• Welcome to the all new, redesigned Puckin Hostile

    The goons here at Puckin Hostile have completely redesigned the website, to better enhance your experience no matter what devices you surf with.

  • The Puckin Hostile Blackhawks Shoutcast

    Join the Hostile crew for this bi-weekly look at the NHL and Blackhawks hockey. Of course, it just wouldn't feel right without plenty of inappropriate jokes and references. Available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

  • Puckin Hostile - Blackhawks News Facebook Page

    If you're one of those Facebook users like the Puckin Hostile page. Click here to be taken over to our page.

  • Puckin Hostile Instagram

    Head over and follow the Puckin Hostile Instagram page. We post up all the latest photoshop creations for you to enjoy. Click here to be taken over to our page.

  • Follow the guys on Twitter

    Follow Gatekeeper (@PuckinHostile), Stankus (@Patrick_Stankus), Bryan (@AtomicFroster), Norton (@PDNorton3), and the Shoutcast account (HawksShoutcast) on Twitter.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

No All-Star "Break" for Bowman
Blackhawks Acquire Morrison from Calgary

I refrained from spitting out my immediate feelings on the Friday trade of Brian Connelly for Brenden Morrison because, quite frankly, I didn't know just what I thought of it, nor did I understand just what Stan's intentions were. To be honest, I still don't know exactly where this one is going.

At first glance, people were probably thinking, "The Hawks traded for a Center, the second line Center hole is filled", but this couldn't be further from the truth. Morrison is more like a Jamal Mayers, than a David Bolland. He's a veteran third, at best, or fourth line Center, with the needle bouncing below 1/8th of a tank. What does this move open up for the Hawks? Not much, to be honest. They could make a few different moves:
  • Move Bolland to #2, which I personally think it's time for, and leave Morrison at #3.
  • Move Mayers back to his true position, wing, and slide Morrison in and the #4 Center.
  • The previous move would leave no choice but to move Sharp or Kaner back to Center unless Bowman can pull a fat rabbit out of his hat.

I can't speak for Stan and Joel, at this point, but either way you slice it, this is a low level trade that really doesn't clear up much in the confusion of the lineup. With Bickell and Frolik suckling at the eternal bunghole, this turns into a move to shore up the bottom 6. Bickell can now sit as long as we would all like, and Frolik can continue to treat the net like it has a Death Star force field. Once Sharp and Toews are back, look for everybody's hero, Andrew Shaw, to make a triumphant return to Rock Vegas. Just too many cooks in this kitchen for him to last.

Needless to say, with the NHL trade deadline 4 weeks from tomorrow, this will not be the last move that the Blackhawks make.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Predators - Loss Recap

"Ain't Got Time to Bleed"

"EVERYBODY QUICK! Derp Face Party, On Three!"

After getting their asses kicked back in Nashville the other night, the Hawks were back home for the ass end of their Home and Home series, their last game at home in 3 weeks, and the last game before the All-Star break. While I'm sure the Hawks were looking for revenge, they were going to have to accomplish this feat without 2 of their captains, Sharp and Toews. With a week off, and an extended road trip coming up, a win in the United Center would be a great way to get the fans fired up. With El Capitan out nursing a sore flipper, this was Dave Bolland's time to shine, moving up to center the first line. If he could make a good showing here, this could quiet the masses calling for a trade for a second line center, and take pressure off Stan Bowman. The deadline is creeping ever so close, and there is no way the Hawks will be able to give enough away to compensate for a #2 center. AnyWHO...

Just when you think the kids might lend a young energy, the Hawks open up the game with two fatal turnovers to go into the first intermission down 2-0. It could have been at least 3-0, or 4-0 with the good scoring chances the Preds had, but if the Hawks had opened up the scoring when they had momentum things could have played out much different. The second period was a little more even with power plays each way, but no goals, and the pace slowed down a bit. The calm before the storm? A third period against a suffocating Preds defense and a world class goalie isn't an easy feat when you're down 2 goals. To the fans delight, the Hawks came out and got a goal in the third period and had some serious pressure, but that one goal was all they could muster up. In the end, the Hawks were sent into the All-Star break with a tough loss.

The Good

  • The Hawks kids had a lot of energy to open up the game but they just weren't able to cash in. We all know how that ended up when the defense let them down.
  • To make up for a first goal that was pretty soft, Crawford make a highlight reel glove save on Mike Fisher in the third period. Nice to see him fight back after a tough first.
  • The Hawks finally scored on the powerplay, and my pick to click, InvisiBolly, was the trigger man. Hossa danced around the zone like a magician and faked like he was going to drive hard to the net. Once he did that, Bolland was left wide open for the one timer past Rinne. 2-1 Preds.
  • While he didn't stand out, per se, David Bolland showed that he CAN be a top 6 guy with the Hawks only goal, on the powerplay, and winning an unbelievable 17 of 20 faceoffs. This was a promising sign in an otherwise shitty game. It's time for him to become that second line center, and save his GM a boatload of cabbage.
  • Furthermore, All the Hawks centers won 50% or more of their faceoffs. Good, no?
  • Marian Hossa was a beast the entire game. Period!

The Bad

  • As luck would have it, when the Hawks open up with energy and don't finish, Craig Smith jumped on an O'Donnell Sean turnover and scored a fairly soft goal. Crawford was screened on the shot, but the shot was low and to his stick side, which he was favoring already. Huge momentum grabber.
  • Just previous to the second goal, Crawford had trouble with yet another long dump in. He stopped it, but didn't seem to know what to do with it as it lay on the ice right in front of him, which led to puck almost ending up on a Preds stick. After a short panic scene, the puck was controlled by the Hawks, but it made everyone's blood pressure rise.
  • Mike Fisher made it 2-0 when Nick Leddy did a little deju vu move from Saturday night, and turned the puck over to Hornqvist, again. Hornqvist was able to nicely kick it out in front to a wide open Fisher, who beat Crawford. Pirri got caught in the corner, Lurch got caught behind the net looking for the pass, and Crawford looked unsure whether dive out at Fisher or stand his ground which is how Fisher ended up so wide open. Crawford showed a rare case frustration, after the goal, by two handing the crossbar with a $200 stick. I can't blame him, because he got handcuffed, and the defense let him down, as well.
  • The obligatory shorthanded chance against came on the second period Hawks powerplay, when Leddy was caught deep and Halischuk raced in on Crawford. Luckily, Leddy's speed allowed him to catch Halischuk and was able to tie up his stick, cleanly, from behind.
  • Right when the Hawks had all the momentum and caught some luck, they were slapped with one of these lovely penalties below, to kill all chances and momentum for the Hawks.
  • Colin Wilson drove a Chelsea Dagger in the Hawks chances with an empty netter to finish the game.
  • I don't get bringing Ben Smith up for 4:47 of ice time. While he's not the messiah, he has a place. The Hawks weren't killing penalties all game, and Smith is much better than the John Scott treatment. What gives?

The Ugly

  • Our good friend Lurch opened up the game a lovely minus 2. He got a little better as the game went on, but the first goal was a direct result of his turnover. Take note, Stan.
  • Once again, a fight bites the Hawks in the ass. Montador and Yip decided to scuffle in the second period, which is all good and well, but the Hawks had a 2-on-1 at the time. Scoring chance averted. Can they just scratch fighting off the list for good? More often than not, the fights turn momentum in favor of the opposing team, or the Hawks get caught for some stupid instigation penalty.

Here are your video highlights:


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Day After...Gripes and Grudges

In 1983 there was a movie that changed my life, and it was called "The Day After". It was set in the 80's, after a nuclear attack from the Russians. I was 9 years old and it scared the HELL out of me. The fallout, destruction, and sheer devastation haunted me for years. So much so, that I had nightmares for years, and sometimes still do. Because of that movie, one of my biggest fears is Nuclear War. I suppose "War Games" would have had the same effect, had I seen it at the time.

You can see where I'm going with this comparison. Just mere days before the All-Star break, and as we inch closer to the trade deadline, Blackhawks Nation is getting restless and somewhat retarded. Sharpie has been out with a rumored broken wrist, and El Capitan looks to be out a few games after getting dinged up 2 games ago. Twitter is the absolute gutter of human behavior, because every stupid asshole that has an opinion jumps up on their soap box and starts spouting conspiracy theories and flat out lies. All it takes is one gullible idiot and that rumor grows a set of legs. The problem is that most people don't think before they spout off. If they DID they'd be smart enough to no start typing. Sifting through the bullshit that the Intarwebs has to offer is a job in and of itself. I can't imagine the complete and utter bullshit and laziness that beat writers must endure. While I certainly disagree with them plenty of times, watching them have to bite their tongues while they answer the same idiotic questions over, and over, and over is maddening. I can watch one of them post, "Corey Crawford in net tonight", and 2 hours later, some idiot that can't figure out out to scroll back on his timeline asks them, "Who is in goal 2nite? Corey Crawsford or Randy Emery?". I don't have the patience for that sheer stupidity, and anyone who does is a better person than I.

