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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets - Win Recap

"To Be, or Not To Be"

Nothing better, after a boring uninspired road loss, than coming home and playing what might be the coldest team in the NHL. The Hawks should thank the schedule making gods for that one, because they were in need of an easy game. It's well documented that the Jackets started off horribly. The Hawks on the other hand, got off to their best start in 40 years. Leave it up to them to completely shit the bed in Carolina, just as the media brought this fact up. I call a jinx! There were big changes in the lineup with Big Show playing for a suspended Car Bomb, Lepisto playing for O'Donnell, and Razor playing in net.

The Hawks opened up the scoring quickly, but the Jackets weren't far behind. Things were starting to look like they were falling apart when the Hawks were able to get a late shorthanded goal to go up 2-1 at the end of the first period. The Jackets were the only team to score in the second and the Hawks blew some powerplay time. Can the Hawks EVER carry a big lead into the third? THe Hawks opened it up in the third period, which was nice, for a change. They came away with a 5-2 win, and outshot Columbus 38-29.

The Good

  • Marcus Kruger opened up the Hawks night on a big MegaMayers slapshot rebound that just laid in front of the rookie Columbus netminder, York. Kruger went hard to the net, and ended up with an easy tap in goal.
  • FINALLY, some excitement for the crowd, when Frolik fed Bolly for shorthanded break-a-way goal late in the first. The play would have resulted in a penalty shot but the continuation resulted in a goal, with Bolly wearing a Clitsome backpack for the last 15 feet.
  • Pick-to-Click Vik put the Hawks up 3-2 on a 4-on-4 situation, following the negated Sharp goal. He picked up the puck at the blue line and turned on the after burners heading up the boards, and then cutting to the middle. He got York to open up the 5-hole, and ripped it into the back of the net. SHOCKING, a goal that couldn't be negated.
  • Less than two minutes later Bruno was able to lug the puck from behind the net, and send a backhand across the crease to Stalberg who scored his second goal of the night. I, for one, am glad to see him hit the net, because he was looking good in the preseason, until he got hurt, and he has some speed that the Hawks could really use. He just missed his hat trick goal later, when he missed the net on a break-a-way.
  • I can't ever remember seeing 2 disallowed goals in one game, but this one had FOUR. After 3 Hawks disallowed goals, Columbus ended up having one of their own...wait for it...ON THE POWERPLAY
  • I usually don't say much about empty netters, but Frodo absorbed a hit from Rick Nash, who was being a real dick all night, and poked it into the net with one hand. I usually like Nash, but in this case, he was a real dumb shit.

The Bad

  • Vinny Prospal answered the Hawks first goal, by taking advantage of the forth line. Kruger must have been dreaming of his goal, when he let Prospal sit on the back door all by himself. That quick start didn't last long.
  • In the first half of the game two of the most well behaved players took a total of three bad penalties. I'm not really sure what was up their asses, but that shit needs to be nipped in the bud. Tazer and Bolland cannot be spending that kind of time in the box.
  • In one of the strangest plays I've ever seen, Sharpie put a laser of a slapshot off the post and the Hawks thought they scored, but the play continued, and worked it's way around again. The Hawks got another chance that Kaner high sticked into the net. So they needed TWO video replays on one play. In all fairness, the war room in Toronto got both right, and actually, so did the on ice officials.
  • The Jackets second goal was started off by Hammer, in comical fashion. He blew a tire at the Hawks blue line similar to the way Deuce did a few games ago, and allowed a 2-on-1 break. Razor wasn't able to control the rebound on the play, and the defense wasn't much help so the puck squirted out to the side of the net, and Derek MacKenzie was able to put the puck in the open net.
  • To make matters worse on the powerplay, Sharpie was able to score AGAIN, but Bickell took a high sticking penalty that ended up a second disallowed goal. Just how many times are they going to shoot themselves in the foot?
  • Not the hat trick we had hoped for, but for the THIRD time in the game, the Hawks had a goal waved off when Bolland was called for kicking the puck in the net, you guessed it, ON THE POWERPLAY
  • Five penalties for the Hawks is just FAR too much. STOP IT!

The Ugly

  • Before the game it was announced that Car Bomb was suspended for 2 games following the "tie up" from the previous game. I call bullshit on that one, but that's a whole different subject.
  • The near misses aside, the Hawks powerplay is still painfully fucking repulsive.
  • As much as I cursed the intermission interview of Frodo, Kruger made him sound like James Earl Jones. Quit interviewing players that struggle to speak english, PLEASE! It's uncomfortable to listen to, and I'm certain it's stressful for them, as well. We can do without.
  • Big show...three shifts...1:44...one goal against. If ANYONE tries to claim that's better than what Rusty Olesz can provide, they are full of shit. If Olesz IS that bad, he doesn't belong on ANY NHL roster, or men's league roster, for that matter.

Here are your video highlights:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blackhawks at Carolina - Loss Recap

"Hurricane Cam"

This is the first and last the Hawks will see of the Carolina Hurricanes this season, barring a Canes/Hawks Cup final. This was a curious matchup, because even though the Canes were only 3-3-3, they have completely owned the Blackhawks in Carolina since, get this, 1998!. Overall, the Canes have gone 8-1-3 overall against our boys in white. Not so hot. The people to watch in this game are, of course, Goalie Cam "Wardo" Ward, Former Blackhawk Tuomo Ruutu, Rookie of the Year Jeff Skinner, and the oddly -9 Eric Staal. Ward is a VERY good goalie, Ruutu was on a 2 game goal scoring streak, Skinner picked up where he left off last year gathering 10 points in 9 games, and while Staal had 5 points coming in, he also carried the previously mentioned minus 9.

The Hawks opened the first period with a dominant shift but shortly gave up a bad goal that took the wind out of their sails, and they spent most of the rest of the period chasing the puck in their own zone and killing a powerplay. The second was pretty much more of the same, with the Hawks blowing two powerplay chances, and giving up a dozen shots for a second period in a row. One goal game, going into the third. This has been a pattern. The Canes opened up the the game in the third with two goals, and the Hawks ended up losing this one 3-0 with very little momentum.

The Good

  • The Hawks managed to pull off a textbook double minor penalty kill with little resistance, late in the first. Kane was sent to the box and the penalty kill ate up a good portion of time right when the Hawks were getting their momentum back.
  • Crawford found his footings and shook off his early jitters, with a HUGE glove save on Jeff Skinner, and then a break-a-way and then on the resulting penalty shot by sniper Eric Staal.
  • Early in the first period Quenneville split up Deuce and Leddy, and put Frank the Tank out there with Deuce. I can get on board with that, and it makes more sense. I'd prefer Seabrook or Hammer, but if it has to be Tank, then so be it.
  • Frank the Tank FINALLY brought that physical aspect we'd heard so much about, since last trade deadline. The defining moment was when he dumped the 6'4" Carolina Captain on his dupa with a great open ice hit deep in the Hawks zone.
  • It's really hard to root against a player I like so much, so if the Hawks have to get shut out, let Cam Ward be the goalie.

