!

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

You can find the Shoutcast on Google Play Music here:
https://play.google.com/music/m/It4fd6pv6tv2w5atfvuyuw4uyza?t=Puckin_Hostile_Blackhawks_Shoutcast

You can listen to the episode on Stitcher here:
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/puckinhostile/puckin-hostile-blackhawks-shoutcast

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

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Blackhawks at Las Vegas
4-2 Loss Recap

"Flatline"

by Gatekeeper


Blackhawks fans witnessed a chapter of history in the team's tenth game of the season, last night. This was the first time the Blackhawks would EVER play in Vegas, and EVER face the Golden Knights. If you told me, before the season, that the Golden Knights would have a better record than the Blackhawks coming into this contest, I would have laughed you out of Chicago. Yet, the golden Knights came in with a 6-1 record, without their top two goalies, no less. Former Columbus Blue Jackets first round draft pick and highly rated goalie prospect, Oscar Dansk, was playing in Chicago with the Wolves just a few days earlier. Now he was making his first NHL start against the Chicago Blackhawks in Las Vegas. Vegas also had several surprises on their roster. Pest James Neal was leading the team with 8 points , but this team was full of depth players that were playing above their heads. Most of us fully expected the Blackhawks to feast on the Coyotes and their second string goalie, the previous game, but that was not the case. Once again, they let everyone down.

I eluded to the fact that the Blackhawks might come into this game with a little bit of the "Vegas Flu", and it didn't seem that way for the first three minutes, at least. After Duncan Keith took a penalty on James Neal to keep him from getting a break-a-way, #BigJohnStudd Hayden stole the puck in the Knight's zone, deked a defender and beat Oscar Dansk for a shorthanded goal. That is where the Blackhawks good fortunes ended. Twenty six seconds after the Hayden goal, a long slap shot was redirected past Corey Crawford to tie the game. The misfortunes continued less than two minutes later, when a Derek Engelland shot from the half boards hit Corey Crawford and rolled up, over his shoulder, dropping in the crease. Crawford tried to reach back with his blocker to keep the puck from rolling over the goal line, but Tomas Nosek poked it into the net. The remainder of the period was sloppy and action was at both ends, but the Knights went into the intermission up 2-1, while out shooting the visiting team 14-10.

The play in the second period wasn't wasn't quite to the level of the first until the final 6 minutes, that is. A big clean hit by Brayden McNabb on Nick Schmaltz led to Ryan Hartman blowing a gasket and taking a double minor for slashing/roughing. Seconds after fully killing off the double minor, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare found himself in the slot wide open with the puck on his stick, which was plenty of room to beat a surprised Corey Crawford. This goal gave the Knights a 3-1 lead heading into the intermission. The shots were tied at 8 for the middle frame, but the important stat was the third Golden Knights goal. Once again, the Blackhawks were playing down to a team that should be inferior. Then again, maybe it is the Blackhawks who are inferior.

In the third period, the Blackhawks simply could not overcome their early deficit and finally succumbed to the brand new Golden Knights, 4-2. Down already 3-1, the Blackhawks had sufficient pressure to make an effort to cut the lead but Jonathan Marchessault took all of the wind out of their sails at the midway point of the final period, on the powerplay. Brent Seabrook was in the box for hooking and Marchessault was given all the time in the world to pick apart Corey Crawford. From then on, it was desperation mode for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane cut the lead to two goals with a minute left, but the game was essentially over. For those doubting the Blackhawks would be suffering from the Vegas flu and thought they would come out sharp, think again.

The Good
  • #BigJohnStudd Hayden was an early bright spot, with his shorthanded goal. Just too bad the team around him was sweating out the booze from the previous two days in sin city. Hayden's play on the PK was textbook, simple and ultra effective. He hugged the boards to stop an attempt to clear the zone, picked up the loose puck and drove straight to the net, while dangling a defender. This is not 4th line talent. I will be shocked if he finishes the year that low in the lineup. His offensive zone starts are the complete opposite of what they had him doing last season. If he can do what he is doing with 30% offensive zone starts, imagine what he could do at 50%, like Hartman
  • Jonathan Toews very quietly had a nice night, which you'd expect from the well behaved, respected Captain. Toews was a plus 2, and was over 50% at the faceoff dot. It is just too bad that the rest of the team was dragging sandbags behind them all night.
  • Jordan Oesterle has been perfectly fine in the Hawks lineup. It will be hard to keep him in the lineup every day with Michal Kempny and Cody Franson available, but he is a useful and competent depth defender.