Anyhow, before I got off on that little jaunt, I was getting to the latest space junk cluttering up our glorious Intarwebs. Onward Satan's soldiers:
  • The most important issue is Jonathan Toews. No other issue is as big, or important. The team is keeping it tight lipped, but keeping Captain Big Balls out of a portion of a game is a big deal. While the only noticeable effect it had on him, was when he tried to take a shot Friday night, and left the ice clutching his arm, this could be anything. I didn't see anything extraordinary about the whacks he took Friday, so I'm going to say that he has a deep tissue bruise, that's swollen up and become very painful. I doubt they are going to want to play Russian roulette with a broken wrist, and put his tools of destruction at risk. This may all have been precautionary with the pending All-Star break on the horizon, they might have wanted to get him some rest before the big stretch run. All speculation, I know, but this situation needs to be monitored. This team isn't going anywhere without it's captain. Quenneville said this morning that there was no defining blow that hurt Toews, and that he probably wasn't playing in the meaningless exhibition All-Star game, which is an EXCELLENT idea.
  • The Goaltending is another issue I've seen debated online. People must have really short memories, because anyone that compares Corey Crawford to Cristobal Huet, or Ray Emery to Antti Niemi is just a complete and utter simpleton. No way around that. The other night, I watched Daily Herald beat writer Tim Sassone field tweet after tweet about this goaltending "controversy", and wanted to reach through my screen and strangle these goof balls. THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY! Get that through your thick melons! In 2009/10, Huet had one good game for every 5 or 6 maginal ones. Luckily, the team was able to bail him out, but he was pretty bad, more often than not. Niemi had his hiccup or two, but for the most part, was solid from the season's open. Fast forward to this season, and you have Corey Crawford, and Ray Emery. Both of whom have had their ups and downs, but they are also backstopping a team that gives up far more chances and shots than the one in 09-10. Furthermore, while Crawford had a bad night Friday, he came into that game as one of the hotter goalies in the league. Sprinkle in a team that was out of sync from the drop of the puck (excluding Boss Hoss), and you have a 5-2 Blackhawks loss. I'm not defending the 2 softies that he let up, but there was much more wrong than just Crawford's wide strike zone. Most of you travel, front time to time, and some of you might even do it for work. Imagine working late into the night, and then racing to the airport, only to have your flight delayed, and then almost diverted to another city in the middle of this whole thing. When all is said and done, you don't reach your hotel until 4AM, and have a big project due that day. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't be going through the motions? I'd be chugging Red Bull and 5-Hour energy drinks, just to stay coherent, much less have to play a professional sport. These are young men, not robots. Off nights happen. To declare a controversy over one soft game on the road is just asinine. THINK PEOPLE!
  • The last point of contention is the kids: ShawFacts, Purple Hazer, and Agent Smith. After getting off to unrealistic starts, much like Mr Smith did a year ago, the kids are cooling down a bit. This isn't to say that they are playing bad, at all. I think they have earned their right to stick around, but they aren't scoring at the Gretzky like pace they were. Andrew Shaw has answered any questions about "replacing" the "grit" that Dan Carcillo brought. He has done what Carcillo was suppose to do, only better. He skates hard, wreaks havoc, chips in some offense, and best of all, he doesn't act like a complete loose cannon. Quenneville can squirt around the issue all he'd like, but there is no reason to re-sign Carcillo with Shaw in the system. He's younger, and doesn't have the reputation as a complete idiot, just yet. Not only that, but he can play center, which Carcillo can't. In a perfect world, he could play on the third line, and maybe let Bolland move up to play with some guys that have some offensive skill. At the very least, he could play anywhere on the 4th line.

    Hayes is another issue that is being dealt with pretty well. Hayes is proving to be the player that the Hawks though Bryan Bickell would turn into, which is basically a cheaper Troy Brouwer, with a little more of a physical edge. Hayes has shown decent speed and soft hands, as well as the ability to lay a hit, which is odd for a guy that was notorious for not using his size in Rockford. Maybe he was bored pushing around AHLers. Whatever the case, he's proving to be a nice find. I don't care if he had a glass jaw and cuddled kittens in Rockford, as long as he does the job with the big boys. It's still early, but the future looks bright. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd line power forward slot for Hayes?

    Ben Smith, on the other hand, has fallen into the category of a Jake Dowell. He's a smallish role player that just exists. One specific beat writer would like to tell you that the reason he's fading into the background is that he's not playing top 6 minutes. The reason he isn't playing those minutes, is that he's not a top 6 player. Not now, and probably not ever. He's best suited for a 3rd line gritty position, and if he works on his defense, could be a great 3rd liner. I'm going to keep repeating it until someone, besides me, starts to understand this. I don't hate or dislike the kid, he just is what he is. Bank on Smith heading back to the "A" when Sharpie is back.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blackhawks at Nashville - Loss Recap

"Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"

Back to back nights of hockey, and the start of a Nashville "home and home" are what the Blackhawks were up against, Saturday night. The Preds come in just 6 points behind the Hawks, and hungry to move up. With players like Mike Fisher, Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, and Patric Hornqvist they are a very dangerous club. Even their second tier players like Dave Legewand, and Martin Erat are enough to hurt you. After a solid win against Florida, and some travel problems the night before, the Hawks were going to have to keep the spirits high, to head into Nashville and come out with a win.

The Hawks opened up a little light in the shot count, with a little help from 2 Preds powerplays, but still managed to finis the period tied 1-1, despite being out shot 7-2. The Preds owned the second period scoring 3 goals, and having another one disallowed. The late night the night before was starting to show. Each team scored in the third, but it was too much for a team that looked tired and out of sync. In the end, the Preds sent the Hawks home 5-2 losers.

The Good

  • Boss 81 completely undressed the All-World Shea Weber to score the opening goal of the game on the SECOND SHOT of the game, with 5 minutes remaining in the first period. The play started with a nice touch pass from Shock&Shaw to Hoss, and Hoss used his speed to blow around Weber.
  • Forty eight seconds into the third period Hoss brought the Hawks back into the game with a partial break-a-way, and beating Rinne 5-hole. Having nothing to lose, they took a chance and it worked out. No matter the outcome, its nice to see the Hawks not completely give up.

The Bad

  • As you would expect from team that had a late game the night before, and had travel issues following the game, the Hawks started out very slow. They were only able to manage 1 shot in the first 15 minutes of the game.
  • The Preds scored on their second powerplay of the game, with Craig Smith picking up a rebound in front, and stuffing it past Crawford. Deuce floated out too far in the slot, and his guy, Smith, was left all alone to poke the rebound in. You have got to stay tighter on the penalty kill.
  • Leddy and Hammer got worked over for the Preds 3rd goal of the game. Leddy couldn't clear the zone, and the puck ended up in the back of the net. Leddy forced it up the boards where a Hornqvist was waiting for the puck. Legewand ended up with the puck on his stick, and fed it over to an open Colin White. Sloppiness in your own zone, Gents.
  • Kostitsyn put the Preds up 4-1 late in the third period after Deuce got caught up the ice and never recovered. Crawford was juked out of his jock on the play, as well, just basically flopping on the ice. Quenneville had seen enough of Crawford, who's weak goal against earlier took all the wind out of the Hawks sails.
  • Patric Hornqvist took the momentum back for the Preds after the Hossa goal, scoring on the redirect of a long Klein slapshot from the blue line, to put the Preds up 5-2. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but when you change the direction of a 90-100mph shot, 4 feet in front of the net, it's hard to adjust. You can't really hang that on a goalie.
  • Clearly the biggest story of the night is the absence of Capitan Jonathan Toews, in the third period. One has to imagine that this is a lingering issue from the whack he took in the UC, against the Panthers. If he's genuinely hurt bad, there is some reason to be concerned. He's been the first half MVP of the entire league, and it'll be quite a challenge to even attempt to fill that hole.
  • This is splitting hairs, but maybe making the 40 year old defenseman play two nights in a row after a late game the night before, isn't the best idea. He didn't really cost the team, but it would have been nice to have the ability to have the third pair take some of the strain off the top 4.

The Ugly

  • The Preds caught Crawford napping in the second period and went up 2-1. It was a BRUTAL goal by Klein from center ice, that bounced about 60% of the way to the net. That one is ALL on Crow. Konroyd can make all the stupid fucking excuses he wants, but a wrist shot from center ice that bounces, needs to be stopped. If Corey stays on his feet, that shot is a non issue. PERIOD.
  • Those fucking Tootoo whistles the fans kept blowing are absolutely ear splitting. Maybe the most annoying sound ever heard.
  • Immediately after Crawford was pulled for giving up 2 weak goals, the first shot Razor saw was a break-a-way from the Preds blue line in. Welcome to the game, Razor. Let me address this Crawford hate, too. Crawford was one of the hottest goalies in the league before this game, so anyone spouting bullshit about him needs to calm the hell down. He had a bad night, yes, but it's one bad game. Repeat this; "ONE BAD GAME".

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, January 20, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Panthers - Win Recap

"Snow Blown"

Fresh off their thorough spanking of the shell of the team formerly known as the Buffalo Sabres, the Hawks were back on the ice Friday night for a tilt with the Blackhawks Miami Chapter, otherwise known as the Florida Panthers. Kind of like getting the band back together, wasn't it? Just in case you've been living under a rock since June 2010, the Panthers feature no less than 5 recent former Blackhawks and their former GM, old Uncle Dale Tallon. The Panthers are really in a unique situation because they had to try and acquire higher salary players, to get to the salary cap floor. Must be nice, eh Uncle Dale? In doing so, they brought in and over paid some former Blackhawks talent and other discarded players like Tomas Fleischman, Marcel Goc, Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, and Canuck for a second Marco Sturm. With this formula, Florida had put together a nice little first half. Coming into Friday night's game they were 21-14-10 and sat in the 8th spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs. They were just recently overtaken in 1st place by the recently awaken Capital, but had spent a good deal of time in first place, in their division. The story lines were abound for this one, and what better to do during Snowpocalypse 2012?

