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.

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