The Bad

  • Not a good start for the Hawks after having a majority of the pressure, a lost faceoff by Marcus Kruger led to a long point shot that went off Leddy's skate and in the net. Eddie pointed out the faceoff loss, and it was a pretty clean loss. If you ask me, and I'm sure you didn't; Mayers should have taken that draw.
  • The boards in Carolina sounded like Lars Ulrich's drums on the St. Anger album. A bunch of garbage can lids. Ping, Ping, Ping, Ping. Foley's mic switch wasn't working and you could clearly hear him ask to have the mic behind the net turned down because it was "ridiculous".
  • After the Hawks early pressure, and the Canes goal, the Canes proceeded to ride the Hawks like a wild pigs. The Hawks couldn't win a faceoff, and they couldn't even get the puck out of the zone. Not how you want to play a first period, on the road, down by a goal.
  • You things are bad when Mr. Automatic-on-break-a-ways can't even get a really good shot off.
  • The Canes Tlusty put the Canes up 3-0 after a 2-on-1 break that saw the combination of Leddy and Lurch get throttled. Leddy did his best to slow the play up, but Lurch still wasn't able to get back fast enough to help out.
  • Bolly and Kaner were donkey punched at the faceoff dot with Kaner going 1-8 and Bolland going 6-16.

The Ugly

  • I'm not sure just WHAT the holy hell Crawford was doing in the opening half of first period, but he was all OVER the place, and he looked confused on almost every shot.
  • The Hawks powerplay has reached epically embarrassing proportions. 25th in the league and falling faster every game. Not only that, but they gave up a horrible shorthanded break-a-way against that resulted in Seabrook getting called for an infraction which turned into a penalty shot.
  • After yet ANOTHER failed powerplay in the third, Brandon Sutter picked a puck out od Seabrook's feet, right in front of the box, and raced in on a break-a-way. I'm pretty sure you know how THIS chapter ends...2-0

Here are your video highlights:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What We've Learned Thus Far

Now that we are roughly 10% through the season it's safe to say that there are a few things that we're finding out about our beloved team. Some of which none of us could have guessed. Here are just a few:

All this talk of summers off, and Deuce getting a plethora of rest was just smoke blown up our collective asses. He's pretty much started off right where he left off in April. Brain farts and shooting directly into defenders. What's the next step, a lobotomy? Of course he has his flashes of brilliance, but we need more than flashes from a former Norris Trophy winning player. The first order of business should be getting him as far away from Nick Leddy as possible. There is a reason Soupie and Deuce never played together, and this should stand for Leddy and Keith. They both serve the same general purpose, so they cancel each other out, when together. Can we fix this, PLEASE?

If you would have told me that MegaMayers would be the most valuable fighter on the team, over Car Bomb and Big Slow, I would have laughed, or cried. YET, it is to be. The Thunderdome has done a textbook job of protecting his teammates, and has also thrown in a little offense. This may not keep up, but he's turned out to be one of the most important acquisitions of this offseason. This begs to ask the question of just WHAT they are going to do with Big Slow, but that's for another point.

Andrew Brunette has good hands, and a nose for the net, but that's it. When the game turns into a track meet, as quite a few of the Hawks games do, he is rendered completely useless. I'm not sure what they can really DO with him, but he may end up a healthy scratch in the near future. He has talent and leadership, but he's a square peg on a team full of round holes.

Frank the Tank Montador is apparently a slow starter. His preseason was atrocious and it led him to be played at 4th line winger for a game. That's not a promotion, people. Since the season started and he had gotten progressively better. He's going to pan out. His current partner, is another story.

Lurch O'Donnell is hanging on by a thin thread. He hasn't hurt the team, much, but his slow footwork is going to be exposed more and more. For all the time Sami Lepisto got in the preseason, it's kind of pointless to sit him in the press box for the first 8 games in favor of the old dog. Maybe O-D will step things up and start planing opponents on their tuchuses, but right now, he's just barely treading water. I like the idea of bringing him in, but he's more suited for the #7 spot.

Yes, Sami Lepisto is still employed by the Chicago Blackhawks, and he doesn't have some contagious disease other than being Finnish. I KEED, I KEED. Maybe we put him to work, guys? Just a thought.

Dan Carcillo really isn't the man we all thought he was. When he almost got into a fracas in his first shift of the training camp festival, we all thought to ourselves, "HERE he goes. The circus begins". We couldn't have been more wrong. He's been composed, and a model teammate. Yes, I'm still talking about Dan Carcillo. No, Mr. Hyde to speak of, yet. In fact he's almost been, shall I say, charming? If he can keep this up, I'd love for them to keep him around after this season. This has the makings of a hero story in this town.

Bolland is the guy we thought he was, in the playoffs last season. He's been THE shutdown guy, while anchoring the 3rd line and adding in some offense on the second PP unit. Sure beats his invisibility trick that he pulled last season.

Kaner is a beast no matter where you put him. He's been slightly below average on the defensive side of the rink, but he was that way at wing. Outside of the Hawks zone, he's been MASTERFUL. He has singlehandedly put to rest all questions about the #2 center slot. Consider it filled with balls of steel.

No worries of a sophomore slump with Crawford. He's here to stay, and he's going to continue to be solid, yet unspectacular. That, folks, is absolutely fine by me.

Razor will be just fine, as a backup. For the 20 games we'll need him, he's serviceable. He's not going to steal any games for the Hawks, but he's also not going to shit-the-bed each time he's in net. Maybe just a skid mark or two. Quenneville knows better than to throw him in there against Vancouver, but he can play some of the games like Columbus. I still like Salak better as a player, but they'd rather that Salak plays more than once every two weeks, and I can get on board with that.

Lucky Number 7 is quietly becoming the most important defender on the team. With Deuce playing like a puppy with two new toys, Seabrook just performs and intimidates. Argue with me all you'd like, but you don't see him constantly turning the puck over and repeatedly aiming for opposing players OTHER than the goalie. Let me remind you just how many times those blocked Duncan Keith shots have turned into odd man breaks coming back the Blackhawks way. Seabrook is big, surprisingly mobile, can control the puck, can jump into the play, and lets not leave out his hockey IQ. He's a poor man's Shea Weber. Let's be thankful he's here for a while.

As much as people fall all over themselves about players like Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, and Brandon Saad there just isn't room for them on the Blackhawks. PERIOD. Get mad and start pounding away at the keyboard, but tell me just WHERE those guys play. Unless Brunette gets shipped off somewhere, the Toews and Sharp line isn't changing. Hossa/Kane/Car Bomb isn't getting mixed up anytime soon. None of those players can play better than Bickell or Frolik on the shutdown line. What do you have left? 8 minutes a game on the forth line? I'd rather see the kids get major minutes in Rockford or Saginaw and have Stalberg/Olesz/Mayers/Kruger waste away on the forth line. None of those kids will benefit from being scratched and watching from the bench most of the game. This leaves the Hawks with plenty of leverage, should they entertain a trade. I, for one, would have loved to see David Booth here instead of Vancouver.

So, that is where things stand, at this point. The Hawks are 5-1-2 and currently in first place. Things aren't bad at all, and that's an improvement from last year.

Blackhawks vs Ducks - SO Win Recap

"Breaker 1-9, this is the Rubber Duck"

"Stop hitting yourself"

Two days removed from a disappointing SO loss to those pesky Avalanche Kids and the Ducks fly into town. The Ducks were struggling a little bit and one of their top snipers, Ryan Getzlaf, was ice cold, until last game. Goalie Jonas Hiller has had his ups and downs, as well. Hawks forward Dan Carcillo announced pregame that he was going "Duck Hunting", so this was sure to be an interesting affair.

