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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings - Win Recap

"Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot"

What a way to close out 2011; with a bang! The STILL hated Detroit Red Wings came into town Friday night for the first time this season. Both teams came in with almost identical records in their last 10 games (7-3-0/7-2-1), so this was the best match up yet to determine just how the Blackhawks stand. The Wings came in generally healthy, and riding a hot goalie, in Jimmie Howard. This one was shaping up to be a barn burner with a playoff atmosphere. The Hawks also called up rookie Big Jimmy Hayes from Rockford to fill in for injured Marcus Kruger.

The first period had EVERYTHING a great Hawks/Wings game has. Scoring, Breakaways, Penalty Shots, Big Hits, Fights, Great Saves, and Big Defensive plays. How were these teams going to follow that up. Oh, and the score was 1-1 after 20 minutes. The second period was more of the same, with both teams scoring a goal and going into the intermission tied 2-2. The Hawks came out with a message in the third and put the game winning goal in, while holding the Wings scoreless. Great way to close out 2011.

The Good

  • Jimmy "Wille Mayes" Hayes almost created a Cinderella story, just missing a fat scoring chance on his first shift of his first NHL game. He continued to buzz around the ice the whole first period, hitting everything that moved. He played 4:01, had 2 pims, 1 shot and 4 hits in the first period alone. Unfortunately, the 4th line only saw 3 minutes of ice time the rest of the game.
  • Car Bomb got in a scuffle early with dickbag Todd Bertuzzi after Car Bomb laid a big hit on him. Tim Sassone brought up a good point on Twatter, questioning why Bertuzzi didn't get an instigator penalty after chasing Carcillo down. EXCELLENT question!
  • Captain Big Balls whipped his junk out on the ice drawing and scoring on a penalty shot against Lidstrom, no less, to follow up the Wings goal. HUGE play!
  • Big Hoss decided it was time to whip his OWN junk out, putting on a one man show in the Wings zone, beating Filppula and blowing a shot past Howard to tie the game back up at 2-2
  • Two minutes into the third period Brent Seabrook put the Hawks up for good on what turned out to be a shorthanded chance, because the Hawks were changing. Seabs found a soft spot in the slot and waited for Shooter to see him. Shooter did see him and hit him with a pass on a platter for a one timer, which Seabrook kindly deposited up stairs, over Howard's glove.
  • MegaMayers was the only Hawks center that didn't do well at the dot, going just 2-7
  • Datsyuk and Zetterberg were invisible last night, which can be mostly credited to the shutdown line, and Deuce/Sleven. Bertuzzi goal aside, they have a tough job, and they don't always get the credit they deserve.
  • Crawford was solid when called upon. Twenty seven saves and several big stops. It's nice to be able to breathe easy again, isn't it?

The Bad

  • The Wings took a 1-0 lead on a lazy defensive play by Kaner. He watched his guy freely skate right through the middle of the Hawks zone and picked up a ft rebound in the slot. Sloppy.
  • Dickbag Todd Bertuzzi put the Wings back up with his enormous tuchus with Mike Commodore taking a long shot that deflected off Dickbag and past Crawford. The question begs to be asked just why all the Hawks forwards were in the same 15x15 portion of the ice leaving Commodore wide open. That's just pure slop from the "shutdown" guys.
  • Maybe something finally clicked for Quenneville, regarding the 3rd pair. They were grossly exposed all night, and they only saw a handful of shifts in the second and third periods. They CAN'T keep rolling 4 defensemen for 40 minutes. If Q hates Pistol so much, dump his contract, and figure something out. Enough with the fucking shenanigans already.

The Ugly

  • The Hawks powerplay has returned to the land of the clowns and carneys. They get a lot of good perimeter shots, but they are cleanly seen and any rebounds are left for the goalie to cover. I'd like to see more driving the puck to the net and some urgency on the rebounds.

Here are your video highlights:


Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Am The Law

July 2nd 2010: Blackhawks sign defenseman John Scott to a 2 year deal.

July 1st 2011: Blackhawks sign winger Daniel Carcillo to a 1 year deal.

We all remember these fateful days, but usually for different reasons. Each day was the opening of the free agent signing period in the NHL. Much bigger names were inked by the Hawks on those days, but these two guys were snuck in under the radar. Both of these players were signed to low risk, low paying contracts to bring "grit" and "toughness" to the Blackhawks, which is something they haven't had in a decade. Some may argue that they aren't much tougher today than the day they won the Stanley Cup, and I'd have to agree those people.

These two players that are known first and foremost for one skill, tenderizing faces. To date, Carcillo has 4 fighting majors, and Scott has 2. While, last year John Scott had 8 all season. I would hardly call 6 fights in 37 games "grit" or "toughness", and before I get 20 emails saying that grit is more than fighting, I understand that means more than just fights. Most of the fights Scott or Car Bomb have been in, are as a result of some random 1-on-1 yapping with an opposing player, not to set a tone or protect a teammate. For the first time in a year and a half, we saw Scott actually stick up for a teammate that took a cheap shot, when Kruger was concussed against the Penguins. The same goes for Car Bomb when he stuck up for Toews, a few games previous. Otherwise, just about every time one of these players displays their "toughness" it ends up biting the Hawks in the ass, or just simply turning the game momentum in favor of the opponent. Now, of course, this is not Scott or Carcillo's fault, because they are doing what they do best.

This is no longer a league where players like Tie Domi, or Stu Grimson would fit on an NHL team. The rules against fighting and for opening up the ice make these players irrelevant, ESPECIALLY John Scott. The league is just too fast for him, and he's FAR too slow to make up for the mistakes he makes. He's a huge 6'8" 260 pound liability. The fact that he hasn't been in many scuffles this year isn't really all his fault, because the rest of the league has seen what he can do, and just simply avoids him for the 5 minutes he sees a game. Ignore him, and go about their business. No one the Hawks have played looks frightened of John Scott whatsoever. He's not quick enough to catch someone in a corner, and I highly doubt he'd know what to do if he DID have someone lined up. Last night, he had one of the Kings smaller players trapped behind the net and gave him some stiff arm/chokeslam hybrid thing, that just looked awkward. The bottom line is that he's lost on the NHL ice. He doesn't have a defined position and he's not cerebral enough to swing a game around, when the Hawks are trudging uphill or running around like it's a Chinese fire drill. Playing him in almost half the first 37 games is a fucking JOKE.

Car Bomb is another chapter, but from the same book. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that he was sat down, when he signed, and told that none of those stunts he pulled in Philly or Phoenix were going to be tolerated in Chicago. We all know Quenneville won't put up with it, but again, who's at fault here? You bring a guy in and then muzzle him by telling him that he now can't do what he's good at. It's what he KNOWS. As a result, you have Carcillo running around without a purpose, and hearing "don't do it" from a big bushy gray mustache, in the back of his head. He's a neutered and muzzled pitbull that can only piss on your leg every once in a while. Do you think that last year's Car Bomb would have been in a position to basically skate into an opponent's fist and end up with a concussion? No fucking WAY. He would have been on that guy's back throwing uppercuts from behind, and probably biting the guy's ear, Iron Mike Tyson style. This year they have had him skating on the TOP LINE, with two of the best players in the NHL, where his is GROSSLY out of place. Dan Carcillo is not, and never will be, Al Secord, Wendell Clark, Dino Ciccarelli, Cam Neely, or even Rick Tocchet. He will yap his fucking head off, throw haymakers, and take cheap shots. Once, on a blue moon, he'll be in the right place and throw in a goal or two.

The moral of the story here, is that there are two people responsible for this charade. Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville are to blame for both of these failed experiments, PERIOD. They put two square pegs on a team full of round holes, and keep jamming the fucking pegs into the holes over and over. You can't have it both way's gentlemen. Either the dogs are released, or you cage them up. Don't chop their balls off and wonder why the whimper away. Neither of these guys are players that the Hawks NEEDED. Being upset with Scott or Carcillo PERSONALLY, is irresponsible, but being upset with Q or StanBo is perfectly

If you're looking for that kind of aggression, look no further than one of the GOOD moves Bowman made this summer. Jamal "Megamind" Mayers, has a team leading 7 fighting majors, but you don't think of him as a fighter. He has shown that when a teammate is in need of some help, he's more than willing to jump in to make a point. He's useful on the penalty kill, a leader in the locker room, defensively responsible, can play wing or center, and has actual hockey skills. The biggest part of MegaMayer's game is that he's SMART. He doesn't seem to take stupid offensive zone penalties that handicap the team, like the others do.

