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Monday, February 28, 2011

Campoli with Meatballs

As reported all over this glorious tool I like to call the interweb, meet your newest Blackhawk:

Nick Leddy? Is that you?

Rumors are flying around about this trade the Hawks made with the Ottawa Senators this afternoon for 6'0" 190lb Chris Campoli. The Hawks sent Ryan Potulny and a conditional 2011 2nd-round pick, to Ottawa for Campoli and a conditional 7th-round pick. I can't say I know much about Campoli, or that I even SHOULD know much about him. Campoli was a New York Islanders draft pick in 2004 (7th round). He is currently riding out a one year deal worth $1.4 million. He had a promising rookie season with 34 points in 05-06, but has yet to eclipse 18 points, since. His scouting report reads as follows:
  • Assets - Is extremely mobile and very polished when in possession of the puck. Can make up for his mistakes with his speed. Has some offensive ability.
  • Flaws - Needs to work on his defensive-zone coverage, which is spotty at best. Struggles when he has to lay on the body, and can get manhandled in front of his own net.
  • Career Potential - Mobile defenseman with consistency issues.
  • Awards - 2004 AHL All-Rookie Team, 2003 Canadian Major Junior Humanitarian Player of the Year, 2003 OHL Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy (Humanitarian Player of the Year), 2003 OHL Third All-Star Team.
I'm not really sure how I feel about this, but I know for a fact that I'm more heartbroken about the second round pick than I am the loss of Ryan Potulny. He sounds like a flaky, less talented Brian Campbell to me. I was hoping for more of a big physical defenseman, and I haven't gotten my wish yet. This guy may be an upgrade over Jordan Hendry, but he adds to the laundry list of guys that aren't going to be able to push people around, in front of Crow. I'm not sure I get it.


Sea-Biscuit, and Insider Trading

"So, I guess it's time for the pre-nup, sexy pants"

Saturday, it was announced that the Hawks and Brent Seabrook had agreed in principle to a 5 year extension, and yesterday it was made official. The contract is a 5 year, $29 million deal, with an annual cap hit will be $5.8 million. Yes, this is a high number, but if the Hawks didn't have to deal with almost 7.2 million Brian Campbell dollars and 3.5 million Niklas Hjalmarsson dollars annually, this wouldn't be an issue. Seabrook is a must have, plain and simple. Anyone who thinks they could afford to let him go needs to have some sense smacked into them. He is the sole physical defenseman on this team, and there is NOONE in the system that can take his spot. Seabrook is solid on defense when his partner seems to have the attention span of a young Retriever on hunting day, and he has been the co-quarterback of the top powerplay in the league, and all this at 26 years old. If they would have kept Hammer and let Seabrook go, I would have burned every Hawks piece of clothing I own, in my front yard, wearing a Redwings jersey while wearing an octopus on my head.

On the flip side, if Stan needed to unload that obnoxious albatross named Brian Campbell, there are young variations of Soupie in the lower levels like Connolly, Lalonde, Olsen, Vishnevskiy, youngster Nick Mattson, and lets not forget Nick Leddy's potential. I would not want to see Soup go, because he has shown his value, but with that contract, he might be up against the firing squad. By no means, am I saying any of those guys are Campbell's equal, but they have the potential and skillset to some day resemble his style.

Before deferring to the madness that is the NHL trade deadline, I have to add a late development that came about last night, which is the Jordan Hendry injury. Hendry had to be helped off the ice last night, and it didn't look good. The Hawks are being very closed mouthed about it, as they should, because it could affect any trade bargaining position they have. The fact of the matter is that if Hendry is out, they NEED to make a move. Cullisnore is not the answer, and if they think he is, I do not want to know the question. There is no one else in Rockford that can fill the spot either. This could send the Hawks into the abyss if not handled correctly, so StanBo needs to lay his sack out on the table and make something happen. If we end up with another Sammy Paulsson or Nick Boynton, I'm closing up shop until July, because I don't have the stomach for this.

Trade Deadline Updates
I will be commenting on any Blackhawks moves that might go on today...Stay tuned.
  • At about 1:00, it was leaked that the Hawks sent Ryan Potulny and a second round draft pick, to Ottawa, for Chris Campoli and possibly a conditional seventh round pick. More to come.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mediocre is Getting Old

The day started off well, with the announcement of the Brent Seabrook 5 year extension. Now that we have that hurdle taken care of, the Hawks needed to dispose of the Coyotes, which didn't come easy. The Hawks came out with a purpose and completely dominated the first period, out shooting the Yotes 17-8 and leading 2-0. As has happened all year, the following period was the complete opposite. The Coyotes came out and out shot the Hawks 14-9 and out scored them 3-1 to bring a 3-3 tie into the third period. Nothing is going to be easy this season. The Third had a few chances, including a waved off Hawks goal, and the game was forced into overtime, and the Hawks finally won it in the shootout.

The Good
  • It only took the Hawks three minutes for Captain Serious to score a goal from an absolutely atrocious angle. Just goes to show you that you don't score on 100% of the shots you don't take. Great start.
  • The way the Hawks opened up this game had to look promising to every fan and ctitic. When you out shoot a team 17-8, you are dominating.
  • Our newest wealthy team member, Brent Seabrook, celebrated his new contract with a laser of a one timer that looked to be tipped by Captain Serious, on a two man advantage, for a 2-0 lead. The first period was one of the most dominant periods the Hawks have played, since last June.
  • Powerplay goal number two in the second period a complete garbage goal, but it all looks the same on the score sheet. Boss 81 picked up Kaners garbage and chipped it up and over Bryzgalov to put the Hawks up 3-1.

The Bad
  • I was disappointed to see no Paul "Biz Nasty" Bissonette out there. VERY disappointed, but when Foley announced that Biz Nasty would have to be the emergency backup netminder because Jason LaBarbera was hurt in warm-ups, that made my night.
  • The Yotes came out in the second period with a little more edge, and former Blackhawk Adrian Aucoin took a nice feed, and put a one timer through a triple screen. That's a hard save to make, and Crow had no chance.
  • Norris Trophy candidate Keith Yandle made it 3-2 Hawks just over half way through the second on a one time powerplay goal. Crow really didn't seem to be picking up the one time screen shots, at that point, not that he really could with people screening him like they were.
  • Crawford can thank Deuce for that shot to the neck by Doan. Keith had a chance to chip it into the zone and he turned it over at the Yotes blue line, and Doan was in, and put a hurting on Corey. That one will hurt tomorrow, I can promise.
  • It didn't take the Hawks long to give up their second power play goal of the game. Martin Hanzel picked up a Radim Vrbata rebound and put it in the net. So much for that dominant first period.
  • Most of the Hawks did OK in the faceoff dot, but Jake the Snake was eaten ALIVE, going 1 for 6. That's not going to do it, for our third line center, Snake.

The Ugly
  • The second period and the penalty kill were just awful. A true playoff team needs to kill penalties effectively.
  • Hendry's injury could do the Hawks in, or could really force them to make a move for someone decent. If they can't make a deal, we could be forced to watch Big Show John Scott play defense again, and that will NOT be pretty. Just the prospect of that makes me nauseous.
  • This was the exact opposite of the Blues game, where the Blues dominated the first and fell apart the rest of the game. The Hawks started fast in the first, and came back to earth. We can't even count on them to play a full game consistently.

