Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Predators - Win Recap

"If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It"

Monday's game was going to prove to be much more difficult than the Saturday tilt with Columbus, even though for the first 2 two period, Columbus kept up with the Blackhawks. Nashville, as we all know so well, is a hard hitting defensive squad with a top notch netminder, in Pekka Rinne. On defense, it doesn't come much better than Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, who is the nephew of former Blackhawk defenseman Gary Suter. Offensively, the Preds aren't really much to sneeze at. Dave Legwand is leading the team, and former team scoring leader Patrick Hornqvist has had a slow start, with only 2 goals. This was, most likely, going to a defensive game, but anything can happen on Halloween, as we saw.

The Hawks wasted no time giving the Preds a lead with under a minute gone in the game, and the Hawks were able to tie it up with under a minute left in the first. Considering all the chances, this was not the boring Hawks/Preds game we were use to. The second period was a little less successful for the Hawks. The gave up two goals and were only able to answer one. Third period, one goal, Same ol song and dance. The Hawks were able to take the lead, and then relinquish that lead in the third but they dominated the period. All that got this game to overtime where the Hawks pulled out a dramatic win. Happy Halloween, Chicago!

The Good

  • The Hawks finally got some sustained powerplay pressure early in the first and were moving the puck fast and furious, but they couldn't finish. It still looks like a failure on the score sheet, so they need to not only move the puck, but hit the back of the net. This is not going to do. I can't hate on the powerplay, even though they went 0-fer forever. They moved the puck and got plenty of huge chances, but Pekka Rinne is just inhuman. The Hawks would have scored at least 3 more goals, had it not been for Rinne. He's simply a bad ass, and as much as I love Crawford, if the Hawks could get Rinne, DO IT. He's a franchise player.
  • The Hawks got on the scoreboard in the first period with under a minute left in play. Sharpie and Hoss dug the puck loose in the corner and Kaner played a little give-n-go with Shooter. Once Kaner got it on his stick in he slot, just to the left of the net, he ripped it 5-hole on Rinne. 1-1.
  • Three-Times-a-Leddy was able to tie the game back up for the Hawks with 8 minutes left in the second period. Patty Kane reversed the puck around the net after a Leddy dump in, and fed it back to an activated Leddy, in the same general area that Kaner scored, who put a half back swing shot through Rinne. It helped a little that the Preds Smith was interfering with his own netminder, as Sharpie stood safely outside the crease watching. No denying this Leddy kid can play in the opponent's end.
  • The Preds Shea Weber made a beautiful play on a Shooter/Kaner 2-on-1, that resulted in them not even getting a shot off. Those are two GRADE A players he stuffed, there. That guy is a STUD! Plain and simple.
  • The Hawks opened the third period like they were HUNGRY for a goal, but like their powerplay chances, they weren't able to finish until Kaner tied it up, with 5 minutes gone in the frame.
  • Speaking of Kaner's second goal, The Hawks tied up the game ONCE AGAIN in the third, when Shooter, Hoss, and Kaner worked a 3-on-3 to perfection and Kaner took advantage of Rinne's rare poor positioning, by beating him between the blocker and his ribs.
  • As absolutely stellar as Rinne was in the third period, Crawford made a HELL of a save on the Tootoo breakaway. That could have ended ALL Hawks momentum, and now that I've brought it up, Brent? Sami? Could ONE of you keep an eye on that Tutu guy? I have to blame Seabrook on that one, since Pistol took the shot that was blocked.
  • One-Trick-Bick did exactly what he does, on a great feed by Frodo to put the Hawks up for the first time in the game with 7 minutes left in the game. Frodo fought through two players to control the puck and hang on to it long enough for Bick to curl around in the slot. Fro put it right on Bick's stick, and he lasered one of his patented long setup, wrist shots into the back of the Preds cage.
  • For all those bagging on Pick-to-Click Vik, he shut their collective mouths; for a second night. In OT, he shot into overdrive and took advantage of his stellar speed rushing up the right side of the ice. Once he got deep in the zone, he cut across the middle similar to the goal he scored the other night, but let the shot go much sooner and beat Rinne low glove side. Game; Set; MATCH! I realize this guy is a tweener, but I don't get all the hate on him. He MIGHT be the fastest guy on the team, and he's willing to muck it up, if need be. Three goals in two games, and could have easily had another had he hit the net on his break-a-way. That's not too shabby. Not to mention, word on the street is that while practicing shootouts he was MONEY. He's a decent role player.