AS one would expect from game that was delayed 30 minutes because of the weather, it started out slow, and uneventful. That all changed when a Hawks breakaway goal opened up the scoring and then they followed that up with a powerplay goal to sent the Panthers into the locker room down 2-0. The second period was similar to the end of the first. The Hawks tacked on another goal, and almost had a fourth of the game, but it was waved off because of a high stick. The Panthers were the only ones to score in the third period, but all that did was ruin the shutout bid. The Hawks walked away with a 3-1 win.

The Good

  • Kaner wasn't scoring recently, but his passing shoes still have some miles on them. His rocket touch pass sent El Capitan past Garrison and in on Theodore. Jonny did what Jonny does, with a sweet backhand goal to put the Hawks up 1-0.
  • The third time was the charm for the powerplay as the Hawks finally capitalized on the third powerplay of the first period. Deuce blew a long slapshot through a Bruno screen and past Theodore for a 2-0 Hawks lead, going into the intermission.
  • To the relief of everyone watching both in the UC and at home, Kaner finally cracked the score sheet with a nice 5-hole goal. He made a nice play to poke the puck past a pinching Florida defender, and was in on a 2-on-1. Stalberg drew the defenseman over and even though he looked like he really didn't want to shoot, he did anyway, and beat Theodore. Lets hope this ins the end of the Kaner yips. He seemed to have a jump in his step after that goal.
  • While he wasn't asked to do all that much, Razor played a good game. So nice to not have goaltender worries. Furthermore, the defense held the Panthers to 19 shots. You really can't ask for much more than that.

The Bad

  • Just to remind everyone that scoring powerplay goals against Buffalo is no grand achievement, the Hawks proceeded to open up the game blowing 2 powerplay chances. Nothing is fixed until WE say it's fixed.
  • Bruno nearly put the Hawks up 4-0 with a gaol that was waved off because of a high stick. It didn't look like a high stick on the replay, but apparently the officials in Toronto agreed with the on ice officials.
  • #ShawFact: Shock&Shaw got his bell RUNG, when Keaton Ellerby checked him from behind in the corner.
  • Jason Garrison wasted no time taking advantage of a Toews penalty early in the third, to bring the Panthers within two goals. Not much more can be said. Razor didn't make it all the way across on the shot and Garrison blew it by him, low glove side.
  • The Kids are finally coming back down to earth, but I'm still convinced that Purple Hazer and Shaw have earned longer looks. Smith isn't really showing much that makes me think he needs to stick around. When Sharpie is back, Smith heads west.

The Ugly

  • There was a moment of concern in the second period when Toews seemed to injure his arm. He labored through a shift and then went off the ice holding his arm. He finished the game, but lets home nothing bad comes of this.
  • Shaw and Bolland were absolutely hog tied at the dot, going a combined 5 for 20.

Here are your video highlights:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Sabres - Win Recap

"Die by the Shaw-rd"

"And if you're not down with that, I've got two words for ya!"

The latest mess to get dragged into the UC, in the Buffalo Sabres. Not quite the fail that the Columbus Blue Jackets are, but they are quickly circling the drain of failure. Big free agent signings over the summer have not panned out, and their core has been underachieving. The biggest disappointment might be goaltender Ryan Miller, who was considered "all world" just a short time ago, but has stuck his proverbial head up his ass. He has been so flaky that Jhonas Enroth has started almost as many games as Miller, and started last night. Beneath all the horseshit, captain Jason Pominville has strung together a nice first half, and was just 2 points behind our very own El Capitan. The Hawks had an excellent chance to make a statement before the All-Star break, and Patrick Kane had a great chance to warm up against the team he grew up rooting for.

The Hawks made for an interesting first period, after they opened up with a little momentum then got lazy. The Sabres opened up the scoring and woke up the Hawks, who followed with 2 goals of their own. The Hawks were able to put 14 shots on net, but gave up 10. The second period was another Hawks period, as they outscored the Sabres 2-1 in the frame, also out shooting the Sabres 10-8. The game could have been 5-2 at that point, if the refs hadn't disallowed a Hawks goal late in the period. The Hawks added another couple of goals in the third, but the Sabres were a defeated team coming out on the ice in the third. Slaying bums is what the Hawks SHOULD be doing, so this is what we should expect against a team like this.

The Good

  • Shock&Shaw continued the hot play, picking up a fat Deuce rebound and beating Enroth to tie the game up at 1, midway through the first period. The defenders just let Shaw and Smith hang out in front of the net and set up camp. What do you think is going to happen when there are two hungry young kids waiting for a puck to squirt out?
  • El Capitan slammed home a Seabrook rebound on the Hawks second powerplay of the game to give the Hawks the lead, later in the first period. A different look of Shock&Shaw, Kaner, Toews, Ricky Bobby, and Seabrook resembled a professional powerplay, and cut the fancy shit out. Amazing what can happen when you have people playing where they are most comfortable.
  • The Hawks took advantage of a Ville Leino complete and utter fuck up, to go back up 3-2. Bustout Leino had a chance for a break, but couldn't beat Seabrook. He then tried to pull off a hot dog between the legs drop pass to no one. Deuce read the play excellently and pushed the puck the other way. Once Hossa cleared the middle, Deuce hit him with a pass to put him in on a break-a-way. At that point, it's just not fair for Enroth, and Hoss put a clinic on. 3-2 Hawks.
  • Purple Hazer put the Hawks up 4-2 on a great pass from Bruno, in the later half of the second period. Again, the Hawks just capitalized on a Buffalo mistake and put it past Enroth. A bad "long" change, that Eddie O will be jerking it to later, led to the chance.
  • InvisiBolly took a great Purple Hazer drop pass and rifled a shot past Enroth to put the Hawks up 5-2 about 4 minutes into the third period. The show was an absolute rocket from about 15 feet out, that Enroth had no chance on. He could only hope the shot hit him somehow, because it was BLISTERED!
  • El Capitan scored yet another mercy goal, on a Hawks 5-on-3 powerplay. The powerplay was courtesy of Shock&Shaw, in front of the net, taking a beating from Tyler Myers.
  • For those of you not involved in last night's festivities, do a twitter search on #ShawFacts. HOURS of great reading and laughs from the Blackhawks Nation. Also, for those who didn't see this already, this blogger made the Blackhawks Official Blog with one of my #ShawFacts last night.

The Bad

  • The Toews/Kane/Stalberg line dominated the first few shifts of the game, but continue to pass up open looks to crowbar a pass into an impossible area. Shoot the fucking puck, Gentlemen! Kane has been the worst at this. When Pierre is pointing out your less than stellar play with and without the puck, you know it's noticeable.
  • Thanks to the Hawks laziness, the Sabres opened up the scoring in the middle of the first period. Seabrook was pinching hard and Hossa didn't realize he was the guy who should have covered, which left Deuce all alone to defend what almost ended up a 3-on-1. Sniper, and Captain, Jason Pominville did what snipers do. Crawford could have been a little more aggressive, but he shouldn't have been left to defend that play in the first place, either. Facepalms all the way around for that play.
  • It was good to see the second PP unit open the first powerplay of the game. They got a few chances, but then the first unit came out and proceeded to give up a shorthanded breakaway thanks to the ref's feet. C'mon guys, seriously? This is getting silly.
  • Jason Pominville scored his second of the game, on a powerplay, after the vagina formerly known as Patrick Kaleta took a couple of questionable shots on Bolly and then Hayes. Hayes tried to fight him, but Kaleta turtled like girl on the playground and drew a powerplay. O'Donnell and Crawford were a little slow getting over to cover Pominville's one timer, which brought the game to a 2-2 tie, at the time.
  • All the Hawks centers were over 50% at the dot, except Shock%Shaw, who got eaten up by Derek Roy. He only took 5 draws, so nothing to really worry about.

The Ugly

  • At the time it would have put the Sabres away, but the Hawks were absolutely robbed of their 5th goal of the game at the end of the second period. Hossa put a long shot on net and the rebound popped into the air. Shock&Shaw showed his hops and jumped up, grabbing the puck and putting it down to his stick, where is snuck through and Dream Warrior put it in the net. Unfortunately, the refs didn't see it that way, and the game remained 4-2. Once again, though, Shaw was in the middle of the action.
  • Minus 3 for Derek Roy and Jordan Leopold. Le Ouch! To think that Roy has loosely been talked about in Blackhawks trade rumors. Good job shitting the bed in front of prospective future employers there, Derrick.

Here are your video highlights:


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Sharks - Win Recap


"Dude, How's the weather down there?"

Once again, no time for sitting around and feeling sorry for themselves. The Hawks returned home to face the Sharks, Sunday night. The Sharks came in just three points behind the Hawks, and were 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. The never ending saga of Antti Niemi was looming over their heads, as well. Nothing like more drama to complicate an already difficult situation. It looks like the Hawks were going to have to get right back up on the horse after getting bucked off against the Wings.

