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Monday, February 27, 2012

Blackhawks: Movin On Up

Today, the Blackhawks did exactly what any halfwit would have expected. They made two small splashes. One move was made to add to the team, and another to clear up a roster spot for the first. First of all, the Hawks traded two draft picks to former Assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets, for 30 year old Johnny Oduya. The second move was Bowman trading John Scott to the New York Rangers for a 5th round draft pick.

Do these moves fix all the problems that the Blackhawks have? Absolutely not, but the Oduya move addresses the Hawks biggest hole, which was on defense. Based on what was available, they probably got the best option on the market, to fit their needs. Not an ideal choice, but with the recent re-signings, there was a seriously depleted talent pool. In acquiring Oduya, they were carrying too many defensemen on their roster, and felt that keeping Dylan Olsen in the NHL and Sami Lepisto on the roster were in their best interest. That lead to the John Scott deal.

Johnny Oduya is a 30 year old, 6’0” 200lb, lefthanded defenseman from Sweden that will wear #27 for the Blackhawks, and probably debut Wednesday night against the Leafs. He was originally brought up in the strong New Jersey Devils system, and traded to Atlanta/Winnipeg, was part of the infamous Ilya Kovalchuk deal, in February of 2010. He has two 25+ point season for the Devils, so behind the right team, he can contribute offensively. The Blackhawks acquired him for 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2013.

He is regarded as a great skater, which is not to be confused with FAST SKATER. He’s strong on his skates, and has good balance. This means you won’t see him tripping over his own feet or getting turned around like a top. He is younger and probably a better skater than both Montador and O'Donnell. He will probably be the injury replacement for Montador, to begin with. If Montador makes it back this season, he'll somehow push O'Donnell and Lepisto back down to the #8 and #9 guys, or possibly push Olsen back to Rockford. This is a good move, but not a great move, and purely a rental, because Oduya is an UFA at the season's end. No one knows just how this one will turn out until the draft of 2013. Right now, it's low risk, and possible high reward.

The John Scott experiment has ended in Chicago. He was sent to the New York Rangers for a 5th round draft pick in this year's draft. For as many people that wanted him off the ice, they didn't necessarily want him gone. He was a good locker room guy, and his teammates loved him. The problem is that he is a terrible hockey player, but a talented face tenderizer. Maybe one of the worst hockey playing enforcers in recent memory. When he fought, he did is exceptionally, but there was no way around putting him on the ice to actually play hockey. People would argue that just the his mere presence would scare the bejesus out of the other team, and I would vehemently disagree. He was a clown; a sideshow act. He fought at the wrong times, took stupid penalties, and forced other players to incur extra ice time, because he was barely worthy of stepping on the ice. That's the cold hard truth.

BUT, alas, he is gone to the city that welcomed King Kong, and the Sultan of Swat. Surely, they will welcome the Big Slow. Maybe they are hoping he will be able to fill the big shoes left by the unfortunate death of Derek Boogaard. He may just fit right into that spot, because he is quite similar in stature and personality. Good luck in New York, John. Honestly and Sincerely.

Blackhawks Trade Deadline Ticker

Feel free to bookmark this page, I will outline any moves the Blackhawks make today.

New Blackhawks Players

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Shoots: Left
Born: 1 Oct 1981 (Age 30)
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Details - Winnipeg acquires 2nd and 3rd rounds picks.
Assets - Is a great skater with the instincts to limit the damage to a minimum in the defensive zone. Owns an infectious attitude and is a solid teammate. Can occasionally play a shutdown role.
Flaws - Isn't a major offensive threat, nor is he big by National Hockey League standards. Also lacks the temperament to play with physical aggression on a consistent basis. Lacks consistency.
Career Potential - Mobile defensive defenseman.

Games 63 Goals 2 Assists 11 Points 13 PIM33


Blackhawks at Anaheim - Loss Recap

"San Andreas Fault"

Hotel California was not been good to the Blackhawks, thus far. After a shutout loss the night before to the Kings, the Hawks limped the short trip to the Pond, aka The Honda Center, to take on the suddenly hot Ducks. This would be yet another game without Jonathan Toews, Steve Montador, and Nik Hjalmarsson. Ray Emery was in net, and this could be the last time we see a couple of these players in Hawks uniforms. If Stan grows a set of balls, that is.

The first period of the game, Sunday night, was pretty much all Blackhawks even though they were out shot 11-10. A very late unfortunate goal on a brain fart by the Hawks, tied up the game at 1-1. The second period was very much a Ducks period. They scored one goal on 13 shots, and the Hawks only had 5 shots the entire period. The third period was, again, all Ducks. The Ducks out shot the Hawks 13-4 and shut the Hawks down defensively. A 5-on-3 powerplay goal was all the Ducks needed to close the Hawks down.

The Good

  • That Hawks scored the first goal of the game, about half way through the first period ON THE POWERPLAY! You read that right. I don't have the words to describe this actual goal, because I haven't seen such a site in in more than a dozen games. Anyhow, it was Kaner that snapped a long shot past Hiller on a screen by Mayers. 1-0 Hawks.

The Bad

  • Of course, the Hawks had three chances to get the puck out of their own zone and failed miserably. Eventually, the puck ended up on net, and the rebound was poked in by Cogliano with 19 seconds to go in the first period. After a LONG look see from the folks in Toronto, it was decided that the kicking motion from Cogliano didn't lead directly to the goal, and that he got a stick on the puck. I agree with their call.
  • Nick Leddy went and got his ass rocked by Ryan Getzlaf, in the second period. He might have needed use of the quiet room after that one.
  • Leddy wasn't the only one to get rocked, with Marcus Kruger getting rocked twice. Always good for recently concussed players.
  • Sheldon Brookbank put the Ducks up 2-1 with just over 7 minutes left in the second period. Hayes screened Emery on the long shot that hit Deuce in the leg and ended up in the net.
  • Selanne put the Ducks up 3-1 on a 5-on-3 powerplay, 5 minutes into the third period. At that point the Hawks were out shot 6-0. The Hawks had no life.
  • Father Time absolutely murdered the Hawks with a goal, an assist, and 8 shots on net. Some of the Hawks were half his age, and couldn't keep up.

The Ugly

  • Towards the end of the second period, Razor took exception to Hagman pitchforking him and threw a few shots at him. I can't say I blame him, becasue I would have done the same thing. Glad to see someone actually had some fight in them, because the rest of the team resembled steaming dog shit.
  • When you're out shot 38-19, you're not going to win many games.

Here are your video highlights:


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings
SHUTOUT Loss Recap

"King Nothing"

The Blackhawks winning streak wasn't going to last forever, but none of us thought that the streak would end at home, against Dallas. If the Hawks can put together four game winning streaks, we should all be happy fans. Saturday night, the Hawks traveled to LA to visit the Kings and their newest acquisition Jeff Carter. The Blackhawks, themselves, have been rumored to be making a deal, or deals before Monday's deadline. No one, but Stan Bowman, knows what will happen, but thank god the fans have games to keep their minds somewhat at ease. If they didn't, I would have to go on a machine gun killing spree. So, back to the Hawks and Kings before this turns into a tirade.

The first period of the game didn't go as planned, at all. The Hawks gave up two powerplay goals on two awful penalties, and they weren't able to generate much pressure on their own powerplays whatsoever. The second period was a complete and utter shit show. The Hawks gave up two more goals on 15 shots, including a shorthanded goal, to whimper into the third period down 4-0. So much for the hopes of a new winning streak starting in Los Angeles. The third period was a mere formality as the Hawks were a beaten team with no energy. When the final horn sounded, the Kings had sent the Hawks to Anaheim 4-0 losers.

The Good

  • MegaMayers was the only Hawks highlight in the first two periods taking on Matt Greene in a little kerfuffle. That's it, a fight.
  • Pat Foley had the quote of the night when the third period began, "Not a lot has been awesome here tonight". Ain't THAT the truth?
  • The Kings took their foot off the gas, but Razor Emery had a nice night, making 20 saves. Look for him in net, in Anaheim.
  • The Kings only out hit the Hawks 30-29, so that tells you how much that stat really matters.