The Shootout
  • Toews scored 5-Hole on Bryzgalov
  • Upshall was stopped by Crawford
  • Sharpie was denied by Bryzgalov
  • Vrbata was stopped by Crawford
  • Kaner was stopped by Bryzgalov
  • Turris was denied by Crawford
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Busy Saturday in Hockeyville

-It was announced overnight that the Blackhawks and Brent Seabrook are very close on a 5 year $30 million contract extension. There is no way they were letting him go.

-Capitals claim Marco Strum, Blue Jackets claim Craig Rivet, Flyers claim Nick Boynton (good riddance).

-Kris Newbury, Wade Belak, Todd Ford and Mike Commodore all clear waivers.

-Bret Carson (Car), Jason Jaffray (Ana), DJ King (Wash), Nathan Lawson and Rob Schremp (NYI), Pascal Leclaire (Ott), Ty Conklin (StL), Curtis McElhinney (TB) and Tim Stapleton (Atl) all put on waivers.


-Tim Sassone reports that Tampa might be asking the Hawks for Tomas Kopecky for defenseman Brett Clark.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mr. Crawley, It's Symbolic of Course

Couple of days off, Coach coming back, rumored deals, and just another division game for the Hawks. This is one of my favorite times of the year, as far as the NHL goes, and it is going to be an interesting weekend. Last night was only the beginning. The first period was moving at a good pace, but the scoring chances were fairly limited. It took eighteen minutes for either team to score a goal with the Hawks taking a 1-0 into the first period intermission. Games like this are really boring as far as recaps go, especially when you have periods like the second. A couple of chances either way, but no scoring, and little major action. The third was pretty much more of the same, until the Hawks scored the huge break-a-way goal to ice the game, on a fatal Preds turnover. Big win on the road, and big shutout.

The Good
  • Frolik and Brouwer showed a little chemistry for the first time, as Fro-do poked a puck to T-Brouw who ended up on a break-a-way but went a little too far past the net trying to outwit Rinne, and tried to bank it off Rinne. That was the best chance for the Hawks in the entire first period, outside of the goal.
  • Finally, a Tomo-Kop sighting. He rushed out on the ice as a 6th attacker, with the Preds on a delayed powerplay, and picked up a great pass from Shooter. He took a second to settle it down, and roofed it over Rinne's blocker for a Hawks 1-0 lead. I would gather he was a little excited by that goal; just a hunch.
  • Hoss came up with two HUGE plays in a matter of 6 seconds, as he deflected a pass by David Legwand enough to send himself racing the other way and raced in on a break-a-way to put the Hawks up 2-0, LIKE A BOSS.
  • The combination of Toews, Bolland, Dowell, and Johnson at center is growing on me. It's amazing what happens when you have guys that are centers by trade and can somewhat do what a center needs to do. Dowell deserves the promotion and Johnson has been a solid faceoff man.
  • Shooter iced the game with his second point of the night, as he scored an empty netter in the closing seconds of the game.
  • Mr. Crawley was on fire all game, and got a WELL deserved shutout with 31 saves.

The Bad
  • Tomo-Kop made a great long, backhand pass to Ryan Johnson, who went hard to the net and tried to sneak it past Rinne. I was pretty shocked to see a pass THAT nice off Kopecky's stick.
  • It's OK, Sharpie, we weren't feeling that first period powerplay, anyway.
  • The negated goal by the Preds was really iffy at best. Legwand really barely touched Crawford, but it's about time a call went the Hawks way.
  • Hendry only played about 5 shifts in the second period, Hammer had the same amount in the third, and Leddy only had about 8 in the second. It looks like they are going to ride the horses hard.
  • Despite the win, all of the Preds centers were all around 60% at the faceoff dots, and all of the Hawks were at 40% and under.

The Ugly
  • Kane had enough of a step on two Preds D-men to warrant a call, and possibly a penalty shot, with about four minutes left in the third. That was a "makeup" non call for the waved off goal.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wild Man Blues

"Kiss glass, Cam Janssen"

Whoever sets up these 1PM starts on a Monday afternoon, needs to be tazered in the neck. Yes, a lot of people had President's Day off work and school but a lot of people don't. Anyway, the Hawks showed a little, OK maybe a lot, of fatigue with a very slow start. St. Louis DOMINATED the Hawks in the first with 15 shots to the Hawks 9. With those 15 shots came 2 goals, and could have EASILY yielded 4. Someone must have said something in the locker room during the first intermission, because the Hawks came out with 4 goals in the second period, and seemed to have a more urgent attitude. The Hawks made it interesting by giving up a third period goal, but scored an open netter to ice the game.

The Good
  • It took until the opening minutes of the second period for the Hawks to show signs of life, with Pick-to-Click Vik putting in a free puck after a Ryan Johnson faceoff win. The game started an hour ago, fellas.
  • A minute later Boss 81 pulled his enormous balls out and drew two Blues defenders long enough for Bolland to slip in behind, take a Hossa backhand pass, and put it into a wide open net. So much for that 0-2 deficit.
  • I guess we see why this Ben Bishop guy has been in Peoria, with Kaner's weak knucklepuck of a goal. He just threw it at the net, and it went off the far post and in. Talk about some luck.
  • Captain Serious put an end to Ben Bishop's afternoon by scoring a "meat-n-potatoes" powerplay goal. Nothing pretty about that goal. He just decided to drive to the front of the net and jam it in like a football player on prom night.
  • Boss 81 and Bolly have been playing EXCELLENT together. So, that's what it's like when you put a competent center iceman out there with him. Only took 3/4 of the season, and Quenneville to have a medical emergency, to figure that one out.
  • Winchester must have really infuriated Hossa, because he was throwing his body around for the entire second half of the game, after Winchester laid him out. I can't say I have seen throw that many checks in 5 games, much less 30 minutes of one game.
  • One thing I like to see is revenge by goal. Jake the Snake hustled to save icing at the end of the game and Backes absolutely wrecked him. The puck came around the boards and Hoss put it in the open net. Fuck off, Backes!
The Bad
  • Nice to see the Hawks came out flying after yesterday's lethargic win by getting out shot 9-3 in the first half of the first. Thanks for the effort guys.
  • Penalty Kill, anyone? Guess not. The Blues first goal was another soft one, but not Crawford's fault. The original shot was deflected off Seabrook's stick and Crawford had to put all of his energy into just getting a piece of it. Of course the rebound dropped right to Crawford's left and Andy McDonald
  • Goal number two by St. Louis was pitiful. Complete clusterfuck. I'm not even going to dissect that piece of dung. Lets all just stand in the crease, dumb asses.
  • Good job holding your position Leddy, and, yes, that is sarcasm. He let Crombeen push him all over the place and lucking the ensuing goal was waved off, because Leddy wanted NOTHING to do with that contact. He looked like a beaten puppy when that goal went in.
  • Pietrangelo made up for the earlier waved off goal by pulling the Blues within one goal, half way through the third. Were they just trying to throw it away?
The Ugly
  • I spent a good deal of the second period tweeting about the utterly horseshit primary camera angle of the WGN broadcast and it's poor definition quality. Apparently, I wasn't the only person to notice this, either. Don't advertise that it's a "high definition telecast", when you use a standard definition camera. Idiots.
  • The Hawks were out shot 29-19 through two periods and were winning 4-2. Talk about luck.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

There Will Be Rumors Floatin' Around on Judgment Day

"NHL Sources Say" reported that the Hawks were looking at several defensemen. The three names that have been leaked are Colorado's Matt Hunwick, the New York Ranger's Steve Eminger, and Anaheim's Sheldon Brookbank. None of these guys are going to make that big of a difference on this team, so DON'T get your hopes up for some blockbuster trade. It's not happening. These guys are #5 defensemen AT BEST. All this aside, lets take a look at these guys:

Matt Hunwick - 5'11" - 190 - 25 years old.