The Bad
  • Nick Schmaltz, who was just coming off a reported concussion, got his bell rung again in the second period. He better learn how to avoid defenders better, or his career is going to end with him having to spend a majority of his time in a dark, quiet room. Speaking of Schmaltz, he did not have his best game. He had a chance to score on a back door play that he missed and then was in la-la land on the Knights 3rd goal.
  • The Blackhawks are now 5-3-2 and, honestly, this is the team I expected to see. A team that struggles in many areas, but can win enough on talent alone to stay afloat. This is going to be a challenging year.
  • The Blackhawks penalty kill continues to show a vast improvement from last year, but took a big hit in this game. Vegas, whose powerplay is middle of the road, scored two goals in this game. This overshadowed Hayden's shorthanded goal.
  • It's all good and well that Ryan Hartman is drawing penalties, but he is starting to turn into the overly dramatic Brad Marchand/Andrew Shaw type. Give me the last years Hartman. He seems more concerned with the game drama, which is not helping his line. If he wants to play that game, and Quenneville wants that kind of babysitter out on the ice with Kane, swap him with Hayden.

The Ugly
  • The game wasn't five minutes old and Steve Konroyd blurted out this very statement:
    "Duncan Keith doesn't usually get his shot blocked from the point"
    Excuse me, Steve, but this might be one of Duncan Keith's biggest downfalls and has been for years. That comment is the exact opposite of the truth, and is a prime example of an analyst giving viewers blatantly incorrect information. You know what that also creates? Misinformed meatballs.
  • This is just another case of the Blackhawks making a backup, this time 3rd string, goalie look like an all-star.
  • The Blackhawks powerplay is continuing to be just barely competent. They pitched another 0-fer night, going 0-3. Bad powerplays don't win championships. You have to be, at least, middle of the road and they sit at 20th overall. Honestly, 20th seems high based on the clown shoes approach they have had.


The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blackhawks at Arizona
4-2 Win Recap

"The Price Is Wrong"

by Gatekeeper


Saturday night the Blackhawks traveled to sunny desolate Arizona for a tilt with the Coyotes. After losing at home Thursday night to the Oilers, the Hawks had a slightly less threatening opponent this time around. In fact, the Yotes were winless for the 16-17 season. Almost makes you feel bad for Niklas Hjalmarsson. There was a very good chance that the Blackhawks could get back on track against one of the NHL's worst teams.

To open the game, the Blackhawks didn't look like the better team, at all. Arizona came in and out shot the Hawks early, and had a few good chances to take a lead, as well. They finally did take that 1-0 lead as Connor Murphy got caught on a bad pinch that no one covered for him. That left Jordan Oesterle back to cover a 2-on-1 that he actually played pretty well. Unfortunately for Corey Crawford the attempted pass across hit Oesterle's stick and split Corey's wickets. Not the prettiest goal. All was right again, when Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik hooked up take advantage of the Blackhawks first powerplay of the night and tie the game up, just a minute later. The following five minutes were the Blackhawks penalty kill circus, as they wore out a path to the penalty box, taking FOUR in five minutes. Luckily, the Yotes are terrible and they weren't able to generate much of anything on the advantage. Oddly enough the Yotes only had 11 shots on net, even though they had so much extended powerplay time, while the Blackhawks had 10.

The second period didn't open up with nearly as much action and was generally a boring until the Blackhawks woke up halfway through. Captain Jonathan Toews sprung Patrick Kane for a breakaway that he had all kinds of trouble gathering, but ws still able to eventually pull away with. Kane sized up the Yotes backup goalie and picked him apart, for a 2-1 Blackhawks lead. Just a few minutes later Kane led a 2-on-1 that was stopped, but got the "home away from home" crowd off their hands once again. Speaking of getting out of their seats, Tommy Wingels was awarded a penalty shot, and initially scored. Unfortunately the refs were forced to make a judgement call and they did what they regularly do, which is got it wrong. Almost as if it was written, the Blackhawks then gave up a poorly defended goal shortly thereafter. They should have been up 3-1 but were now tied 2-2.