The Bad

  • Ten minutes into the first period, Big Slow took a stupid roughing penalty, and the Kings scored on the resulting powerplay. Frolik got caught forechecking extremely deep in the Kings end, and once Stoll beat Frolik, he was off to the races. When Stoll hit the Hawks blue line, he dished it off to a waiting Dustin Brown. Brown followed the pick set by Stoll and the Red Sea parted. He was able size up Crawford, and pick his spot, easily. 1-0 Kings
  • For the second time in the first period, Nick Leddy was beaten by a Kings forward, but the Hawks caught a breaks when Kopitar was called for goaltender interference, even tough he never touched Crawford. STUPID RULE! Not like the Hawks could possibly score on the powerplay, anyway.
  • Brown scored his second powerplay goal of the night on a bad Stalberg checking from behind penalty. Hossa lost the ensuing faceoff in the Hawks zone, and Martinez sent a clean shot on net. The rebound came off Crawford's pads, and Brown was left to whack the fuck out of the puck, by Lurch and Seabrook. Could SOMEONE on this penalty kill tie up an opponent's stick? Once? Please? 2-0 Kings.
  • To make matters worse, the "shorthanded break-a-way of the game" went to Dustin Brown, and he ended up with his hat trick, only five minutes into the second period. Leddy and Keith couldn't get a clean entry into the Kings zone, and Hoss put in a half ass effort to drop off and help out. The effort just wasn't there. 3-0 Kings
  • Nick Leddy started he shit show on the fourth Kings goal. He completely bailed on a Kings dump in and Stoll was able to control it. Stoll pushed it behind the net to Brown, who then fed it out to a wide open Willie Mitchell at the point. Mitchell had about 36 hours to set up and take his shot. Nonetheless, Crawford should have stopped the shot, but he didn't, and that was the end of his night. Four goals on 10 shots. That is terrible. For all those dopes out there calling for the Hawks to trade Emery last week, THIS is why they can't do that. GAME OVER FOLKS!

The Ugly

  • In a minute stretch of the second period, Michael Frolik, and Vik Stalberg both missed break-a-ways. Stalberg's was a 2-on-0 with Sharp following up the play, in which he couldn't even hit the net so Sharp could get the rebound. This game just got more brutal by the second.
  • THIS stupid shit is what really pisses me off about the "genius", Joel Quenneville. Big Slow was on the ice FOUR times in the first two periods. Two of those shifts ended in HIS penalties, the first of which ended up resulting in the first Kings goal. People like Stalberg, Smith, Shaw, Frolik, Bickell, and Lepisto get benched for one bad HOCKEY PLAY, and Big Slow is allowed to run around like a big stupid gorilla, taking uncontainable penalties that are either off the play or after the whistle. Tighten up the leash on that smelly beast, Dr Lineblender!
  • Leddy showed why being forced to play top 4 minutes is above and beyond his current skillset. He was out muscled all night, and he constantly looked confused. He needs to be the #5 guy with a veteran stay at home guy that can cover for his short attention span, like Montador, unfortunately. If they don't pick a defenseman up by the deadline, this team does NOT make it past the second round, if even that far. I said it here, February 25th.

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, February 24, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Stars - Loss Recap

"Finish What You Started"

Thursday night the Dallas Stars traveled from Texas for a tilt in Chicago, on the eve of DLR and Van Halen visiting the United Center, WHICH I WILL BE ATTENDING. There were many story lines that came with this game. The Stars were perceived as sellers at the deadline and the Hawks buying. Names like Mike Ribeiro, Adam Burish, Brenden Morrow, and Sheldon Souray have all been mentioned as available. I haven't been quiet about my desire for Souray, so I won't bore you with that, here. There was actual hockey to me played, so lets get to it.

When I said there was hockey to be played, I suppose I meant BORING hockey; at least boring in the first period. The Hawks out shot the Stars 6-5 in the period, but there weren't really many scoring chances either way. This play should benefit the Hawks, but they had to get something going. I interrupted my pregame nap for this? They got something going, as second period was slightly in the Hawks favor. They opened up the scoring and held the Stars scoreless. The Hawks began the third frame in pretty good shape, but then it all fell apart. Three late deflected Dallas goals put the Hawks down to bed unhappy losers.

The Good

  • Imagine that! Bryan Bickell CAN hit people! My eyes didn't deceive me.
  • Hossa and Frolik (yes, he's still on the team, #67 in your programs) worked to get the Hawks a 1-0 lead, half way through the first period. Frodo dug the puck out of the corner and made a bee-line to the front of the net. Just as Frolik's shot was stopped, and I was thinking to myself "Frolik will never score again", Hossa picked up the free puck and beat Bachman. 1-0 Hawks.
  • The first Stars goal aside, Hossa was still the best forward on the ice for the Hawks. Quite a few chances and, of course, the goal.
  • The Hawks centers were actually good at the dot, especially against anyone NOT named Steve Ott. Ott was 8 for 11 and the rest of the team were 19 for 36.

The Bad

  • Dylan Olsen has looked fairly good, the more he's played, but the Stars Garbutt (yes that's really his name) skated by Olsen like he was standing still, after a bad Kruger offensive zone turnover (nice drop pass to the invisible man, Krugs!). When Olsen doesn't have time to compensate, he is sickeningly slow. For all the happy horn tootin going on about Olsen, no one seems to mention how horribly slow he is.
  • Noted agitator Steve Ott tied up the game half way through the third, when Hossa made a couple of rare defensive mistake. He left his position early, before the puck could get out of the zone and the Stars held it in. Eventually, Hoss got a second chance to get it out and just nudged it right to Daley. Daley took a long shot that worked it's way to the stick of Ott, who redirected it past Crawford. Commence opening of flood gates.
  • Five minutes after the Ott goal, Michael Ryder tipped a long Ribeiro shot past Crawford. Just too much traffic in front of the net with too many opposing sticks on the ice. Guys, that's basic defense. 2-1 Stars.
  • Aaaaaaaand few minutes later, Brent Seabrook kicked an innocent looking Michael Ryder shot AT Crawford, to put the Stars up 3-1, with some assistance by Loui Eriksson. At this point the Hawks and Crawford have to be wondering what in the name of all that is evil, was going on. They could not catch a break. Crawford looked genuinely surprised that he had to save a Seabrook shot on his own net.
  • Not the best of nights for Brent Seabrook. I'm a big Seabrook fan, but he was on the ice for all the goals for...and all the goals against, including the one he kicked on his own net to put the Stars up 3-1.
  • I'm sure that I'm going to see some brainiac babbling about the absence of John Scott; oh wait, he actually PLAYED!
  • The hit stats aren't really a telltale sign, but when you're out hit 41-15, you haven't given your best effort.

The Ugly

  • Fifty minutes does not a game make. Say it with me, Men of Four Feathers.
  • Annnnnnd this time, Adam Burish was the lucky recipient of the season long regular feature, "Shorthanded Break-a-Way Of The Game". You're welcome, Bur, it's a once a game occurrence, so don't think you're special. If I hear another Burish trade scenario, or I'll jam a dull pencil into said idiot's thorax.
  • I'm beyond ever expecting anything productive from the powerplay again...unless they pull off a trade for Sheldon Souray. No pressure, Stan.
  • Third period shots: Dallas 15, Blackhawks 5. At home, nursing a one goal lead. No "rocket surgery" here, gents. Run out of gas much?

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings - Win Recap

"Rookie Hayes-ing"

The hits just keep on coming for the Blackhawks. Facing the teams with the best records in the NHL is NOT a way to break out of a horrid losing streak, yet the Hawks have done just that. Coming into Tuesday night's game, they had won 3 in a row against two studs, and a dud. Not to take anything lightly, the Hawks were at home to play the ALWAYS tough Red Wings. News before the game surfaced that both Jon Toews and Pavel Datsyuk were out of action, so it was time for some secondary Hawks to take advantage, and show they as deep as any team in the NHL.

The first period of Tuesday night's game, started out heavily in the Wing's favor, but the Hawks found their legs and evened up the shots, even out shooting the Wings 10-9. The Wings still led after the first, but the Hawks weren't out of it. The Hawks came out fairly dominant, in the middle period, and tied the game. They were out shot 15-13, but they had much better and more chances. The Hawks opened up the lead early in the third period, and hung onto it for dear life, which lead them win their fourth in a row.