The first period of last nights game was PAINFULLY boring. The Ducks really did their job holding the Hawks scoreless, even though they had 11 shots on net. The Hawks defense was solid, as well, allowing just 5 shots. The Ducks opened up the second with a quick goal and closed the period with a goal, with the Hawks scoring one of their own between. As dominating as the Hawks were, in shots, in the first period, the Ducks were more dominant in the second and it showed on the scoreboard. In the third period the Hawks were able to tie up the game, but the Hawks were going to have to decide this one in extra time and the Hawks were FINALLY able to outlast the Ducks in the shootout. I guess those shootouts in practice worked, eh?

The Good

  • The line of 13-88-81 was back in sync, again. CarBomb had a few excellent passes, and the other two are, well, beasts.
  • You have to love MegaMayers. The guy is tough as nails and loves to look out for his teammates. He had another fight that didn't amount to much more than each guy getting to second base, but it's the principle. For all the poorly timed Big Slow fights last year, Jammer has made up for them, with well timed protection. We all thought this was where CarBomb was going to come in, but we were ALL clearly wrong.
  • Boss 81 put the Hawks on a board taking a Savardian Spin-o-Rama, blind backhand pass from Kaner and tapping it into a gaping net. All you young hockey players, and for that matter, all you mens league allstars at home...DON'T DO THAT! Kaner is a professional that does it properly. For every time Kaner does that, there are 20,000 beer league heroes that will try that, and fail MISERABLY. Keep the showboating to the pros, people. That being said, the play by Kaner, Hoss, and CarBomb driving straight to the net, was excellent.
  • Shooter tied up the game on another Kaner backhand pass, in the third. Kaner set the play up by grabbing the puck and acting as though he was going to take it to the net. Instead, he dished it to Shooter, who leaned onto a one timer with a little top cheddar, that may have grazed the hair on El Capitan's ass on the way by.
  • People can expel themselves all over Deuce, but Seabrook is the real MVP on the back end. For all the glory that the other guys get, Seabrook quietly anchors that whole unit. He'll never get the recognition he deserves, but some of us see it and I'm sure the coaches do.
  • I can't emphasize enough how nice it is to have a solid goalie, like Crawford, in net from the start of the season. For the first time in what is probably 3 seasons, I don't find myself holding my breath when the opponent gets a chance.
  • Tazer put a head fake on Beauchemin that almost broke the defenseman's ankles, in overtime. You won't see it on the highlight reel, because he didn't score, but the move alone should get him on the nightly highlights. He put the shake-n-bake on and took it to the net, but shot it over the net.
  • First Dick the Bruiser and George the Animal Steele references this season, CHECK!

The Bad

  • The Ducks were the first to get on the board, after a late 1st period penalty that rolled over into the second. About a minute in, Corey Fairy fed Getzlaf with a beautiful tape to tape pass that caught Crawford in a vulnerable position. Crawford seemed to tip himself off really early, and Getzlaf roofed it over his glove. The play, itself, looked like it was in slow motion, from A to Z.
  • How we're going into a full year of Deuce shooting into opposing sets of shin pads is beyond me. After, say, 90-some games, wouldn't you think you'd learn? Change your angle, fake a fucking shot.
  • The Ageless Teemu Selanne put the Ducks up 2-1 on a foolish turnover by Kaner deep in his own zone. This type of play is exactly why we were all worried, when the idea of Kaner at center came up. He had PLENTY of time to make another pass but forced it to Deuce, who was standing practically IN the bench door of the Ducks. The pass was intercepted by Selanne who pushed it to Koivu, and it ended back up on Selanne's stick, and he did what he's done SO many times before. Not only did Kane turn it over, but he failed to pick up Selanne on the back end of the give-and-go. He really could have snuffed it out. It'll take time for him to get use to this defensive responsibility. I understand that Kaner has been valuable at center, but these are the kind of face-palms that you're prone to get, from time to time.
  • Sooooo, maybe Frodo's snakebitten streak isn't really over yet.
  • All of the Hawks centers, except Bolly, were over 50% at the dot with Tazer leading at 70%. Bolly took it in the behind all night, going only 8 for 20.
  • We may never see a Hawks powerplay goal, again, at this rate. It's like watching someone try to play piano with their elbows.

The Ugly

  • Holy CHRIST ON A CRACKER, don't let Frolik do the between period interviews with that nasally accent. Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh-Uhhhhhh-Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh. We can't POSSIBLY understand a damn thing he's mumbling. I love him as a player, but let him do his work on the rink.
  • Mustafa, and Lurch had an AWFUL exchange that led to Lurch taking a delay of game infraction. The puck popped up on Montador and he whacked it in the air. It bounced around and ended up in the crease, and then between the legs of about 7 players. When it FINALLY ended up on a stick, it was Lurch, who airmailed it. "You raaaaaaaaaaang?". Luckily, they were able to kill off the powerplay.
  • Corey Fairy is a decent player but someone needs to explain to me how in the hell he managed 50 goals last year and got the MVP. He's NOT that good, and it had to be a fluke. But, GOD DAMN he's annoying
  • Leave it up to the broadcast team to point out that the Hawks were the least penalized team in the game while coming off a zero penalty affair, AND , then leave it up to the Hawks to proceed with a walk of shame to the box all night. 10 minutes in penalties, minus MegaMayers little kerfuffle/back seat makeout session.

The Shootout

  • Fairy couldn't beat Crawford
  • El Capitan beat Hiller on a new move...finally.
  • Selanne roofed it on Crawford
  • Bolly was stopped by Hiller
  • Getzlaf was shut down by Crawford
  • Kaner won it 5-Hole on Hiller

Here are your video highlights:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blackhawks vs Avalanche - Loss Recap

"Try To Save Myself but Myself Keeps Slipping Away"

Last night was the ass end of the home-and-home series with the pesky Colorado Avalanche. The Hawks squeaked one out in Colorado the other night, and they were bringing the Headdress Circus back home. Add to the drama the unveiling of the Mikita and Hull sculptures, and you have an exciting saturday night in Chicago.

As far as the game goes, The Hawks had a majority of the action in the first period, yet went into the intermission down 1-0. You had to imagine the game would open up with the speed of these two teams. The Avs took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission on a lucky bounce and some determination, even though the Hawks scored on a late powerplay. The third period had some excitement but at the end of regulation the teams were tied 4-4. In OT, he Hawks had a failed powerplay and SUPPOSEDLY outshout the Avs, but it certainly didn't look that way. This game would end on a single shootout goal, and the Avs would return the favor of the home loss to the Hawks.

The Good

  • The Hawks had a powerplay and a few really good rushes in the first, but just couldn't solve Avs netminder, Varlamov. Sharp seemed to be leading every rush, so it looks as though he's in regular season shape.
  • The Frolik snakebitten streak finally ended one minute into the second period, after Quenneville was shown shaking the evil ju-ju off his stick in the first. Erik Johnson threw the puck through the middle of his own zone, trying to be cute, and Frolik was right there to snatch it and beat Varlamov. Total gift.
  • Tazer had a great chance late in the second, as he went right up the gut, and made 3 Avs defenders look like mites, but couldn't finish the play.
  • Cappy Serious took advantage of a late second period powerplay rebound and brought the Hawks back within one goal. Toews was CLEARLY pissed off after missing his partial breakaway a few moments earlier.
  • A MegaMayers slapshot that was kicked out and then deflected off both of Ryan O'Byrne's skates ended up in the back of the net. The play, though, was set up by a pretty Nick Leddy rush up the gut. He dumped it off to MegaMayers, who just fired it at the net, and got a little luck, himself.
  • Hossa gave the Hawks their first lead when he tipped a Duncan Keith point shot past Varlamov on a play that was started by some nice hustle from Sharpie to pick up a puck in the Avs corner. Sharpie took control, and it eventually found Keith, who threw it towards the net, and Hoss made a great play to get a stick on it.
  • The Hawks took no penalties in the game, which is usually a bigger advantage, but it was not to be last night.
  • Steve Montador officially looks like Will Ferrell. He has been anointed, Ricky Bobby.