The Bad

  • It certainly didn't take long for the Hawks to give up a lead. Less than a minute in, Crawford went behind the net to play a dump in attempt, and it took a silly bounce off the boards between his legs. The puck came out to a Preds player along the boards who threw it at the net, and the rebound off the side of the net was easily poke in by Hornqvist. It doesn't get much easier than that.
  • The Hawks are losing track of guys coming out of the penalty box FAR too often. In the heat of the game it's going to happen once in a great while, but this is really getting silly. This time it was Seabrook and Leddy. Wake up fellas, this is the big leagues. I'm quite sure everyone on the bench was yelling about it.
  • The Preds went ahead of the Hawks, again, almost midway through the second period as Bruno, Frank the Tank, and Sami Pistol all got misty eyed by the puck carrier, Erat. Erat then dished it to a late driving Craig Smith, who cleanly beat Crawford. That is what a sniper SHOULD do when he's one on one with a goalie that is not set, and trying to move across his crease. Shame on those three Hawks, though.
  • I'm quite certain that Shooter is wearing a hole in the boards to the left of the net, because he unloaded at least half a dozen shots in the first half of the game that hit that precise spot. Could we move the net over a foot or so? Anyone?
  • Well, you can't really expect an IF on a 5-on-3, rather a WHEN, unless you're the Blackhawks, that is. Anyway, the Preds scored on a 5-on-3 advantage when Shooter took a dumb interference penalty in the offensive zone, and Bolly was the unfortunate party to airmail a clearing attempt into the crowd. Patrick Hornqvist took nice feed and beat Crawford on a long snapper. The breaks just weren't going the Hawks way, at this point. Each time they clawed back, the Preds would answer.
  • Just a minute and a half after the Hawks took the lead, in the third period, the Preds took advantage of a makeshift 4th line. Tootoo took a bad angle shot was banked off Crawford's pads, and shot directly out into the slot area. The rebound squirted just past Seabrook, and MegaMayers conveniently floated past the puck, as well. Legwand jumped on the free puck and fired it past Crawford. That's a SLOPPY goal to give up when you have momentum.
  • This was a VERY interesting night for faceoffs, and here is why. Cappy Serious put on a clinic, going 20-for-25, MegaMayers went 5-for-5, Sharpie went 4-for-4, and Bolly went a very average 9-for-19. BUT, Kane and Kruger got mushroom stamped at the dot, going a collective 3-for-14 (21%). That would be enough to tell me that Mayers and Sharpie should be taking the draws, when they are playing on the same lines as Kane and Kruger.
  • That being said, I'm officially claiming that Kruger looks like an NHL player. I'm not saying he looks like a GREAT one, but "of NHL caliber". He is making quicker decisions with the puck, and definitely moving around better. He has even dished the puck fairly well, and absorbed a hit or two.

The Ugly

  • This could be INFINITELY HUGE, but if the Hawks lose Deuce, because of the injury he sustained, for an extended period of time, this could make things VERY interesting. Even when he's bad, his speed is invaluable. He didn't see the ice after the 8:01 mark of the second period, so it must be semi-serious.
  • I've beaten this to DEATH, and even I'M tired of it, but this Big Slow ordeal not only boggles my mind, but boggles EVERYONE'S minds. He had one shift each period for a total of 2:45. Now, I get that they like his cheap rather large tuchus on the roster for the occasional slugfest. I can accept that, and he's a cheap alternative for that. What I cannot understand or accept is that you have a WELL paid Rosty Olesz dressed in a suit, watching this guy do NOTHING. Let me remind EVERYONE why Big Slow was brought here. TO FIGHT! He has yet to do that, not that he could catch an opposing play to accomplish that, even if he was allowed to carry a lasso. He had a prime chance to absolutely blaze a Nashville defender behind the Preds net, last night, and barely smooched the guy. Jiminy Christmas, he might as well blast the guy into next week, because that is ALL a John Scott has the ability to do. Make it worth it, you big goon! While I'm on the subject of those two clowns, what is the problem with Olesz? I mean REALLY. I have to know. Some beat writer needs to earn his money, and flat out ask Joel Quenneville, "What the fuck is wrong with Rosty Olesz?". TELL US! As stupid as Florida was, you don't give a guy that is apparently THAT bad, over $3 million a year. According to what they have given us, this guy isn't even an NHL quality player on ANY level. He's done NOTHING on the ice to tell me that he is any less deserving than Big Slow. Really, just put him out there. Let him cut his own throat. SHOW ME what is so undesirable. It's the fucking forth line, for fucks sakes, they barely play anyway. Rosty Olesz scoring the first goal of the preseason is 10x more than I've seen Big Slow do.

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