Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Flames - Win Recap

"Razor's Edge"

The real trick to Thursday's big win over Columbus was just how that game was going to affect last night's game, at home, against the Flames. The Flames came in as a middle of the pack team, with the potential to put up some decent numbers. The Flames were led by veterans Jerome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay and Miikka Kiprusoff, who are all talented players. While the Hawks were coming off their big win Thursday, the Flames were coming off a shutout loss in Minnesota, of all places, on Tuesday. After stewing on that for three days, I would expect a team that is looking for revenge might be on the agenda. Match that with the fact that the Flames came in with the best road penalty kill in the league and the second best road powerplay. This one wasn't lining up to be an easy one at all.

While the Hawks didn't exactly dominate the first period, they DID get some great goaltending and were lucky enough to capitalize on a sloppy Flames play you finish the first period up 1-0. The first half of the second period was like a track meet. Both teams raced back and forth, resulting in some great chances, but it seemed like once they got inside the blue lines, the puck started bouncing over sticks like a superball. The Hawks were eventually able put one of those pucks in the back of Calgary's net to go up 2-0, heading into the third period. Even though the Flames were finally able to get something on the board, the Hawks put the game away with a late goal and an empty netter, to end up winning 4-1.

The Good

  • Deuce rebounded from being laid out earlier in the first period to open up the scoring after Kiprusoff failed to get back in position, following a big Shooter slapshot. The rebound shot out to Car Bomb, who had it bounce right over his stick, but Kiprusoff had already dove over for the puck. The delay caught him laying on the ice prematurely, and Deuce was able to put it in the net. That bad bounce turned quickly into a lucky bounce for the Hawks.
  • The Hawks went up 2-0 due to a highly unlikely source. THE POWERPLAY. The Flames never got a chance to touch the puck on the kill as the Hawks won the faceoff, and Hoss ended up feeding Lucky Number Sleven for a low lazer that went through a screen that was about 4 players deep.
  • Hoss was responsible for yet another goal, late in the third period, as he fed Pick-to-Click Vik, who was streaking for the net, for a back door goal. Hoss's pass was dead on, and within a tight window. This was huge, because the Flames had picked up the pressure and were threatening.
  • Ray Emery was absolutely in fire all night, stopping 24 of 25 shots, many from in tight. Even the goal he gave up wasn't really his fault. He looked almost agile and quick. Maybe he just needed more time than the preseason to get his legs under him. No one expected to have to count on Razor, but last night they did, and he was stellar.
  • The powerplay was one for four, which is much better than 0-fer, and the PK was one for one. That's a decent special teams night, and I'll take that.
  • Olesz was still causing chances, and using speed last night. Watch and note, Joel.
  • Duece and Sleven were a combined plus 4 on the night. Funny how that works, isn't it?
  • Shooter was quietly awarded 3 assists and 6 shots on net. That's about as "under the radar" as it gets.

The Bad

  • Deuce was absolutely ragdolled in the opening minute of the game, by Tim Jackman. Welcome back to playing NHL talent, Slick. Get that head up.
  • "The Hawks are handling the puck like a hand grenade". I couldn't have said it any better, Pat. That is a great summary of the first three minutes of the game.
  • It took the Flames over 50 minutes to finally solve Razor, and it wasn't much his fault. Kaner not only lost the faceoff, but left his guy, Olli Jokinen, wide open. Jokinen took the pass and ripped it past Emery, top shelf.

The Ugly

  • The Big Slow watch immediately started with him getting beat out badly for and icing touch up, after having a 5 foot lead. His next time off the pine, he purposely backed away from a Calgary forward that was camped out in front of Emery, and allowed him to cleanly tip a shot on net. I'm not really sure just WHERE he was going, but just leaving a guy one-on-one with your goalie isn't how you play that one. It's to a point now that it's just comical, and I'm convinced that Q is putting him out there as an example of what NOT to do. Let me have my delusions, because it's the only thing that keeps me from going insane. Hey, at least it's not Cristobal Huet.
  • Frank the Tank was thinking a little too much about going streaking through the quad and got his pocket thoroughly picked by Curtis Glencross, at the Hawks blue line. Lucky for Tank, Razor was on his game to bail his beer bong guzzling teammate out, with a great save on the break-a-way.
  • Iggy and Tanguay were a combined -6. As I said about Wizzer and Nash the other night...OOO-FFA!

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