The Bad

  • The Avs opened up the scoring late in the first on a nifty little Paul Stastny tip. The only chance the Hawks have on a play like that, is if Keith, O'Donnell, or Bolland can tie up the stick of Stastny or just get their asses in his way. He was streaking across the middle and pretty much had free reign. Sometimes when you dominate play and can't finish, these flukey goals end up surprising you.
  • The Avs took the lead back in the second when David Jones just threw the puck in front of the net, from behind, and it bounced around like a superball. Seabrook got a piece of it, and Crow got several pieces as it was bouncing around. Two goals on two horeshit bounces.
  • The Avs took a 3-1 lead in the second as the Hawks let the Rookie Landeskog walk to the net all by himself. He took a pass and just snapped it past Crow. Bruno had a prime chance to help out on the play and tie up Landeskog's stick before he got down low to Montador, but had no interest in any of that. As a result, the Hawks were picking the pick out of the back of their net.
  • A major breakdown by the Blackhawks defense led to a Gabriel Lendeskog game tying goal with just under two minutes to go in the third. Nick Leddy got caught GROSSLY out of position and it left Landeskog wide open with the puck on his stick in the middle of the Hawks zone. Landeskog beat Crow cleanly and the Hawks comeback was for naught.
  • Not really sure what the deal is, but Carbomb played the least of any Blackhawk. He didn't do anything that deserved a spot on the pine, yet there he sat. He was a plus 2 on the night, so he couldn't have been doing that much wrong. Fuck if I know.

The Ugly

  • Colorado has to be kicking themselves in the ass for trading for Erik Johnson. That guy is garbage.
  • For the first time this season Kaner was very average. Beast mode was not in effect, but I guess you can't expect that every night.
  • Tazer goal or not, the powerplay is a clusterfuck.

The Shootout

  • Stalberg missed the net
  • Hejduk was stopped by Crawford
  • Toews couldn't beat Varlamov
  • Duchene was stopped on a nice save by Crow.
  • Kaner ran out of room, and was denied
  • Lindstrom beat Crawford
Here are your video highlights:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blackhawks at Colorado - Win Recap

"Little Junior, He’s All In a Rage"

Nothing quite like a little early season home-and-home cooking. The Hawks made a little stopover in Colorado, Thursday, after paddling the Yotes in Phoenix. The Avalanche came in as one of the hotter teams in the NHL, and probably one of the faster teams in the NHL. No one will forget the season opening loss to them last season, where they ran ALL OVER the slower Hawks. They weren't going to sneak by so easily this time.

The first period was dominated, in shots, by the Avalanche 13-6, but the Hawks were the only ones to score. Call it dumb luck, but they cashed in on a prime chance. Things turned around in the shot category for the Hawks in the second, but THEY were the ones that suffered the unfortunate fate of giving up a goal. Tough team, close game on the road, and a crucial third period. The Hawks held it together long enough to score a late third period goal, and then finally an empty netter. Excellent road win. Bring it on home, boys!

The Good

  • The Hawk opened up the scoring with just under 4 minutes left in the first period. Captain Serious sent a backhander up where mom keeps the peanut butter, blocker side on Varlamov. Leddy started the play, digging the puck out down low, and dumped it to Carbomb who was coming around the net. Bomb's vision was excellent, as he immediately hit Tazer on the stick and who set it up and put a perfect shot in the net. VERY difficult shot to stop when you're moving in the opposite direction.
  • Varlamov absolutely stoned Seabrook on a one timer, after he took a feed from Cappy Serious. With no time to react, he made a ridiculous save.
  • Speaking of ridiculous, That Varlamov save on Freddy Kruger is absolutely sickening. Now, Kruger helped by shooting it where Varlamov's glove was going to be, and Varlamov certainly embellished the save, but he deserves to embellish that. That's a save of the year candidate. I bow. Lets see that...in and instant replay:
  • The Carcillo watch is still on Dr. Jekyll mode. How long can this last? We're all waiting for the switch to turn, and it's not. I'm glad to be wrong here, thus far. If he keeps this ridiculousness up, resign him!
  • Sharpie put the Hawks up for good with just over 5 minutes left in the game, with a little snipe sauce, on the short side. All business, folks. It's about time the first line awoke from their haze.
  • Super Serious was a plus 3. Much more of this please? Colorado's Eric Johnson was a minus 3. OUCH!
  • Crawford stood on his head. Plain and simple. He held them in the game long enough to shake the rust off, and that's exactly what he's going to need to be able to do. He really deserved a shutout, because that goal was an awful bounce.

The Bad

  • Colorado tied up the game with four and a half minutes left in the second, off a ridiculous pinball goal, that Crawford had no chance on. That puck ricocheted of at least two players, one of then being Incredi-Bolly, who had his back to the puck carrier because he was taking his man. Those things happen, and no one can really be blamed. Let's forget that one ever happened.
  • The Frodo Snake Bitten counter is still rolling. He's getting serious chances, but just CANNOT find the back of the net. When he DOES, I have a feeling it's going to be the start of a red hot scoring streak.

The Ugly

  • This powerplay problem is beginning to become concerning. While the PK has been excellent, they NEED to be better on the PP to do well in the playoffs. It's early, but there is just TOO much talent on this team to not be scoring on the PP.
  • The Hawks were bent over at the faceoff dot all night. The BEST was Bolly at 50%. Serious, and Kaner were both at 38%. OOGLY!

Here are your video highlights:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blackhawks at Phoenix - WIN Recap

"Coyote Ugly"

No one is really sure how, but the Coyotes keep doing it. They put a competitive team out on the ice each year, even after losing MANY key players. This season is no different. The Coyotes came in 2-1-1, just like the Hawks. Captain Coy-Ote, Shane Doan, is kicking his usual amount of ass with 7 points and needed one goal for 300, coming in. The tandem of Smith/LaBarbera, or "Hanna/LaBarbera", in net are holding the fort down, so far. Considering this team had one foot on the plane to Winnipeg, they have held things together pretty well, but that could come to a screeching halt. The Hawks came in after a disappointing and emotional SO loss to the defending champs. Ya mad? Show us, boys!

The first period really didn't have much of note, with the Hawks scoring on a powerplay they should have score on, and being generously credited with 15 shots to the Yotes 4. The second period was another story. Each team scored two goals, with the Hawks scoring theirs on 12 shots, and the Yotes on a measly 5 shots. In the third, Phoenix threatened, but the Hawks quickly blew the game wide open, finishing with a convincing 5-2 win.