The first period of Sunday's game looked much more like a team that wants to win. They only out shot the Sharks 11-8, but hit 3 posts and scored 2 goals. It's nice to see them look focussed, but there was still a long ways to go. Just like clockwork, the Hawks opened up the second period giving up 2 goals to throw the lead away. They gained one back later in the period, but all the domination of the first was for naught. The third period started with the Hawks going up 4-2 early, and closed with the Sharks pulling within one goal. In the end, the Hawks held on to win the game 4-3 against a previously very hot team.

The Good

  • As a goalie, I loved seeing Crawford flip the stick out of the hand of Logan Couture, early in the game. To follow that up, Lurch went at it with Winchester after HE took a whack at Crawford. Get off my goalie!
  • The Hawks were on fire for the first half of the opening period, hitting the post 3 times, but they couldn't find the BACK of the net. The play of Niemi didn't help either. Niemi made 2 or 3 great saves to keep the Sharks in the game, including a save of the year candidate on a Toews/Kane 2-on-1.
  • InvisiBolly put the Hawks up 1-0 in the final 2 minutes of the first period. Bruno did all the hard work behind the net, as he seems to do so often, and held onto the puck long enough for Purple Hazer to offer up some help. Hayer banked it back off the boards to Bolly, who had a wide open net, but was at a tight angle. Luckily, Niemi was looking for the puck to end up on the other post. Bolland showed some of his scoring prowess and nailed the top corner.
  • About a minute and a half later, Pick-to-Click Vik was hit by El Capitan with a perfect pass, and Vik hit the open side. Thanks to Brett Burns for sleeping through that shift and allowing Vik to get in behind him.
  • El Capitan put the Hawks back up, on a Niemi gaffe. Niemi tried to play the Kaner dump in behind the net, and wasn't able to get to it, leaving him trapped behind the net. Vik Stalberg pressured the puck and it ended up going back to Kaner, who quickly hit Toews in front of the open cage. 3-2 Hawks.
  • Shock&Shaw put the Hawks up 4-2 in the third period from Hossa and Kruger. This kid just keeps doing things right. This was his 4th goal in 7 games. Tell me again what Dan Carcillo brought to this team that Shaw isn't. If you answered anything but "nothing", you're wrong. Carcillo could never play the PK, and Shaw has been doing it regularly. Five shots, a team leading 3 hits, and one goal in almost 17 minutes of time is good enough for me.
  • I was happy to see MegaMayers get some extra time, up with Frolik and Bolland, late in the game. He deserves more important time.
  • All the Hawks centers, but Dream Warrior, were over 50% at the dot. Shaw and Mayers were 13-15.

The Bad

  • A redirected Vlasic shot, by Joe Pavelski, just a minute into the second period put the Sharks within one goal. Not really much Crawford can do on a shot like that.
  • The first Powerplay unit is still Clown College. Nothing doing with that group.
  • Some "Chicago boy" named Tommy Wiggles, or some shit, scored the 3rd Sharks goal of the game, with about 5 minutes to go. Crawford kicked a rebound out and it ended up on Wingels stick.
  • One Trick Bick with only 6:35 of ice time. Tick Tock, Bick, Tick Tock.
The Ugly
  • Jamie McGinn followed up the Pavelski goal with weak wrap around goal just 26 seconds later. Definitely a weak goal that Crawford should have had. McGinn had no angle and Crawford had the advantage. Nonetheless, 2 goals on 2 shots to open up the second period if unacceptable.
  • The best way to describe Kaner's slump is this picture:
Here are your video highlights:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blackhawks at Detroit
OT Loss Recap

"The Wing That Got Away"

What better way to wake up, than on a cold January Saturday morning with the Blackhawks and Redwings? That's rhetorical, of course, because this January cold weather sucks, and the fans are the only ones that woke up for this one. Anyhow, This is what we've been given to work with, so bear with me. The Hawks made the short trek to burnt out and abandoned Detroit for a tough tilt with their hated OTHER rivals. The Blackhawks had revenge on their mind, following the collapse and OT loss to the Wings just under a week ago. Well, you'd hope they had revenge on their minds. Taking a game from Detroit in their building would make the sting of last Sunday's tough loss just a little less "ouchy". No matter what their record, they always play the Hawks tough, and unlike the Canucks, you can respect their talent and history. They've earned that. Ok, enough of that, DE-TROIT SUCKS!

There was a team wearing Hawks sweaters out on the ice, in the first period, but it wasn't a professional team. The Hawks were blow off the rink, geting outshot 21-4 and getting outscored 2-0. Not much more needs to be said about that. Unacceptable effort. The good thing is that they had 40 minutes to make up for that effort. The second period resembled a professional team, and the Hawks were able to gain a goal back, and only get outshot by one, 8-7. The Hawks dominated most of the third period, tying up the game, but they lost a lot of momentum when they couldn't score on a crucial double minor powerplay. In overtime the Hawks were once again dominated, and outshot 9-0. For the second time in a week, they fell to the Wings in OT.

The Good

  • The Hawks got an enormous gift with Opie Howard pulling a complete "noonan" and missing the puck behind the net. In fact, he actually redirected it right in front to Shock&Shaw who, unlike Frolik, hit the wide open net. Thanks Opie! Just to remind everyone, with that goal, Andrew Shaw passed Dan Carcillo and came within one of Bickell. The clock is ticking, Fellas.
  • The Hawks opened up the third period like the Wings did in the first, outshooting the wings 15-2 to begin the frame. With all their dominance and double minor power play, all they could manage was one goal.
  • The Hawks tied up the game with 51 seconds to go in the third, with Hossa's point shot going off Lidstrom's skate in past Opie Howard. That would be enough to get a point out of this game, and apparently the Hawks felt that was all they needed.

The Bad

  • Vik Stalberg had a prime chance, wide open on a feed from Pat Kane with the Hawks being outshot 5-0, and turned it over to the Wings without a shot. For fucks sakes, kid, shoot the puck!
  • Lard ass Tomas Holmstrom opened up the scoring on a powerplay with a redirect of an Ian White shot. When you're getting outshot 16-2 and killing a powerplay, this result isn't a big surprise.
  • "Michael Frolik has probably been the most noticeable Hawks player in this period". No offense Fro, but that's a BAD sign. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Todd Bertuzzi snuck in behind Deuce and Sleven for a breakaway, to put the Wings up 2-0, late in the first period. Deuce looked back and saw Bertuzzi, but decided it was best to either depend solely on his ability to chase Bertuzzi down from behind, or just forget altogether and let Seabrook take him. Niether worked. It's NEVER a good idea to let opposing forwards skate 10 feet behind you. It's like football; if you're a safety and let a receiver fuck around behind you, the QB will hit him eventually. Seriously, guys? This is DUMB SHIT HOCKEY!
  • You can point a lot of blame, late in the game, to the failed double minor, in the third period. You have the momentum, you have the man advantage, and you fail miserably. That is a MUST SCORE! Not only that, but the defensemen all got caught below the dots and left Drew Miller to come out of the box and get a breakaway from the red line in. Nick Leddy should blow Crawford for saving his ass on that one.
  • Keith and Seabrook generously allowed Franzen to knife right up the middle of the Hawks zone and in on net, in OT. That's not going to end up well very often, gents.
  • Three of the four Hawks centers were eaten alive at the dots. El Capitan was his usual self to the tune of 65%.

The Ugly

  • When you're outshot 21-4 to open the game in Detroit, that's a bad omen. Skating the puck in circles looks pretty, but accomplishes nothing. The need to cut this finesse bullshit out, and start throwing some bodies around. If they simply show up for the first period, this game is won by the Hawks.
  • The most frustrating thing about watching a team get their asses kicked, is when they multiply it by doing completely stupid shit. For example, Hossa making a blind backhand pass in the Hawks zone right to the stick of a Redwing. It is so frustrating! If you're going to lose, do it with some pride and effort.
  • Todd Bertuzzi won the game in OT whacking the puck out of mid air between Frolik and Deuce. All the Hawks had to do was show up for the first period and they could have won this one, and getting outshot 9-0 in OT doesn't help.

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, January 13, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Wild - Win Recap

"Youth Gone Wild"

"Get use to more of this, Boys!"

With the news, earlier in the day that Toews, Kane and Hossa were going to Ottawa for the 2012 AllStar game, they had more pressing issues to take care of. The Minnesota Wild were in town on this snowy January night in Chicago. The last time we saw the Wild, they had the best record in the entire league. That didn't last long, with the Wild going 2-7-1 in their previous 10 games. As the standings were at game time, the Wild were 11th overall, and the Hawks were tied for third with St. Louis and Boston. To make things a little more interesting this was the battle of backups, with Josh Harding and Razor Emery going head to head in net.

Last night's first period yielded a goal each way, but the Hawks dominated play, outshooting the Wild 13-8. With all the Hawks chances, they could have easily been up 3-1. Could have been a blessing or a curse, I suppose. The second period was all Blackhawks. They scored 3 goals on 8 shots, including TWO powerplay goals. Both teams scored in the third, but the period was just a mere formality. The Hawks had won this game in period 2.

