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!

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