The Good

  • Hossa played last night, and generally didn't look all that hurt. That line was still the best Hawks line on the ice, in the offensive zone. He scored the first goal of the game on a 5-on-3, which was a pretty straight forward one timer. It really SHOULD be a shooting gallery on a 5-on-3, and it was.
  • Just a few short minutes after the Yotes got a fairly easy rebound goal, the Hawks got one of their own. Bruno threw a puck at the net and Tazer poked the rebound in, when LaBarbera half-asses an attempt to cover the rebound. We'll take it.
  • Again, the Hawks answered a bad goal with a goal of their own. MegaMayers tipped a Duncan Keith point shot past LaBarbera. Nothing fancy. Shot, tip, goal. Flesh and taters goal.
  • In what I'll call the play of the night, Davey Bolland stripped Radim Vrbata while shorthanded at the Phoenix blue line, skated a few strides and beat LaBarbera with a cannon of a slapshot, to put the Hawks up 4-2. He's gone from "Invisi-Bolly", last year, to "Incredi-Bolly" from the playoffs on into this season.
  • Ladies and Gents, lets welcome One-Trick Bick to this landslide. He was given about 3 and a half days to tee up that wicked wrist shot by Derek Morris and he took full advantage. All you hockey young players watching at home, don't let a guy with a lethal wrist shot get a clean one off within 20 feet of your own net. Just an idea there.
  • Making smart defensive plays, taking "smart" penalties while defending, big clean hits, passing well, composure...just who IS this Carcillo kid? We're all just waiting for Mr. Hyde and we haven't seen him. None of us thought it was possible, and we haven't even seen him tenderize any faces, yet.
  • Fallacy or not, out shooting a team 35-16 in their home rink is worth noting.
  • Funny how Banana-hands Torres had no hits, and was invisible all night. Much different story when you're not yapping from behind a team full of studs, isn't it you gutless ginger weasel?

The Bad

  • Watching the early powerplays of both teams, was like watching the Special Olympics. They were doing good things, but not up to the usual standards.
  • Less that a minute into the second period and Taylor Pyatt got position on Hjalmarsson and Seabrook, or was basically left alone, and poked a rebound past Crawford. It all started when the Hawks couldn't get the puck out of their zone. What do you know? It ends up in the back of their net. To the tele-strator, Eddie!
  • Three hits for Car Bomb, and 7 for Biznasty. Why didn't these two put on a show for the fans?
  • Toews was at 81% on faceoffs and the rest were at roughly 50%. Meh.

The Ugly

  • In what's becoming a frustrating occurrence, the Hawks gave up yet ANOTHER ugly shorthanded chance against. If Daymond Langkow could get ANY shot off at all, would have been tied up the game. This shit needs to stop EEEEE-MEDIATLY
  • Duncan Keith continued with his painfully comical fuckery, tripping over an armadillo hyde and leaving the puck on a silver platter for Ray Whitney, who faked a shot, hesitated for a moment, and then released an eephus shot past an already committed Crawford.

Here are your video highlights:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blackhawks vs Bruins - SO Loss Recap

"Another Way to Die"

The excitement was high in the UC with the defending Cup Champs coming into town, after the Blackhawks were shutout in last years only meeting, and then the Bruins went on to do what the Hawks couldn't. Beat the Canucks. The Bruins have struggled a little, as of late, but this was still going to be an important one. Not only this, but late reports had Marian Hossa sitting out with an upper body injury.

The Hawks started off slow, AGAIN, but after the first 5 minutes they were back in the swing of things. Both teams had some solid chances, but the Hawks were the only ones able to crack the scoreboard, and there were 13 shots both ways. The second was a little more tame, after the first five minutes. Each team put one goal on the board, and the Bruins outshot the Hawks, 10-7 in the period. To say the Hawks played a lackluster third period would be a slight understatement. The Bruins tied up the game and dominated the third, and this game was going to go into extra time, to decide the outcome. The game was almost lost on a horrible Hawks turnover, but they got a little luck on their side, and finished OT unharmed. A shootout was on the agenda tonight. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they couldn't solve the Bruins netminder, and ended up with a shootout loss.

The Good

  • The Kaner line didn't seem to miss a beat with Vik Stalberg filling in for an injured Hossa. Kaner had several very good early chances, including a nice spin-o-rama, but Thomas was up to the task. Kane beat Thomas in the second, to keep his hot streak going.
  • One-Trick-Bick gave the Hawks a lead, late in the first. He picked off an Andrew Ference pass, in which every Bruins player was skating the Hawks way, and was in one-on-one wearing Ference as a backpack. Probably one of the slowest breakaways ever, but Bickell's big body shielded the puck and got him in close enough to beat Thomas 5-hole. Big Play!
  • Kaner made up for the shorthander against by beating Thomas 5-hole, AGAIN, and putting the Hawks up 2-1. Kaner was picking up the slack from just about every big name player on the team.
  • For anyone that yaps about Big Slow being on the ice, or bench for that matter, for his "physical aspect", watch Dan Carcillo play. THAT is how you bring a physical presence to a game. Even Megamind Mayers is more of a physical presence. Carcillo led all players with 8 hits.

The Bad

  • Nick Leddy reverted back to early last years form for a few moments, lolly gagging through the neutral zone and getting his pocket picked. Lucic almost made it cost, but Crawford bailed him out.
  • The Megamind/Campbell fight was a side hug/cheek smooch festival. Glad Big Slow was there for moral support.
  • Well, all those special feelings of the Bickell goal went away when the Hawks gave up a short hander early in the second. A crazy carom off the boards, which lead to a Bruin's 2-on-1. Crawford had absolutely no chance.
  • Nate Horton tied up the game with 8 minutes gone in the third, after both Leddy and Keith, who are suppose to be two of the fastest players on the ice, let the Bruins Boychuck skate right by them, pick up his own dump in, and feed Horton. Add to the fact that Captain Serious, and Sharpie let Horton skate in unmolested.
  • When you get outshot 37-29, you'll be lucky to make it to a shootout, especially when you're outshot 24-16 after the first period.
  • Tazer and Kruger were the only two players that won over 50% of their faceoffs, which is another telltale sign that things were not well.

The Ugly

  • The only noticeable play Big Slow made all night was prematurely releasing and drawing an offsides whistle on a first period Pat Kane rush, in which Kane was so puzzled that he was show after shaking his head in disgust. Serious...what is this? Rusty Olesz CAN skate and he CAN put the puck in the net. It's not like SCott is doing ANYTHING.
  • For all the good play that Kaner provided, when he turned it over in OT to give Peverly a break-a-way for 3/4 of the rink, everyone in Chicago had to have the same reaction when I screamed, "C'MON!!!!". Kane HAS to realize that he was the last player back and dump it deep. Instead he hot dogged it, turned it over, and almost cost the Hawks the game.

The Shootout

  • Tazer was stopped by a Thomas desperation move
  • Seguin beat Crawford 5-hole
  • Kaner was stopped by Thomas
  • Bergeron never got a shot off, on Crawford
  • Sharpie was stopped by Thomas too.
Here are your video highlights:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Jets - Win Recap

"F-F-F-Fatty and the Jets"

This was a game of firsts for the Hawks and Jets. This was the first Hawks start for Razor Emery, the first game for Carbomb, the first time the Jets play the Hawks and visit the UC, and this is the game back in Chicago for former Hawks Ladd and Byfuglien. With 4 days preceding this game, the media had nothing to do but report on everything but what each player eats for breakfast. Thank god there was a game to be played, now lets get to it.

The first period started as we've seen quite a few games start for the Hawks. SLOW. The quickly went down 0-2 early in the first period. It's like they just weren't awake yet. After the second Jets goal, the Hawks woke the hell up and dominated the rest of the frame, scoring two, and just missing on a couple more. Maybe they need some better warmup drills. The second was a bit better than the first as the Hawks scored two pretty quick, but gave up one as well, to go into the second intermission up 4-3. The third was a stalemate, with both teams holding each other scoreless, and the Hawks taking the 4-3 win.