The Good

  • It didn't take Crawford long to make up for the weak goal against bailing Deuce and Olsen, who had forgotten about the strikingly ugly, Jiri Hudler. Crawford was on point after the Filppula goal. For all the fucking harsh criticism he took, I'm going to beat the drum for him while he's kicking ass. Everyone is quick to jump on his ass when he's down.
  • The second Hawks powerplay actually showed signs of life, but no goal. Hopefully that means something is finally clicking, not just an anomaly.
  • Purple Hayes got a huge goal for the Hawks, picking up a Bickell tip on net, to tie up the game about eight minutes in. Hayes worked Kronwall over in front of the Wings net and spun off just in time for Bickell to tip Deuces long point shot right on to Jimmy the Kid's stick. Slam dunk, tie game, the place goes bananas.
  • Dream Warrior put the Hawks up 2-1, just two minutes into the third period, on another great play by Jimmy the Kid. Hayes took the puck behind the net and shielded the puck with his body, trying to wrap it around. While it didn't really make it on net, the puck squirted out to Bruno, who chopped it towards the net. It dropped in behind Opie Howard and Kruger whacked it over the line.
  • I don't see many people out there talking about how big Bryan Bickell has been for the Hawks during this winning streak. Like Crawford, he deserves his due credit. He may still be a big dumb animal, but he's finally added something to the mix. I still don't think he's long for this team, but if it means he's more valuable from now until Monday, so be it!
  • Most of the Hawks centers, including Sharpie, did decent at the dot, but Kruger was clowned by Darren Helm all night, going 1-6 against him. MageMayers, Morrison, and Bolland were all at 50% or above, and Sharp was just a hair under 50%. If it weren't for facing Zetterberg, Sharp would have been over 50%.
  • The Hawks out hit the Wings, 21-17. Maybe they've got something here.

The Bad

  • Valtteri Filppula opened the scoring for the Wings, on an early WEAKpowerplay, just three minutes into the game. This was good for me, because he's on my fantasy team, but I digress. The penalty kill was out there FAR too long, and just ran out of gas. They simply couldn't get the puck out of the zone, and it turned into a hot mess really quick. Add a fairly weak shot to this mix which snuck by Crawford's stick side. From a goalie's prospective, it looked like a change-up, that he committed far too early on. Corey Crawford 2 weeks ago hangs his head, and gives up 3 more in the period. Not the new and improved Crow.
  • Bolland had a break-a-way, and Kane had TWO in the second period, alone. Just too bad none of them could finish. The game could have easily been 4-1, had Opie Howard not sat on a horseshoe as part of his pregame ritual.
  • Big Slow and Pistol strikes fear in ME, but I highly doubt that the Red Wings were shivering in their skates. More like licking their lips.

The Ugly

  • Something I NEVER want to hear again, "John Scott getting some time on the penalty kill". Never, fucking, again! Over HALF of his playing time was in the PK. OVER HALF!
  • Frolik got a break-a-way from the Hawks blue line in, and got in WAY too close. By the time he tried to get a shot off, he was half way up Howard's right nostril. He seriously has ZERO confidence now. Maybe he needs a pep talk from Bickell.

Here are your video highlights:


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Blues - Win Recap

"Ride The Lightning"

Fresh off an ass whipping in Columbus, the Hawks FINALLY came home for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the St. Louis Blues. These weren't the same "display a bunch of stupid physical play and then roll over" Blues that everyone was used to. This team was on a mission, behind new head coach Slim Hitchcock. The Blues came in 10 points ahead of the Hawks and in second place, in the division. They don't score a lot of goals, but they were tied with the Rangers for fewest goals against in the league. The Hawks had a good test to show if they were truly back on track. If they could pull this one off, this is officially a winning streak.

The Hawks opened up slow and sloppy, getting out shot 15-4, despite having 2 powerplays. When the horn sounded for the first intermission, the Hawks had give up a late goal to go down 1-0. The Hawks played a better second period, out shooting the Blues 9-7, but neither team added to their score. The third period was owned by the Blackhawks, which is rare this year against the Blues. The Hawks out shot the Blues 14-8, and out scored them 3-0. Nothing pretty about this win, but it's a win. A WINNING STREAK!

The Good

  • Deuce tied the game up, five minutes into the third period. The play started with Kane and Shooter breaking into the zone 2-on-3. Kane dished it off to Sharp, and Sharp just waited for help. Before dishing it off, Sharp faked a shot to freeze Elliot. As soon as Deuce hit the blue line, Sharpie dished the puck, and Keith beat Elliot.
  • Douchebag David Backes put the Hawks up 2-1 with just under 7 minutes left in regulation play. Deuce had given up trying to hit the net, so he hit Bolland to the right of Elliot. Bolland was looking to hit Kane with a pass across the crease, but Backes kicked it towards the open net, and tried to stop it with his stick, but was unsuccessful. Couldn't have happened to a better guy.
  • Hossa dotted the "i" in the win, with a 3/4 ice shot into the empty net. Solid win for the Hawks.
  • With all the criticism he has taken lately, Corey Crawford deserves credit for keeping the Hawks in the game. When they weren't generating any pressure, Crawford kept it a one goal game. Welcome back. It's really nice to see him deeper in his net, where he's more comfortable.
  • It shouldn't go without being pointed out that Duncan Keith is PLUS 7 this weekend, with a goal and 2 assists. Nice time to step up, Deuce!
  • Just a sign of how much the Hawks dislike the Blues, they out hit then 30-26, with Dylan Olsen's 6 hits leading the Hawks.
  • The Hawks were 52% at the dot, but El Capitan was only 8-18.

The Bad

  • Early on, in the first period, Dr. Lineblender got the brilliant idea to put Big Slow out on the ice with El Capitan and Kaner. I'm not really sure why he thought that was a good idea, but that matchup led to the first Blues goal. Luckily, someone slapped some sense into Quenneville, and Scott only saw 2-45 second shifts the rest of the game.
  • Jamie Langenbrunner found a loose puck behind a prone Crawford, and kicked it towards the goal line. Before it could cross the line, Andy MacDonald picked up the puck and pushed it over, with under a minute left in the first period. Just to point this out, Olsen, Leddy, and Scott were on the ice for that one. The Blues will take that matchup any time.
  • I'm not entirely sure why, but Lurch only played 8:23. Stan needs to find his guy YESTERDAY, and make the move.

The Ugly

  • Like clockwork, during the second Hawks powerplay, the Hawks broke down and gave up a shorthanded break-a-way to Andy MacDonald. Might not have that problem if you had 2 defensemen on the ice. I can't even begin to imagine how they are going to fix this. They can't even get the puck into the zone, much less get a solid scoring chance.
  • Typical St. Louis Blues low class play, with Ryan Reaves punching Big Slow in the back of the head when he was down on the ice. That guy is a completely useless piece of shit. He was before this game, and he remains that way.

Here are your video highlights:


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blackhawks at Columbus - Win Recap

"Colossal Slump Buster"

With a weekend of matinee games on the agenda, the Hawks rolled into Columbus to face the Blue Jackets and a player they WON'T be acquiring, Rick Nash. Even though Columbus is warming up, they aren't a good team. Last in the NHL, and working with an interm head coach. Injuries and drama have crippled them. Before the other nights game, this was the game all Hawks fans were expecting the team to end their losing streak in. Lets just hope for 2 in a row, with a win in Ohio.

The Hawks came out slow and sloppy in the first period, yielding the lead on a bad turnover. They woke up and scored two of their own, outscoring the Jackets 11-10 in the opening period. The Jackets out shot the Hawks 14-12, in the middle period, but the Hawks out scored the Jackets 2-0 to take a 4-1 lead into the third. The third period was a joke. The Hawks scored two more goals to put the Blue Jackets to bed.

