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:

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