The Good

  • Nice to see Stevie Montador go after Fluff, after he took a late whack at Razor. Don't let that fat lazy bastard rule the ice. Montador later laid a big hit on Evander Kane that led to a penalty, but that's why he's here. If we don't notice him too much, then he's doing his job.
  • Andrew Brunette opened up the Hawks scoring on a powerplay, in what could become a very welcomed sight. Bruno took a Kaner rebound and put it past the Jets netminder, Pavelec. Looks like the Hawks actually gave a shit about the PP in this one. Considering the level of talent on this team, you don't see a lot of players grinding it out in front of the net, and that's EXACTLY what Bruno is bringing.
  • First Dick Tidrow reference for Eddie O...Check
  • Keith's high first period shot on Pavelec clearly hurt the Jets goalie. I can speak from experience, and shots to that area HURT like HELL. He's going to have a bruised collar bone for days to come, and will be very careful not to take high shots for a while. Kaner made sure to test that collarbone later in the second, as well.
  • The new combo of Boss and Kaner tied up the game in the 1st. Carbomb started by doing some digging, and Boss took over, taking the puck into the zone and getting past a Jets defender. After getting past the defender, he lasered a pass over to a wide open Kaner, who one timed it past the helpless Jets goalie. It was a bang/bang play, but what some people won't realize is how HARD it is to time a shot like that, at the speed that pass is moving, and then hit the net where you want. I'm confident that Kaner is one of the only players on the team, and maybe the league, that could pull that one off. It might not make goals of the year, but hockey purists recognize the difficulty of that one.
  • Hoss opened up the second period, 33 seconds in, with a long slapshot goal. You read that right, a long SLAPSHOT goal. This was a bad long one for Pavelec. You have to make that stop. Consequently, if Carbomb continues on this line, he's going to end up a plus 20 on the year just by association.
  • Bolly made it 4-2 with another fairly soft goal that started with Frodo absolutely abusing the Jets Bogosian and getting a prime chance, feeding it to Bick for a one timer. Bickell then picked up the rebound behind the net and fed a streaking Bolland, who powered it through Pavelec. The shot wasn't anything special, and just seemed to squeak through. We'll take it, and the Bolly streak continues. This is a complete 180 from last year, when Bolly could hit the net to save his life for the first 50 games.
  • Carbomb watch had him in Dr. Jeckyl mode last night. He drew a penalty and annoyed the hell out of the Jets all night long. For a fairly average sized guy, he is a huge pain in the ASS, and draws some SERIOUS attention. He was jawing with all of the Jets, the whole night, and seems fearless.
  • For the third game in a row, Bickell laid a big hit on an opposing player. Toby Enstrom was the unlucky recipient on this particular one. As I said before, Brouwer's position on this team was EASILY replaceable, and Bickell is proving that. Brouwer led a team full of forwards that don't hit, in hits. Not hard to do, folks.
  • The line of Carbomb-Kaner-Boss was the best line on the ice all night. The Bolly line wasn't far behind, but that Kaner line dominates every time it's on the ice. This Kane-to-center experiment is going to make Quenneville look like a brilliant scientist.
  • All the Hawks centers were over 50% on faceoffs, except Kruger, with Kaner leading at 71%. Not quite out of position, I guess.

The Bad

  • Winnipeg drew first blood as Slater redirected an Oduya shot past Razor. Not something you'll see a lot of, but the Oduya chance was a direct result of a Captain Serious turnover. I'm not really sure what he thought was going to come of that, but he dumped it up the boards right to a waiting Oduya, who brought it right towards the net. He got a solid shot off, and Slater got inside position on Montador, who was probably thinking "oh shit" like the rest of us, and Slater tipped it down and between Razor's legs. Nothing you can do as a goalie but hope it hits you, because you never know where that tip is going to go. C'Mon Cap, you're better than that.
  • Slater tipped another one in a few mins later in improbable fashion. Poor Razor has absolutely NO chance on this one either. The Jets Hainsey took a shot that was going to clearly go wide, and Slater reached behind himself to deflect it back between his own legs and into the net. Again, when you change the direction of the puck, 4 feet in front of the goalie, all he can hope is that it hits him, because that's simply not enough time for ANY goalie to adjust. A physical impossibility.
  • Wellwood made up for his blue line fall scoring the Jets 3rd goal of the game, when the defense went into panic mode and left Wellwood wide open on the backdoor post. He struggled to control the bouncing rebound, but Razor was so out of position that he had time to turn around and shovel it between his legs and off Bolly's skate and then off Razor's equipment, and into the net. This is what you're going to see out of Razor. He tends to over pursue a bit when there is a flurry in the crease area. The real problem with this is that he's not as quick as he once was, and can't recover.

The Ugly

  • Kyle Wellwood had a CLEAN break-a-way after coming out of the penalty box and tripped over, well, the blue line. How embarrassing. First time on skates, Welly?
  • Just as Foley mentions that Bogosian was a negative one hundred twenty something last season, he cleanly turns it over in the neutral zone to Tazer and it led to a Toews/Sharp 2-on-1. Nice call, partner.
  • I want to officially extend a nice big FUCK YOU to fat ass Dustin Flufflein. I watched him take 3 cheap shots on Razor over the course of the night. How about keeping it classy, kid? It's one thing to play clean and annoy your opponent, but Buff cheap shotted Emery twice after the whistle, and once while play was still going on. I'm SO over that fat lazy fuck. Eat shit!

Here are your video highlights:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Stars - Win Recap

"Got You in a Stranglehold Baby"

Saturday night was the second part of the season opening hoopla, and all the fans in Chicago were looking for a much better showing than what the Hawks gave us in game #1. After coming home late, following a disappointing loss, the Hawks were looking to have a "do over". What did the Hawks and Stars have in mind?

The Stars were not without their chances in the first, but the Blackhawks were CLEARLY out to make a better showing. After scoring their first powerplay goal of the season, they went into the first intermission up 1-0. The second period started off much more promising, with the Hawks netting 2 more goals, but the momentum shifted when the Stars scored one of their own. The Stars actually had more chances in the third period but the Hawks cashed in on a few of their own, and left the ice 5-2 winners. That's a little better.

The Good

  • For the second game in a row, Bickell opened up the game with a big hit, actually two in the first shift of this one. That is exactly what this team needs, and exactly what HE needs to be doing. It's too bad he only does it for one shift a game.
  • Hello, power play. Nice to see you, again! Bruno made up for an invisible opening night by knocking an ankle high puck into the net for the first home ice, and powerplay goal of the year.
  • Fight number 1 of the season was former Hawk Jake the Snake Dowell going after Megamind Mayers. I'm SURE that Dowell was looking to show the fans that cheered for him last season that hes still got plenty in the tank. I can't say anything bad about the guy, I truly like him.
  • Outshooting the Stars 10-2 in the first is a good sign, but a bad bounce could have tied the game up. It would be nice to see at least a 2-0 lead with that dominance.
  • Welcome back to the lineup, Bolly! As bad of a goal as it was, it was nice to see Bolland put one in the net. Bolland almost lost possession of the puck coming in over the blue line, and corralled it enough to turn his body and direct a shot towards the net. Raycroft just swung and missed it. He later added an open netter, as well.
  • Jonny B Goode joined the action, immediately after coming out of the box, on a questionable penalty. Seabrook made a tape to tape pass to hit Tazer at the far blue line, and Captain Serious did what he does. 3-0, but that shutout wouldn't last much longer.
  • For the first time since he set foot in the states, Marcus Kruger actually looked something like an NHL player. He drew couple of penalties, and forechecked like a pitbull, in the second period. Still not exactly filling my happy pants, but it's a start.
  • Sharpie was in possession of the beast mode bracelet for this game. Following a Montador shot block, Sharp squeezed through a check at the hawks blue line, took the puck up the ice, avoided a trip by a Dallas defender, and then ripped a snapper high to Raycroft's glove side. That's a highlight reel goal that we'll be seeing the rest of the year.
  • Montador was a +2 on the night, which is good for his first full game on the blue line.