The problem here is that we all know I'm pissing in the wind, because the management will jam their decisions down our throat over and over, rather than admit failure. So be it...I suppose.

Blackhawks vs. Kings - Loss Recap

"All The Kings Horses"

For just the second time this year, the Blackhawks were set to face the very talented Kings. For the Kings, this was a bad time to come to the UC because the Hawks are smoking hot. The Kings came in 3-1-1 in their last 5, but only 4-5-1 in their last 10 so they are certainly heating up. After the slopfest that happened the other night against Columbus, the Hawks were in for a much different challenge. The Kings are strong in all aspects despite their latest scoring struggles and were recently turned over to former Hawks coach Darryl Sutter.

The first period was a very streaky one, as the Kings opened up with 6 straight PP minutes, and then followed by the Hawks getting 4 of their own, but neither team capitalized. The Kings were able to score the only goal of the second, and out shot the Hawks 15-10 to put their shot total at 28 after just 40 minutes. The Kings added and insurance goal in the third, and the Hawks weren't able to solve the Kings netminder sending the Kings home 2-0 winners.

The Good

  • MegaMayers had a great chance on the Sharpie double minor, early in the first period. His speed was excellent as he whizzed past the Kings defense, but ran out of gas and had his shot partially blocked.
  • Crawford made a HUGE penalty shot save on Mike Richards, in the second period, on a questionable call against El Capitan. It shouldn't be forgotten that Seabrook got caught pinching on the play and left Tazer out at the point with no stick.
  • Credit must be given to both goaltenders, but Jon Quick was outstanding. There are at least a couple of times that he snuffed out sure goals. Crawford kept the Hawks close, and without his solid play, it would have been 5-0.

The Bad

  • Trent Hunter put the Kings up 1-0 in the second period. Kyle Clifford was able to knock a loose puck out from Crawford's reach and then looked to interfere with Crawford's effort to make the followup save. Hunter found the juicy puck and buried it. I call shenanigans.
  • Jarret Stoll put the Kings up 2-0 on a 3rd rebound chance. If a team gets a third crack at a rebound, the chances aren't good that it'll stay out of the net. I'm not sure I can describe just what Leddy and Hammer were doing on this play, with the both of them ending up minus 2 on the night.
  • Because of Big Slow's inadequacy and simple mind MegaMayers and Frodo were limited to under 10 minutes of TOI. The cascade effect Scott is having, just throws the whole bottom six into disarray.

The Ugly

  • Well, just when I start warming up to Big Slow playing forward, he takes a complete cement head penalty in the offensive zone trying to take on four Kings, to leave the Hawks shorthanded. In his defense a Kings player should have joined him, but c'mon, man. Luckily they killed the powerplay off, but this play threw the momentum into the Kings favor. 3:20 of playing time is simply fucking pointless, Q. He played a total of 5 shifts after his dumb ass penalty, including a 5 second shift. Really? This is how this situation is going to go down?
  • During a second period scrum the it looked like the fucking circus out on the ice. The Kings Clifford purposely kicked Crawford's stick half way across the rink, for which he was not penalized, but Frank the Tank had the presence of mind to bring it back. Once Tank got to the other end of the ice he missed a feed that was sent back his way, which led to a few odd man chances in the Hawks end. Thankfully, Crawford was EXCELLENT, but the Hawks D men were playing hot potato.
  • Twenty eight shots against, at home, in two periods is just unacceptable. Crawford is the only reason it wasn't 4-0 at that point. They ended up giving up 38 shots, which is about 10 too many.

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Year End Gripes and Grudges

The lame duck portion of the year is upon us, and the Hawks fill that space nicely with two quality opponents and one piss-poor opponent. After a 4 day ChristmaHanaKwanzika break, the Hawks came out pretty flat to to play the very bad Blue Jackets. Luckily, the Jackets weren't interested in a win, and defaulted to the Hawks. Tonight they play the young and talented Kings, and Friday night they face the old and talented RedWings. With these end-of-year festivities going on, the Hawks have a few issues of their own:
  • Where ever Corey Crawford lost his game, he seems to have recovered it, after his little Amber Alert. He'll play his 3rd game in a row tonight, and he's looked solid in his previous two contests. This is good news for the Hawks, because two hot goalies is a nice problem to have.
  • Looks as though the Blackhawks brought back Dream Warrior Marcus Kruger too early. In his first game back he absorbed a few really big hits including a Rich Nash punch to the back of the head. While it's not specified, a punch to the back of the head of a recently concussed player should warrant at least a fine. Nash first missed with an elbow to the face, and followed up with a knuckle sammich to the back of the head. This wasn't a fight, so Kruger had no need to expect a cheap shot to the dome. This will never happen, but I reiterate, if this had happened to Sid the Kid, Nash would have had to go into protective custody. Anyway, it might be a while before we see Kruger, after this medical staff snafu.
  • Brandon Pirri has his bags packed for Rock Vegas when the Kruger news hit. Fortunately for Pirri, this benefits him. Skating with two of the hottest players in the NHL will be nothing but good for his confidence, and with Kruger's baby food brain in disrepair, he'll get an extended look at the #2 center spot. I'd love to see the kid grab a hold and stick around. It never hurts to have too many good players on the roster, and opens things up, when the trade deadline arrives.
  • Rumors are that the Panthers and Uncle Dale are going to sign former Hawks and Devil Cup Winner John Madden tomorrow. If so, good for him. I always liked that guy.
  • Bickell continues to be Bryan Bickell. Blue line, one-two-three strides, 60 foot wrist shot, miss the net. Will he EVER learn to hit people? Maybe he can with Uncle Dale in Florida.
  • While I LOVE John Scott in the latest Blackhawks parody video, and his Freshwave commercial, he still does nothing for me as a hockey player, and especially on defense. Sami Lepisto has to be carrying a John Scott VooDoo doll around, because if I'm Lepisto, I'm NOT happy that big lug is playing in front of me. Hell, I'm NOT Lepisto, and I'm pissed that Scott is playing in front of him.
  • Kaner is reported to have Strep Throat, and will be in the lineup tonight. He could be dehydrated and a bit on the weak side, so look for Q to go easy on him.
  • Has anyone seen what happened to Frolik? Me either, but he'll continue to ride the Megamayers express on the forth line. So much for that 30 goal prediction, as he sits at 5 goals with almost half the season gone.
  • Car Bomb seems to be feeling better with whatever top secret upper body injury he had and was seen skating with Frodo, and Megamayers this morning.
  • All in all, being in first place overall with 50 points has left us grumpy bloggers with very little to bitch about. OK, not very little, but much less to scream about. Again, nice problem to have.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets - Win Recap

"Swedish Meatball"

First of all, Merry Christmas to all of you, and thank you all for coming back to read my blogs. Now on to the final games of 2011. The Hawks welcomed the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets into the United Center, Monday night. They were more improved than last time they played, but not much better. They just can't seem to keep from digging the puck out of the back of their net, and the Hawks are excelling in putting it IN the opponents cage. The Hawks were still without Car Bomb and they recalled Brandon Pirri to fill the spot, but Marcus Kruger was back in the lineup for the first time since getting his eggs scrambled in Pittsburgh. Crawford was in net for his second game in a row.

The Hawks opened up as the pregame show predicted, sloppy. They were out shot 13-5 but thankfully didn't give up any goals. This certainly needed to change though. The Hawks opened up this game, in the second, scoring three goals and taking the momentum. The third period was a 1-1 tie as far as goals go, but the second period was all the Hawks needed. Even though the Hawks were grossly out shot, they ended up 4-1 winners.

The Good

  • Just when the Hawks looked tired and out of sorts, in the second period, Hoss and Shooter took over, connecting for a 1-0 Hawks lead. Sharpie took the puck deep into the Jackets zone so the defense could change, and worked a little give and go with Boss 81, redirecting the return pass into the net. Good way to celebrate your dirty 30, Shooter.
  • Pick-to-Click Vik put the Hawks up 2-0 with a play of sheer determination. He had the puck high on the near boards and was allowed an open path to the net. The BJ's defender was more worried about the point than he was Vik, so Vik drove straight to the net and was able to put his own rebound past Mason.
  • Vik scored his second of the game with 4 minutes to go in the second, on a nice feed from Bolland. Vik sat his ass in a nice soft spot in the slot, and one timed Bolly feed through Mason. Looks like he is finally hitting his comfort zone, and that's very good news for the Hawks, even if it means they unload him for a name at the trade deadline.
  • Hoss scored his 16th on a powerplay, with four minutes to go in regulation. The Hawks simply worked the puck around the net and the odd man was Hoss in the slot. MONEY! That's a matchup we'll gladly take over and over.
  • Crawford was more of last year's Crow than this years, last night. He kept the Hawks in it, despite a couple of fat rebounds. That's what your defense is there for.

