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:
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