As this game when on, it got more boring. Just when it looked like both teams were playing for overtime, the Blackhawks 4th line came up big. They didn't pull off any highlight reel plays, but Lance Bouma swept a rebound past Domingue by being in the right place at the right time. This was all the Blackhawks need to squeak out a win on the road, but Tommy Wingels took back what was taken from him earlier by the officials. This was a far from perfect game, but a regulation win nonetheless.

The Good
  • The penalty kill had a good night, even though the bar was low, based on the opponent. The Coyotes can boast that they are better than the Blackhawks on the powerplay, at 22nd, but not much.
  • After their stupid first period plays, Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma each had 2 pts, and Wingels should have had a second goal. Someone had to step up in their game, and it was the 4th line.
  • The Saad/Toews/Panik line were possession monsters all night and it showed in the number as their corsi numbers were +10/+14/+12 respectively.
  • Not Corey Crawford's best game, but he saved 27 of 29 and kept the game close enough for them to pull away.

The Bad
  • I will never stop being annoyed by pointless fancy blind backhand passes, when they are clearly not needed. I've watched enough of those go terribly wrong to know that they are needless and high risk. Just simplify and make a solid, strong, safe play. This time it was Jonathan Toews on the powerplay. Knock it off.
  • The Coyotes second goal was a total mess. The Blackhawks actually won the faceoff but the puck flipped up and hit Patrick Sharp and dropped in the slot. Clayton Keller just jumped on the loose puck and buried the goal.
  • The third line of Sharp/Anisimov/Debrincat were all -2 on the night. Their corsi numbers were -3/-9/-7 respectively. That's brutal.
  • HOT TAKE ALERT: Sorry, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson is over rated. I keep reading and hearing how good this guy is and he continues to just be mediocre. I haven't seen it. You watch him play and tell me he's a future norris trophy winner, and I'll tell you that you're wrong.

The Ugly
  • Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels put their team down 5-on-3 with two stupid penalties on the same play. The stupidity didn't stop there, though. The usually smart Jan Rutta tried to whack at a shoulder high puck with his stick and took another penalty. IT DOESN'T STOP THERE! Brent Seabrook had a complete brain fart and put the puck on his own net, which turned into yackety sax. The penalty killers ended up taking another penalty, which was their fourth in five minutes. If they were playing even a decent team, the Hawks would have been down 3-1.
  • The Tommy Wingels penalty shot was a goal. Plain and simple. There were absolutely no angles that showed clearly that Louis Domingue touched the puck. Just scrap the replay, because they seem to rarely get the calls correct. You know how they say trust your first instinct? The NHL needs to start doing so, because they are once again pulling goals off the board without any clear definitive evidence. Joel Quenneville has every right to be furious, here:
  • No one seems concerned that Alex Debrincat keeps getting crushed game after game. He gets flattened almost once a game and everyone sticks their head in the sand. When he ends up on IR everyone will act stupid, like it was a surprise. That's fine and well. No one can say I didn't tell them months ago that he is not adjusted to the pro game enough to adequately protect himself.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Blackhawks vs Oilers
2-1 OT Loss Recap

"Facepalm Mute"

by Gatekeeper


Thursday night the Blackhawks were playing the back side of a back-to-back, after essentially taking a beating the previous night. Joel Quenneville made a couple of small lineup changes, sitting Michal Kempny in favor of Jordan Oesterle and giving Anton Forsberg the start in net. Nothing like getting your second career start in goal against Connor McDavid. Good luck, kid, keep your chin up!