The Good

  • The line of Shaw, Bruno, and Frolik had one of the best Blackhawks shifts I've seen in quite a while. They cycled the puck down low, and grossly dominated the play. It's a makeshift line, but they work well together. It doesn't have to make sense if it gathers results.
  • That same line was responsible for the Hawks first goal. Bickell jumped out on the ice for a change, with them, and immediately drove to the net. He drew two Wild defenders even taking one down, so Shaw could follow up behind him, and use the traffic for a screen. Simple snap shot right past Harding's glove for a tie game. At this point, I'll take Shaw over Smith or Car Bomb 10 out of 10 times. The kid just does good things. In 5 games, Shaw has already tied Carcillo in goals, despite Carcillo's 23 more games. You hear that, Mr. Carcillo? That's the sound of inevitability.
  • Bolly and Purple Hazer hooked up midway through the second period, on the powerplay, to put the Hawks up 2-1. Bolland was behind the net with the puck on his stick, and Hayes was left all alone in front. Smooth move. Tick-Tac-Goal.
  • Pick-to-Click Vik followed up the Hazer goal, 27 seconds later, to put the Hawks up 3-1. Toews did the hard work on the play, getting the puck in the Wild zone up the boards. He spun and fed a streaking Stalberg, who was knifing through the Wild zone, and Vik beat Harding 5-hole. 3-1 Hawks
  • The Wild looked like a hot mess on the fourth Hawks goal. Purple Hazer fed across to Montador for a shot on net. Harding kicked the rebound right out in front, and none of the Wild players wanted anything to do with the puck. They all stood there and watched it like it was big pile of dogshit. Bolland stepped right up, and whacked it into the net ending Josh Harding's night. 4-1 Hawks.
  • Bolly grabbed his third point of the game on the empty netter. Invisibolly DOES exist. It's amazing what happens when you put him out there with players that have offensive skills. Frolik doesn't count, because he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from 5 feet.
  • 23 shots against. Right about where things should be. Razor did not have his best game, but did enough to keep the Hawks up.
  • That Hackett kid looked pretty goo, even though he wasn't tested much. Nice to see a #31 Hackett in the UC, even if it's for the opponent. I can't see the Wild retaining Harding and Backstrom next season. Just no way.

The Bad

  • Devon Setogutchi was able to get one of his easiest goals, when Razor left a rebound sitting right in front of the net. Keith and Hoss left Setogutchi all alone in front. Pretty lackluster effort all around on that one, gents. 1-0 Wild
  • Montador and Lurch got beat for the second Wild goal, half way through the third period. Shaw was late getting back, and Hawk killer, Kyle Brodziak picked up a fat Razor rebound, to bring the Wild within 2 goals, but that's as close as they would get. 4-2 Hawks
  • The Hawks officially have a Patrick Kane issue. He has looked completely uninterested for a few games now. Something is up. It'll be nice to rest him over that AllStar break...oh wait.
  • After going up 4-1, Doctor Lineblender did his thing, and when I say "his thing" I mean completely fuck up the lines. Why, you ask? Good question. Maybe he was trying some new combinations out, but he split Hammer and Leddy up. I understand mixing things up when you're losing or struggling, but the Hawks were on a roll. Good job putting a stop to that momentum, JOEL.
  • Ben Smith anyone? Glad "The Catalyst" is here aren't ya? When Kruger's brain gets unfucked, Smith will be back in Rockford.

The Ugly

  • For a team that was 2-32 on the powerplay this team sure loves to pass up open shots. Add to that ZERO traffic in front of the net, and you have a colossal fail. Why are the only ones that don't see this the Hawks coaching staff? Despite the two goals by the second unit, the first is still terrible. Just BRUTAL! At this rate, just throw the second unit out there, and write the money guys off.

Here are your video highlights:

As a bonus feature, lets watch CSN's Sarah Kustok turn into a shy 14 year old chick after she gets hit on during the shoot the puck segment, and then Frank the Tank interviews her after the game. Kudos to Montador. I find this hilarious!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets
Win Recap

"How Swede It Is"

Dude, wait up, give me some of that ju-ju

I suppose a great way to follow up a heartbreaking loss of a game to a hated division rival, and the loss of an important player is to welcome one of the worst teams in the NHL to your rink. We've seen this team plenty, already, but they keep coming back for more. This time around the Hawks faced Curtis Sanford in net, and they brand new interim Head Coach Todd Richards. It seems like GM's wait for the portion of the schedule when they are about to face the Hawks, to fire their head coaches. The Hawks looks a little different as well, with Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith all playing and Sharpie NOT playing. This was game 1 of life without Sharpie, and maybe a glimpse into what the next month will look like.

Thanks to some shotty officiating the Hawks spent a good portion of the first period on the penalty kill, but they were able to kill them off. When all was said and done, the Hawks were out shot 9-5 going into the break, which could have been much worse. The second period had the same tone but there was some scoring to go along. The Hawks scored 2 goals, and the Blue Jackets scored one with both teams getting 13 shots on net. The third period was the Hawks period outscoring the Jackets 3-1 on only 7 shots. I guess that's why the Blue Jackets have such a horrible record.

The Good

  • If the Hawks were going to have to take the lead it was going to have to be shorthanded. Of course, That's exactly what happened. Hoss and Invisibolly hooked up shortly after the MegaMayers instigation/fighting penalty, to take a 1-0 lead on pure hard work. Hossa put on a penalty kill clinic, and dragged Nikitin and Rootin Tyutin down the ice long enough for Bolland to join him. Hoss then fed Bolland, who put a little backhand/forehand move on Sanford to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. I love Bolland's celebration. "Nothing to see here, been there done that."
  • Pick-to-Click Vik continued his hot play against the Jackets, scoring with about 5 minutes left in the second period. After El Capitan and HurriKaner did all the dirty work, Vik came fresh off the bench and straight up the gullet. You can hear Kane call for the pass from Toews, and Kane took it hard behind the net. Kane then hit Vik with a sweet dish, and he powered it through Sanford. 2-1 Hawks.
  • Vik just kept a rollin in the third period, scoring his second of the game on a delayed penalty. The Deuce simply threw the puck at the net like the Hawks SHOULD on the PP, with two defensemen standing in front. Stalberg grabbed a fat rebound, curled and snapped it past Sanford for a 3-1 Hawks lead.
  • Agent Smith followed up the Stalberg goal with one of his own, 27 seconds later. The defender played him well, pushing him to the outside on his backhand, and he just chipped a soft backhand towards the net. Sanford completely whiffed on the puck. and just gave further evidence as to why Columbus is so bad. Queue up the beat writer silliness, the hero has arrived. 4-1 Hawks.
  • Vik Stalberg finished off the Hat Trick with an empty netter after badly outracing David Savard, and missing on a tough first chance. He stuck with the play and was able to finally cap the hatty. Atta boy, Vik!
  • The preschoolers were fairly quiet, outside of Smith's goal, but they did nothing to hurt themselves or their cases to stick around. Hayes and Shaw never really looked overmatched and both used their bodies to create positive things for the Hawks.
  • I think it's time MegaMayers sees more ice time. Granted he spent an eternity in the box for his fighting/instigation debacle, but he's been a firestarter all season. He has skill. Let him show some leadership and that fucking grit everyone has been talking about.
  • Tazer was over 70% again on faceoffs. So money he doesn't even know it.

The Bad

  • The Jackets tied the game up as Leddy got manhandled in front of Crawford for a rebound, by RJ Umberger. Crawford couldn't coral the initial shot, and it ended up smack in the middle of a pile of shit in front of the crease. Keith was late getting back to help out the overmatched Leddy, and puck ended up in the net. 1-1
  • Antoine Vermette grabbed the Jacket's second goal of the game when he was allowed to plant his ass in front of Crawford courtesy of Nick Leddy. Instead of tying up the defender, just drop to one knee, Nick. That one always works. Don't lift his stick or use some leverage to keep him from having his way.
  • Just a few minutes into the game, the Hawks were buzzing around, but they couldn't muster a shot on net. Then a tense moment for all Chicago fans. Keith took a shot that went off a Jackets defender and hit El Capitan right smack in the fucking garbanzo. After looking dazed for a minute, he immediately headed back to the locker room. The entire Hawks fanbase held their breath for the next 5 minutes, until he appeared back on the bench.
  • Ricky Bobby and Jared Boll locked horns, in retaliation to a Boll hit on Bruno, in which Ricky Bobby took a beating to the tune of 19 minutes in penalties. Of course he got nailed for the instigator call, but we've watched teams pull that bullshit for 3 weeks and not get a call. I'm calling shenanigans. Complete and utter poppycock. To make the call an even bigger load of dung, he got an automatic extra 2 minutes for instigating a fight with a visor. Ain't that bout a bitch?
  • Boll got in his second scuffle of the night, after he hit Hammer high in the Hawks corner. MegaMayer took exception and ended up with an instigator of his very own. They don't call it all season FOR the Hawks, and they call it twice in two periods against. I don't often bitch about the officiating, but THIS was a truck load of bullshit.
  • Thanks to Quenneville's stupid fetish with forwards at the point on the powerplay, Bolland turned it over and then got beat shorthanded. After getting away with a pretty blatant trip, the Jackets couldn't finish, but they had the Hawks by the balls.
  • Whatever yips Kaner has, need to vacate the premises stat. He looks like he's actually afraid to shoot, and needs to shake this shit off.
  • It's official, Bryan Bickell no longer has a spot on this team. Hayes is bigger, and more useful. Shaw hits more people and is more versatile. Now, Bick has this 4 day long drag move he's trying to use, because apparently the 3 day wrist shot wasn't enough in his tiny tool bag. We've beaten this horse as long as we can, time to go.