- Has above-average puck-moving skills. Displays some two-way ability and some offensive upside. Doesn't make many mistakes when he has the puck on his blade.

Flaws - Size and strength are a concern for his long-range NHL potential, since he can struggle when he's forechecked heavily. Isn't great at defending or when without the puck.

Career Potential - Puck-moving defenseman.

Steve Eminger - 6'2" - 203 - 27 years old

Assets - Has great tools. Displays plenty of two-way acumen, as well as tremendous size for the blue-line position.

Flaws - Needs to shoot the puck more often in order to maximize his scoring potential. Must limit critical errors in the defensive zone.

Career Potential - Inconsistent defenseman.

Sheldon Brookbank - 6'1" - 202 - 30 years old

Assets - Always thinks team first, and is willing to stand up for his mates. Has improved his overall defensive play over time.

Flaws - Lacks the skating ability and overall talent to thrive at the National Hockey League level. Will take bad penalties on occasion.

Career Potential - Rugged depth defenseman.

Steal One from Steeltown

Hockey Day in America and the Hawks had a tough one here. Even though Pittsburgh is missing some big stars, the Hawks were missing Joel Quenneville for the third straight game. Haviland switched up the line a little and it seemed to light a flame under the Blackhawks asses. The first period was all about the Hawks as they out shot the Pens 13-7 and came away with the only goal of the period. The second period was a little shift in momentum as the Pens out shot the Hawks 11-8 and also scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game. As we've watched all year long, the Hawks blew yet ANOTHER third period lead late in the game and were forced into overtime. The overtime was eventful but no one scored and the Hawks won in the shootout with the only goal being scored by Kaner. We'll take it.

The Good
  • At first look you would have noticed that Haviland juggled the bottom 3 lines a little. The lines were: Bickell-Bolland-Hossa, Frolik-Dowell-Brouwer, Stalberg-Johnson-Kopecky. They make sense too, with Frolik struggling and Bickell playing well. I never thought I'd like to Ryan Johnson out there, but they needed another actual Center on the ice, and ANYONE is better than John Scott out there.
  • The Hawks first goal was a thing of beauty. Kane fed Hjalmarsson, who fed Toews, who fed a wide open Sharpie in the slot. Not like there wasn't a Penguins d-man standing there with his nuts in his hand, so the reason he was allowed to be that open is beyond me.
  • Toews, Dowell, and Ryan Johnson were dominant in the faceoff circle, and Bolland was 56%, which is not terrible at all.
The Bad
  • Tyler Kennedy looks like a pug, and in a scary mutant swine way, as opposed to the cute cuddly way.
  • I'm SO tired of hearing Pierre McGuire's voice. Everything about him makes me dry heave, and he is such a kiss ass. He stands there and tells everyone that Bylsma should take a timeout and then crows "That's good coaching right there" when he used the timeout. Way to pat yourself on the back Pierre. You're still a complete tool. I loved how Pierre was jerking off Fleury, in the shootout, about how unbeatable he was and Kaner proceeded school him. Dumb shit!
  • Pierre McGuire, and Eddie O need to shut their yaps about the hit by Shooter on Paul Martin. It was really a harmless fight for position, and you can't penalize a player every time someone gets hurt. It's hockey. Sharp nudged Martin a little and Martin wasn't really braced for it.
  • The Hawks had a complete defensive breakdown on the second Pens goal. Keith and Campbell just looked lost, and Crawford was down and out after going committing to the initial shot.
  • Not only does Hossa miss the net with under a minute to go in the game, but then he takes a penalty to negate the powerplay. That's clutch, Hoss.
The Ugly
  • Bryan Bickell came out quick in the third period and scored a "soft as baby shit" goal. He just lightly wristed a shot at the net and Fleury whiffed on it. That was a gift of immense proportions.
  • Of all people to let score a shorthanded goal to tie up the game. MATT COOKE? Yes, noted league wide ball sack, Matt Cooke. Come ON, guys. That's sloppy.
The Shootout
  • Toews was stopped by Fleury
  • Dupius hit the post
  • Shooter was stopped by Fleury
  • Letang was stopped by Crawford
  • Kaner scored on Fleury
  • Kennedy was stuffed by Crawford
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blow Jackets


After all the speculation and hullabaloo of various trade scenarios going on through the day, and the news that Quenneville would not be back for the game, the Hawks still had a big game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It looked like it was going to be dismal game as the Hawks gave up 2 break-a-ways and one goal in the opening minutes of the first, but Shooter brought them back with 2 goals of his own to win the period 2-1. The second was not the Hawks period at all, and they were lucky to make it out only down by one. Columbus scored 3 times and the Hawks scored one in the period to have a total of 7 in the first 40 minutes. The third frame was a completely different situation and neither team scored and the Jackets held on to win 4-3.

The Good
  • Shortly after the Calvert goal, Sharpie decided that he had seen enough of this crap heading back his way. He harassed Fedor Tyutin enough for him to turn the puck over to Pat Kane, and then received the pass back to score a break-a-way goal. He was not done there though. The next shift Captain Serious Fed him, after going behind the net, for a wide open one timer in the slot for goal #2 in the first 10 minutes of the game.
  • Twenty one seconds after the Stralman goal, some bad defensive play led to a Tazer/Kaner 2-on-1 goal that was absolutely CRUCIAL. If the Hawks don't respond like that, the game was well on its way to a blowout.
  • Other than Shooter and Snake going 0-4 total on faceoffs, the rest of the team dominated in the faceoff circle. Oddly enough, Kopecky was a ridiculous 78%. I don't even know how that happens. He's one of the worst faceoff guys in the entire LEAGUE!
The Bad
  • The Hawks started this game the same way they started the last, letting Voracek in on a partial break-a-way. Way to come out swinging, guys.
  • The Corey Crawford show was well on its way when Antoine Vermette scored a powerplay goal almost halfway through the second. Rick Nash took a shot from outside the circle and Vermette picked up a juicy rebound, and buried it from a bad angle.
  • A few minutes after the Vermette goal, the Hawks gave up a fairly weak goal that squirted between Crawford's legs and was poked in the net. It looked like a Shanghai fire drill out there.
  • The wheels then began to wobble on the cart, as Columbus scored another powerplay goal on a long shot by Anton Stralman. Another fairly weak goal that had to have Haviland thinking about a switch in net. As we know now, the Hawks responded well without the change.
  • Did someone say we traded for some kid named Frolik? When do we get to see him suit up? Could we invoke the lemon law? Because, thus far, Skille looks like a better option.
The Ugly
  • Stop me if you have heard this one before. Duncan Keith had a shot blocked at the point...you stopped me already, didn't you? Matt Calvert blocked the Keith shot and outraced two of our team's fastest skaters to have a partial break-a-way and score on a slightly lethargic Mr. Crawly. You'd think that wearing Nick Leddy as a backpack might preoccupy a player enough to be able to poke check the puck away. Just a suggestion, but the fact remains that they should not have been in that situation in the first place if Deuce could find a way to get a puck a little further than 5 feet off his stick. It's getting FUCKING OLD already, Dunc!
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Boston "D" Party?

