Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smoldering Decay - Game 1

It began last night. Sixteen wins to go, to repeat as Stanley Cup champs. There isn't going to be an easy series along the way, either. At this point, it is what it is. We have to forget the previous 82 games, and hope for growth and maturity. The road goes through Vancouver, IN Vancouver. Not only that, but the Presidents Trophy winning Canucks. Can the Hawks finally play consistent? Can they hold a lead? We were one game closer to those answers last night.

The first period was a complete embarrassment and an insult to Blackhawks fans. The Hawks were out hit, out played, out shot, out glassed and out scored. Quite frankly, they were lucky that they only went into the second down 2-0. It could only get better from there, right? The second period WAS better, as the Hawks out shot the Nucks 15-13, but came away with no goals. The Hawks were put to task on something they didn't do well all year, which was chase a two goal deficit in the third period. We should all know how that has worked out. With the help of some posts, the Hawks were shut out. But HEY, this is how the Nuck series started the last two times, right? These are two completely different teams. COMPLETELY!

The Good
  • The Hawks finally started to generate some pressure in the second half of the second period. Couple of posts, a couple of nice Bobby Lu saves, but no goals. That was the story of the rest of the game.
  • GREAT poke check by Crow on Kevin Bieksa, who was sneaking out of the penalty box. That would have been the nail in the coffin.
  • Yes, I'm a goalie, but the fact remains that if Crawford hadn't played well, the game would have been 4-0 in the first. Neither of the goals were his fault.

The Bad
  • It was clear early that the Canucks were out to run Crow and rattle him. Not only were they out to rattle Crow, but they were blasting anything or anyone that moved. Natural reaction would be to return some hits. Last night was not natural, and the Hawks looked like a bunch of soft cream puffs.
  • The Nucks struck early with a Chris Higgins deflection of a Kevin Bieksa point shot. This was an inevitable result, the way the Hawks were turning it over in their own zone and getting pummeled.
  • The Nucks took a 2-0 lead on a Jannick Hansen break-a-way. Deuce not only got his lazy ass pocket picked while trying to dial in some defenders shin pads, but then stood there waving at Crow to come get it (thanks for the effort, Deuce). Hansen beat Hossa and then Crawford for the two nil lead. I cannot emphasize ENOUGH what a poppycock idea Deuce had, thinking Crow could jump out to the god damn BLUE LINE, to bail his ass out. I sympathized with Crow when he raised his arms up, as if to say, "What the fuck, man?!". Giving up on the play and pouting because you were a stupid in the offensive end is BUSH LEAGUE.
  • Hey Kaner? A two and a half foot high pass on a 2-on-1 isn't going to get the fucking job done. You might as well just fire it at the net and hope for a rebound. Instead? Not...even...a...shot! Just to make sure we saw it the first time around, he gave us a repeat performance in the second period. I love encores. There is that Stanley Cup experience kicking in.
  • All year we were hearing abut this hitting juggernaut that is Troy Brouwer. Lets get one thing straight...In reality, he is just the tallest midget. He has the most hits on this team because there isn't a SOUL on this roster that can hit, other than Brent Seabrook. Welcome to reality Blackhawk nation and don't say I didn't try to warn you.
  • Duncan, Duncan, Duncan... you get out skated on a shorthanded 3-on-2 against, and then you turn it back over when the break fell apart. Blackhawk leadership is looking good, guys! At least Sharpie LOOKED like he cared.
  • Just blame that missed break-a-way pass to Hoss on the shoulder, Brouw. That's the "go to" move. Can't hit anyone, can't possibly getting 100% on his shots, and can't pass either because he's hurt. Well what good has THAT provided?
  • Hoss turns it over HIGH in the zone on the powerplay, which turns into a huge 2-on-1 in his own end. Crow once again had to bail his teammates out.
  • For the first time in recent memory, Ryan Johnson was mushroom stamped at the faceoff dots, only winning 33%. Frodo was his usual 33%, El Capitan was 53%, and Snake was 43%.
  • Dr. Linebender didn't know WHAT to do with his matchups last night. It was a Shanghai Fire Drill throughout the first period and just continued. With Ryan Johnson, Tomas Kopecky and Troy Brouwer ailing, this is going to get even more interesting. Don't say I didn't point out their lack of depth before, but it's about to become VERY apparent.

The Ugly
  • Well, Well, Well. I guess strutting into the arena with your chest puffed up, and Stanley Cup rings on your ding dongs doesn't do much to intimidate the team with the best record in the NHL, does it?
  • Thanks for killing off that last powerplay for Vancouver, Brouwer. Welcome back, dumb shit. Sit your injured upper body, and your big soft dopey ass in the fucking press box.
  • The scariest part of this whole game is that Ryan Kesler, and the Ginger Twins had nothing to do with the scoring. WHEN the primary scorers get hot, there will be blood.

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

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