Nothing much happened early in the first until roughly the 7:30 mark of the period. Immediately following yet another failed powerplay, Patrick Kane carried the mail deep into the Oilers zone and tried to dump the puck to Artem Anisimov, who was driving the net, from behind the Oilers goal line. Cam Talbot tried to pick off the pass and ended up putting the puck into his own net with the paddle of his stick. No doubt he wanted that one back. The Hawks continued their pressure following the Kane goal, and had a few successive dominant shifts right around the halfway point of the first period. Kane was, again, the major focus of this pressure. The Oilers, however, didn't have much pressure until there were under three minutes remaining in the opening period. Connor McDavid showed everyone watching just why he was the scoring champ and MVP last season. Not only did he turn a Blackhawks defenseman inside out, but he turned DUNCAN KEITH inside out. He backed Keith into the Hawks zone like a basketball player posting up and put a spinning backhand pass onto the tape of Patrick Maroon, who just had to slam the puck into the gaping net. Even though the Blackhawks had a few dominant stretches, they were out shot 9 to 7 in the opening period and went to the locker room tied at one.

The second period began with a Blackhawks 5-on-3 powerplay which they, of course, blew again. The power play futility didn't stop there, though. Zack Kassian earned himself a boarding penalty for an egregious hit from behind that not only should have earned him a five minute major, but possibly a look from the league office. Somehow, Kassian only ended up with two minutes. The rest of the period was pretty tame, even though there were a couple solid, dangerous chances. Neither team scored in the middle frame and the Oilers out shot the Blackhawks 14-10.

The Blackhawks came out and had plenty of chances in the third period to take the lead, especially on the aforementioned terrible powerplay. They, of course, completely whiffed once again. This isn't to say that they didn't have any chances at regular strength, though, but just weren't able to score that elusive second goal. The Saad/Toews/Panik line was at the forefront of their full strength action, as they got several "grade A" chances on Can Talbot.

After not being able to finish the Oilers in regulation, the Blackhawks fell to the Oilers in the overtime period. This is not to say they didn't have their chances. Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Nick Schmaltz all had great chances to win the game but the Oilers had several excellect chances of their own. Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid nearly ended the game before defenseman Mark Letestu finally won the game on the powerplay with 15.8 seconds remaining. Chalk this game up to an opportunity missed.

The Good
  • God, Connor McDavid is absolutely frighteningly good. That said, I was really impressed with what I saw of 19 year old rookie Kailer Yamamoto, as well. Kid has some serious raw skill and speed. Just a wealth of young riches in Edmonton.
  • In what looks like it will be a regular theme this season, Anton Forsberg was basically screwed over again. He did everything in his power to win this game and, in NO way, is this loss on him. He is just continually getting the crap end of the stick.
  • Jordan Oesterle played his first Blackhawks game, and looked perfectly fine. In fact, I might say he looked pretty good. I want to see more of him, and if it comes at the price of Gustav Forsling's playing time Joel Quenneville needs to DO IT! I think Oesterle was out to show up his former team, as well.
  • I am coming around a little on Lance Bouma. If you just throw out that one anomaly season where he played with players he shouldn't have in Calgary, and put up 34 points, he is a decent 4th line grinder. Blackhawk Up's Aaron Goldschmidt will be happy to read this.
  • You don't really truly appreciate Edzo in the booth until he's not around. Having him back for these two games is really nice. Blackhawks fans are lucky to have him. The first period salute that the UC fans gave him was really emotional and special. If this doesn't choke you up a little, you're simply dead inside.

The Bad
  • Patrick Kane must have seen something in film with Cam Talbot because he was trying to shoot from some weird angles and trying to catch Talbot cheating away from the posts.
  • Ryan Hartman took a serious beating in this game. He was hit with shots from his own team, cross checked repeatedly, and Zack Kassian absolutely drilled him from behind. The fact that Kassian didn't get more than 2 minutes for coming completely across the ice and drilling Hartman in the back is utterly astounding. This is "exhibit a" of how the NHL hasn't a clue about how to police dirty hits.
  • Quenneville was playing his lineblender games again, swapping Artem Anisimov and Tanner Kero back and forth between the 3rd and 4th lines.
  • The faceoff percentage has plummeted back into the toilet (45%) with only Toews winning more than 50%.
  • I'm still not a Cam Talbot fan. He was good, but was bailed out by his defense a lot.
  • Look, fans, this is the Blackhawks team most of us expected to see before the season began. The team we all watched in the first two games was a mirage. Lets not all act surprised that all the concerns we had 3 weeks ago rear their heads.