The Bad

  • The Hawks were as sloppy as expected in the first period. Passes were off, shots were sloppy, and the defense was a half a second slow. Luckily, none of this hurt the Hawks, but it was slightly concerning.
  • Dream Warrior was wearing a target in his first game back. The Blue Jackets took every chance possible to rattle him.
  • Former Hawk Jim Wisniewski put the Jackets on the board, a few minutes into the third period. Crawford kicked a fat assed juicy rebound right out into the slot, but the Columbus forward whiffed on the chance. Unfortunately, Crawford was playing that shot and over slid the initial miss. Wizzer just picked up the puck and backhanded into a wide open net. 3-1 Hawks.
  • Pirri and Bolland were both under 35% at the dots. No Bueno.

The Ugly

  • The Powerplay was a complete clusterfuck for most of the night, and some would say it didn't look all that great on the Hossa goal, either. Columbus had pretty much given up at that point anyhow. Since they were able to score even strength, it can slide, THIS TIME
  • In all the hoopla, it was overlooked that the Hawks were outshot 38-22. FIX THAT. This is one of the more poor teams in the league and 38 shots is FAR too much.

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, December 23, 2011

Blackhawks Christmas Video Breakdown

For those of you who haven't seen it, YOU MUST WATCH IT! It's utterly ridiculous and hilarious all in one big Christmas package. This collection of tone deaf athletes, in bad Christmas sweaters, is simply priceless.

If you didn't hurt yourself laughing at that, you have no sense of humor. Since everyone else is breaking it down, why not...

Bolland ALMOST comes off as a slow adult, here. What would the Sedin sisters think? How he keeps from laughing is beyond me, and the badly timed two finger cha-cha thing is the bees-knees!

That's a lot of handsomeness there, folks. From the stretched out turtleneck to the deliberate snapping, he's still the senior panty dropper on this team. Flash then that million dollar smile, Shooter! Superstar!

Bick might not have many moves on the ice, but he has quite the snappy act going, with those suspenders. At least he spared all of us and put his fucking teeth in before he filmed this. Nothing like a big hillbilly looking gap toothed grin in Christmas suspenders. Too close to "Deliverance".

Duncs, that sweater vest is EXQUISITE! Apparently, Deuce's singing voice wasn't something they wanted to torture us with, or he just couldn't manage to spit out the one line he needed recite. So, they just gave us a sweater vest and a dope smile. "Hey mumbles, Just don't speak, PLEASE don't speak"

I guess they just dragged Seabs out of the weight room to fill in for someone else, because not only is he missing HIS snappy sweater, but he does NOT look happy to be partaking in this parody. No smile, hands on hips. Me Seabrook, No Likie, Make Brent Mad!

Hoss has clearly never heard "Holy Hight", in English, and one might argue that he's obviously never heard it in his native tongue, either. Lots of phlegm for the big guy, and the dopey grin is worth the price of admission.

I almost didn't realize who this was. At least, he can spit out his own name, even if it IS off key and out of time. I'm certain he's young enough to still BELIEVE in Santa, so don't tell him, you'll break the poor boy's heart.

Big Slow absolutely steals this whole video. For as little skill as he has ON the ice, his Christmas dance is JAMMING! Good rhythm, big smile, great attire, and EPIC spin at the end. If only the editing could be done without him SHOUTING "JOHN SCOTT!" at us. It's a little disturbing. I have faith in you Big Poppa!

MY personal favorite, right behind the big man. Frolik Navidad! I want to meet the person in their marketing department that threw out, "FROLIK NAVIDAD". That person deserves a huge raise. That great hockey smile, that little boy bowl cut, that brilliant sweater, and who can forget those caterpillars above his eyes? ::Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, Frolik Navidad:: EVERYBODY NOW!

Kaner, you big ham! We can't have a parody video without that patented Kaner Shuffle. "Ok, so Kaner, throw us a Fozie spin-n-point, every day I'm shufflin, and spit out your line as monotone as possible. CUT! PERFECT!"

Hammer, you sexy Swede, you. didn't recognize you without a look of pain on your face. This time the look of pain is ALL US! Nice little gay sleigh ride hand thing (you had a pony as a little Swede, didn't you?), and queue up the horrible Swedish accent...NAILED IT!

Holy christ, that's a scary sight. Father time, you have a face for radio! The way they photoshopped out the bolts on your neck, and green skin tone, is amazing. "Arrrrrrr, Ar, Ar, Ar, Arrrrrrr, Ar, Ar, Ar".

Last, but not least, El Capitan. Give us Serious...not your usual serious, ACT serious. What's wrong with your eyes, kid? You look like Sloth. Whatever, wrap this Christmas atrocity up, folks, it'll never see the light of day. WHOOPS!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Canadiens - Win Recap

"The Princess and the Frogs"

With no time to sit and stew on Tuesday night's loss to the Penguins, the Hawks were back home to face the Montreal Canadiens on home ice. The Habs are quite the opposite of the Pens. They have trouble scoring and try to rely on their defense/goaltender. In the goaltender arena the Hawks were on the lucky side because they faced Peter Budaj instead of Carey Price. Montreal was also in the news recendtly because they fired Jacques Martin and temporarily replaced him with former Blackhawk for a minute, Randy Cunneyworth. To add to the circus, they told the press that they weren't hiring a fulltime coach that doesn't speak french, which Randy doesn't. Thanks for playing Randy.

The first periods was highly uninspiring. There wasn't much action and there was almost no hitting either. The teams went into the break tied 0-0. The second was a little better, with the Hawks scoring 2 goals, and the Habs managing one of their own. There was certainly more action, and a little chaos. The third opened up for the Hawks with a game icing goal, and then 2 completely worthless goals. Anyhow, the Hawks go into the XXX-mas break leading the league with a 22-9-4 record.

The Good

  • Brandon Pirri's first game back with the Hawks was a good one. He didn't stand out, but he played with Sharp and Hossa, and didn't look out of place or tense. In fact, he opened up his first shift with a big hit I personally think he looks more comfortable out there than Morin or Smith ever did. This kid is going to be really good. Quenneville had no problem putting him out there for the PP and PK, and he showed some great composure with the puck. He was 10-18 at the dot, which is pretty good. I really like this kid.
  • Bruno tied the game up about halfway through the second. He dug the puck out from behind the net and put it through the crease. It hit Subban's leg and headed towards the net, some think it may have grazed Tazer's stick on the way, but the goal was given to Bruno. 1-1
  • Shooter followed up the Bruno goal, 37 seconds later, going in on a 2-on-1 with Pirri and beating Budaj on another shot that looked to go off his own defenseman. Before I could compose my thoughts on the Brunette goal, I was trying to gather in the handsomeness that is Shooter.
  • When Stalberg wants to, his speed is lethal.
  • Pick-to-Click-Vik scored his second goal, in 2 games, off a feed from Bickell to blow the game open. Bickell pulled his "one stride, and rip off a wrist shot that takes 3 days", that whizzed over the net. He had the right presence of mind to chase the puck down and throw it out in the slot where Stalberg was waiting. Vik let'r loose and it was 3-1 Hawks.
  • Jonny Tazer thought to have closed out the Habs night with an empty netter, but the Hawks weren't done. Obviously, the Habs WERE done.
  • Bickell was pretty much given free reign with Vik to score one of the most worthless goals you'll see this year. Could have come for a more worthless player.
  • Great return for Crawford, and his outstretched goal stick save should be a candidate for save of the year.
  • The Hawks held the Habs to just one goal on 22 shots. That's all we can really ask for.

The Bad

  • With Lurch playing on the third pairing, him and Frank the Tank couldn't seem to figure out who was going to play the puck, because neither seemed to want to, early on. Still, when you have 6 generally competent defensemen out on the ice, the game seems much more complete. Consider this bloggers vote for Big Slow to be moved to forward, for good, if he must play. He'll hurt the team much less there and if he wants to fight, it's much easier to fill in a 4th line wing than it is a 3rd pair defenseman.
  • Frodo was whistled for goaltender interference in the second, but what I don't understand is why. The two players were tied up and they bumped, but Budaj was out of the crease. You can't TOUCH a goalie? Frodo didn't do anything but bump into a guy that was in his way. If it was in the crease, I get it, but this wasn't. Anyway, Kostitsyn eventually tipped a long shot from the boards into the net for a 1-0 Habs lead. ::snore::
  • Stromboli was a -2 in 17 minutes in his return to the UC. How's that contract working out for you, Camps?

