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:

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