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".

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