The other night it was leaked that there were rumblings the Blackhawks were interested in acquiring current Boston Bruin Mark Stuart. This would fit into Stan Bowman's latest mantra that they were looking into another Defenseman. He's a big physical guy, at 6'2" and 213. Think a less talented Brent Seabrook, as Seabs is an inch taller and 5 lbs heavier. He has never had more than 17 pts in a season, but that's not what his forte is. He has a big body and loves to throw people around. Outside of Seabs, the Hawks have no one on Defense that can realistically pound someone into the glass. Boynton tried, but ended up with his ass parked on a stool in the penalty box, or with a big red light flashing in his face. If Quenneville or Havi kept the defense the way they've had it, Deuce and Leddy / Seabrook and Hjalmarsson / Campbell and Hendry, Stuart could play with Campbell. I like Jordan Hendry, but Mark Stuart is an upgrade. They could also head back to the more traditional pairings of Deuce/Seabs, Soupie/Hammer, and have Stuart play with Leddy.

This is a scouting report on Mr. Stuart:
-Is a fluent skater and loves to lay on the body. Flourishes in a stay-at-home role and also owns leadership qualities.

-Isn't a natural player with the puck, and won't ever be confused with Bobby Orr on the score sheet. Could stand to play with even more aggression.

Career Potential
-Defensive defenseman.

-2004NCAA - West First All-American Team
-2004WCHA - Defensive Player of the Year
-2004WCHA - Second All-Star Team
-2003WCHA - Third All-Star Team

This trade looks good, if the Hawks only need to yield a draft pick, because Stuart only makes $1.675 million, but they would still need to move some players around to make that number fit into the current team. Stuart is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so this would be strictly a rental. According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, the Hawks have also been looking into Steve Montador of the Buffalo Sabres, Ladislav Smid of the Edmonton Oilers and Matt Hunwick (would be nice to see someone wearing my number 48, in a Hawks jersey) of the Colorado Avalanche.

Stuart was traded, along with Blake Wheeler to the Atlanta Thrashers for Rich Peverly and Boris Valabik. That's 25 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wild Turkey

"You three, get comfortable, because you're going to be here a while"

The big news of the day was that Joel Quenneville was taken to the hospital with and undisclosed illness, NOT of the cardiac nature. This meant that Mikey Haviland had the keys to the very delicate late model family sedan last night. Will it start? Will it even turn over? Will it backfire? Joshing aside, I do hope all is well with Moustachio, and wish him a speedy recovery. He is in the very selective company of Da Coach, Phil Jackson, and even Ozzie Guillen, in this city. Last night was also the debut of the Boss-Bolly-Frolly line, which was rather ineffective as a whole, but as individuals Bolly and Hoss had good games. The Hawks first period started out VERY slow. The Wild dominated the first half of the period, but the Hawks were about to put a powerplay goal in and take some momentum away from Minny. The second period was scoreless, but not without chances, which left the Hawks only up by one going into the third. That hasn't been good news lately, either. The Hawks did their best to give up that one goal lead, but they also reeled it back in to net two in the third to win 3-1.

The Good
  • Good news for the Blackhawks powerplay, with the second unit scoring the first goal of the game. Hoss hit Bolland, who hit Campbell wide open in the high slot, and was left with enough time to toast a bagel, and brew a pot of coffee. Campbell picked his spot and made it look easy.
  • Patrick Kane certainly didn't look like he was coming off a major bout with the flu. He had several good chances early. He didn't have a great deal of ice time, but when he was out there, he was very effective.
  • I really like the Bickell, Kopecky, and Brouwer line. You're looking at some big horses there. If I was going to draw up a checking line on this team, THAT would be it. They all have some scoring talent and grit, even though Kopecky can't win a faceoff to save his life. Last night he was five of nine on faceoffs, which is as good as you're going to get with him.
  • Boss 81 finally had a moment of clarity, late in the second, as he went around 2 D-men and had a very good chance. Nice to see you could join us this February, Marian.
  • The Hawks scored their second powerplay goal of the night just a few moments after the Wild goal. Brouwer banked it off the Wild D-man Zanon, and into the net. We'll take it, and no complaining about T-Brouw's effort, as of late.
  • Bolly had assists on all of the Hawks goals. It's a really good time to get hot, so it would be nice if some of that could rub off.
  • Havi had a tight leash last night. Stalberg only had 4:06 of ice time, Hendry had 6:52, Jake the Snake only had 8:22, and I'll mention Big Show later. Maybe he's onto something because this was as solid a game as the Hawks have played this season.
The Bad
  • The Hawks played the first period like THEY were the team coming off a late game the night before, not the team that had been off a few days. Halfway though the first and the Wild had 13 shots already.
  • The Hawks had a prime chance in the second with a four minute powerplay, and couldn't manage to put it in the net. The best chance was Bolland's back door shot that was just deflected wide.
  • Corey Crawford was having a real rough time gathering in rebounds all night. That's something he needs to work on controlling better.
  • The Wild finally got on the scoreboard on a powerplay just about midway through the third period, as Cullen got in behind Deuce and Soupie, took a nice feed, and put it around Mr. Crawley. You'd like to see Crawford poke check that puck, but at least it didn't hurt.
  • John Scott. 3:36 of bliss. What a waste.
The Ugly
  • Really the only ugliness was the first half of the first period, where the Hawks yielded 13 shots. Can't complain about this win.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rise of the Phoenix

We found out before the game that Ryan Johnson was put on IR, Jake the Snake had the flu, and Stalberg had an upper body injury. To replace Snake and Johnson, Scott was put in the lineup and Jeff Taffe was called up from Rock-Beria. The first period was pretty tame, although the Hawks had a few chances early. Phoenix scored the only goal, putting the Hawks down 1-0. Phoenix came out and scored one in gthe opening minute of the second period, and the Hawks put in a later powerplay goal, to go into the locker room down 2-1. The Hawks scored a second powerplay goal late in the third to tie the game and that's how regulation ended. The Hawks had plenty of chances in the OT, and couldn't end the game. Finally, the Yotes scored two in the shootout and the Hawks were shut out. Game over.

