Thursday, February 10, 2011

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:

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