The Good

  • El Capitan threw the team on his back and his balls on the table, going end to end and driving right around Jeff Carter to tie the game up at 1-1. Really no excuse to let a player go right around you like that, Mr. Carter, but we'll take that gift.
  • Pick-to-Click Vik put the Hawks up 2-0 on a nice feed from One-Trick-Bick. Bickell out raced the Jackets defender and quickly found Stalberg wide open in front of the net. Stalberg one timed it on Mason, who was out of position in the first place, and it bounced up and flipped over the goaltender, into the net. I can't imagine what it must be like to be a Columbus fan, and watch this. Makes you appreciate the Hawks much more when you think of it that way, doesn't it?
  • Kaner dished a sweet cross ice pass to a WIDE open Shooter, who took a tight angle one timer from Mason's right side, and beat him for a Blackhawks 3-1 lead. The Kane pass was the highlight of the play, threading the needle between two Columbus players right to Sharpie's tape. I don't know what the media or fans were thinking, suggesting trading Kane, but this is one of many examples why that is an asinine idea.
  • Kane followed up his nice pass to Shooter, by using former Hawk James Wisniewski as a tool. Kane put his shot between his legs and beat Steve Mason for a 4-1 Blackhawks lead, ending Mason's afternoon in net. After he was pulled, CSN caught Steve Mason bitching at coach Todd Richards in a pretty animated manner. And people think we have goaltending problems in Chicago. OOOFA!
  • Bruno and Dream Warrior hooked up with 5 minutes gone in the third, to expand the Hawks lead to 5-1. Bruno saucered a pass across to Kruger who was actually tied up. Kruger was still able to get a stick on the pass and chip it past York.
  • Less than a minute after the Kruger goal, Lepisto scored his first Blackhawks goal, off the back of John Moore. When it rains, it pours. How did that one feel, Columbus? That was a guy that couldn't trip onto the ice, and he's putting the exclamation point on a home ice loss.
  • Nick Leddy was set up by Kaner late in the second period, and skated right past three Jackets players. Leddy made a slick little move on York, but he didn't score. That play was a nice preview of what is to come with this kid. He's still green and wet behind the ears, but he's going to be a good player for this team.
  • Nice to see Purple Hayes come out punching. Even though he didn't really get many shots in, he went toe to toe with MacKenzie. Welcome back, Kiddo.
  • I have to completely honest. I haven't really missed Hammer. Lepisto's early turnover aside, him and Olsen have been alright. Might this show the Hawks that Hammer is expendable?
  • Deuce was a plus 4 and had an assist on the day.

The Bad

  • Sami Lepisto didn't make a good argument for more playing time by hitting the Blue Jackets Derrick Brassard right on the tape, at the Hawks blue line. Brassard took the gift and blew it past Crawford's glove for a 1-0 Jackets lead. There is really no excuse for that turnover. He wasn't pressured and had plenty time. I can't defend you on that one, Pistol.
  • Not that it really means anything, but the Haws were outhit 29-7.
  • Did Rick Nash even suit up? The guy was invisible. THAT'S a guy the Hawks definitely need.

The Ugly

  • Derek Dorsett absolutely made my afternoon when he went after Big Slow, following the Lepisto goal, and Columbus time out. Dorsett looked like a toddler playing with his big Uncle John going straight for Scott after the puck was dropped. Dorsett got one shot in on Scott, and Scott proceeded to beat the SNOT out of him. I was crying because I was laughing so hard. There is NO way Scott could have made a bigger mockery of Dorsett. Beat the piss out of the guy, and then laugh at him and dress him down while he's tossed from the game. Watch it here, enjoy and laugh your ass off:

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, February 17, 2012

Blackhawks at NY Ranger - Win Recap

"So Long And Thanks For The Fish!"

How do you start off a preview of a game against the best team in the Eastern Conference that is towards the end of a 9 game road trip, which also includes a 9 game winless streak? Doom and gloom? We've seen plenty of that. Trade everyone? Lots of that, too. Fire the Coach and GM. Check! The streak has to come to an end some time, right? Why not against the best team they were going to face on this trip? No one will admit it, but I honestly thing John Tortorella threw Quenneville and crew a solid by playing Marty Biron in net. Biron in a good back up, but lets face it, he is no King Henrik. With 10 days left until the trade deadline, Hawks fans have enough to deal with as far as personnel goes. Lets put this to rest and start a more positive streak, Gentlemen.

Well, the Hawks came out of the blocks on absolute FIRE! Four goals on 10 shots, and the Rangers were left to scratch their heads during the first intermission. Of course this kind of pace can't be kept up the whole game against a team like the Rangers, but that is a hell of a head start. The second period was much more even, as the Rangers finally put a goal on the board. The Hawks still out shot the Rangers but only 9-7. The first place Rangers finally showed up in the third period, but it was too little too late. That Hawks held off a 12-3 Rangers shot advantage, and only yielded one late goal. Nice road game for the Hawks, and thank god that god forsaken losing streak is over. So long and thanks for the fish, Torts!

The Good

  • Nice of you to pay attention to the refs, Foley. Yes, it's a penalty shot that the play-by-play guy was the last to notice. Just over a minute into the game, and El Capitan was rucking in on a penalty shot because the Rangers Dan Girardi covered the puck in the crease behind Biron. El Capitan did what he does, in that situation, scoring 5-hole on Biron. 1-0 Hawks.
  • A minute after the penalty shot goal, the Hawks used a delayed penalty to go up 2-0. Nick Leddy used Big Slow for something useful; as a screen, and blasted a shot past Biron. Just 2 minutes into the game and the Hawks are up 2-0.
  • Just two minutes after the Leddy goal, El Capitan found Shooter behind the Rangers defense, and hit him, in stride, for a break-a-way. Shooter wasted no time sizing up Biron, and powered a 5-hole shot through.
  • After killing off the stupid Shaw/Scott penalties, Kaner played a little deja vu and found Boss 81 right up the gut, behind the Rangers defense, hitting HIM for a break-a-way. Hoss followed Shooter's example, just picking a spot and nailing Biron's 5-hole. 4-0 Hawks not even 10 minutes into the game.
  • The Hawks were on the good end of some luck when the puck got lodged under Crawford's left skate ON THE GOAL LINE. The refs used the "intent to blow" rule, which never gets old.
  • I don't want to take anything away from a Hawks penalty kill, that did a great job, but the horrible Rangers powerplay helped their cause.

The Bad

  • Three minutes into the second period, Marc Staal was left to rattle off a few shots from the point by the fourth line wingers, and finally put the second one right through the wickets of Crawford. Scott and Shaw couldn't figure out which guy was which, and Staal was the odd man out. Can we please put that fourth line out of its misery? Morrison, Frolik, ANYONE! Edzo can blame Shaw all he wants, but Big Slow was roaming around he zone aimlessly, like a big gorilla.
  • Ryan McDonagh bulled right through Bolland, Olsen and Shaw setting up Carl Hagelin for the second Rangers goal of the game, late in the third period. Luckily, that was it for the Ranger offense on the night. Holding this team to only two goals at home is acceptable.
  • With all that went well, Toews and Kruger were even or better at the dot, but Mayers and Bolland were mushroom stamped all night, going a combined 35%.
  • Mike Rupp has some mitts of stone, holy christ. That guy could have singlehandedly tied the game up for the Rangers but just shanked and missed every puck near his stick. He was better off carrying a club around.
  • Again, someone tell me what is SO fucking bad about Sami Lepisto? He's a #6 defenseman, and has more skill than Big Slow, which doesn't take much. Why did he sit for 15 straight games again?
The Ugly
  • Well, as with this streak, all good things have to come to an end. The braintrust combination of Andrew Shaw, and John Scott temporarily took the wind out of the Hawks sails with a couple of really stupid fucking penalties in the first period. Shaw took a lazy offensive zone holding penalty, and then Big Slow decided that finishing the play by throwing an elbow into the throat of John Mitchell, about 2 seconds after the whistle, was a swell idea. Those guys acquire some Carcillo-itis or what?? C'mon guys, really? Thank Lord Stanley that Scott only saw the ice for 56 seconds the entire rest of the game, and none at all in the third period. Shaw was out there for both Rangers goals, and only saw 5 minutes of ice time all night. #Shawfacts: Andrew Shaw doesn't hit the wall, the wall hits him like a puck to the forehead.
  • Sweet Jesus, I thought the Hawks powerplay was bad, but the Rangers powerplay was just as bad, if not worse. How does a team get a record like they have with a powerplay THAT bad? Not to be outdone, The Hawks 5-on-3 looked like the Bozo fucking Circus. Actually, the word I'm looking for is repugnant. I can't remember ever seeing two teams with such collectively ineffective powerplays.
  • I have to finally agree with Edzo on something, regarding the Stalberg goalie interference call. There is no way that he can stop without making contact with the goaltender, especially when Del Zotto is pushing him in that direction. That rule HAS to change. One of the dumbest interpretations of a rule I've ever seen.
  • I don't think of the Rangers as a particularly dirty team, but what the hell is up with Brandon Dubinsky? Take a stupid penalty at one end and then take a cheap shot on a defenseless player on the delayed penalty. Dumb Asshole!
Here are your video highlights:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keep Trollin, Trollin, Trollin

Eleven days until the NHL trade deadline....breathe, just breathe...