The Ugly

  • The powerplay is worse than clown college, it's fucking clown preschool. For such world class players, they can't seem to make it compute. I've seen mens league team run much more efficient power plays. Just shoot the puck. Do they realize that a powerplay means they outnumber the opposing players? FOR FUCKS SAKES, BOYS!

Here are your video highlights:


Monday, January 9, 2012

The Hits Just Keep Coming

While the Blackhawks aren't having Pittsburgh Penguins luck, they ARE having bad luck of their own. The rumors hit late Sunday night that the time Patrick Sharp missed in the Wings game was due to a fractured wrist. More reports came out Monday to, at least, confirm that the wrist is covered under "upper body" injury classification, and that it was indeed a wrist issue. As we wait for details of the injury, we have this clear cool January morning to ask just what this means for the Hawks. These last few games have pointed out the glaring holes in the Hawks lineup, and with an important top 6 winger out for 3-4 weeks, the holes have only gotten bigger and deeper. I think we can all agree that the current holes are at the #5 Defenseman spot, and #2 or #3 Center. Let's debate a few scenarios:

-Now the #5 defenseman spot would be the easiest to fill. While we would all like to give that moniker to Montador, he just hasn't been "that guy". He's been a #6 defenseman. So who is out on the market for defender? Names that will be UFA's after this year are Matt Hunwick from Colorado, Jason Garrison from Uncle Dale's Panthers, Milan Jurcina from the Isles, Kurtis Foster from the Devils, Tim Gleason from the Canes, or someone really low risk like Sheldon Brookbank from Anaheim. There are older big men like Hal Gill from Montreal, or Mark Eaton from the Isles that could provide veteran leadership, as well. There are a few names in the Hawks division, but I just can't see any team in their division being stupid enough to offer them ammo. The name Josh Gorges of Montreal has been floated, but I can't see him coming easy or cheap, and with the more pressing needs, they need to use the cap space they have wisely. Gorges makes more than Hjalmarsson, puts up the same numbers, and is signed though 2017-18. Do the Hawks want to eat up more than half their cap room with a guy that's more overpriced than Hammer and 3 years older?

-The Blackhawks center controversy has been well documented and widely lamented. If Invisibolly would finally grow a pair of balls and use some of his talent, he could be the #2 center of this team. This would solve a lot of problems, because sliding someone like Kruger or even Mayers up into the #3 spot would be much easier and realistic. If Quenneville has the balls to play Dan Carcillo in his top 6, Jamal Mayers can play on the third line, because he is more responsible, and less of a liability than Carcillo, period. Andrew Shaw or Kruger shouldn't have an issue playing checking line center, and how much do you see of a checking line in the playoffs anyway? It's common sense that a #3 guy is much easier to find than a #2 guy, though. Alas, Bolland seems to be content on wasting away with the third line, to leave the Hawks with a glaring black hole at #2. So, just who is on the lame duck list as far as centers? Not much. Paul Gaustad from Buffalo, and Brendan Morrison of Calgary. There is always vomit inducing thoughts of Samuel Pahlsson, Colin Fraser, and Jake Dowell. Maybe Stan has some inside information, but this is going to be a tough one to solve.

-Top 6 Winger is going to be interesting. You have Kane, Toews, and Hossa as locks, which leaves 3 pretty big question marks. Even of Kruger is back soon, he's not the short term answer. I like the kid but he would take an absolute BEATING in the playoffs against teams like Nashville, Detroit and Vancouver, and with his bleary melon, I'm not investing too much in the contributions of young Dream Warrior. I've given up all hope on Frolik and Bickell providing anything valuable to this team, this year, if ever. Hayes has looked REALLY impressive in his first 5 games, but I'm not so sure he's ready for NHL top 6 minutes (baby steps, folks). Brunette is slow as the day is long, but he can fill in on the top six. With Ben Smith recalled, they have few choices left in Rockford with Brandon Pirri, and Jeremy Morin but neither are "the answer". That still leaves some pretty big holes, if Brunette can just be serviceable (see above).

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings - Loss Recap

"Legends of the Fall"

"Pogo, Pogo, Pogo, Pogo, Pogo, Pogo, Jump!"

Out of the flame and right back into the fire. After getting shut out the other night, the Hawks were back at the UC to face the Redwings of GhettoTown, USA. If the Hawks couldn't muster up some effort for this game, there is good reason to start worrying. If the Hawks can't win these early January home games, then what are we to expect when they hit the road for 3 weeks in February. I guess we're going to have to find out the hard way.

The first period on Sunday's game started out heavily in the Hawks favored with two goals in 44 seconds, to go up 2-0, but the Wings fought back to score one of their own. With the shots tied 9-9 you can get a good idea of how the period went. The second period is more of what you'd expect for a Hawks/Wings game. It was more physical, with chances both ways, and no scoring. The Hawks also out shot the Wings 11-6 in this middle frame. The third period ended up being a huge let down for the Hawks, as they gave up the game tying goal with 5 minutes to go in the game. This one was going to be decided in extra time, and the Wings were the big winners. The slide continues.

The Good

  • Believe it or not the Hawks scored a powerplay goal and it was by, of all people, Invisibolly. The original shot from the point by Hossa was blocked and ended up on the stick of Bolland who fought to throw it towards the cage. It was deflected off the skate of a Wings defender, and creeped into the net ever so slowly.
  • Shooter followed up the Bolland PP goal and made it 2-0 just 44 seconds later. He took a Wings turnover in the slot and slid over into the middle of the zone, beating Conklin on a backside slapshot to the stick side. That's the last we saw of young Sharpie.
  • The fourth line was very good all night and ended up getting a penalty shot out of their hard work. Even though he was stopped on the penalty shot, don't discount Jimmy Hayes work with MegaMayers and Bruno.
  • Watching Toews on faceoffs, is like watching an instructional video on how to take them. He's like Mr. Automatic. He was 16-20 on the night.
  • Andrew Shaw has a motor that just doesn't quit, but the way he throws his body around, his career isn't going to be long. I'll enjoy him while he's around, though.

The Bad

  • Valtteri Filppula put the Wings on the board with a 5-on-3 powerplay goal after Seabrook almost ate a puck in the mouth courtesy of a trip by the big dumb piece of shit formerly known as Tomas Holmstrom. Seabrook moved over to take on a Lidstrom shot, and Holmstrom tripped him in a manner than made him fall face first into the shot. Of course the refs only saw the two handed revenge whack Seabrook gave Holmstrom. I was hoping Seabrook would have broken his ankle. Douche bag!
  • The Wings tied up the game with about 5 minutes to go when a rebound of a Zetterberg shot that Cleary tipped snuck through Crawford and trickled through the crease. As Leddy tried to stop the puck he was cross checked in the back by Filppula and the puck dribbled in the net. Goals like that are just painful at that point in the game, but Filppula should have been called.
  • In another shit show of a goal, Pavel Datsyuk picked up a loose puck at the goal line while Crawford was down on the ice, and banked it off Nick Leddy into the net to win the game. There has been debate that Leddy was out of position, but from what I saw, there was too much chaos in the crease for Leddy to cut off the angle without walking on Crawford's back.
  • The biggest worry is that Shooter missed 2/3rds of the game with the obligatory upper body injury. Doctor Lineblender was fairly cryptic about having to do more tests on Sharpie. Word on the street is that he has a fractured wrist. This could be a huge issue with gaping holes in the Center spot and on Defense already.
  • Lets hope this fucking Frolik at center experiment is over. I like the guy, but he's having an awful year. Two of his 5 goals are empty netters, and he only has 11 points. He had an assist on the Sharp goal, but he was only 1-4 at the dot. Not the answer.

The Ugly

  • The powerplay is still Clown College. Bolly's goal was pure luck. With one less powerplay guy out there, they are going to need help. I hope Stan Bowman fired up his iPhone bright and early this morning.
  • It wouldn't be a Blackhawks game without a shorthanded chance against. This time it was Darren Helm outracing the Hawks defense. Luckily it was blocked.
  • Minus 2 for Kaner, and nothing on 5 shots. The yips have hit him, and with Shooter out, they are going to need him in a BAD way.

Here are your video highlights:


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Avalanche - Loss Recap


Fresh off a highly disappointing loss in Philly Thursday night, the Blackhawks were back home to face the red hot Colorado Avalanche. The Avs were 4-1 in their last 5 games, 8-2 in their last 10, and won 3 previous games on the road which could spell trouble for the Hawks. The hot baby Blackhawks got another chance to show their skills, and Crawford was back in net for the Hawks. The Hawks faces this summers Avalanche free agent signing Semyon Varlamov.

Both the Hawks and Avs had chances in the first period, but the Hawks couldn't solve the Avs netminder. The Avs gave themselves a lead on a redirected goal, and also lead in shots 8-5 at the first intermission. The second period became a nightmare for the Hawks. Even though they outshot the Avs 12-8, they were outscored 2-0. The Avs seemed to capitalize on every single Hawks mistake. Unfortunately, the third period was just more of the same with the Avs putting the Hawks away, scoring the forth goal of the game on just half a dozen shots. The Hawks were victims of a team that just continued to be hot and capitalize on every good chance.