The Good
  • Some signs of life later in the second, as Brouwer took a nice feed on the powerplay and buried it for his 16th of the season. Hossa was credited with his 800th career point on the play.
  • A second powerplay goal in the late minutes of the third by Deuce tied up the game. Keith needs to watch how Campbell FAKED a shot and fed it over for a one timer. I repeat, FAKE SHOT. Just a thought, Duncan.
The Bad
  • The first significant play of the game was Radim Vrbata getting behind Kid Leddy, after Deuce lets let Vrbata skate right by him. Vrbata then outraced Deuce to the net, and beat Crawford. Crawford wasn't quite as aggressive as you'd like but he shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place
  • Whatever Marty Turco was on in that shootout last night, Corey Crawford was on the same thing. The second Yotes goal, was heinous. Taylor Pyatt just let a little snapper go from outside the dot, and Crawford barely reacted. I really like dislike Steve Konroyd doing color, because he's always looking for excuses. That was bad no matter how you spin it.
  • When one of your best chances is a Big Show breakaway, you're having a bad night.
  • Speaking of Big Show, I've seen enough of him, and I'm sure I'm not alone. He brings nothing to this team. He had a few chances to use his body and practically kissed the opposing player. Can we please put this project to bed? Four minutes and twenty three seconds of glory. What a waste.
  • The Czech line. That's some kind of oxymoron, right?
  • Holy sheep shit, Boy Blunder; Pat Kane had the game on his stick with a breakaway from his own side of the center line in, actually a 2-0 break, and couldn't score. Isn't this suppose to be his forte?
The Ugly
  • I know he scored a goal, but Duncan Keith was completely clueless all night. For a guy that was quick to point fingers during the week, he is eating a mouthful of shoeleather. He was a turnover machine all night. I'm done trying to explain what's wrong with him, but he is a shadow of his former self. High flying Hawk? Christ, Steve, wake up!
  • Tomas Kopecky was 1-11 on faceoffs. That is just ridiculous. NINE PERCENT!
The Shootout
  • Shane Doan was snuffed out by Crawford
  • Jonathan Toews was stopped by Bryzgalov
  • Radim Vrbata beat Crawford on the backhand
  • Patrick Kane was beaten by Bryzgalov
  • Ray Whitney had the 5-hole shut by Crawford.
  • Marian Hossa missed the net.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, February 11, 2011

North Dallas Futility

With all the hoopla of the "Turco back in Big D" situation, the Stars seemed to have forgotten there was a game to play. The Hawks opened up what should have been a 4-0 lead in the first period, and the Stars were left wondering if they could have a "do over". Dallas got a little luck with the 4th goal being disallowed, but they were still in a 0-3 hole. The second period ended being the complete opposite of the first, with Dallas scoring two powerplay goals, cutting the lead to one goal going into the third. The third started like the second ended, with a Stars goal. All that hard work in the first period was wiped away, as the game was tied 3-3. The rest of the game was scoreless and the Stars won it in the shootout. Simply terrible. This team doesn't deserve to make the playoffs.

The Good
  • The Hawks wasted no time jumping on a turnover with under four minutes gone in the first, Pat Kane jumped a pass from the Star's Grossman, and sniped Kari Lehtonen with a nice top shelf stick side laser. That's what we've been waiting for. Chris Boden made a great call as he said, "Nick Grossman turned into Rex Grossman". I don't care who you are, that's funny, right there.
  • Thirty one seconds after the Kane goal, Seabrook buried a one time feed from Tazer, after ANOTHER Grossman turnover, and it was 2-0 with less than five minutes gone in the first period.
  • Even the powerplay was on, in the first, as Captain Serious fed Shooter on the back door as has happened so many times this year. Nice to see the powerplay waking up, especially with Hossa out. This goal gave Kaner 3 points already in the game. This is where the Hawks fell asleep.
  • The other shenanigans that went on overshadowed the solid game Marty Turco had. Well, except for that embarrassing shootout. The entire team let him down, though, and they shouldn't have even been in a shootout.
The Bad
  • Unfortunately, the Hawks were without the services of Hossa, as he's listed day-to-day with the flu. Brouwer took his place with Frolik and TomoKop.
  • Absolutely ALL cylinders were pumping with what should have been the second powerplay goal of the first period, by Seabrook. No disrespect to Kari Lehtonen, because he made a HELL of a save, but that was a goal. Bad call by the war room in Toronto and it changed the game immensely.
  • I'm not really sure why, but the Stars had Michael Frolik's number all night. He was lit up with big open ice hits in each of the first two periods. Get your head up, kid, or it's going to get knocked off.
  • Early in the second period Vik Stalberg took an awkward hit deep in the Dallas zone and came up holding his shoulder. He wasn't seen after that.
  • After Stalberg left, Pisani was the lucky recipient of an elbow that took HIM out of the game. They were just dropping like flies.
  • Between the second and third period it was announced that the THIRD injured Hawks player of the night, Ryan Johnson, would not return. Old School hockey now, boys. Eddie Shore...Toe Blake.
  • As luck would have it, the Hawks were killing a Bryan Bickell penalty and gave up a soft, short side powerplay goal. Here it comes. The shift began here.
  • I was right, as usual, and the Stars followed that up with a second powerplay goal with 4.2 seconds in the second period.
  • Forty seven seconds into the third period Ocho and Deuce let Brenden Morrow and Jamie Langenbrunner tee off on Turco. Three goal lead gone, just like that. Fucking Hawks, and fucking war room in Toronto!!
The Ugly
  • The disallowed goal didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but it took the wind out of the Hawks onslaught. It's a shame too, because I would have really liked to see a 6 or 7 goal game. Instead we saw all the life sucked out of the team. Like they really need any help sucking.
  • Mike Ribiero is a whiny little bitch. He stuck his knee out on Seabrook and cried like a little bitch when he was called for it. Someone should have taken his head off. I really dislike that smarmy little smart ass show off. I wish Matt Cooke on you.
  • Like a bad fairy tale, the Hawks couldn't score a single goal after the first period, and ended up losing in the shootout. ANOTHER third period collapse.
  • The worst part of this WHOLE thing is that all the fucking delays in the game made the game run over a half hour late. Just enough for my DVR to cut off the game as the OT hit 0:00. I missed the entire SO. After watching it online, I wished I hadn't. My point here is that the Hawks should have never been in that position in the first place. They took their foot off the gas again, and it blew up in their face.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breaking Me Down

Late last night, just as the Hawks were taking the ice for warm ups, one of the few people who have their pulse on the Hawks, Adam Jahns, reported that team had have acquired Michael Frolik and goalie Alexander Salak from Dale Tallon and the Panthers, for Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan. Actually, the original report was just Skille for Frolik, which wouldn't really give me happy pants, but wouldn't break me down to tears, either. After looking thoroughly at the players involved, it looks like the Hawks stole this trade.

What We Give

I like Jack Skillington very much, and I like the energy he brings, but in all reality he is a 23 year old fourth line winger that the team rarely used. Seven minutes a game just wasn't worth it, and there was nowhere else for him. He has a one year deal that will result in him being a Restricted Free Agent, and would be looking for a raise next season, which the Hawks probably wouldn't give him. Until this year, he's really been a disappointment. I shouldn't need to remind people that he was the Hawks first round pick the year BEFORE Jonathan Toews, and two years before Kane.

The OTHER first round disappointment in this trade is Hugh Jessiman. I'm not going to get all long and drawn out on him, but he was the 12th pick overall in 2003 and still hasn't seen a shift in the NHL. He was sitting on three goals and two assists, in 25 games with Rockford.