One the things I try do accomplish with my insignificant little rag, here, is encourage fans to use common sense, and actually put that lump three feet above their ass to use. For that, I've failed miserably, and I apologize. Past free agent insanity and trade deadline speculation has been around for quite a while, but this year is BY FAR the worst. The rumors don't have to make sense, or even fit within the salary cap. Just grab some names, throw them in a hat, pick a few out, and harass a beat writer. They really make NO sense. Thanks to this wonderful tool, called Twitter, the Hawks beat writers are more accessible than ever to field these dumb theories. Most, if not all of these writers, are better people than I, but then again, who isn't? The majority of them ignore the complete stupidity of the general public, but one of them displays these ignoramuses for all the Twitterverse to see. Tim Sassone (@TimSassone)of the Daily Herald. He retweets a fraction of the painful stupidity he must endure on a daily basis. I have to both thank him, and curse him for this gift.

First of all, I have to thank him for pointing out this on going stupidity, and for also point out that people are just too damn lazy to actually take the time to research their question before asking. People will ask the same question over and over, even if the answer was posted on the Times Square video screen and they were forced, Clockwork Orange style, to stare at it for 36 hours. They are just too lazy. I'd be a little grumpy too, if people asked me questions, I answer them, and they ask me the same question again, and so on. Frustrating. He generally comes off as a grumpy old man to the general noodnik, but I've been in that situation, and my fuse was much shorter than his, let me tell you.

Secondly, I have to curse him, because the few people that WILL research their own questions, see this and think, "What the hell is wrong with Chicago Blackhawks fans?", followed up with a blog like this very one. DAMN YOU FOR MAKING MY MIND RACE, TIM SASSONE!!!! While I don't always agree with everything he says, I do agree with a good portion of it. If I agreed with everything, I'd have to have him arrested for identity theft. Moving on...

After watching a few of these tweets scroll by, I thought I would share them with you, and give a little shot of what Mr. Sassone must be thinking with each. Fun little game, no? Without further ado:

Cam Barker, good old Cam Barker. Well, Cam was so bad in Chicago that we traded him away for the rotting carcass of Kim Johnsson and a promising, yet still unknown, prospect named Nick Leddy. Cam Barker proceeded to stink up the joint in Minny, thus bringing on his eventual release. Lets just say his career isn't ascending.

Who said this, and WHY would the Canadiens dump a 24 year old All-Star goalie that they just fully committed to, just 2 summers ago? He is going to be a restricted free agent in July, and will probably double his salary somewhere, if not Montreal. They have nothing else in their system, and there isn't much out on the market, unless they are going to roll the dice with Josh Harding. Highly unlikely. Price has done nothing to show that he's worth giving up on.

I'm not really sure what you consider "good trade value", but a 27 year old defenseman with a $5.5 million cap hit until 2023, doesn't exactly make me come running for dinner, unless I'm Uncle Dale in Florida. You forgot to factor in that he is the team's #1 defender, and ice time leader. Diminished production or not, how do you expect to fill that hole?

I said this over a week ago, cheap and powerplay help, but everyone ignores me.

No, actually, they promote letting opponents take as many shots as possible on their own net. If that doesn't happen, they turn around and shoot on their own net. It's a proven system. Really. Obviously, The forwards aren't doing their jobs defensively. Doesn't this question answer itself?

Have you been living under a rock for 2 months? What part of "season ending knee surgery" wasn't beaten through your skull? You obviously know enough to know he's injured. Were you suddenly locked up abroad? Did you fall into a coma?

A regular healthy scratch for a team that's just struggling to stay afloat in the playoff race. That sounds like someone we NEED to have! How about Babchuk for Keith? Good trade value, no?

Other than the painful cap hit, and poor skills, sounds like a good idea. The only problem is that if you're looking for Huet in France you'll be looking a long time. He's playing in Switzerland.

If Nashville would make that trade, to a division rival that they have to face 6 times a year, they are the most stupid team in NHL history.

Tim Sassone, beat writer by day, Columbus tour guide by night.

I applaud this answer but nonetheless...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blackhawks at Nashville - Loss Recap

"Luck Ain't Even Lucky"

I honestly don't think my brain is going to stay intact, until the trade deadline. The delusions of grandeur are just stupid, and every "Tom, Dick, and Harry" thinks they are an NHL GM. This isn't even entertaining. Anyhow, the Hawks had more immediate problems to deal with, in Music City. Eight losses in a row, and a tough Preds defense didn't exactly spell "slump buster". While the Preds were 1-2-2 in their previous 5 games, they haven't been as bad as the Hawks. If you remember correctly, the Avalanche were just as cold before THEY beat the Hawks. Nothing is a sure thing, as things sit, and the opening two losses of this streak were against Nashville. Would the third time be a charm for the Hawks?

The Hawks opened up the game at a fever pitch, which was nice to see after such mediocre efforts, lately. The game was tied at one after the first period, but the Hawks out shot Nashville 10-4. A bad turnover ended up in the Hawks net, but they rebounded and tied the game back up just a few moments later. As the Hawks luck would have it, even though they out shot the Preds after two periods, they were still outscored 1-0 in the second frame, to go into the third down by a goal, on the road. The Hawks tied the game in the third period, but, once again, the Hawks were on that wrong end of some luck, as the Preds scored a late deflected game winning goal. Third time was, in fact, a charm; for Nashville.

The Good

  • MegaMayers made a smart shorthanded play to open the first Preds powerplay of the night. He rushed up on a 2-on-2 with Lurch, and sent a laser beam at the Preds goaltender. He didn't score, but it took time off the clock and he didn't force a bad pass, which is the Hawks M.O. as of late.
  • One Trick Bick tied the game up shortly after Suter put the Preds ahead, and continued his slight resurgence. Ryan Suter allowed him to get off his "worlds longest set up", and backed his ass right into his own goalie. So not only to do let BRYAN BICKELL get his three day long shot off, but you screen your goalie. Major fail by Suter, after scoring the first Preds goal, he truly dicked-the-dog on that one, but finally something promising for the Hawks.
  • The Hawks defense looked extremely aggressive through the first half of the game, pinching early and often, to keep the plays alive. I can't say I wasn't enjoying it either. Nashville didn't know quite how to handle the pressure.
  • Boss 81 answered my pick to click by scoring a huge third period goal to tied the game back up at 2. Deuce threw him a chest high grenade, at the Preds blue line, and he was able to cradle the puck in his body, spin, and drop it on his stick while keeping it away from the Preds defender. He headed for the net and snapped it past Rinne's stick side.
  • The Hawks didn't score any powerplay goals, but they DID have serious pressure. They also didn't give up and power play goals against, so those are both promising.