The Ugly

  • In this season of giving, I'm giving you this special present, and forever annointing Frodo, Frolik Navidad:

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blackhawks at Pittsburgh - Loss Recap

"March Of The Penguins"

Not much has to be said about the Pittsburgh Penguins. They came with some big time scorers, even though two of their more important players were injured and not playing, in Crosby and Letang. Malkin, Neal, Dupuis, and Staal are just a few of the big names on this team, and Marc-Andre Fleury in net is always tough. This was going to be a VERY tough one for the Hawks, playing a team that is very similar.

The first period started off in the Hawks favor early, but a dirty hit turned the tide in the Pens favor. From that moment on, it was all Pens for a period and half. They scored one in the first, and two in the second to go into the third period up 3-0. The Hawks finally showed signs of life, dominating the third, but it was too little, too late and they eventually fell 3-2. Makes you wonder what they could have done had they even played 2 worthwhile periods.

The Good

  • Big Slow finally found a way to get on my good side, coming to the aid of Dream Warrior, after Deryk Engelland left his feet AND went for the head of Krugs. Big Slow grabbed Engelland and beat the absolute piss out of him. How Engelland got nothing for the hit to the head, but Scott got 2+5+10 for instigating, is a flat out bunch of horseshit. Complete home cookin, and the complete opposite of what the NHL claims to be targeting. If he was knocked out, would it have been a penalty? Krugs didn't play after the first period, so we have THAT injury to now deal with.
  • It wasn't pretty, but El Capitan was finally able to put the Hawks on the board early in the third period. He drove hard to the net and tried to feed Vik across the crease, but the pass went off the Pens defender and into the net. They needed a bounce, and this was it.
  • Vik, Hoss, and Kaner zig-zagged their way through the Pens zone and Vik finished the play to put the Hawks within one goal, with 13:30 left in the game. This was the last of the Hawks scoring, but it was a pretty one.

The Bad

  • Kunitz took advantage of the napping Leddy and Hammer, on the powerplay following Scott's fight. Kunitz weaved right through the two of them along the Hawks blue line, took a pass from Malkin, and went in on Razor. 1-0 Pens.
  • Neal put the Pens up 2-0 on an oddman rush that was a result of a Deuce turnover deep in the Pens zone. After he turned it over Deuce then fell down, and teh Pens were off to the races. Seabs was left to defend a 2-on-1 of Kunitz and Neal. You can imagine how that ended, with the red hot Neal bearing down. Razor didn't stand a chance, and the Hawks were getting dominated.
  • Halfway through the game, Quenneville had seen enough of a few of the opening combinations. Montador was moved to play with Hammer for a while, and Leddy was given the leash to Big Slow. Morin was swapped from first to the fourth line with Stalberg, which became a huge move. Some of this had to do with Kruger's injury and some didn't. They basically rolled 9 forwards for the third period, with Morin, Bickell, and obviously Kruger all playing under 10 mins. On D they rolled 5 because of Big Slow's 17 PIM's. I have to honestly say that I'd rather eat the 17 mins with him at forward. It's palatable, but rolling 4 1/2 D-men on Sunday, and 5 last night just doesn't work.
  • FUCK! Bryan Bickell can annoy the HELL out of a fan. He had a clear chance to cleanly blaze through Malkin, and slowed down to hugged him. Then, when Malkin skates past him, Bickell lazy ass high sticks him. What the fuck, really, WHAT THE FUCK, Bickell? FUCKING HIT SOMEONE! Do something, ANYTHING!
  • It's anyone's guess what the FUCK was going on with the third Pittsburgh goal. The teams were even at 4-on-4, but the Hawks had other ideas. Toews, Tank, Kaner, and Leddy completely ignored the stunningly ugly Tyler Kennedy, who skated right up the gut and took a pass from behind the net from the always dangerous Ben Lovejoy, and put it in the gaping net. 3-0 Pens. While I did not make this picture, it couldn't be more true:

    Credit to PuckPassion

  • Nothing really of note at the dot, other than Jordan Staal donkey punching the Hawks all night to the tune of 70%.

The Ugly

  • Pierre McGuire is a Professor of the Obvious, and he points out some of the dumbest things. That's clearly one of the biggest reasons that EVERYONE hates him. Can we nominate him for the Habs job so he can babble his worthless bullshit to the French, IN FRENCH? Please?
  • Booing Hoss every time he touches the puck, Pittsburgh? Who are you, San Jose? Toothless Morons.
  • It's true. There is a slower person that Big Slow. Aaron Asham lost a footrace for a break-a-way to Scott, who he had half a step on. Asham, you Sir, should be EMBARRASSED! When I saw the puck head back, and #32 was the only one back, I screamed "NO!!!!", because it was clear this was trouble. All I could do is laugh, when Scott recovered and knocked the puck away.
  • Efforts like this are increasingly frustrating. As terrible as they played in the first two period, they played that GOOD in the third. This begs to question just why they come out like hungover sailors and it took them 2 period, and probably a Quenneville shoe in their asses, to get it going.
  • I've been angry at games this year, but I was FURIOUS at the Hawks during this one. The Pens were skating up and down the ice like the '08 Red Wings, and the Hawks were suppose to be the best team in the league. Not only this, but the Pens were making a mockery of the Hawks by plastering them all over the rink with no answer.

Here are your video highlights:


Monday, December 19, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Flames - Win Recap

"Through The Fire And Flames"

The Flames came into town Sunday night a much hotter team than they did previously. You could say things were starting to click a little bit for this flames squard. This team HAS the firepower, once they get their collective heads out of their asses. The trick is for Sutter to get those heads out, and that's not always an easy task.

The Blackhawks had a pretty good first period, Sunday night. The were able to outshoot the Flames 9-3 and outscore them 1-0. The only thing more you could have asked for is to score on the powerplay, which is the only negative. The second period was more of what happened in the first, with the Hawks scoring two more goals, including one powerplay goal, and outshooting the Flames 8-7. The third period was slanted more the Flames way, as they were able to pot 2 goals on 13 shots, and the Hawks were able to put the game away with one of their own for Quenneville's 600th win.

The Good

  • Frank the Tank opened up the scoring on a beautiful feed from MegaMayers. Tank was wide open in the slot and MegaMayers hit him. Tank then took a few strides in and let'r fly past Kipper. Meat and Potatoes. 1-0 Hawks
  • Hammer used a magic puck to score he second goal of the game. He took a long shot from the point, and it looked to go of a Flames defender. The puck sat up on end spinning like a top along the the outside of the crease line, and just as it got to the net it curved, ever so slowly, into the net. Mucho Ugly, but Mucho Bueno. 2-0 Hawks
  • Kaner finally got the powerplay going with a nice snapper (hey now!) in the high slot, late in the second, on a feed from Deuce. He used El Capitan's screen to put it past Kipper for a 3-0 lead. That's how the big boys do it.
  • Boss took advantage of a Calgary hissy fit that resulted in a 5-on-3 and rocketed a laser of a slapshot past Kipper for a 4-1 lead that turned out to be the insurance goal.

The Bad

  • Great way to start off the game, when Hoss turns the puck over to Stempniak who was all alone in front of the Hawks net. Luckily Razor poked it away, but Hoss? Wrong color jerseys, dude.
  • Dream Warrior took a bad interference penalty during the Bourque major, that cut the 5 minute powerplay down to a 3 minute one. Not such a smart move, Kid. Not only that, but he was 17% at the dot. Really not his best showing.
  • Right after the Bickell fight the Flames were able to finally put a puck past Razor, to make the game 3-1. Jokinen was able blow a puck past Emery while Glencross was allowed to set up camp in front of the Hawks netminder.
  • It just wouldn't be a Hawks game if they didn't allow a shorthanded break against. This time it was Shooter who tied up Morrison. Really? Cut this shit out!
  • Glencross was able to able to get the Flames within 2 goals late in the third on the powerplay, when Razor lost track of the puck behind the net, and he ended up covering the wrong post. Glencross was pretty much left to hack away at the puck by Hammer and Leddy.
  • Cory Sarich and One Trick Bick had a pretty good tussle early in the third, after Bick absorbed a big hit at the red line. The two exchanged quite a few haymakers. Unfortunately, all the shenanigans cost Bick 17 minutes in penalties. Now, mind you, Bourque was only credited with 15 minutes for turning Seabrook's brain into baby food, but Bickell got 17 for taking exception to a questionably high hit.