I can't say I know much about David Pacan other than what I can" Google". He was a 6th round pick in 2009, plays in the OHL and was cut from the University Of Vermont for "unspecified offenses". Sounds like Kyle Beach Lite to me.

What We Get

He is a former Florida first round pick that has a little more success under his belt. At 22, he's already a two time 21 goal scorer in the NHL, and was the second leading scorer on the Panthers. He was drafted at #10, between Captain Serious at #3 and current Ice Hog Ivan Vishnevskiy at #27. Talk about opposite extremes of the scale. Anyway, he's a bit more expensive than Skille, with a cap hit of $1.275 million, and he is also a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The difference is that Frolik is a solid top six forward, and Skille was a bottom 6 guy. Frolik can play both center and wing, but expect him to relieve Kopecky of his atrocious centering duties. This will also leave Sharpie to head back to his natural position of wing. Frolik looks to be more of a need to this team than Skille, and you can't ignore 50 career NHL goals at 22. One scouting report says the following, regarding Frolik:

Assets - Has loads of offensive flair and scoring potential. Can play all three forward positions and figures to eventually fill out his 6-1 frame.
Flaws - Needs to bring it every night, as he still battles the inconsistency bug. Must prove capable of stepping up in big games.

Here is a little Michael Frolik highlight reel from the 08-09 season. Notice the #44 Boynton celebrating with Frolik at about 38 seconds in.

For my money, this is this guy is the key to the deal. He's 24 years old and has had success everywhere he's been. Currently he's playing in the Swedish Elite League and leading all goalies there with 6 shutouts and a .925 save percentage. This could be Corey Crawford's backup next year. He played a full season in the AHL last year where he had a record of 29-14-0, with a GAA of 2.89, a save percentage of .910, and one shutout.

His scouting report says the following about him: "Salak has an unorthodox style. He has a highly aggressive nature in net which often forces him to make the theatrical save with the extraordinary quickness and athleticism to do so". Sounds a little like two other former Blackhawks, Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasak, and maybe a little Tim Thomas. That style CAN work in the NHL, because there is really no solid way to scout it. I like what I've read about him. Here is a little teaser reel for him:


Oil Change

Shortly before the game last night, the Blackhawks announced that they had traded Jack Skille and some shlubs for Michael Frolik and a goalie named Salak. These weren't the only changes with the team. The Hawks completely changed up their "D" pairings, moved Sharpie, and Brouwer around, and had Ryan Johnson suit up to take Skille's spot, until Frolik reports. In the first half of the first period the Hawks were slightly out of sorts, but they rebounded in the second half of the period to dominate with one goal on ten shots, and only giving up four shots. The second period was a bit more even, but with the Hawks scoring another goal, although both teams had 12 shots on net. The third just became a circus with penalties galore, but the odd thing is that they were all really minor infractions, if you don't factor in the two questionable Oiler misconducts, after the Hawks 3rd goal.

The Good
  • The Hawks spent the first eight minutes of the first period getting use to their new lines, and it was showing. That was until the new line of Captain Serious, Kaner, Sharpie, with Deuce, and Leddy decided they wanted to play a little hockey and completely dominated the Oilers for about a minute straight. Promising.
  • The following shift for that line resulted in a Sharpie goal, with a feed from Tazer. Maybe they really DO want to wake this team up.
  • As an opposing team, if One Trick Bick is left with a break-a-way from his own blue line in, you're not playing a good game, and this was the case on the second Hawks goal. How they didn't catch his big slow ass is beyond my comprehension, but I'm taking it.
  • The revamped lines for last night's game were Kane-Toews-Sharp, Brouwer-Kopecky-Hossa, Bickell-Bolland-Pisani, Stalberg-Dowell-Johnson at forward, and Keith-Leddy, Hjalmarsson-Seabrook, Hendry-Campbell on Defense.
  • Finally, on the 6th powerplay of the night, the Hawks got a powerplay goal. Toews, fed Kopecky who put a pass between his legs to Kaner, who put it into the net. Even the worst team in the league is going to get lucky, with six straight powerplays.
The Bad
  • The Hawks had a plethora of powerplay chances, but the powerplay as a whole is clearly still broken. The best chances were as a result of long passes and one-on-one situations. Just remember that the Oilers are the worst penalty kill team in the league.
  • The Hawks had 3 partial breakaways in the first 22 minutes of the game and couldn't cash in on any of them. The forth was Bickell's breakaway goal, in the second. That is not what I would call efficient.
  • Ryan Johnson plays his first game in a long while and he felt that he needed to get on the score sheet with a penalty. Looking better every game, Ryan.
  • Hoss disappeared sometime during the second period intermission, never to be seen again. Reports are that he has a minor upper body injury. Lets hope it is a precautionary issue, and not another serious injury. He was the only Blackhawk to not see ten minutes of ice time.
  • Toews was only 40% on faceoffs, but he was 64% in the offensive zone. That 0-5 in the neutral zone draws was the downfall. Everyone else was good at the faceoff dot but Kopecky, who was a brutal 33%. Thank god Frolik is coming to save us from any more Kopecky any center debates. OOFFAA!
The Ugly
  • The Hawks game up Corey Crawford's shutout bid with about three minutes to go in the game, as Crawford kicked a huge rebound out to Jordan Eberle, who one timed it into the net. The Hawks have become the league's epic third period failure team, and if Crawford wasn't solid, they could have easily given up their lead. Getting outshot 8-4 in the third period is not a promising sign. Thanks for taking your foot off the gas ONCE AGAIN, boys. It's become a full fledged habit, at this point.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hawks trade Skille for Frolik

As announced by Adam Jahns the Hawks have acquired Michael Frolik and goalie Alexander Salak from Dale Tallon and the Panthers for Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan. Certainly a win from the looks of things. More on this trade tomorrow.

Gripes N Grudges, Episode 1 - The Phallac Menace

The Blackhawk nation had a good week to discuss what needed to be done in the last 32 games to make things right, and achieve a decent playoff position. They couldn't NOT make the playoffs, right? Well, we are three games closer to the end of the regular season, and nothing has changed from the previous 50 painful debacles. If no one has found a solution to the peaks and valleys of this team, then it's doubtful that they will, in the last 32 games. Realistically, that's the situation. When all properly coddled and nurtured, the Hawks look like world beaters, and when they are in a funk, they look like dick beaters. The problem is that they look like both world and dick beaters in the same games, and sometimes in the same periods. Nothing has been consistent, or in other words, consistently inconsistent. Did this team rely on Torchetti, Madden, Burish, Ladd, Byfuglien, Sopel, Fraser, Versteeg, and Niemi that much? I honestly still believe they didn't, but this team is doing its best to debunk that theory. So much for all that positive energy I was slinging around pre-camp. I've come to a few conclusions over these 53 games, and most of them are quite negative (shocking, I know).
  • Coach Joel Quenneville. He is NOT the master line combination artist that everyone will try and make you think. He has a quick trigger finger, and meddles far too much, far to quickly. Sometimes lines and players need to fight through their issues, but Quenneville won't let a line though a full period without completely uprooting them. Couple that with decisions like Jordan Hendry and John Scott playing as your forth line wingers, and the mad scientist isn't looking so slick now. These are two guys that can't even get time at their natural positions. I know he can only work with what he's given, but he has had choices. Also, Where is this master motivator? There are times when this team doesn't look like it is motivated enough to beat a mite team...but, hey, we'll always have 2010, right?