The Bad

  • El Capitan cost his team the first goal of the game, late in the first period. He had possession of the puck at the red line, and couldn't control it. The Preds knocked it free and carried it into the Hawks zone, clowning the Hawks defense in the process. You could just feel the panic when the Preds took possession of the puck. I'm not really sure just what Razor was doing, but he was shuffling around the crease on his knees, and just wasn't in great position to make the stop. Id I question any of the three goals, this is the one. He had a good look and wasn't in position.
  • Nick Spaling put the Preds up 2-1, with two and a half minutes left in the second period, on a redirect of a Ryan Ellis point shot. Again, not a whole lot a goalie can do when an 85mph shot is redirected 10 feet in front of you. As usual, the play started with the Hawks not controlling the puck after a Bolland faceoff loss.
  • Ryan Ellis got another deflection goal, but this time it was off a Hawks defenseman, with 5 minutes left to go in the third period. What originally looked like a bad long range goal turned out to be another deflection. The Hawks couldn't clear the puck when they had possession with Dylan Olsen blindly backhanding it up the boards. The puck worked its way around and across the zone to Ellis, who played the carom off the boards and one timed it towards the net. About half way to the net, Deuce's stick got a piece of the puck, and ever so slightly, changed the direction and speed of the shot. More bad luck, and that kind of stuff isn't helping your already shaky goalies. 3-2 Preds.
  • When you out shoot a team 32-19 in their own rink, you win that game 98% of the time. This was one of those games in the 2%.
  • El Capitan was the only Hawks Center with a faceoff percentage over 50%, and the second goal was as a result of a faceoff loss in the Hawks zone. They need to get better in this area, too.

The Ugly

  • The usually level headed El Capitan took a questionable penalty in the first period, running over Pekka Rinne to negate the first Hawks powerplay of the game. While he was pushed a little, I fail to understand just what he was doing. He looked confused. I'm dumbfounded on that one.

Here are your video highlights:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crashing Around You

Unfortunately for the Hawks, this epic slide they are riding has provided SO much material for the columnists, bloggers, and twatards. The problem is that 90% of them look like complete and utter imbeciles. Of course, I'm not excluding my very own imbecilic tendencies, but some of these people put me to absolute shame. I addressed some of the silly trade scenarios last week, but I didn't really address what some of the problems may be. Of course, I don't have press credentials, and I don't have access to any more information than the average fan does, but I see things, unlike seeing dead people. These are a few of my opinions, of which I'm NEVER short on.

Currently the Blackhawks are 29-20-7 with 65 points and in 6th place, right behind tonight's opponent, the Nashville Predators. They are have lost eight in a row, and are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Obviously, it's not time to throw the red flags around, but it is certainly time to raise the concern level to a healthy orange. The team is hurting, both physically and mentally, but WHY?
  • Goals Against
    The easiest place to throw the blame is between the pipes. Call me loyal and biased, but since I've been known to impersonate a goaltender on occasion, I tend to spread the blame around a little more than most. When any other player, beside a goaltender, makes a mistake, there is someone behind them that has a chance to bail them out. If they do, all is forgotten. If not, the goalie is a sieve and a scapegoat. Goalies certainly can be at fault as well, but it's not always their fault. This would be a boring sport if goalies were perfect. Hockey purists will watch how a play breaks down, not just look at the final result and spit out "that fuckin goalie fuckin sucks, fuckin trade him", as they are spitting chewed up tortilla chips all over their beer bellies. This by no means, is to say that the Blackhawks goalies haven't had their issues, because they have. Noticeably. But look at the situation this way; if you don't/can't trust the team in front of you, what does that do for your confidence? It leaves you second guessing, and trying to overcompensate. This is where the problem lies.

    Neither Crawford or Emery are upper echelon goalies that will carry a team on their back for long stretches. They were never expected to be that kind of player, well, at least from anyone who actually knows something about the sport, other than which are the cutest players and which ones they can get to respond to their tweets. They are serviceable goaltenders that can be, and have been, successful players. Let me repeat; can be, and have been, successful. BUT, this is when they are in their comfort zone, not facing an inordinate amount of oddman breaks nightly, or facing the obligatory shorthanded breakaway against. I've been there myself and I'm CERTAINLY no all-star. When you see an opposing player come out of the penalty box and find the puck on their stick for a break-a-way for three games in a row, you start to think to yourself, "What the fuck, guys?".

    They have DEFINITELY played sub par lately, but did you see these kind of mistakes early in the trip? Not so much. They look gun shy, and like they are overcompensating, which is NOT where they are most effective. I'm not saying this is acceptable, but they need help getting out of this funk.

    What happened to the defensive brotherhood? What happened to helping your goaltender out, rather than hanging him out to dry? Players are left to camp in front of the net, without so much as a stick getting tied up. The odd-man breaks against are laughable. It's open season on goawies, Elmer Fudd! The defensemen, AND forwards for that matter, are relying too much on their ability to block shots, and not enough on actually playing the physical aspect of defense. It's time to get tough, and clamp down. SHOW your goalies that you have their back, and would take a puck to the grill for them. IT GOES A LONG WAY! When a team shows no respect to their netminder, he has no reason to show them respect. When a goaltender sees a player sacrifice himself for the players behind him, it becomes contagious. Put another goalie in there behind the same defense and they will be looking like they have Tourette's too. It's a matter of what you're conditioned for, and these two have been conditioned to try and do other people's jobs, as well.

    There is nothing on the market that will be a significant upgrade over what they currently have, so get used to #50 and #30 until, at least, the offseason. This brings me to my second point...
  • Defense
    I honestly believe this is where the majority of the problems stem. The Blackhawks have a #1, a #2, maaaaaybe a #4 and a bunch of #5's and #6's on their roster, and now that the forwards are all dinged up, the spotlight is on the defense. That spotlight is showing a GLARING hole right in the middle. A BLACK hole, to be exact. With the latest injuries to Hjalmarsson and Montador, the hole has gotten even bigger.

    The last few years, they had a 1a/2a type player, in Campbell, that offset the hole. You basically had 3-1/2 guys, and 3-5/6 guys. So that middle pair wasn't a traditional 3-4 pairing, but it worked itself out. Campbell held his partner together by carrying the puck more. That's gone, and this hole has opened up something that has been there all along, just disguised.

    Hammer is a beaten man, mentally and physically. He won't take the body, and just gets the absolute tar beat out of himself, on a nightly basis, and he's a great PK guy. Without his safety blanket, he's looking confused and trying to make up for what Leddy DOESN'T do on the back end.

    Leddy was suppose to be the heir apparent to Campbell, but he's young and still wet behind the ears. FULL of potential, but you don't step on the ice and turn into a Brian Campbell right out of High School. He's about 2 season's away from shouldering that load, at the very least. Even Duncan Keith, or Brian Campbell himself, weren't "Brian Campbell" at that age. It's not a knock on the kid, but give him some room to grow, instead of throwing him to the wolves, so they can feast. And, for god sakes, GET HIM OFF THE PK! That shiny new toy starts to look rough when you're constantly drilling it into the concrete.

    It has been pointed out, more recently, that Montador was a solid defender on a playoff team, and a pretty successful PK unit last season. He's no slouch, despite all the hate being thrown around. YET, he's been relegated to the #5 spot, and tethered to Sean O'Donnell, John Scott, Sami Lepisto, and Dylan Olsen. Two big painfully slow Yetis, a rusty doghouse/press box resident and a slow green kid. Not only that, but he has yet to sniff the terrible Hawks PK. Help a guy out a little. Shit! Better yet, in the words of Jerry McGuire, "Help ME, help YOU!"

    I, pretty much, just summed up the rest of the clowns, as well. A bunch of 5's and 6's, like a weight watchers meeting.

    If the Hawks ARE going to make a deal a the deadline, this is where it needs to be. If the back end gets it's shit together, the rest will follow in suit. A middle/bottom of the lineup defender can made an immense difference on this shit show we're seeing nightly. Move Montador up as a #4, and find a legit #3 guy. Move Hammer and Leddy down, and you have the makings of something solid. This is not going to be easy to accomplish, so maybe you move Hammer and let Leddy play #5 with O'Donnell. However it may play out, the Hawks can work with their existing talent at forward. They currently HAVE the talent up front, but the middle of the train is dragging the rest down.
  • Offense
    The offense isn't doing itself any favors, but the entire league knows they have the talent to help get this train rolling. First of all, Quenneville needs to stop fucking with the line combinations. When you can't have a consistent line mate for more than a period, your flow tends to get mucked up. Make them learn to work through the ebbs and flows a little. When the top line can't figure out if Vik Stalberg, Michael Frolik, or Andrew Shaw are the #3 guy on a shift to shift basis, you're not going to get much going. Lets not even get INTO Stalberg going from the 1st to the 4th line. He's your #3 forward, or your #10. Make a decision!