The Ugly

  • More Big Slow on defense. Ugh! That really fucking helps, when you're down one of your top two guys. Good job, Q. Nothing like basically rolling four D men for 40 mins.
  • Douchebag play for Bourque to hit Seabrook the way he did. Look for Brendan Shanaban to step in, and for Seabrook to probably miss some time. Thanks, Asshole.

Here are your video highlights:


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Ducks - Win Recap

"Roast Duck"

Friday the Hawks hosted the Anaheim Ducks, who have dropped to become one of the worst teams in the league. Things have changed since the Hawks last saw the Ducks, as GM Bob Murray made a quick coaching change, in favor of freshly fired former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. Even Anaheim's best players haven't exactly looked good, thus far, but they could break out of that slump at any time. With former 50 goal scorers Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry playing, they have enough firepower to light teams up, and with Jonas Hiller in net, they have the means to stop the puck, with former all-star Jonas Hiller in net, too. They just need to put the pieces together.

The first period was pretty even but the Hawks were the only team coming away with a goal. Shots were only 8-6 so that tells a tale of a fairly even 20 minutes. As the game would go on, this even play would tilt in the Hawks favor pretty significantly. The second was pretty much ALL Blackhawks. The shots were even but the Hawks scored 2 and almost had a 3rd that was reviewed and waved off. The Third period was more of a formality, because the Hawks were dominating the game at both ends. They finished up with a big 4-1 win that was solid from top to bottom.

The Good

  • Megamayers opened up the Hawks scoring about 6 minutes into the game, on a really nice play by the fourth line. Bruno picked up a loose puck in the corner and put the puck in behind the Ducks net to Megamayers. He pulled it around like he was going to wrap it around the post and banked a backhand off Hiller's blocker and into the net. The best part about it, was that Big Slow got his first point of the year, on the play. Sloppy on the Duck's part, but we'll take it. 1-0 Hawks
  • A terrible Anaheim turnover early in the second led to Hoss standing in front of Hiller all alone, and Hoss put a sweeping backhand past Hiller. The play started with Visnovsky turning the puck over in the middle of his own slot. Hoss almost took it on the first try, but kind of did a fly by. Shooter came in behind him and pushed it up to Hoss, who wasted no time with the backhander. 2-0 Hawks.
  • Nick Leddy and Dave Bolland hooked up on the powerplay, late in the second to put the Hawks up 3-0. Leddy took the puck end to end with speed and with 4 Hawks at the dots, or lower, Bolly was left wide open in the slot as the trailer. Leddy fed him, and this time he beat Hiller cleanly. 3-0 Hawks
  • Shooter put the Hawks up 4-0 beating four Ducks defenders and ripping a DIRTY wrister top shelf on Hiller. Nothing complicated about that. Just simply beastmode.
  • The Hawks penalty kill played their bend but not break style, and didn't let up a goal on three chances.
  • The Hawks were all over 50% in the faceoff circle with Dream Warrior going almost 90%.

The Bad

  • Due to an injury to Car Bomb, we were forced to endure Big Slow game at forward. Sheldon Brookbank obviously hasn't watched many Hawks games, because he dropped the gloves with Big Slow. As one would expect, when you let Scott do the one thing he's good at, you're going to be on the losing end. Brookbank ate about a dozen John Scott right hands to the dome. The refs finally had pity, and jumped in, because Scott would have murdered Brookbank. If we have to endure Big Slow, I can handle him playing the shitty Ducks, just not in the final minutes of a shutout.
  • By the end of the game, Quenneville had Big Slow on the ice with Kane and Toews. I'm quite sure THAT will never happen again. Especially since that shift let to the shutout blowing goal by Teemu Selanne. Tazer got lazy, and let the Ducks take the puck away from him. It ended up a on Selanne's stick and in the net. Razor deserved that shutout. He worked his ass off for it. As a guy that plays the position, the only thing we have to celebrate IS that elusive shutout, so when the team/coaches don't take it serious, it is VERY upsetting. THis would have been extra special since he played for them last year, and they let him walk after the season. Shame on Quenneville for putting Big Slow out there in the closing minutes. The strain his useless ass puts on the rest of the players out there no doubt led to a shorthanded like situation, and eventually in the back of Razor's net. Goalie's get very little glory as it is, and they took Ray's away from him. First star of the game doesn't mean shit when your contract is negotiated based on stats.

The Ugly

  • The Hawks were robbed of a Bolland goal in the middle of the second period, when the Refs first claimed that Bolly kicked the puck in, which was untrue. "After further review" Toronto claimed that Bolly made contact with Hiller, which again was untrue.

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blackhawks at Minnesota
SO Win Recap

"Walk On The Wild Side"

Wednesday night the Blackhawks traveled to Minnesota to face the LEAGUE LEADING Wild, and no that is not a typo. Two of the biggest names on the Wild are new members this year, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi(injured). Veterans Mikko Koivu, and Niklas Backstrom are also big parts of the team. The Goaltending has been excellent all year from the three guys that have seen time in net. Really, what more needs to be said about team that leads the entire league? They don't win pretty, but they just win. It may or may not be a fluke, but for the time being, the Wild were on top of the world.

The only thing we could have asked for, from the Hawks, was an actual goal. They took a few minutes to actually get their first shot on net, but held the Wild to only 2 for the entire first period, while getting 11 of their own. Unfortunately, it all looks the same on the score board, with double goose eggs. The second was a fast and furious period, with each team getting 10 shots and 2 goals. Not what you would expect from these two teams, but all the action pointed towards a tense third period. The third was a story in itself, with each team getting a goal. There was end to end action and great saves, but this game was going to overtime. The overtime had a playoff feel, and pace. More end to end action, with excellent chances both ways, but again, no one could end the game. The extra point was going to be decided by a shootout, and the Hawks were finally able to pull it out, in exciting fashion.

The Good

  • The first big chance for the Hawks started with Bickell out-hustling the Wild defender, and taking control of the puck, deep in the Wild zone. The puck eventually wound it's way around, and ended up going off the post, with Bickell fighting for position, below the goal line.
  • Early on, the Killer B's line, had some great pressure in front. Bolland, Bickell, and Brunette had a lot of whacks, but just missed the net. They played a good game, even though they were all -2 on the night.
  • Not often I put the opposing team in the good category, but the play Backstrom made on a possible 2-on-0 with Vik and El Capitan was EXCELLENT. They didn't even manage a shot on net, which turned out to be HUGE. Also, Kyle Brodziak looked like an allstar. Where did HE come from?
  • Hoss got number 401 on a powerplay halfway through the second period. Shooter tried to jam the puck to the net, and it laid between Tazer's skates. Hoss rushed in and chipped it onto the net to put the Hawks up 1-0.
  • Frodo made his way out of the doghouse by scoring a quick second goal shortly after the Hossa powerplay tally. The rush was started by Deuce, who floated a perfect pass to MegaMayers, who then sent it to Dream Warrior. Warrior's touch pass to Frodo ended up bouncing around like a pinball between the defenders legs, and into the cage. 2-0 Hawks.
  • El Capitan whipped his balls out AGAIN, to put the Hawks up 3-2 almost half way through the third period, when he picked up a puck off Stalberg, and drove to the net, going through 3 defensemen, and then waited for Backstrom to go down. At that point, it was easy pickins for Jonny Big Balls, who put it up where momma keeps the peanut butter. 3-2 Hawks
  • Hoss is just MASTERFUL with the puck on his stick. His sequence where he went through 4 out of 5 Wild players, even while being knocked on his ass, was incredible.
  • Doc Emerick calling the came reminds me of the cup run two years ago and I absolutely love it! Just too bad Pierre McGuire fucking ruins it.
  • Deuce has what was probably his best game of the year, and it showed with 30:30 of ice time.