  • GM Stan Bowman. Not all of this blame can be thrown at Quenneville, as he can only work with the canvas he is given. The "genius" salary cap man has to eat some of this fecal sammich, too. Some of his decisions have been downright looney tunes. John Scott? Ryan Johnson? Nick Boynton? Fernando Pisani? Ryan Potulny? Jeff Taffe? There were other affordable people out there and he went for the sludge at the bottom of the barrel. Turco was a safe bet at the time, and isn't hurting anyone by opening up the door for players coming off the ice. We know the trades had to happen, so his hand was forced. I'll still take Sharpie over Versteeg, Sopel or Byfuglien 100 out of 100 times. At some point, you can't sit around and watch this team implode, and plunge to the depths of the Western conference. He seems to be content to watch this team sink or swim, the way it is.

  • Defenseman Duncan Keith. Mister Norris Trophy. After Monday night's game, Mr. Keith went on an uncharacteristic tirade, when a member of the media asked him about the problems of the power play, as of late. He replied with the following comment, "Fuck the power play; Nobody goes to the net to score goals". It's hard to shock me, but this did. The problem with this, is that when he proceeded to call out his team out, he should have been pointing the finger at himself, too. Granted, he isn't wrong, but Duncan Deuce has to find a way to get the puck TO the net for traffic in FRONT of the net to matter. You would think he has recently taken stock in CCM the way he has tried to destroy opposing players shin pads. The powerplay is what has kept them in quite a few games, so when that goes dry, you have reason to be concerned, Duece.

  • Assistant Mike Kitchen. Last year the powerplay was average at best, and the penalty kill was pretty damn good, and that won them the Stanley Cup. I don't know exactly which special team Haviland took care of and which one Toch took care of, but neither were futile. This season, Haviland has had the PP running on 12 cylinders, on basically talent alone. The penalty kill was new assistant coach, Mike Kitchen's project. We all know how well THAT went. Pretty damn close to last, if not last, in the league. Some changed were made, and Haviland took over the PK, which has magically functional, again. One would be lead to assume that Kitch was moved to oversee the powerplay, which has magically gone limp. Coincidence? Maybe they miss John Tochetti more than we know. Food for thought.

  • Over the past few weeks, I've heard slight whispers from people who think there is some way the Hawks could bring back Ladd, Sopel, or Versteeg. Anyone who thinks that is even a remote possibility needs to be lobotomized. All of them make $3 million or more, and the Hawks have a whopping $358K of cap room. For all of those that are G.E.D. deficient, that's a difference of $2.6 million. Good luck finding that much to trade away for a role player, and none of those players are going to magically turn back the clock to 2010.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Ship is Taking on Water

I guess there aren't going to be many easy ones from here on out, not that we thought there would be. The Hawks came into this one hitting but they weren't exactly causing scoring chances. The Flames were the only ones on the scoreboard after the first period, with a goal off a very sloppy change. The Hawks only managed THREE shots on net in that period, which is utterly pathetic. The second was a little better as the Hawks tied up the game, but they never really had a great deal of scoring chances, despite the powerplays. In the third, the Hawks outshot the Flames 9-7 but gave up the game winner and an empty netter. Not a good showing at all. This just isn't a quality playoff team, because they can't play consistently for any more than a period at a time.

The Good
  • The Hawks were the most physical I've seen them all year, in the first period. Seabrook and Brouwer made some big hits. They tried to talk up the Boynton hit on Bourque, but he really just barely clipped Bourque. You can shine up a turd all you want, but it's still a turd.
  • Captain Serious ALMOST took too much time on the play where the goal was scored. They caught the Flames in a bad line change and were lucky they didn't squander the chance. Luckily Jonny hung onto the puck long enough, as he was going around the net, for Pat Kane to find a soft spot. Tazer found Kane wide open in the slot, and he buried it.
  • How Nik Hjalmarsson continues to block shots like he does, and continues to roll right back out on the ice, is beyond me. This guy take a BEATING, and has balls of steel.
The Bad
  • I'm not going to shut up and take this with a smile, so WHY are we being fed so much Nick Boynton? It's just extremely annoying at this point, and I think Quenneville is doing it to piss everyone off, because mission accomplished. I cry UNCLE!!!
  • I'm not really sure what the hell is going on with the first goal, but SOMEONE, and all signs point to Hjalmarsson, decided to make a change on the D, and left Seabrook and Keith hung out to dry. Keith simply had ZERO chance to make up the ground lost and the Calgary player, Backlund, snuck in between for the breakaway. HORRIBLE change. I was looking to blame Keith, but I watched the play a few times, and I'm fairly sure it was Hammer that went for the late change. Keith wasn't really at fault.
  • The starting lineup said that Hendry was playing with Boynton, which was incorrect. Leddy was playing with Boynton. Attention to detail guys. It starts from the top on down.
  • The powerplay is now CLEARLY broken, and scoring on pure talent is NOT working anymore. I am beginning to think assistant coach Mike Kitchen is responsible for this. When he was in charge of the PK, they were AWFUL, and once Haviland took it over, things were better. Now, I'm assuming Kitch is handling the powerplay, while Havi is fixing the PK. How something that was working so well, could just suddenly be broken is beyond me, but here we are.
  • I'm not entirely sure why, but Nick Leddy sat for a good portion of the second period. Some kind of punishment, apparently, but Nick Boynton can suck it up all night long. Makes sense. That really works well with a 19 year old's ego.
  • The second Calgary goal was a pretty nice shot by Glencross. Crawford went down early, and got picked apart, but Brouwer got caught chasing the puck, originally, and left Glencross behind him.
The Ugly
  • THREE shots in the first period? EMBARRASSING!
  • How many shorthanded chances are we going to give up guys? The Flames are not THAT good on the PK.
  • Anytime someone wants to let the second line know that they were supposed to play last night, that would be swell. Six total shots by that entire line. Calgary...last night...you missed it, fellas.
  • Captain Serious was coming off one of his better games, and proceed to stink the joint up at the faceoff dot. Thirty eight percent from the Hawks best faceoff guy. That's all sorts of suck.
  • Perfect way to end a horseshit game, a bad penalty for mouthing off, and an empty net goal.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Zebra Hunting

Quenneville decided that he needed to see a little more Marty Turco in net, and it was going to be interesting to see how that would factor in. The first period ended up with the Nucks going up 1-0 late in the period. In the second the Hawks scored 2, but the Nucks scored again late in the period to tie up the game. As you would expect, the third period was a complete dogfight. Unfortunately, the Hawks continued to get no help from the officiating crew and went home 4-3 losers.