    Secondly, There seems to be a little "wrist" issue going on with 3 of the top 4 Hawks forwards, and it's affecting the scoring of the whole squad. Toews, Kane and Sharp have all had issues, in the last 12 months, with their wrists and it's starting to rear it's ugly head. While these are injuries that can be played through, it doesn't help when they have to work the puck 2/3 of the ice by themselves, sometimes. The craziness on the back end is forcing the forwards to back check deeper than usual, and get beat up before they even hit the opponents blue line. Wouldn't things be much better if the forwards could streak out of the zone, knowing that a defenseman other than one named Brent Seabrook could hit them with an outlet pass putting them in 2-on-2 rather than a 2-on-3 or 4? As things currently sit, if they don't bust their asses back like the building is on fire, the defense is doing them no favors. Fix the defense, and the offense will open up.

    Lastly, The one area of contention on offense, that they CAN control somewhat, is the powerplay. They just have too much talent on this roster to be THIS bad on the powerplay. Most of the blame on this one, though, the coaching, because everyone can clearly see that this philosophy isn't working. When something doesn't work, you change it. PERIOD. They've beaten the hell out of this carcass, and need to open up their options. This team CAN have a top 10 powerplay, when you put the pieces together correctly. I'm not even asking for top 25%, just top 33%. They are SOMEHOW 16th in the league, so it's nothing a little hot streak can't fix.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blackhawks at Phoenix
SHUTOUT Loss Recap

"Harvesters of Sorrow"

The thing about a slide like the one the Hawks are riding is that it's bittersweet for us blog writers. When they are playing back, it gives us MUCH more material, but we want nothing more but for them to win. Screwy, I know. Anyhow, the Hawks are o-fer their last 7 and they are just simply making far too many mistakes. This trip could very well be the end of the Hawks hopes for a rebound season. We just don't know, but it's not looking good at all. After giving Crawford another shot, against the Sharks, Razor was back in net. The rest of the lineup was almost the same as the one that Quenneville trotted out against San Jose, with only Frolik being scratched for Morrison.

The Hawks simply didn't show up for the first period, they were only out shot 12-10, but they couldn't have seemed less interested and it could have easily been 4-0 early on. The second frame was much like the second the night before, with the Hawks out shooting the Yotes 12-5 but not scoring a goal, while giving another one up. While the Hawks came out shooting in the third period as well, but couldn't solve he Phoenix goalie, to send the Hawks away with an eighth loss in a row.

The Good

  • Nice to see Deuce throw a big hit, but I have to play devils advocate. Wasn't that hit extremely similar to the one that got Carcillo suspended? Eerily similar, but Keith won't be hearing from Shanaban.
  • For a team that was shut out, they had plenty of shots on net. The problem is that most of them were from the perimeter. Is this hitting rock bottom? The answer is YES.

The Bad

  • Some things just never change, apparently. Former Hawk Radim Vrbata scored the first goal of the game, banking a shot off Sami Lepisto and into the net. If the Hawks didn't have bad luck, they wouldn't have any at all. It looked as though Razor has been watching too many Corey Crawford plays, because he was caught being too aggressive, and wasn't able to get back to the far post before the Vrbata bank shot.
  • The Coyotes went up 2-0 with just 6 minutes gone in the game. Boyd Gordon found a dribbling puck in the crease and helped it across the goal line. There was just too much wrong to even begin to describe on this play. Play like you give a shit, Gents!
  • Shaw decided it was a good idea to light a flame under his teammates with a fight early on, but all it did was light a flame under the Coyotes asses. MegaMayers looks like the only Hawks player that understand when the right time for a fight is.
  • Dylan Olsen showed why he's an AHL defenseman as Kyle Chipchura to head in on a break-a-way. Olsen made Chipchura look like Mike Gartner just letting him skate right by, and in on Emery. The case of windburn he acquired on that play must be awfully painful. 3-0 Yotes.
  • Brendan Morrison only saw just over 8 minutes of ice time and only saw 2 shifts in the third period. So much for THAT brilliant trade.
  • The prodigal defensive son, Olsen for those who are dense, was minus 2 on the night with the third goal of the game hung solely on his hook.

The Ugly

  • I still can't figure out why Dr. Lineblender even bothers to do things like move Stalberg to the fourth line, when everyone knows damn well that when things go shitty, he'll be moved up. What does this fucking accomplish? Enough with the childish games. Either he's a first liner or a fourth liner. Make a decision!
  • I'm sorry, but I see nothing in Lepisto's play that tells me he should be sitting in the press box for 15 straight games. I've just about had enough of these silly personel moves, because the excuse of "Well, it's working" isn't valid anymore. "It" is NOT working. He's not Bobby Orr, but he is not a terrible fill in and certainly no worse than John Scott.
  • I can't even find the words to describe the Hawks powerplay, anymore. They can't even manage the most basic of tasks, like simply entering the zone. They DO realize that a powerplay means they are only facing 4 opposing player, right?
  • In case you were wondering, Adrian Aucoin still has the "Boy Named Sue" syndrome, and he is still a complete fucking clown. Life ain't easy for a boy named Adrian.

Here are your video highlights:


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blackhawks at San Jose - Loss Recap

"Down in a Hole"

The road trip carries on; This time to San Jose California. As this trip continues, the Hawks are playing worse, and the fans are getting restless. From top to bottom they just aren't getting the job done. Corey Crawford returned to net, after 2 starts by Razor Emery. Not only that, but Hammer and Montador were sent home with injuries. Dylan Olsen and Sami Lepisto were in the lineup last night, to replace them. The Sharks had to be licking their lips at this news, with a short losing streak of their own going on. I'm sure former Hawk Antti Niemi was.

The first period was pretty much what you'd expect from a team that is seriously struggling and in the middle of a long road trip. Two powerplay goals from the Sharks put the Hawks in an early hole. The Sharks out shot the the Hawks 12-7 in the period, and sent them into the intermission scratching their heads. The second period was ALL Blackhawks, as they outshot the Sharks 17-3 and out scored them 2-1, but the two first period goals still left them down, going into the third frame. The Hawks tied the game again in the third, but then, again, fell apart, giving up 2 third period goals. When all was said and done, the Hawks were sent to Phoenix winless in their last 7.

The Good

  • Bryan Bickell seems to have found his set of balls. He laid a couple of nice nits and engaged in a little scuffle with Jamie McGinn. Of course, his wrist shot still takes half a decade to release, but there was some sign of life, but there has to be a silver lining, somewhere. Bickell made a few nice plays to set up his game tying goal, in the third period. He forechecked hard and kept the Hawks possession alive, and then kept moving to get himself open. On a side note, regarding the fight with McGinn, where was the instigator and extra penalty for the shield on THAT play, NHL REFS???? Could have been a huge swing.
  • My current soft spot has to be for MegaMayers. The guy just knows his place, and embraces it. The way he hunted down Ryane Clowe, and took exception to the treatment given to Toews earlier was a great teammate play. He just "gets it". I'd love to see him back for another year.
  • Hello, Dream Warrior, so nice of you to join us on this road trip. Kruger picked up a Nick Leddy shot off the post, and outworked Joe Pavelski to poke the loose puck into the net. Shooter set the whole play up, by floating into the zone and controlling the puck long enough for the rest of the troops to catch up. He dumped it off the Leddy, and you know the rest of the story.
  • Kruger's second goal of the period tied the game back up for the Hawks exactly three minutes after the first goal. Nothing pretty, but certainly effective. He was screening Niemi and absorbed a Seabrook shot. The shot dropped in front of Kruger, and was was able to turn around and get a couple of whacks at it, the second of which resulted in the goal. Dream Warrior stepping up a little bit!
  • Dylan Olsen looked promising in his 19 minutes of ice time. He played some PK, and nicely chased down Patrick Marleau, resulting in no shot on net. You can't fault him for the Thornton goal. Just an unfortunate play.

