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:

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