The Bad

  • Nick Leddy was once again relegated to covering for his former Norris Trophy winning partner. Leddy has to be thinking, "I thought this was going to be an easier job". That is at least two goals against that Leddy has saved in the first two games. I'll admit that I'm kind of glad to have him there, because he's probably the only other D-Man that the Hawks have, that can catch a speedy guy from behind.
  • This probably has to to with Sharpie's recently filleted midsection, but he's taking FORE-EVER to wind up for slap shots, which is affecting his ability to get them off cleanly.
  • The Stars took their 6th shot of the game, IN THE SECOND PERIOD, and converted to make the game 3-1. Vernon Fiddler took a wonderful chance and roofed it over Crawford who was down on one knee and gave him the whole top shelf.
  • I'm going to repeat this all season long. The Hawks should have picked up Souray when he was available. He would have been a low risk/high reward player, and he has a CANNON of a shot. Anyway, Souray pretty much shattered Kruger's leg with a powerplay shot that bounced back to Souray's stick. He sent it netward, and it somehow ended up in the net.
  • One for seven on the powerplay just isn't good enough. Not with the talent this team has.

The Ugly

  • #32 at wing? This again? Really? I thought EVERYONE agreed that this was a bad idea, LAST SEASON. Everyone but Mustachio, I guess. It didn't take long for Q to shift him back to defense and rotate one of the other forwards in on the forth line. This is the same clusterfuck we had Friday night, didn't we? He had THREE shifts, in this game, all in the first period. THREE. A total of THREE minutes. I will GLADLY take $525K to skate three one minute shifts every 5 games, or so. SIGN ME UP!

Here are the video highlights:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blackhawks at Dallas - Loss Recap

"All the Kings Horses"

We've waited since late April for this. Well, not THIS, but Blackhawks hockey. How would the Blackhawks fare in their first game of the 2011-12 season?

The first period started fast and furious both ways. Dallas opened up with some speed and pressure, and the Hawks had some of their own. As the period went on the chances favored the Stars heavily, but the Hawks goaltending was strong and kept it 0-0. The second opened up with another awful give-a-way and it ended up in the Hawks net. After that, the Hawks tightened up some, but couldn't put one in the net. Dallas snuck one in on an unfortunate play, late, and the Hawks went into the final frame down 2-0. The third period was basically the same as the first. The Hawks couldn't beat the Dallas goaltender, until the final seconds. The line management was in complete disarray, and nothing seemed to do the trick. This was more frustrating than the OT loss to Colorado in game one last year.

The Good

  • Boss was in beast mode early, when he knifed through Robidas and Goligoski, which resulted in two very good chances. This kind of play led him to lead the team in ice time for the first period.
  • Speaking of beast mode, Kaner absolutely "beasted", with a rush of his own, that was only stopped by the toe of Lehtonen.
  • The Hawks took over 59 minutes to finally score s goal, and that was FAR too late. Leddy just took a clean pass and beat Lehtonen high blocker side. Whatever.
  • The Hawks had 38 shots. That's good. I'm reaching here.

The Bad

  • "Burish is having a little groin trouble". The ladies of Dallas might disagree. HIYO!
  • "You give up odd man breaks, and the puck is going to end up in the back of your net". I think I've said that exact phrase a million times.
  • The turnovers just continued in the start of the second period, as the Keith couldn't get the puck out of the zone, and it ended up on Ribeiro's stick, who fed it to a wide open Goligoski, and he beat Crow. Sloppy as ALL HELL, Boys.
  • My pick to click for this year, Frodo, missed a GAPING open net, in the second. He was wide open on the back door and had enough time to bunt it into the net. No go.
  • Just as Hossa took a bad offensive zone penalty to negate a powerplay, Hammer let Jamie Benn go, unmolested, to pick up a Souray rebound, and poked it into the net. Terrible composure.
  • I'm sorry, I know it's really early, but from what I've seen, I'll take Sheldon Souray for half of Montador's salary. I'm not just coming up with this revelation either. I suggested the Hawks take that chance when Souray was bought out. They could OBVIOUSLY use the help on the powerplay. But what do I know? Let's enjoy our new $2.75 million dollar forth line winger.
  • Anyone know if Brunette dressed? I mean, there was a RUMOR he was out there, but he was non-existant.
  • O-fer on the powerplay. I don't think I have the remind anyone how important that is, do I?

The Ugly

  • Well, Duncan Keith started off his first shift the same way his last regular season ended. BRUTAL. He immediately gave up the puck to Jamie Benn for a very early breakaway (see above picture). Three Times a Leddy was Keith's only saving grace, and tied Benn up enough to throw him off. So much for that summer of rest.
  • The Hawks, as a team, let up FAR too many prime chances on Crawford, in the first. Dallas had one on one chances with Crow for what seemed like 4 or 5 times. Some of those chances were bad coverage, and others were as a result of the Hawks D-Men brutally turning it over. They gave up 13 shots overall, which is far too much.
  • For all this "toughness" the Hawks brought in, the only one to use their body was Bryan Bickell in the first period. O'Donnell looked slow and old as hell, Carbomb was suspended, Montador barely played and when he did it was out of position, and Mayers was virtually invisible. Cut this 7 defensemen shit out YESTERDAY! The lines were never fluid or set for any period of time. Megamind, MONTADOR and General Saad? Holy christ on a cracker!!!!! Nothing like playing your "prized" free agent signing way out of position.

Here are the video highlights:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blackhawks at Capitals - Preseason Recap

The Blackhawks went into Washington with a few key team members sitting out. Regardless, The Capitals dressed all their big names. In another storyline, this was the first time the Hawks were going to face former Hawk Troy Brouwer. I'm sure there was a lot of trash talking on the ice from his former mates.

The first period of Sunday's action began with the Caps dominating the play. The Caps went up 2-0 early and the Hawks were able to manage a powerplay rebuttal, but they looked out of sorts all period. The Hawks seemed to shore things up in the second period and both teams were held scoreless. This can no doubt be attributed to the fact that the Hawks stayed out of the penalty box. The third period was pretty much the same story as the first, as far as penalties go. The Hawks were the unlucky recipients of a questionable major call, and that's was what killed them. The Caps put in an empty netter, and the Hawks ended up a 4-1 loser. Blah, Blah, On to the regular season.

The Good

  • The Hawks finally answered Washington pressure on a powerplay, with Kaner trying to wrap the puck around the post which was covered by Neuvirth. The puck made it out to Hossa on the back side of the net, and Neuvirth made the save, but the rebound lay there for Hoss to beat into the net.
  • One Trick Bick made a very nice rush up the ice, in the second period, and almost pushed the puck past Neuvirth, in a Datsyukian fashion. The puck hit the post and PROBABLY went over the line, but there would have been no footage that would have shown that. Unfortunate for Bick, and the Hawks.
  • The Hawks powerplay had some excellent looks in the second period, but as has been the case, the Hawks couldn't finish. If these guys can just finish, it's going to be unfair, this season. Hossa-Kaner-Brunette controlled the puck 95% of the powerplay, and even the fancy pants behind the back blind pass to Hossa, by Kane, clicked like they'd done it 1000 times before.