The Bad

  • Not even a minute into the game, and Frodo takes a trip to the box with a 4 minute high sticking infraction. That led to a 1-0 lead just a minute into the powerplay. Crawford got stuck out of his net with a rebound in front of him. Couture picked it up and took it around the net, feeding a pinching and wide open Justin Braun. Braun had a wide open net, and got a pretty easy goal. 1-0 Sharks.
  • For the life of me, I could not understand what Stalberg did to deserve a demotion to the 4th line. He was one of the hottest Hawks previous, and Quenneville single handedly put him on ice, by demoting him to the bottom of the lineup. Good Job Dr. Lineblender. Thank god someone knocked a sliver of sense into Quenneville between the first and second periods, and he moved Stalberg back up. Seriously, though, why the wasted period? When all was said and done, Stalberg ended up with only eight minutes of ice time after his turnover led to the 3rd Sharks goal. He didn't see the ice again.
  • Of course, the resulting powerplay of Joe Thornton's dickhead move yields a goal to put the Sharks up 2-0. Dan Boyle was the lucky recipient of a fat rebound and his OWN gaping net. Hey, Joe Thornton, do me a favor. When you win ANYTHING significant in your career, let me know. Otherwise get your head out of your ass. He got away with two rabbit punches to the face of Toews without much punishment. As you would expect, Ryane Clowe had to butt into the fracas as well. When all was sorted out, the Hawks were left shorthanded.
  • The Sharks took the lead back late in the second when Stalberg threw a live grenade to Deuce, resulting in a turnover for Pavelski and Thornton. The puck ended up on the stick of Thornton who was trying to pass it out in front of the net, and it defected off Olsen's stick and past Crawford. Unfortunate is a word that's being used far too much this road trip.
  • Just after the Bickell goal and fight, the Sharks took the lead again, for good. Benn Ferriero out muscled Leddy and was able to push the puck past Crawford. The play started with Frolik, who is not a great faceoff man, being kicked out of the draw. Kane came in to take it, and proceeded to lose the draw. The puck ended up in behind the net, and Crawford got caught out of his net for what seemed like the 10th time in the game. He was late recovering, which gave Ferriero the advantage. Leddy HAS to man up on that guy, and not allow him to get a stick on that pass.
  • The Sharks put the Hawks to bed with a late powerplay goal, that really shouldn't have been a powerplay. While Shaw's penalty was a bad one, Douglas Murray got up and dropped his gloves. That's a penalty, folks, yet he wasn't given anything. That's twice in the third period that the Hawks were screwed out of San Jose penalties. Regardless, Jamie McGinn was left to sit in front of Crawford, all by himself, by Leddy and Seabrook. Crawford's move on the play didn't exactly look stellar either. He just laid the paddle down, and left the whole top half of the net open.
  • All the Hawks centers, were at or below 50% at the faceoff dot.

The Ugly

  • I'm getting really fucking tired of seeing opposing players beat the PISS out of Toews. He's constantly taking fists to the yap, and he looks like a rape victim after almost every whistle. This is your captain, fellas!
  • 50% on the penalty kill isn't going to win you ANY games, in ANY league.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blackhawks at Colorado - Loss Recap

"I'm Mister Icicle, I'm Mister Ten Below"

Well, wasn't THAT a relaxing 3 day break? ::Note Sarcasm:: What better do Hawks fans have to do in the midst of a dismal 3 week long road trip, and after 3 painful losses, but shout for the heads of everyone from GM on down to the Zamboni driver? I'm pretty sure it's Stanbo's fault that Wes Welker dropped that pass Sunday night, too. It's getting crazy in the Blackhawks Twatterverse, as well as in the media. Corey Crawford's re-acquisition of the yips isn't helping matters any, either, which led to second Razor Emery start in a row. Those of us with more sane outlooks, are just begging for a Blackhawks game to break the idiotic drama up. That is all contingent on the Hawks actually winning a game in the near future. Luckily, the Hawks rolled into Denver Tuesday night against a team that's been equally as cold in their last 5 games (0-4-1). If ever there was a night to stop the insanity, Tuesday February 7th was it. The Hawks had other ideas.

The game was pretty even for both teams, in the first period. Both teams had 9 shots on net, but the Avs had more scoring chances. The score could have easily been 1-0 or 2-1 Avs, but both goalies held their creases for a scoreless frame. Even though there were 4 goals scored in the second period, the Avs still held the scoring chance advantage. The Hawks goaltending was the only thing holding them in the game through the first two periods, and they were playing with fire. That all came to an end in the third period as the Hawks shit the bed just 38 seconds in and gave up 2 more, including an empty netter, on just 5 shots against. That is RARELY going to win you a game.

The Good

  • I felt that the lines Dr. Lineblender threw out in the first period were as they should be given the players dressed. 88-19-65, 81-36-10, 67-16-25, 15-17-22 with 2-7, 5-8, 4-6. I might like Stalberg and Shaw flipped, but I'm not going to raise hell about this setup. Of course, Quenneville can't keep the lines together for more than 20 minutes, so keeping track is pointless.
  • Seabs scored his second bad angle goal in a row, after a Deuce shot went off Stalberg, an Avs player, and then graciously appeared in Lucky Number Sleven's wheelhouse. Seabrook made no mistake, drilling it home, while Giguere roamed around in no man's land, looking for the puck. 1-0 Hawks.
  • Kaner made up for hanging out Toews out to dry on the first Avs goal, with a sweet backhand snipe of Giguere. Seabrook, Keith, Sharp and Kane played tic-tack-toe through the neutral zone, and that ended up with Kane having a step on David Jones. He drove hard to the net and looked like he surprised Giguere by sticking to his backhand. 2-2
  • Vik Stalberg made a BEAUTY of a move to undress two Avs late in the second but, you guessed it, couldn't finish.

The Bad

  • Don't mind us, folks. Just the Blackhawks and their usual shorthanded chances against. This is embarrassing. Another game, still the same old fucked up powerplay. There were THREE serious 2-on-1 chances against while they were on the powerplay. How can you honestly be THAT bad?
  • Maybe, just maybe, Leddy wasn't the one fucking up the second pairing, because Hammer looked just as flaky with Lurch.
  • A RARE Jonny Toews turnover led to the Avs first goal just three minutes after the Hawks goal. Peter Mueller was the recipient of an O'Reilly pass, for an easy tap in 2-on-1 goal. The play was initially set up, when Kane dumped the puck off to Toews, who was heavily covered, and really had no chance. Of course, that led to El Capitan turning it over, and eventually, a goal. Lay that one on Kanes hook for hanging Toews out like that. 1-1.
  • The Avs opened up the third period scoring just 38 seconds into play. Apparently, Seabrook and Keith weren't informed the put dropped, because they basically let Landeskog and Stastny have their way with Emery. In their defense, Emery should have been able to cut that angle down a little better too, but that entire play was one hot mess, and the Hawks looked like they couldn't have cared less. 3-2 Avs.
  • David Jones pretty much closed out the Hawks night with eight minutes to go in the game. The rookies (16/65) and Frodo got caught watching the puck and deep in the Avs zone, when they should have been covering for the pinching defenders, and Jones was left to outrace Lurch. Long story short, Emery ended up picking the puck out of the net. When it rains, it pours, and stupid mistakes lead to ugly goals. 4-2 Avs.
  • Montador didn't finish the game, and it wasn't because he was in the doghouse. Apparently, he was injured somewhere in the bedlam.
  • It only took 3 games for Brandon Morrison to completely lose his luster. File that one away in the Fail File.
  • The Hawks centers were all average to below average at the dot, with El Capitan winning only 38% of his draws.
  • I might finally be done with Frolik. He just looks void of any confidence. It's a damn shame, because the kid has talent and I like his willingness to throw himself around recklessly, but it's just NOT working.

The Ugly

  • Thirty five seconds after the Mueller goal, Milan Hejduk took advantage of a sloppy, flat footed Deuce turnover at the Hawks blue line, and used the 3-on-1 to his advantage. The puck ended up on the stick of new Hawks killer, David Jones, and then in the net. There are just too many brutal goals against immediately following goals either way, this season.
  • I said it on Twatter last night and I'm saying it again; If Brendan Morrison is on your powerplay, your powerplay is absolutely fucking TERRIBLE.
  • The empty netter was the epitome of the Blackhawks night. A bank shot from center ice, that wasn't even intended for the net. Bullshit. Three goals on 5 shots in the third period. I'm Paul Harvey, And THAT'S the rest of the story.
  • When an opposing team blocks 21 shots and you only block 8, that's not a good sign.

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