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.

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