The Good

  • I'm not anointing the kid a savior at all, but when Doctor Lineblender put Shaw out there at center with Bickell and Stalberg you could clearly see him deliberately jumping back as one of the first defenders in the Hawks zone. The kid is smart, and annoying. The comparison to Steve Ott was a good one. Anyhow, After just watching three veterans half ass it, he jumped out on the ice and showed that he's paying attention and willing to do the dirty work.
  • You can't pin this loss completely on the Hawks, because they DID get some even strength chances, but Semyon Varlamov was just super man all night. The Avs were outshot 22-14 in the final two periods and didn't give up any goals.
  • I'm not going all Ben Smith on these guys, but the baby Blackhawks earned extra time in important situations. Olsen was seen playing with the other top 4 guys, even though that was because Q had the brilliant idea to dress Big Slow for THREE FUCKING MINUTES of ice time. Olsen led the Hawks with 5 hits, and seemed to have a jump in his step. Hayes was pretty noticeable all night around the net, moving up to get some time with the top 6 guys, and getting almost 15 minutes of ice time. Shaw was a minus 1, but he centered the shutdown line for most of the second half of the game. His minus 1 was a casualty of the third Avs goal where 3 Hawks players let Landeskog put on a show.
  • Hey, they didn't give up a powerplay goal, right?
  • Pick-to-Click Vik was sent in on a break-away in the third period and beat Varlamov...but hit the post. Isn't that just what you would expect? Shooter had a similar chance a few minutes later, but Varlamov was better.
  • Crawford didn't have a great night, but three of the 4 goals were tip-ins or back door goals. Only one of them could really be hung on Crawford's hook, but that one goal was an ugly one.

The Bad

  • David Jones put the first goal of the game in on Crawford thirteen minutes in. He redirected an Erik Johnson shot into the upper corner while Leddy and Hammer allowed Jones set up camp in front of the net, like it was his job. Any time you two would love to defend your own zone is fine with us.
  • The Avs went up 2-0 early in the second period when Kaner, Invisibolly, and Sharpie (All of whom have played center) coasted back on defense, and let the Avs TJ Galiardi freely sneak in on the back door. He took a slick little pass from Paul Stastny, and had a wide open net to shoot at. Fucking SLOP, I tell you!
  • After being 1 out of their last 22 powerplays, they failed on their only one last night. Just to REALLY piss in everyone's fucking Wheaties, they followed up the Clown College powerplay with an awful goal against. Leddy half assed a pass to Keith behind the net that Landeskog got a piece of, a la Tazer's steal against the Flyers. Landeskog somehow dragged the puck in front with Leddy, Deuce and Stalberg all within 2 feet of him. It squirted off his stick and right to David Van Der Gulik, who was streaking to the net. Crawford went down on the initial Landeskog attempt and never recovered, leaving the corners open.
  • The Avs Chuck Kobasew Put the cherry on top of the sundae with just 2 minutes to go in the game, sending the Hawks away with their tails between their legs. Whatever, thanks for the effort.
  • It has to be pointed out, but all night you see the Avs tipping shots on Crawford, but how many shots did you see tipped on Varlamov? Very few if any. WHY?

The Ugly

  • I mentioned this briefly but seriously, WHAT THE FUCK, Q? You have a rookie in his second NHL game and you pair him up with JOHN SCOTT who isn't worthy of more than 3:25? Sami Lepisto isn't worth more than that? REALLY? He didn't see the ice after the first 5 minutes of the second period. FOUR TOTAL SHIFTS!
  • Is Nick Leddy finally starting to crack under the pressure? He was absolutely brutal all night. His minus 4, with multiple turnovers were evidence of that. Hammer wasn't much better, tossing HIS minus 3 into the mix. Good thing the Hawks have a solid 3rd pair to pick up the slack...oh wait.
  • Once again, the joke that is the NHL instigation penalty was mocked. TJ Galiardi chased down Invisibolly after he got a piece of Paul Stastny and jumped him. That's only an instigator when you're Big Slow. Fucking JOKE!

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, January 6, 2012

Blackhawks at Philadelphia - Loss Recap

"Philly Cheesedicks"

The Hawks were in Philly Thursday night to face the Flyers, fresh off their Winter Classic loss to the Rangers. The Flyers had an almost identical record to the Hawks, and are a very similar hard nosed team. With two of their top players (Pronger, Jagr) not playing, they are still obviously a very dangerous team. Based on the many recent news reports, they are apparently still salty about the Hawks skating the Stanley Cup around their ice two seasons ago. Cry me a river.

The first period of last night's game was like the wild fucking west. There were excellent chances both ways, fights, gun slinging, and end to end rushes. Both teams scored but the Flyers out shot the Hawks 13-7. The Flyers opened up the game in the second period scoring three goals to the Hawks single goal, which left the Hawks scratching their heads. Philly had 21 shots and the Hawks mustered up 15 shots, themselves. That's just ridiculous shot totals for one period, for both sides. The Hawks mounted a furious comeback in the third period, but napped during the last 45 seconds of the game, which cost them a point, at least. Philly was able to celebrate a dramatic 5-4 win, in a middle of the season random game. Congrats, Guys.

The Good

  • Hazer scored his second goal in 2 games on a nice feed from MegaMayers just 3 minutes into the first period. The play started with Hazer forechecking hard enough to make the Philly defender throw the puck away like a rotten egg, and MegaMayers followed up by just keeping the puck in the Philly zone. He settled the puck, and saucered a pass to Hazer who redirected it past Bryzgalov. Hayes was near the puck or net all night long and played VERY strong on the puck. A few Philly defenders tried to muscle him, and failed. Take note, Bick, if Paul Bunyan can keep up this pace, your days are numbered and it won't take much to fill your spot, son. Four good shots and a goal in only 8:33 of ice time for Hazer. You can't really ask for any more than that.
  • Shaw scored HIS first NHL goal smack dab in the middle of the second period. He deked and froze three Flyers players, and surprised Bryzgalov with a nifty little shot. Way to follow up that bloodbath you were the victim of, earlier. I thought Carcillo was an annoying pain n the ass, but Shaw seemed to make every Flyers player want to wring his neck by the end of the first period. If HE keeps this up, Car Bomb's days are DEFINITELY numbered, but this is game #1. Lets see what happens when players know what to expect from him.
  • Quenneville played Doctor Lineblender AGAIN to open the third period, moving Stalberg up with Toews and Sharp, and then moving Shaw down with Hoss and Kaner.
  • Seabrook took advantage of a Philly powerplay shot that rang hard off the post, and pulled the Hawks within one goal, shorthanded from the dreaded questionable double minor, no less. Bolly and Seabs saw a window of opportunity and jumped into the play taking full advantage. Definitely a goal Bryzgalov would like back.
  • 25 seconds after the Seabs goal, Party Boy, El Capitan and Shooter combined for a dramatic game tying goal. Toews caused a turnover low in the Philly zone and the puck ended up on the stick of Shooter who must have wet himself because, for some unforeseen reason, the entire Philly team left Party Boy sitting in the slot all by himself. An easy pass from Shooter put the Hawks back in the game, for now.
  • I guess no gnews is good gnews, with Gary Gnu. As far as Dylan Olsen's NHL debut, that is. Three shots on net, and no noticeable gaffes playing with the wilderness adventure that is Lurch.

The Bad

  • While I like his spirit, Shaw took a bit of an ass beating in his second shift of his NHL career, immediately following the Hayes goal. He was bloodied pretty good from a couple of Rinaldo straight rights, but later returned.
  • The Hawks missed a glorious chance half way through the first, with Shooter and El Capitan going in on a 2-on-1, from their own blue line, following what looked like a save off Razor's mask. Tazer held it long enough to clear the defender and dished to Shooter, who couldn't get the puck over Bryzgalov's pad. Not to be outdone, the same combination missed another 2-on-1 in the third period, that would have put the Hawks up 5-4.
  • Nick Leddy can hang the first Flyers goal on his hook. He had a chance to get the puck out of the zone and dicked around with it long enough to turn it over to Voracek. Of course, the puck worked around, all the way back around to Voracek who hit a wide open cage. Razor had over pursued the play on the initial shot and wasn't able to get back in the net in time.
  • Seventeen seconds after the Shaw goal, Scotty Carrot Top re-tied the game, smacking a puck out of the air, and past Razor. I'll give credit where it's due because it was a very nice play. He must jerk off to pictures of Claude Giroux every night, because "G" is helping him have a career year.
  • Philly took the lead on a goal by some asshole named Harry ZolnierFuck, when Razor kicked a rebound right out to him. Hossa broke down on the play and took a nap on D, letting ZolnierFuck head to the net unabated to pick up the fat rebound.
  • Twenty three seconds after the ZolnierFuck goal, Leddy and Hammer got worked over and Stalberg made a soft play completely bailing on taking the body. JVR picked up a second rebound, after Razor made a tremendous save on Wayne Simmonds, and pitched it in the net. Total fucking slop by the Hawks D. Not a stellar night for the the dynamic duo of Leddy and Hammer.
  • JVR sent the Hawks home losers scoring a powerplay goal with just 33 seconds left in regulation. Gotta love those trivial high sticking penalties at the end of a 4-4 game. Just fucking spiffy. Kaner givith, Kaner taketh away. The play should have been snuffed out anyway, but the Hawks allowed Giroux enough time to wait for the change send the puck to a streaking Carrot Top. It began as a 2-on-4 play, so ONE of the Hawks defenders, namely MegaMayers, should have been able to pressure Giroux, who was standing still, just over the Hawks blue line.