The Ugly
  • Less than ten seconds into the second period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins damn near murdered Gustav Forsling by taking out his feet as Forsling was skating back hard to pick up a puck behind the goal line. I was certain Forsling's ankle was going to be mangled.
  • I keep thinking the powerplay can't this bad forever, and I keep watching the Hawks totally blow their chances. The Blackhawks were 0-5 including that 5-on-3. Looking for a place to point fingers? Here it is. What good is drawing penalties if you don't make your opponent pay? After this game, the Hawks are ranked 23rd overall (15.4%) and sinking like the Edmund Fitzgerald (stick tap to Stankus).

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Tanner Kero - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Artem Anisimov - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blackhawks at St. Louis
5-2 Loss Recap

"Suckin' it up in St. Louis"
by Ryan Leidig


Tonight was the first time we saw the St. Louis Blues this season, and it was terrible. The Blues were trying to be the bash brothers. The Blackhawks took six penalties, five of them for tripping. The penalty kill once again proved to be outstanding, though, going six for six. The powerplay had 7 chances, most of these looked awful but ended up scoring on the last two. Veteran defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were put together and ended up -4, but the Blackhawks pair of questionables, Connor Murphy and Michal Kempny, were even. All forwards except for Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had a negative +/-. Corey Crawford had some really strong saves but also let in some terribly out of position goals. There were a lot of ups and downs but in the end, this is probably a game we all want to forget.

The first period saw the ‘Hawks get outplayed in shots, hits, and penalties. The Blackhawks started their penalty killing early on, when 1:14 into the game Patrick Sharp earned a blatant tripping call against Vince Dunn. The Blues onslaught began shortly after, at 4:46 of the first period when Jaden Schwartz scored his first goal of the night. As Vladimir Tarasenko held the puck along the boards he then shot the puck from the point. Corey Crawford was at the top of the crease when Schwartz grabbed the puck and slid around to put it into the open net. Play did not continue right away, as there was talk that there may have been goalie interference. Schwartz slightly hit Crawfords' stick hand, but he was outside of the crease so the goal stood. The Blackhawks got their first power play at 11:14 for goalie interference. Sammy Blais of the Blues drove to the net, around the outside of Jan Rutta, running directly into Crawford and dislodging the goal. Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels came in to show some force but nothing became of the scrum. One play of note was Robert Bortuzzo hitting Patrick Kane hard into the boards. While Kane stayed in the game, he left the shift holding his shoulder. There was a very scary incident shortly after, as Jaden Schwartz was sent flying into the boards head first. At first, it looked as if he was tied up with Richard Panik but after other angles were shown Schwartz clearly just lost his balance. He left the ice for the remainder of the period, was checked out, and returned later to the game. After a T.V. timeout, fans came back to the smiling face of Eddie Olczyk. During the timeout St. Louis played a short video for Olczyk's return to the booth. The ‘Hawks were later called for their third penalty of the period with an Artem Anisimov tripping penalty. With 32 seconds left in the first period, while on the power play, Jonathan Toews was called for tripping, which gave the Blues a five on three power play for the final 32 seconds. The Blackhawks ended the period getting out shot 9-4.

After returning to the game in the second period, Jaden Schwartz scored his second goal of the game at the 5:59 mark. Following the goal, the ‘Hawks were able to manage a couple shots and put some pressure on. After a long change, Blues goaltender Jake Allen sent a pass off the boards to a streaking Schwartz. Crawford came out of his crease to challenge with a poke check but hesitated and gave Schwartz an easy goal on the wide open net. Vladimir Tarasenko was next to get on the scoresheet at 7:49 in the second period, shortly after the Schwartz goal. Artem Anisimov skated through the circle to the left of Corey Crawford after taking a pass from Brent Seabrook, and Tarasenko tapped Anisimov's stick, knocking the puck loose. Tarasenko then turned around and fired a quick wrist shot past Crawford's blocker. Chicago then got their second power play chance of the game when Ryan Hartman drew a slashing call from Paul Statsny. Once again, nothing would come of the powerplay, even though there was some good pressure. Gustav Forsling was the next in line to visit the penalty box as he took a penalty on Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues finished the period back on the powerplay again, after a Duncan Keith tripping penalty. The second period ended even worse than the first, with the shot total 17-4 in favor of St. Louis.

