Monday, September 26, 2011

Blackhawks at Redwings - Preseason Recap

Here the Hawks were, playing the Wings in Detroit for preseason game, in a 80% empty Joe Louis Arena. While the Hawks were still playing with a mostly minor league roster, and the Wings had most of their big guns on the ice. The baby Hawks still put up a valiant effort, and came storming back. The first period was NOT a good one at all. Two failed powerplays, two pretty weak goals against (one on a bad penalty), and the Hawks couldn't muster up much pressure at all. Trying to chase a 0-2 deficit was going to be a tough task, after just 20 minutes. The Hawks rebounded nicely in the second twenty minutes, winning the period 2-1. Penalties were still their Achilles Heel, though. The third period would hold the key, and the Hawks answered the call by tying up the game, sending it to overtime, and eventually a shootout. Unfortunately, they weren't able to pull it out in the shootout. We can write it up as a character builder. The lines for the game were as follows:



The Good
  • Even though he was relegated to playing with the forth line slugs, Vik Stalberg looked like he was carrying his confidence with him into this game, at least in the first period, after his 2 goal performance Friday.
  • Each time I see Dylan Olsen, I can't believe how big he looks out there. For a 20 year old kid, it's remarkable. He's got a rocket of a shot too. He's going to be a pretty good one, unfortunately he still looks pretty slow, especially being that big and all.
  • Rookie Brandon Pirri continued to impress with a snipe of a shorthanded goal. I'm always happy to see talented kids do well, and he deserved some recognition. Conklin must have underestimated him, but it's an important goal nonetheless.
  • Frodo had a 20 foot lead on anyone in the building after Bickell fed him for a break-a-way, and Conklin made a nice save. Glad to see him with chances in the offensive zone.
  • Nice to see Jimmy Hayes make an appearance this preseason, with some excellent composure. He was fed in front, all alone, by Ben Smith. Hayes pulled it to his backhand and beat Conklin.
  • I like what I see on the penalty kill from Megamind Mayers. He is going to turn out to be a very good "under the radar" signing, and for a forth liner, I'll take it.
  • Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Hayes continued to play exceptional hockey tying up the game about halfway through the third period. Ben Smith started the play by forcing a turnover, and Hayes composure showed again, as he held it long enough for Pirri to get into position. Hayes then dumped it off to Pirri, who buried it.

The Bad
  • After being the center of attention Friday night, Brandon Saad faded into the background. Expect to see him send back to Saginaw in the next few days.
  • The Hawks were lucky early when a shot that beat Salak was negated by a penalty. Salak is going to need to play standing up more, if he expects to be successful in the NHL.
  • Well, Well, Well. Tell me how long it's going to take for THIS sideshow to get old. Dan Carcillo takes a bad offensive zone penalty (he also took another stupid one, later) and then the Wings score on the ensuing faceoff. Johan Frazen screened the HELL out of Salak and he was beaten again, high, by Filppula. Atta boy, Carbomb, right on queue. Preseason or not, stupidity calls for
  • With 46 seconds left in the first Zetterberg beat Salak high once again. This was just an awful play. If I were Quenneville, I would have taken him out. He didn't make one solid save all period and only faced 7 shots. He was on his knees before the PASS was even made.
  • Lidstrom put the Hawks down 3-1 with another powerplay goal after Marcus Kruger lost the initial faceoff. Even though we have to realize that the Hawks team was playing an NHL roster compared to their AHL roster, no one wants to see this.

The Ugly
  • The Wings were CLEARLY shooting high early on Salak, and he was beaten just about every time. He needs to get that glove up, because these NHLers are going to snipe him at will. He evened out the rest of the game, but still looked a little panicky, which caught him out of position a few times.

The Shootout
  • Franzen stopped by Salak.
  • Pirri scored on Conklin
  • Bertuzzi scored on a fancypants move.
  • Frolik was stopped by Conklin
  • Zetterberg scored 5-hole on Salak
  • Saad was stopped by Conklin, never getting a shot off

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

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