The Bad

  • Car Bomb pretty much got his ass kicked by Staubitz in the second period. Bomber got a few shots in, but Staubitz took control when he switched to throwing right hand haymakers.
  • Another game, another supreme shorthanded chance against. If it weren't for the superhuman effort of Deuce, Razor would have had to come up huge once again. What...The...Fuck, Guys?
  • The Hawks luck came to an end in the second period, and guess who was right in the middle of the action? Yup, Big Slow. The refs blew a CLEAR icing when Frank the Tank touched up. Slow went plowing in behind Tank, and below the goal line with his hands and stick around everyone's faces, and proceeded to play patty cake with the Wild forward. The puck was stolen from the two stooges that were too busy scratching their heads about the non call, and Kyle Brodziak waited Razor out long enough to bury it from a tight angle. Queue momentum shift. 2-1 Hawks
  • Cal Clusterfuck and Matt Cullen tied the game up, on a horrible change by the Hawks. Hammer was left hung out to dry with Leddy coasting back half-assed. Cullen hit Clusterfuck with a pass, and he took it hard to the net. The puck ended up back on Cullen's stick and eventually into the net, Matrix slow motion style. 2-2 all tied up.
  • Mikko Koivu tied up the game once again, with 5 minutes to go, on a delayed penalty. Clusterfuck came off the bench on a delayed penalty, and took the pass below the goal line. He waited for a Hammer, who was humping the ice, to clear and fed Koivu. Koivu got a little luck when his shot went off Leddy and past Razor. 3-3
  • With just over a minute to go, Shooter and Hoss came in on a 2-on-1 and couldn't deliver.
  • The Hawks peaked way too early, and were outshot 16-7 in the third period. Kind of makes that 11-2 scoreless first a moot point, doesn't it?

The Ugly

  • In the first 10 minutes of the game, there was a grand total of 2 shots on net. TWO!. Even worse, it took the Wild SEVENTEEN minutes to get a single shot on net.
  • Fourth line Frodo was the nightly wearer of the milkbone jockstrap. Not going to be a 30 goal scorer that way, Kid. By the third period he was playing on the first line with the wonder twins.
  • The Hawks were collectively awful at the dot. The only player over 50% was MegaMayers.

The Shootout

  • Matt Cullen was stopped by Razor.
  • Toews beat Backstrom with the old faithful.
  • Dany Heatley didn't get a shot off.
  • Kane won the game on a stop-n-go.

Here are your video highlights:


Blackhawks News And A Briefcase
Full Of Blues

Halfway through the month of December and the Blackhawks are still holding onto the #3 spot in the entire NHL. Even with all of the issues they have been having, they are able to pretty much stay there. Granted, there are 6 teams within 2 points of the Hawks (including Blackhawks south, The Panthers), but Hawks fan's have things to be happy about. The Blackhawks are also second in the league as far as Goals For. As with every good, there are plenty of things I would call "concerning", rather than bad. Lets go over a few:
  • Razor's Edge. How could the goaltending quandary not be the first item on the list? Corey Crawford has come out "sub-par" and Razor Emery has actually over-achieved. This play has gotten Razor 3 starts in a row, when he takes the net tonight in Minny. I keep saying it, but this is not yet a controversy. Quenneville is going with the hotter hand, while he has the luxury of letting Crawford work the kinks out. This may very well turn into the same scenario as the last two years, but we mustn't drink the Razor Kool-Aid just yet. Crawford is not a fragile ego'd Huet, or an over the hill Turco. He's still young and impressionable. If Stephane Waite can't fix Corey's foggy head, then I will fully endorse panic mode, because the Hawks goaltending in Rockford isn't exactly comforting. Salak, and Richards haven't done anything notable, which is hugely disappointing, and Carter Hutton is small and not NHL ready, either.
  • Bickell, Smith, Bickell, and so on. After last season's shocking 17 goal output, One Trick Bick opened some eyes in the NHL circles, if only to make league scouts say, "Don't give him 3 days to get his shot off". This also gave him a false sense of his place, as an NHL forward. He's a big ass that can cause traffic in front of the net, and if you give him time, can rip off a nasty wrist shot. Unfortunately, Mr. Bickell began to drink his own Kool-Aid (Yuck, I know), and lost his true identity. He began to think he was some kind of established sniper, and forgot to go to the net. Right to Q's Doghouse with you, Son. In steps every beat writers wet dream, the sandy haired Ben Smith. EVERYONE had been clamoring for the kid to step in. He was going to do great things because he had a handful of good, not great, games 8 months ago, right? Despite only scoring more than 20 goals once, in his Sophomore year at BC, he's a top six guy. Well, If you ask the Blackhawks Meat Beat Crew, they'll feed you that bologna. I've stated all along that Smith is, at best, a solid 3rd liner, who could fill in from time to time in other spots. Anyway, Smith was called up and, coincidence or not, laid a big steaming pile of poop in two of the Hawks worst games Hawks fans have seen in quite a long time. Now, by no means was this solely on Smith's shoulders, but he was absolutely invisible. Q had seen enough, and gave him the old "Healthy Scratch" treatment for 4 games. Bickell, who had been dropped to the fourth line, proceeded to swim in a sea of suck for those 4 games, and was scratched in favor of the kid. The Meat Beat threw fits of joy and spewed delusions of grandeur, when Smith scored in his first game back, but he then returned to earth so fast that he landed about 75 miles west of the UC, in Rockford. Now, we're back to the very affordable Bryan Bickell, who may or may not be angry enough to use that big ass to throw people around. At a dollar to pound ratio, the Blackhawks have to be winning on this one, right? Wednesday night's game will hopefully show us what One Trick Bick has learned, if anything. If not, he's cheap enough to sit in the press box, or even dangle as trade meat. Suck can be easily replaced.
  • Hammer Time. All of us bloggers have been taking notice of Hammer's play lately, because that is what we do. If we point out the good, that's only restating the obvious. In this case, we can really blame Doug Wilson. As revenge for sending them packing in '10, he pulled a dick move on his former team and ran the price up on Hammer, like some kind of bidding war between the knuckleheads on Storage Wars. For those of you who are familiar, liken Wilson to the Dave Hester, yelling "yeeeeeeeeeep". Anyhow, Bowman had to keep him, at the time, and overpaid by at least a million for him. A young, good sized, Swedish defensive defender with a lot of potential could really be a steal a few years down the road. The problem, here, is that Hammer has not progressed, and, in fact, he's REgressed. He refuses to use his size to punish opponents, he really offers zero offense, and he absorbs huge hits. He has a constant look of extreme pain glued to his face, and he's only 24 years old! No player can take this abuse for long, and it's showing in his development. Yes, we all know he blocks shots, but that doesn't take a masters degree to accomplish, in fact, it's probably the easiest of all talents to master. You know where the net is, and where the defender is, just figure out the angle and cover your nuts. The bottom line is that time is running out. Nick Leddy has all but jumped Hammer to become the #3 guy. Hammer was never going to be a 40 point defender, but 20 would be a reasonable goal, and the even bigger issue is his physical play. He CAN punish people, like he did against the Islanders, but he's just too tentative. The clock is ticking, Nik.
  • The latest of the entertaining shenanigans is today's article by NHL Blogger Extraordinaire Puck Daddy, aka Greg Wyshynski. Apparently, in a recent WGN radio interview, the host asked a question regarding the tired joke of the Sedin Sisters. Hardy, Har-Har, right? Bolly played to the audience and threw out a few jokes. Weeeeeeell, the Intarweb, mostly Vancouver Canucks fans, is up in arms over this, thanks to Wysh. Like this is the first time they've heard this shot. Really, it's like shooting fish in a barrel with Canucks fans, and this joke has been beaten to death. If you're going to get the idiots of the Intarweb up in a huff, find someone who is making a more recent stab, like their $10 Million backup goalie with the weepy face and greasy hair. I prefer the Tomax and Xamot Crimson Twins reference for the Sedin's, myself.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Sharks
OT Win Recap

"Big Daddy"

On the heels of an OT win the other night, in Long Island, the Hawks headed back home to play the San Jose Sharks and former Cup winning teammate, Antti Niemi, along with other Former Hawks Havlat and Handzus. In addition, the Hawks made the announcement early Saturday to start Ray Emery. This team is NOT the Islanders, and they have plenty of firepower, so the Hawks were going to need to put on a better effort. On the night the Hawks announced Ed Belfour heritage night, the Hawks had a big game to make a statement. And did they!

The first period went the Sharks way, as they put 17 shots on net, including one goal, and only surrendered 8 shots to the Hawks. The Hawks kept up early, but lost their luster and ended up down, going into the second. The Hawks and Sharks were both able to dent the net, in the second period, to keep the Sharks up by one as the teams hit the second break. The Sharks were also able to put 16 more shots on net to lead the Hawks 33-13. The Hawks came out with a little edge in the third period outshooting the Sharks 16-3 and tying up the game, with under two minutes to go in regulation. Just when all signs pointed to a shootout, the Hawks were able to poke a rebound into the net for a big 3-2 win.