The final period saw the ‘Hawks on the power play five times! The first Blues penalty was a Magnus Paajarvi holding call on Patrick Kane, at 1:44. The power play once again looked awful, producing nothing special and looking extremely lethargic. Kyle Brodziak scored seven minutes into the period on a 2-on-1 opportunity, to put St. Louis up 4-0. Jan Rutta tried to pinch in and keep possession, but Brodziak snuck in behind and headed down the ice with Tarasenko breaking down the slot against Gustav Forsling. Forsling looked a little confused on whether to take Brodziak or Tarasenko, and Brodziak looked the defender off with the threat of the pass, lauching a wrister past Crawford's glove hand. The next Blues penalty came as Brandon Saad was entering into the Blues' zone and Joel Edmundson got called for tripping. Alex DeBrincat had a good power play opportunity, after stealing the puck from Colton Parayko.
He took a solid wrist shot that beat Jake Allen, but rang off the crossbar.

The next little sequence turned the ‘Hawks way, but saw them miss two prime opportunities. During one opportunity, Colton Parayko broke his stick, giving the Blackhawks an opening. Patrick Kane set up Connor Murphy, who's shot that hit the post again and started a crowd in front of the net. Later Patrick Sharp the puck and sent the puck across the crease to Kane, who would attempt to stuff the puck but was stonewalled by Jake Allen. As they were going to commercial break, one camera shot showed someone drop to the ice from the ‘Hawks. There was no true explanation (on NBC Chicago live feed) but a double minor for high sticking was called on Vladimir Sabotka, and was served by Ivan Barbashev. There were also two roughing penalties handed out on the play. One to Lance Bouma and one to Vladimir Sobotka. It looked as though, Bouma was high sticked and then had a get together with Sobotka. The ‘Hawks actually capitalized on both minor penalties. The first goal came from Richard Panik. Duncan Keith took a long hard shot from the point, that Panik got his stick on and redirected past Jake Allen for their first goal. Shortly after, Joel Quenneville pulled Crawford with over four minutes remaining in the game. With the goalie pulled Ryan Hartman grabbed a puck thrown around the boards and get two quick shot attempts. Hartman was pushed into the goal crease but the Blues defense and the puck found its way to Alex DeBrincat, who took the shot. Originally was thought that Alex DeBrincat scored the goal, but was credited to Ryan Hartman. There was so much traffic in front of the net that it was really hard to tell. As the Blackhawks continued to try to crawl back into this game, they seemed to block shot after shot on the empty net. Finally, though, at 19:08 Schwartz finished the hat-trick and put the final nail in the coffin.


The Good
  • The PK is looking great! They went 6 for 6 tonight.
  • Faceoff percentage for the Blackhawks was 57%
The Bad
  • Seabrook and Keith together were both -4
  • Outshot 33-24 doesn't sound as bad but the first two periods were 8-26
  • By no means terrible, but we saw Crawford come down to earth a bit
The Ugly
  • 5 tripping penalties is not acceptable

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 93


In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 93 (the Doug Gilmour episode) Gatekeeper and Double J, John Jaeckel, breakdown the last week in Blackhawks hockey and talk to Craig Custance from the Detroit chapter of The Athletic about his book, "Behind the Bench: Inside the Minds of Hockey's Greatest Coaches".

The topics discussed include:
-Very good interview with Craig Custance
-Nick Schmaltz is back
-The powerplay sucks
-Seabrook hate is dumb
-The Blackhawks go 1-1 on the week, but many flaws exposed
-Listener/Reader questions
-Gate delivers a heartfelt goodbye to Patrick Stankus

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

You can find the Shoutcast on Google Play Music here:
https://play.google.com/music/m/It4fd6pv6tv2w5atfvuyuw4uyza?t=Puckin_Hostile_Blackhawks_Shoutcast

You can listen to the episode on Stitcher here:
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/puckinhostile/puckin-hostile-blackhawks-shoutcast

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Blackhawks vs Predators
2-1 OT Win Recap

"Cutting Teeth"

by Gatekeeper



After taking their first regulation and home loss Thursday night against the Wild, the Blackhawks faced another division rival, the Predators. The Preds came in 0-2 on the road thus far. In fact, they started 0-2 on the road to open the season, and were able to claw back to .500 with a couple of home wins. Filip Forsberg came in as the hottest Nashville player in this young season with four goals and six points. Nashville was also nursing some injuries as defensemen Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis were not in the lineup. Nick Schmaltz missed his third straight game with an upper both injury sustained agains the Blue Jackets in game 2.