The Good
  • Finally something good happened for the Hawks, 5 minutes into the second. Captain Serious decided he wanted the puck more than the Nucks Malhotra, and easily out muscled him, took the puck, walked in and picked Borat apart. Watching Borat Bobby-Lu pout after giving that goal up had to make every Hawks fan laugh.
  • Five minutes later NICK BOYNTON, of all people, had a goal go off his big slow body and into the net. More for Bobby-Lu to cry about. The fan in the background while Boynton was celebrating that was clearly saying "Fuck you, Fuck you, Fuck you" made me chuckle a bit.
  • Pick-To-Click Vik has been playing with more of an edge, as of late. Someone had to have given him a talk, because he has a new more gritty attitude. This can only be good for him, because he was being manhandled for most if the season.
  • I never get tired of seeing stupid goals go in on Borat. I could watch those over and over. Bolland and Bick were coming in on a 2-on-2 and Bolland motioned for Bickell to throw it at the net, and Bobby-Lu directed the rebound right to Bolland who blindly threw it back at the net. That is when the Nucks Tanner tried to glove the paukc, directing it right into the net. HILARIOUS!
The Bad
  • Just over three minutes in and the combo of One Trick Bick and Bolly found themselves in on a 2-on-1. Of course, that is far too much for Bickell to process and he couldn't get the Bolly return pass into his wheelhouse. Chance averted.
    the same thing happened later as a Kaner couldn't take a feed from Bick.
  • Once again, the Hawks were screwed by a waved off goal. Power Brouwer was screening Bobby-Lu and Bolly put a nice shot in the net. Of course, Bobby-Lu whined like a little girl and got his way. Brouwer never even touched him, but it's clear that if you go to the net, he'll get rattled. The play also started with Campbell and Kaner setting up the play nicely.
  • He might be a talented guy, but his style and his whiny attitude makes me absolutely HATE Luongo. Toughen up, you little girl.
  • The second Nucks goal really wasn't Turco's fault. The Hawks were shorthanded and the shot was deflected. The PK warm and fuzzies couldn't last forever. Unfortunately it was yet another goal in the final minutes of a period. That's UNACCEPTABLE.
  • Shortly after the Hawks went up, Brent Seabrook was called for a questionable penalty and the Nucks went to work. It didn't take them long as Tomax and Xamot, the ginger boys, connected to tie up the game.
  • Tomax and Xamot were at it again with 4 minutes remaining, as they zigged and zagged, and then put a shot off Brent Seabrook's leg, that just fluttered in. That's your game winner folks, What the hell?
The Ugly
  • As has happened too often this year, the first Nucks goal was a bad one. Inside two minutes, and Turco lets a LONG shot in from Erhoff. You can say he was screened by Skille, but he had plenty of room to pick it up. As it turned out the play was actually offsides, so just swell on that one.
  • The Hawks continue to have issues with 5-on-3 powerplays. I don't know how that can be, but ts the case.
  • I'm not sure was up the officials asses but it wasn't good. SEVERAL times there were calls made that hurt the Hawks. I'm not one to blame games on the officials, but this game was BRUTALLY AWFUL.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Biggest Dumb Ass in the NHL for $1000, Alex.

There are a lot of real assclowns in the NHL, and I mean A LOT! But the top of the list has to be Islander Goaltender Rick DiPietro. This guy can't keep himself healthy whatsoever, and I mean WHAT-SO-EVER. If someone looks at him cross, he pulls a groin. His knees are made of pure glass. Knowing this full well, the Islanders baby him like a child and cringe at each and every questionable fall or play. So, tonight, he is losing 3-0 in the late seconds of the game and he purposely steps in the way of league ball bag Matt Cooke, but this isn't the most stupid thing he did. After a scrum ensues from the collision, DiPietro sees Penguins Goalie Brent Johnson drifting towards the Islander. The smart thing to do would be just ignore it and take your 3-0 loss like a man. Not DiPietro. He urges Johnson to come down and fight. They drop their gloves and this happens:

You, my friend, just got THUNDERSTRUCK (to steal that retarded John Scott/Pat Foley announcement). Lets watch that left from Johnson once again, in slow motion.

With all his injury problems, he joins in on this ass hattery. Especially the way he steals that salary from the Isles nightly. YOU SIR, are a complete DUMB ASS, Rick DiPietro!

Late Blue Jackets Wrap, 51 down

My apologies for the late wrap-up, but I was without internet for 24 hours.

Game number 51 started the same way the first 50 did, nothing different. The Jackets went up VERY early in the game, but the Hawks came back with two in the first period to go into second up 2-1. The second period was a shootout with the Hawks scoring 3 and the Jackets scoring 2. The third continued the scoring with the Hawks netting 2 more and the Jackets scoring a bad one. It wasn't really all that solid, but they netted 7 goals. One down and 31 to go.

The Good
  • What a way to start the the second half of their season, with a powerplay 6 seconds into the game. Too bad they couldn't cash in.
  • Nick Leddy picked up a loose puck in the slot and wristed it into the upper corner of the net and went of the post and in. Nothing pretty about it, but it's a goal nonetheless.
  • I chuckle every time I hear the name Grant Clitsome.
  • If they didn't score on the 2 man powerplay, I would have been livid, but Keith had an open shot and didn't shoot it into an opponents shin pads, shockingly.
  • The Hawks third goal was led by Pick-to-Click Vik and Captain Serious on a 3 on 2 that was a 2 on 2 because no one wanted Pisani touching the puck. Jonny and Vik played catch back and forth, and Toews fed Vik on the back door to poke it in the net. Stalberg needed that one, because he was drifting into obscurity. Credit Fernandog with causing a ruckus in front of Mason.
  • The timeout call by Quenneville obviously woke the Hawks up, and they scored their forth goal off a Jackets turnover that was fed out to Kaner, who buried it.
  • Jonny B Goode got his third point of the second period with forty seconds remaining and the Hawks shorthanded. He poked a puck past the defense and came in on a 2 on 0 with Duncan Keith and buried it in the net.
  • Bolly decided to make an appearance in the third period as the Jackets defense gave Bolly and Bick a WEALTH of room, and Bolland snapped it into the net. Weak goal for Garon to give up after relieving Mason in the third.
The Bad
  • Dick Boynton is NOT who I want to see out there, in the first of a series of important games. Poor Nick Leddy gets paired up with that abortion. Sure enough, he takes a puck off that hideous face in the second period and it ends up in the net.
  • Goal number one for the Jackets was just weak. Keith completely missed his check on Dorsett, it deflected off Sharpies stick, and Turco looked like he didn't even want to put in a decent play. This is the effort we're going to get Dunc? Dorsett didn't exactly put on a particularly slippery move.
  • I'm not sure why Bolland is playing with the first PP unit rather than Brouwer, but it's throwing something off.
  • Brent Seabrook got absolutely wrecked by RJ Umberger while the Hawks were killing a third period penalty by Toews. WRECKED!
The Ugly
  • On the second Jackets goal, Rick Nash made Toews, Keith and Seabrook like complete DUNG as he walked through the middle of them and fed Broussard for a tap in goal. To make matters worse, the Jackets scored one off the ugly mug of Nick Boynton less than a minute later.
  • Matt Calvert absolutely shit all over Nicks Boynton and Leddy, and then gave Marty Turco a porno style facial for the finishing move. Way to tie the guy up, Boynton.
  • I wish I could tell you how the end of the game ended, but the cable went out with 1:30 left and Sharpie going into the box for a trip. SnowJob 2011, thank you very much. Mother Nature is a WHORE!
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