The Good

  • Marcus Kruger tied up the game at 1-1 almost halfway through the second period. The goal was set up by a long Hammer shot that was tipped in front of the net and by Niemi by Dream Warrior. Nice screen in front of the net by Shooter and Kruger.
  • The Hawks came out after a time out, and Emery on the bench, and tied up the game with just over a minute left. The Hawks set up a faceoff play that started with El Capitan winning the faceoff to Shooter. Shooter sent it back to Deuce, who then threw it over to Hoss. Hoss dumped it off his back foot and Bruno tipped it in. Big goal to send the momentum in the Hawks favor.
  • Shooter won the game with 30 seconds to go in OT, to sent the Hawks fans home happy campers. The play started with Hoss taking a half swing shot from the high slot and the rebound laid in the crease at the toe of Niemi. Shooter had position on Brent Burns and poked the puck into the net.
  • Razor did noting to make the Hawks faithful doubt Quenneville's decision to start him. He saved 35 of 37 shots, and stood tall when the Hawks weren't looking hot at all. While I still think Crawford should be #1, the clock is ticking.
  • Once again, all the Hawks forwards except Kruger were over 50% at the dot. This must be part of the reason we saw Dream Warrior play wing, later in the game.

The Bad

  • Jamie McGinn put the Sharks up 1-0 late in the first period, after Hammer just let him stand there and poke at the puck long enough to put it in the net. Once again, Hammer refuses to use his body to his advantage. Is anyone surprised?
  • Just a couple of minutes after the Hawks tied up the game, Justin Braun ripped a shot past Emery, from high in the slot, to put the Sharks back up 2-1. There was traffic in front, but a very savable shot.
  • Pick to Click Vik had another glorious chance thwarted, or did he just shoot it into Niemi's pads? He looked like he had room to bury it, but pushed it back towards Niemi, and Niemi got a pad on it.
  • Glad to see Jumbo Joe acting like a total juvenile after high sticking Tazer in the neck, he then proceeded to yap at the refs, and then follow the whole tantrum up by crosschecking Tazer. Same goes for Ryan Clowe at the end of the third period. Bunch of little sissy bitches. Way to keep it classy, San Diego.
  • While Niemi played well, the Hawks had several chances to tie the game and couldn't lift the puck. It's pretty widely known that Niemi is very good, down low and the Hawks couldn't shoot a puck higher than 3" off the ice.
  • Quenneville was clearly not happy with the play of the third line. Frolik played under 10 minutes, and Ben Smith only played 5:48. I'm sure we can expect some juggling on the bottom 6, and maybe a reappearance of Bickell sometime soon.

The Ugly

  • The Sharks Andrew Desjardins put an extremely dangerous hit on Pistol, by pushing him into the boards face first, behind the Hawks net. Based on recent Shanaban experiences, he should be getting a look see from the league offices, for that one.

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, December 9, 2011

Blackhawks at New York Islanders
OT Win Recap

"400 Ways To Die"

Thursday night the Hawks visited Long Island for the "Hawks Vs Isles Part Deux", in a weeks time no less. Aren't WE the lucky ones? Last game, the Hawks Made it much harder on themselves than they needed to, taking the Isles to OT, and finally a shootout all while giving up 40-something shots. It took a Herculean effort from Captain Serious, to bring them back, and he was the only one to score in the shootout. This time around, they didn't have the benefit of the home fans, after the comeback against the Coyotes the other night, that disappointingly fell just short. The Isles, on the other hand, put up 10 goals in the two wins following their loss to the Hawks.

The Hawks looked like the better team, for a majority of the first period, but the shots were even at 10-10. The Hawks were the recipient of some luck, and were able to go up and into the intermission 1-0 on their powerplay goal. The Hawks weren't as successful in the second period but were able to tie the period 1-1, putting the Hawks up 2-1 for the game. The Isles were able to tie up the game in the third period, and send the game into overtime, also outshooting the Hawks 8-7. Lucky for everyone wearing white, the Hawks were able to make quick work of the Isles in OT, and bring home the 2 points.

The Good

  • The Hawks were able to open the scoring on the powerplay, in the first. Hoss scored his 400th career goal by taking the puck behind the net, and banking it off Montoya and into the net. Terrible goal for Montoya, but congrats to Marian Hossa. 1-0 Hawks
  • Hoss continued his red hot play a couple of minutes into the second period, feeding Shooter for a rocket of a one timer. Montoya couldn't get across the crease fast enough to catch up to Sharpie's laser of a shot. 2-0 Second Line.
  • Hossa capped a historic night by picking up a loose puck in the Hawks end and leading the rush up the ice, in OT. He took a shot Montoya, who ended up on his dupa, and the rebound conveniently came right out to Shooter, who put it in for his second goal of the night, and the game winner. And a mighty handsome goal it was. Huge night for the second line, and nice win for the Hawks.
  • For the first time in recent memory, Hammer actually hammered someone. He laid a big hit on Michael Grabner, who had his head down the entire way, in the Isles end of the ice. I had to do a double take of the number.
  • The Hawks powerplay looked excellent all game long. The defining moment, of course, was the Islanders 5-on-3 at the end of the second/beginning of the third. It was SO good that the Hawks didn't even give up a shot.
  • Despite a rare gaffe, Seabrook was a beast on the back end all night long, whether it was a strong pass, shot block, or a big hit he was on his game. Even though he was out there for the tying goal, that one really wasn't on him. He also led all Hawks in shorthanded TOI. That says a lot about Quenneville's confidence in Lucky Number Sleven.
  • Razor was 31 of 33, and he made several big saves that kept the Hawks up, and in the game. As slow and tender as he looked in the preseason, and early on; he's looked that much better as of late. At least one of them is looking tight. This is more evidence to support the idea of Razor getting more time, to take the pressure off Crawford. Again, this is no controversy, YET.
  • Three points for both Shooter and Hoss. More please!

The Bad

  • Travis Hamonic put the Isles on the board with under 2 minutes left in the second period. The Hawks weren't able to get the puck out of the zone and it was fed across to Hamonic, who Ben Smith had somehow lost track of. Hamonic used the screen of Smith and Hammer to blow a long slapshot past Razor. 2-1 Hawks.
  • The Isles tied up the game, in the third, when Steve Staios' shot went off Michael Grabner and past Razor just over halfway through the frame. The Hawks actually looked to have the play covered pretty well, but the deflection snuck by Emery.
  • Patrick Sharp started Razor's night off by turning the puck over at the Isles blue line and then letting his guy skate right past him. Unfortunately, that guy was John Tavares, but Razor was up to the task. Thanks, Shooter!
  • Whenever Hammer tries to build up some speed, it looks like his feet are moving extremely fast, but he's not going anywhere.
  • The third line had another rough night, going minus 3 total, and collecting 4 minutes in penalties. I'd honestly like to see the Hawks give Bolland some down time to rehab that foot, while they have some time to play with. If this is still an issue down the stretch run, it's going to become a major one.
  • The Hawks weren't terrible at the dot, but Bolland was smacked around most of the night, most notably by Tavares. 37% for the shutdown center isn't a pretty stat.

The Ugly

  • Queue up the Mr. Hyde/CarBomb. With just under 4 minutes left in the third period of a 2-2 game, he took exception to Kyle Okposo jumping into a post whistle fracas, and jabbed Okposo right in the yap, drawing a penalty. The Isles didn't score on the PP but that kind of crap isn't going to make Quenneville happy, especially if they give up a goal.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Blackhawks vs. Coyotes - SO Loss Recap

"Never Enough"

Round two for the Blackhawks and Coyotes. After a pretty successful weekend, the Hawks had all but forgotten about the last time they saw the Coyotes. Too bad the Coyotes hadn't forgotten. It looks like Phoenix is going to become the new thorn in the Hawks side. Since last game the Coyotes haven't exactly lit the world on fire, but when they come in the UC, they look like the Devils of the early 2000's.

The Coyotes picked up where they left off a week ago, taking it to the Hawks in all areas, including outshooting and outscoring the Hawks in the first period. It's not going to be easy to win against a team like Phoenix when you're already in a hole 2-0. The second period was a whole different story. It was the Hawks turn to dominate the period in both shots and goals. After giving up an early goal, they came out with a purpose and brought the game back to a 3-3 tie. The third period was of playoff style. Tight checking and no scoring. Both teams had chances but the Hawks clearly had more. Neither team could break the tie and the game headed into OT, which was dominated again by the Hawks. This game was decided in the shootout, as the Yotes were able to win the shootout 2-0. Certainly disappointing, and clearly the soft first period cost them dearly.

