Monday, March 21, 2011

Road Warriors

"These are not the droids you're looking for"

Last night's game was yet ANOTHER crucial game. It was against a conference rival that is in the playoff race. The Hawks needed to gain 2 points, but yield none to the Yotes, which was no easy task. Sunday, it was announced that Ben Smith had been recalled from Rockberia. This would make sense, because of the roster debacle the other night in Dallas, but then Smith was a healthy scratch for the game, and sent back to Rockberia immediately following the game. That did a whole world of good. ANYWAY, there was a game played last night, and lets get on to it!

The first period was pretty slow paced, to say the least, but the Hawks still managed a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, they had to start the second period minus one of their most important players, Patrick Sharp. That injury could be a deal breaker, so lets hope it's nothing. The second period was just about as boring and slow as the first period, but this time it was the Yotes that scored in the closing minutes of the period to tie the game up at 1. All the Hawks needed was one late third period power play goal to get the Blackhawks a 2-1 win. It was a solid team win, and something they needed to accomplish.

The Good
  • Due to the rearranged lines, the Hawks looked like they were a little off with their passes, early on in the game, even with the nice chances they had.
  • The Defensive lines were back to something that resembled reasonable. Duece and Seabrook were back together, Hammer played with Kid Leddy, and Scott played with Stromboli, when Scott snuck off the bench and actually touched ice.
  • Deuce took an open pass from Leddy, simply turned, and buried a shoot 5-hole on Bryzgalov, on the powerplay that followed the Sharp injury. After a slow first with few chances, that was a great way to go into the first break.
  • For the second game in a row, Vik Stalberg showed off his blazing speed, by just chipping the puck ahead and putting on the afterburners. Bryzgalov beat him to the puck, but people notice that that kind of play. In the third period he was the recipient of some meaningful playing time with the top line, and was all OVER the rink.
  • The powerplay came up huge once again, on a gorgeous feed from El Capitán to Stromoli. Stromboli one timed the pass into a gaping net. Once again, when the game is on the line El Capitán flexes his enormous coconuts.
  • Frodo just seems to have better and better games, since being acquired in early February. He has been extremely solid on both ends of the ice, making big plays on the back check, forechecking and setting up big plays in the offensive ends. He is certainly not perfect, but for his size, he digs and skates hard.
  • Crawford was nothing, if not spectacular. The only goal he gave up was a shot that was going well wide of the net and hit his own player. NO goalie can be expected to save that. His two huge saves on Ray Whitney were as clutch as you can get. First star of the game, for sure.
  • The faceoff stats weren't all that shabby, as Ryan Johnson won a ridiculous 73% of the ones he took. The Snake won 62%, and El Capitán won 47%. Frolik and Kopecky went a deplorable 1-10, so I guess that evens out Johnson's stats.
  • I hate to say it, but as much as I like Snake, Ryan Johnson is playing too well to only get 9:25 on the ice. In that time he took 11 faceoffs (winning 8), and spent 1:06 killing penalties (which was the most on the team). We're finally seeing this Faceoff Artist and Penalty Killer extraordinaire. Better late, than never, I suppose.
The Bad
  • Like the Hawks need the angel of death visiting them anymore, but sure enough, Shooter went down at the end of the first on a delayed penalty, as "Rusty" Klesla rolled up on his leg.
  • Kaner made bad passes in his zone twice in the matter of a few seconds, which resulted in Crow having to come up with a big stops. Definitely a case of someone trying to do too much, and he needs to knock that shit out.
  • Big Show's TOI = 4:21. WHY are we still doing this? He is bring nothing to the Hawks team dynamic. His job is "sneak out there, don't fuck up, sneak off". Call him a cheap alternative, I don't care, because he has been USELESS.
  • Still no Biz Nasty. One big "BOO", for that.
The Ugly
  • The Yotes tied up the game with 1:17 left in the second on a dump in, that was clearly going wide of the net, which ended up going off Kid Leddy and into the net. Crow just has NO luck.
Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

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