The two teams played a pretty hard and eventful first period, even though neither was able to get on the scoreboard. There were break-a-ways both ways, failed power plays, shorthanded chances, and great saves. All the things you need to have an entertaining scoreless game. Giving up 18 shots in a single period at home isn’t ideal, though. The Blackhawks managed 11 shots of their own, which was decent by comparison.

For a majority of the second period the Preds led in scoring chances and shots on net. With under two minutes remaining in the period, the Preds finally cracked the scoreboard, on the powerplay. Nashville led in shots and scoring chances again, 12-8.

In the third period, the Blackhawks actually looked like they cared. They came out and scored the game tying goal, late, while holding the Preds to only 8 shots. That effort was enough to get the game to overtime, which the Blackhawks were able to eventually score the game winner.

The Good
  • John Hayden came off his big fight the other night to continue impressing. He was thrown out on the ice for the penalty kill in the third period and singlehandedly took on three Preds players and got a solid shorthanded chance. Later he was reward by getting moved up with the third line and earned an assist.
  • It took almost 55 minutes, but the Blackhawks finally got their first goal with just over five minutes remaining. Cody Franson sealed the boards on and attempted Predators clear and puck landed at the feet of John Hayden. Hayden dumped the puck to Patrick Sharp, who headed for the net and beat Rinne.
  • Once the Blackhawks got to overtime, the Predators were just out of gas. The Toews, Kane, and Keith line ran the Nashville ragged. Once the line hit the ice for their second shift, the Preds were exhausted. Jonathan Toews went off for a change and Brandon Saad jumped on the ice in enough time to play give-and-go with Patrick Kane for the game winner.
  • the Blackhawks had a nice night at the faceoff dots, winning 58% of draws. Every Blackhawks center won at least 50%, including fill-in center Ryan Hartman
  • It took quite a comeback, but the Blackhawks battled back from the dead in possession numbers to almost pull even at 68-67.
  • Cody Franson actually had a good game. I think he's finally getting his feet under him. Just too bad it is at the expense of Connor Murphy. Even Gustav Forsling looked alright for the first time this season. This Murphy situation needs to be resolved pretty quickly.
  • Corey Crawford was incredible once again. He had another 37 saves, keeping his save percentage above .950, and currently leads the league in wins, goals against avg, and save percentage.

The Bad
  • The Blackhawks gave up yet another early shorthanded breakaway and a few other excellent chances while on the powerplay. Of course, their goalie bailed them out so we won’t hear much about it. I would have loved to blame the 4-1 setup they have been using but both of the solid chances had 2 defensemen on the ice. Now there is really no excuse.
  • The Golden Midget took another hard hit, this time from behind, in the second period and got up slow. He also spent extended time on the bench, following the hit.
  • Speaking of the Golden Midget, I hate when the broadcast team completely ignores questionable plays that should lead to criticism. In the third period, DeBrincat was on the powerplay and left back as the only defender. With forwards bearing down, he backed almost into Corey Crawford’s face and then just “fell” to his knees when the puck carrier cut to the left.
  • Joel Quenneville rolled out the line blender, again, in the third period. He moved DeBrincat with Hartman and Kane, then had Sharp, with Anisimov and Hayden. This moved Tanner Kero back to the fourth line.

The Ugly
  • A late second period powerplay turned into the first goal of the game. An offensive zone penalty gave Nashville all the opportunity they needed.
  • I want to know who is telling these analysts that “The scouting report is that Pekka Rinne is really good at playing the puck”, because that period is terrible at their job. Rinne is average when he is at his best. If you pressure him, he is terrible. Stop telling people he's good at it!

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Tanner Kero - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Michal Kempny - Cody Franson
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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