The Bad

  • The Hawks started out slow AGAIN, getting outshot 6-1 in the opening minutes, and ended up the first being outshot 15-7.
  • The first goal of the game was, of course, scored by the Caps Mathieu Perreault. It all began with Mike Green faking Marcus Kruger out of his diaper, with a little shimmy. Green then skated over to his right a stride and put the shot on net. The shot squirted through Crawford, and lay in the crease for Perreault to one hand it over the line.
  • Aaaaaand goal number two by Brooks Laich all started with a turnover by Big Slow. Laich ended up with the puck and snapped a laser top shelf. Someone needs to pick up a free forward that's wide open heading towards the net.
  • If the Hawks want to spend the majority of periods killing penalties, they aren't going to manage much consistant pressure, at all. They HAVE to stop playing with sloppy sticks.
  • This may be critical, but Montador has had a rough preseason.
  • I'm really starting to get sick of Kruger NOT believing in himself enough to actually lay a hit on someone. He had a prime chance to lay a big hit on a Caps forward in the second, and just turned away. You have to not only be able to absorb a hit in the NHL, but you have to be able to lay one, kid.
  • For some odd reason, Nick Leddy couldn't seem to figure out that Sami Lepisto was a lefthanded shot, and gave him opposite side passes on the powerplay.
  • The Caps third goal can be blamed on a questionable call that put the Hawks on penalty kill for 5 minutes, which was followed up by a Hawks slashing call that left the Hawks shorthanded by two men for a minute and six seconds. It's only a matter of time for a team like the Caps to score on an advantage like that. Mike Green was the lucky recipient. It's expected at some point.
  • 36 shots are far too many shots go give up. Even though the #1 defensive pair was Nick Leddy and Sami Lepisto, that's no excuse. This team thrives on somewhere between 25-30 shots.

The Ugly

  • Foley called Jimmy Hayes "Jimmy Olsen" for a full shift. I'm not sure what he was drinking, but I'd like some. Were we at the Daily Planet?
  • "Somehow Brouwer was unable to pull the trigger". The story of his time in Chicago.
  • I have no earthly idea what Peter LeBlanc got a 5 minute major for, but it was an awful call. Give someone a little shove that comes up high is part of hockey. He wasn't trying to injure anyone. That was a 2 minute penalty AT MOST

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blackhawks vs Penguins - Preseason Recap

Last day of September in Chicago, and one of the last exhibition games of the 11-12 NHL season for the Blackhawks. To add to the drama, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town, and Razor Emery was fighting for a contract with the Hawks. This was enough to fill the house that Tazer built. Just who would be the hero or goat this game?

In what has become a reoccurring theme for the Hawks, they came out fast and furious, but couldn't put anything in the net. Of course, the first decent chance the Pens had ended up in the net. Not what the team or management were looking for in the opening frame, and now they were behind the 8-ball. If they were behind the 8-ball going into the second, they were behind three 8-balls going into the third. The Hawks play in the second period could best be explained at "luckluster". The Pens scored 2 pretty ugly goals to put the Hawks down 3-0. The only saving grace was the late goal the Hawks scored on the powerplay. It took the Hawks 40 minutes to finally show up and look like an NHL team. It's too bad that they put themselves in such a brutal hole that it was too much to come back from, and an empty net goal finished off the Hawks.
The Good

  • The chemistry of the Hossa-Kane-Brunette line is undeniable. They seem to dominate possession of the puck every time they are out there. This will prove to be interesting if Quenneville decides to end this "Kane at Center" experiment.
  • We finally saw some powerplay brilliance on the Hawks second one. Tazer-Kaner-Brunette-Keith-Seabrook put an absolute clinic on, that only ended when Brunner heeled an easy tap in, that very well should have been a goal on principle alone.
  • From here on out, Sean O'Donnell's nickname will be... Frankenstein. All he needs are the bolts in his neck.
  • It took 3 goals against, and 3 failed powerplays for the Hawks to finally get on the board. Rusty Olesz took the puck around the net, on a delayed penalty, and tried to wrap it around. His chance failed but the rebound popped right in front to Brandon Pirri shoveled it into the gaping net. Nice to see the kids make something happen.
  • Pirri got his second goal of the game and forth of the preseason, as Bickell drew two defenders high in the slot area and dumped it off to Pirri, who was as wide open as a player can get. Tell me again how this kid has played himself into anything but an opening day roster spot, and I'll laugh in your face.
  • Overshadowed by Pirri's great game was General Saad's hustling and getting an assist on Pirri's forst goal. He also drew a penalty in the third period with his hustle. Saad combined with Hossa and Pirri on that powerplay to totally dominate the Pens. It was almost unfair how those three worked together.
  • Hossa looks to have taken the youngest Hawks under his wings. That's priceless. The line of Hoss, General Saad, and Pirri dominated a late powerplay. Like many other Blackhawks powerplays they couldn't finish, but the puck control and pressure were there.

The Bad

  • The Hawks continued to have problems killing penalties, with the Pens scoring 5 seconds into their first powerplay for a delay of game infraction. Former Hawk, and current Hawk killer Steve Sullivan took the faceoff win and powered it past Emery. You can't really put the blame onto anyone but Razor on that one. The Hawks would sure love to be able to get that kind of productivity.
  • Pens goal number 3 was another lazy play on a shift that was FAR too long. The puck was simply dumped into the middle of the Hawks ice and kicked off Montador's skate. Joe Vitale was coming from behind the net and O'Donnell just watched him backhand it past Razor. The Hawks just looked slow, and disinterested.
  • Leddy showed a little youngster inexperience getting beat in the third period, which led to a Pens 2-on-1. Luckily, the shot, by Pugface Kennedy, went solidly off the post.
  • Argue with me all you'd like, but Brandon Pirri has been TWICE the player that Marcus Kruger has. It's a fact. If either of them deserves to be in Rockford, it's Kruger. There is NO mistaking that.
  • Frolik has been all ove the ice this preseason and has been completely snake bitten. He can't seem to find a way to finish his chances. Lets hope he works out those demons in enough time for the real games.
  • Three goals is not a lot, but based on the fact that he only faced 18 shots, Razor Emery probably played himself OUT of the backup spot. That's just not good enough to win a competition. All he really had to do was play DECENT and he didn't. It's not like the team really played all that way in front of him either, but that will get lost in the abyss.
  • Rusty Olesz was the Hawk with the least amount of playing time with 9:21. I'm not really sure if he deserved any less than the other players, but that's the way it played out.
  • Tazer, Kaner, and Megamind were all over 50% in the faceoff circle. Kruger, and Pirri were under, with Kruger going a dismal 29%. That's not going to keep you off the Rockford express kid.

The Ugly

  • I said it last year year, and I still stand by it. Tyler Kennedy is one UGLY, pug looking, sucker
  • Holy Dog Dung! The Pen's second goal was an abortion. Pittsburgh cleared the puck about 3/4 down the rink and Seabrook was CLEARLY calling for Razor to come play the puck. Emery did just that, right the the Pens Matt Cooke who had time to fire it 100 feet into the net, shorthanded no less. If you're going call for your goalie to come play the puck 65 feet from his net, you better damn well cover for him OR give him somewhere safe to pass to. The Hawks did neither. 2-0 Pens. Emery will be crucified for the end result, but that goal was a team effort.
  • The line of Montador and O'Donnell looked pretty awful. We need to avoid that combination at all costs, and we're all hoping that Quenneville saw this too.

Here are the video highlights for your viewing pleasure:

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