The Good

  • The Hawks finally put a goal on the board with three minutes gone in the second. Toews picked up a blocked Pat Kane pass and ripped it past Mike Smith to bring the Hawks within 2 goals. 3-1 Yotes.
  • The Hawks struck again on the powerplay, as Captain Big Balls tipped a Deuce slapshot past Smith the bring the Hawks within one goal, half way through the second period. At this point, the Hawks had ALL the momentum, and were skating circles around the Coyotes. They had been dominating Phoenix for about 5 minutes previous which led to the penalty, and the Hawks made it count. Queue momentum shift.
  • I'm slowly, but surely, becoming a big fan of the Dream Warrior (Sorry, Second City Hockey, the name is just TOO perfect), Marcus Kruger. He plays solid in his own end, and has learned to play really big with the puck in the offensive zone, despite his small stature. He's won me over.
  • Kaner tied the game up with 6 minutes to go in the second period on a Yotes turnover, which led to a Toews/Kane 2-on-1. Captain Big Balls outraced the Yotes players and held on to the puck until the perfect moment when Kaner cleared the defender, and hit him with a perfect backdoor pass, that he buried past Smith. NOW we have a game! All tied up at treys, and the Hawks were in a zone, all of a sudden.
  • That Jonathan Kane connection is looking pretty good, isn't it? Thank you, Dream Warrior, for allowing this to happen. People need to start sweating, because the league is in trouble. The Bromance is back.
  • Outshooting the Yotes 35-27 is right about in the Hawk wheelhouse, but they need to be better in the saves category.
  • Bolly was the only Hawks center under 50% in the faceoff circle, for the game. Bolly is hurting, we just don't know how much. With the emergence of Dream Warrior, do the Hawks give him some down time to allow him to heel? Brandon Pirri is absolutely lighting up the AHL, so maybe NOW is the time to get Bolly healthy, because he has basically reverted back to Invisi-Bolly.

The Bad

  • The first Yotes goal of the game was a result of a Frank the Tank blow out at the Phoenix blue line. Tank tried to dive and knock the puck past Raffi Torres, but couldn't. This led to a 2-on-1 against Lurch, who really didn't stand a chance. He chose to pressure the puck and Boedker dumped it off to Torres, who just directed it into a wide open net. 1-0 Yotes
  • The second Phoenix goal of the game was as a result of a giveaway deep in the Hawks zone, by Deuce, who just threw the fucking puck away into his own corner. Ray Whitney got to it, and fed the puck out to Radim Vrbata who drew Crawford out of the net, after he grossly overcommitted, and tucked it in behind him. I really can't say I remember any Phoenix goals, this year, against the Hawks that weren't ugly, and this one certainly fits. 2-0 Yotes
  • Just over a minute into the second period Keith Yandle put an end to Corey Crawford's nighy, sending a long shot through a Pyatt screen and into the net. Crawford really didn't have much of a chance, with Leddy letting Pyatt pitch a fucking tent in front, but sometimes you have to bail your team out. 3-0 Yotes.
  • Frank the Tank really had two bad turnovers to begin the game. He looked like he was just in a haze out there, but eventually shook it off.
  • Vik Stalberg once again passed up a glorious chance from no more than 15 feet from the net, and turned the puck over with a godawful pass. I love his speed, but you have to shoot the fucking puck, kiddo! He missed at LEAST 3 other chances in the game, and I'm talking "5 feet in front of the net with no defenders between you and the goalie" chances, including one in OT.
  • Kaner pulled his little fancy pants spin-o-rama passes, AGAIN, to Car Bomb who was just a few seconds too slow to beat Smith.
  • Looks like Ben Smith has come back down to earth, again. This is what you're going to get out of him. He's a third liner that could fill in from time to time on the top line, but you're not going to get major points out of him. I'm perfectly happy with Smith playing out there ahead of One-Trick-Bick even though him and Frodo were minus 2 on the night, because he brings more to the table.

The Ugly

  • Jesus fucking CHRIST, Captain Obvious, aka Pierre McGuire, is the creepiest and most annoying announcer in sports, bar none. Will SOMEONE please give him a job that keeps him off the television? PLEASE!
  • The Hawks powerplay has really become "Feast or Famine". Either they are running the puck around like the Globetrotters, or they can't even get the puck into the zone. There is no in-between.
  • Hossa missing the shorthanded chance halfway through the third is a MUST SCORE. You just HAVE to put that mistake in the net. Roof it on the long side. That goal would have put the Coyotes to bed, because an ugly shorthanded goal like that, on the road, would take all wind out of their sails. This one turned out to be HUGE!
  • I'm not screaming goalie controversy, here, but Razor has earned a back-to-back start or two. Obviously, continuing to throw Crawford out to the wolves is NOT working. Let him work through his issues and give Razor some more starts.

The Shootout

  • Ekman-Larsson beat Razor
  • Tazer was stopped by Smith
  • Vrbata beat Razor
  • Hossa was stopped by Smith

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blackhawks at St. Louis - Win Recap

"Rough Boys"

After Friday's questionable Shootout win against the Isles, the Hawks still had a lot of questions to answer. The first was the marginal goaltending, and the Hawks answered that by giving Crawford the night off in favor of Razor emery. The second was figuring out what was wrong with the bottom six forwards. The third was what to do about the bottom 3 defensemen. The Bickell Chronicles seemed to be over, with Agent Smith getting a goal in his first game in the last 4. The Blues have been red hot since they switched coaches, and were now only one win and two points behind he Hawks. The good news story of this game was the return of sniper David Perron, who had missed nearly 100 games due to a concussion.

The game opened with the Blues taking the lead, in the first, and even though the Hawks out shot the Blues 13-6, the blues held the lead for the remainder of the period. The Hawks came out in the second just like Friday night and pretty much dominated the period. They ended up also winning the period 3-1, and took back the momentum. The Hawks were able to hold on to the momentum in the third period, netting another goal, and an open netter to win 5-2. Good win for the Hawks, and a solid game.

The Good

  • The Hawks opened the second period, and tied the game forty one seconds in. Captain Emormo-nuts tipped a Hammer point shot into the net. The play started with Kaner negating an icing, and controlling the puck long enough to get it to Hammer, who was able to throw it towards the net.
  • Boss 81 tied the game back up at 2, on a shorthanded 2-on-1. The Hawks forced a turnover at the Blues blue line, and Hoss took it netward waiting for Bolly to clear the defender, which he never did, so Hoss just blew it by Elliott. HUGE play to shift the momentum in the Hawks favor, and this ended up the defining play of the night, and could end up being a defining play for a whole lot more.
  • The powerplay finally showed some life as Shooter scored on a nice long range slapshot, through a screen, to put the Hawks up 3-2, late in the second period. That's right, I said POWERPLAY.
  • Car Bomb finally showed some positive aggression in the second when the Blues tried to push Kaner and El Capitan around. He took on a few Blues players, including noted fucktard David Back-Ass. He ended up with 4 for roughing, but I'll take that any day. "DON'T YOU EVER TOUCH MY CAPTAIN"
  • For once, the Hawks actually opened up a third period with a goal. Hoss took a drop off pass from Shooter, who couldn't handle the feed, and blew it past Elliott for a 4-2 lead on the powerplay, just a minute into the third period. Lookin good, lookin good!
  • Kruger had continued to look good in all areas of his game. He hasn't looked overmatched at all, and he's been logging a lot of PK time. Thank god someone is panning out.
  • Frolik picked up a late goal, even though it was an empty netter. At this point, he'll take anything he can get.
  • With two powerplay goals, one shorthander, and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill the Hawks special teams had an EXCELLENT game. I can't emphasize how much they needed this.

The Bad

  • David Perron made for a really good story, opening up the scoring just over five minutes into the first period, on a play where neither Bolland, Frank the Tank nor Lurch could tie up Perron. He was given more than enough time to wait out Razor and pick his spot. Please tell me they just had pity on him, and threw him a solid.
  • Immediately following a big hit by Deuce on Steen, Deuce proceeded to shoot the puck on his own net. Good thing Razor was paying attention. Slick move, Kid!
  • The Blues took the lead back on a questionable play where Vladimir Sobotka clearly tripped Bruno from behind, who was trying to start a break out in the Hawks end. Chris Stewart picked the loose puck up and snapped it past Emery. The refs definitely missed the call but the Hawks can't stop playing to bitch about the non-call. 2-1 Blues.
  • Frank the Tank, and Lurch only played 3 shifts in the second period and were a minus 2 each, for the game. Not their best showing.

The Ugly

  • It is Official, Ryan Reaves is a complete and utter cement head douche. Not that it takes much, but he's taken over Cam Janssen's spot.

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