The Ugly

  • I don't know what the fuck is going on in his head, but Bryzgalov looked lethargic all night long. He's clearly not comfortable. He made a nice save on the Toews/Sharp 2-on-1, but the rest of the game he was fighting the puck badly.
  • For the second game in a row, someone bailed out on making contact with One-Trick-Bick. This time it was waterbug Danny Briere. He CLEARLY didn't realize who's big shadow was bearing down on him, because Bickell is the last guy that's going to hit him.
  • 46 shots against. That's really all one has to say. Deplorable!
  • Invisibolly and Kaner were a combined 5-21 at the dot. I hope their bungholes are sore this morning, because they got gang raped. Your #2 and #3 centers right there, folks.

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year Gripes and Grudges

Here we are, barely 4 days into the new year, and the juicy controversies are flaring up like a fresh case of New Years Hemorrhoids, or that case of Herpes you contracted kissing random hookers in the bar at midnight. Anyhow, New Years is a good point to start the rumors and drama, as it's almost exactly the halfway point of the season, and this is where the nitty gritty begins. We find out which players and teams have the staying power, and which were just a fluke. There is no more fucking off allowed, because there is another tight stretch run upon us, and any team can turn a hot streak into a playoff ruining run for the others. So what's new, you ask?

I'm going to refrain from using his nickname because, like I said in the recap the other day, I'm thoroughly convinced that Carcillo is Italian for "Douchebag Circus". The day they signed him, we all shook our collective heads. That is, aside from the puck bunnies who find his toothless hillbilly mug cute, but then again fame and money make even some of the most vile cretins enticing. But I digress, He's been nothing but a pain in the ass his entire career, so why would we expect any less? Anyone with actual hockey knowledge beyond "he's cute", knows this. Here we are 39 games into the season, he's been suspended twice, and is about to incur the Shanaban for a third time because of his utterly stupid play Monday night. All too often fans confuse "edge", "grit", or whatever recent buzz word the people on the Intarwebs are feeding you, with complete stupidity. This is no different. Fighting for position does NOT entail completely ignoring the puck and dangerously throwing a guy into the boards. I'll repeat that for those that have to use their fingers to read along; completely ignoring the puck. At the VERY least, that play is interference, people. Argue all you'd like, and I'd love to be able to argue FOR a Blackhawks player, but you're just going to look like a naive homer. This is not 1970, or even 2007, for that matter. It's a different league. We might as well call it NHL for No Hit League. He could have done any one of a hundred other things, and he picked the one choice he always does, the most stupid one. I said it two days before the incident, and I'm going to repeat it; We have one person to blame for this calamity, STAN BOWMAN. He ran out and signed Carcillo, which means that Quenneville had to find a way to work him in, and we have to endure the ensuing shit show. I gave young Daniel the benefit of the doubt and even bought a Carcillo t-shirt to show my support. He just did what he has always done with his limited mental capacity and hillbilly grin, and shot himself in the foot, or the left leg if you want to get technical. I'm not going to argue in favor of a moronic play just purely because he's a Blackhawks player, and because I bought a t-shirt with his name and number on it. That's the definition of partial and truly stupid.

With pending news of Carcillo's injury, which looked about as bad as it can get, we might have very well seen the last of #13 in a Blackhawks sweater, because contrary to whatever delusional fairy tale you might be subscribing to, Bowman would be a complete and utter moron to sign this trainwreck to another deal. Taking a minor risk on a one year deal is one thing, but subscribing to the asshattery and re-signing him is a completely different situation. This is not Philly, where they gave him 2 and a half seasons to become a completely irrelevant sideshow. Bowman signed him to a 1 year deal for a specific reason, to dump his ass if he remained a goomba douchebag idiot, and what do you know? The spade is still a spade. Dan Carcillo is the ACE of Spades, folks.

Ohhhhhh, did we fuck this one up, Fellas! After practice yesterday, Quenneville stated that Kruger had a step backward in his recovery from what looks like a second concussion, or one great big long concussion. Mind you, if they had handled the first concussion right, the 21 year old's brain might not be the equivalent of pureed bananas at this point in his young career. It's pretty clear that they rushed him back, or that he flat out lied to the bus load of physicians that hover around the Hawks camp. Honestly, I can't believe for one foggy second that he was able to fool the entire training staff, yet he was allowed to play a mere 6 days after the initial incident. First game back, and he has his head rattled, not once, not twice, but three times a lady. Now we're told he is out indefinitely and probably locked in a dark room somewhere being handfed pudding, and wearing an adult diaper. Now before I go off on some jaunt about this ordeal, I'm going to save my time and point you in the direction of someone that's a little more eloquent a writer than I; John over at The Fifth Feather. Click here to read his most recent article "Headshots and Us", regarding this situation, that was posted in Friday's Committed Indian. Food for thought.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Oilers - Loss Recap

"The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"

Welcome to 2012! The Hawks were back at the United Center to host the Edmonton Oilers, Monday evening. Yes, I'm speaking of the same Oilers that whipped the Hawks asses 9-2 about a month go. This was a very good chance for the Hawks to get a little revenge, but it was not going to be an easy task. This Oilers team is fast, and can obviously score at will. They are one of those teams that you can't hate, if only to admire their youth and skill. Even though he wasn't playing, the Oilers have one of my favorite ex-Hawks Nik Khabibulin. He was the Bryzgalov before Ilya was. I still hold spot in my goalie handbook for him. On to the festivities:

The first period was MUCH better than the last game in Edmonton, as both teams managed 10 shots, and the Hawks jumping on an Oilers turnover to lead 1-0 after 20 minutes, but it wasn't to last. Thanks to a bad Hawks major penalty the Oilers jumped into the game, scoring 2 powerplay goals on the ensuing powerplay, and another even strength goal. The Hawks were able to score one of their own, but still went into the locker room down 3-2. In the third period, the Hawks failure on the powerplay is what cost them a win, even though each team had a goal. They have no one to blame but themselves.

The Good

  • El Capitan was the beneficiary of some LEGAL hard work by Car Bomb, and was able to take the Car Bomb pass and get a fairly weak goal on Dubnyk to put the Hawks up 1-0.
  • Bruno tied the game back up for the Hawks just after the Carcillo major ended, when he tipped a Hammer shot past Dubnyk. With momentum in the Oilers favor at that point, this was a huge play by a veteran leader.
  • Jimmy Hayes scored his first NHL goal with just under 4 minutes to go in the game, after the Hawks blew a 4 minute powerplay. Nice to see the kid step up and make something happen, just too bad it wasn't enough.
  • Crawdaddy had a beautiful breakaway save late in the first to keep the Hawks up 1-0, but a couple of the goals he gave up were a little on the soft side.
  • The Hawks out shot the Oilers 42-30 which is right where you would like to see the Hawks be.

The Bad

  • Of course 16 seconds into the 5 minute powerplay on Car Bomb, the Oilers pick up a rebound in the crease, and stuff it home. That's Karma, right there.
  • The circus continued with a minute and a half left in the Carcillo major. Hammer took a stick to the face, which wasn't called. He then laid on the ice, but not long enough to draw a whistle. He then decided to toss his stick around the zone like like a puppy kicking a tennis ball around, instead of just getting into the play and tying a player up. Once he finally picked his stick up, he spun around like an idiot with his back to the player he should have covered, Taylor Hall, who put the puck past Crawford on a fairly weak shot at a weak angle. It was a play straight out of a Three Stooges flick.
  • Andy Sutton put the Oilers back up 3-2 when Stalberg, Sharpie, and Pistol all let him skate right up the middle of the ice and receive a pass. Not a good combination when you have a guy that can't move and a rusty guy that hasn't moved in 4 fucking weeks out there together. Maybe you should have played Pistol more than once a fucking month JOEL.
  • Former Hawk Ben Eager scored a bad goal, on a backhander, about halfway through the third period to ice the game. In what should have been an easy stop, Crawford didn't pick up the backhander and it beat him to the stick side. That makes for two bad ones out of four goals.
  • I'd never wish injury on a Hawks player, but maybe this Carcillo injury will open the door for a player with some talent other than serving Shanaban suspensions.
  • Pistol and Big Slow both played under 7 minutes each. Great job running your horses into the ground, Q. This will prove to be a very wise choice in April, I'm certain.
  • Everyone but El Capitan (64%) got their dicks whipped at the dot. Belanger and Gagner laid the smacketh down, to the tune of 14-20 (70%).

The Ugly

  • Apparently, Sam Gagner hasn't read his scouting reports, and doesn't know that Bryan Bickell is afraid of contact. Gagner was clearly terrified of Bick, almost running from a possible physical confrontation in the Oilers defensive zone.
  • I'm convinced that Carcillo is Italian for "Circus". Car Bomb continued to be controversial in the second period, Monday. He dumped the puck into the Oilers zone so the Hawks could change, and tried to make an impact in the worst way; illegally. He put a big hit on Gilbert, throwing him into the boards awkwardly. Pick any assortment of calls on the play, but the Hawks were down for 5 minutes and Carcillo has a dinner date with Brendan Shanaban. To top it all off, Gilbert fell on Carcillo's leg and injured him.
  • The bottom line on this one is that the Oilers scored 2 goals on their extended powerplay and the Hawks didn't score any on theirs. It is really as simple as that.

Here are your video highlights:


Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive