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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blackhawks at Nashville - Win Recap


Ladies and Gentlemen, Blackhawks Save of the Year

What more can be said about Nashville that we haven't said 5 times previous. They are a tough team from top to bottom with defense that will choke opponents to death. The Hawks trailed the Preds by 3 points, coming in. With the Preds struggling a bit, in their previous 10, the Hawks could really help themselves out with a point, minimum. Unfortunately, the Hawks hadn't beaten the Preds in regulation all season. After a big shootout win against the Blues, Thursday night, it was time to lock in some playoff momentum.

The first period was surprisingly in the Hawks favor. They scored a powerplay goal, and the defense played a solid team period to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. With 28 total shots in the first period, that was more shots than some entire Preds/Hawks games. The second period turned into a complete end to end shootout, with three Hawks goals, and 2 Preds goals. Five goals on 15 shots doesn't say much for the goalies, but they actually didn't play a bad period. The Hawks gave up two goals to tie up the game, in the third period, but were able to score one of their own to squeak out a big win against a good team.

The Good

  • The Hawks finally got a powerplay goal, even though it was actually scored by Hal Gill, with Sharpie getting the credit. I will say that the Hawks some great pressure on that powerplay. It looks like the actually adopted a different setup, with a more pronounced 1-3-1 setup and a defenseman at the point. Whatever it was, I'll take it!
  • Jimmy Hayes was in the lineup for the first time in quite a while, and looked like he was interested in planting some Preds into the boards. For the three minutes we saw him.
  • Kaner, Hossa and Bolland hooked up for a powerplay goal, just a minute into the second period, to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Kane entered the zone and dumped it off to Hoss, who was to Rinne's left. Hossa saw Bolland streaking off the bench, and floated a really nice saucer pass over two Preds defenders, and Bolland put it into the net. I wouldn't believe it, if I didn't see it with my own eyes; two Hawks powerplay goals.
  • Nik Hjalmarsson made a great defensive play, following a Lurch penalty, and hit Kaner for a break-a-way, to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead, not even halfway into the game. Hammer was able to avoid a forecheck right next to Crawford, let the puck slide between the Preds player's feet and stick, then look up and hit a backwards skating Kaner. Kaner turned on the speed and beat Rinne low.
  • Vik Stalberg put he Hawks up 4-0 with his BLAZING speed. He walked around a Preds defender and cut in on Rinne. Rinne made the save, but was down and out of sorts in the crease. Stalberg wisely picked up his rebound behind the net and threw it back at Rinne. The puck hit Rinne in the ass and ended up in the net. The visiting Hawks fans went nuts.
  • Andrew Shaw showed some beautiful vision, great hands, and some sick passing to set up Brent Seabrook to grab some momentum back from the Preds. Shaw sent a backhand pass from the corner across the crease to Seabrook, who was sneaking in on the back door. Rinne was clearly as surprised as we all were that Shaw got that pass off, and was late getting over to cover. Huge, Huge, Huge goal.
  • Stalberg has played absolutely great lately. His speed is just ridiculously scary, if you're playing the Hawks. As a secondary player, I'm looking forward to him giving more defenders fits.
  • Crawford made what I would consider, four of the best saves he has made all year, in this game, including a save that I have already proclaimed the Blackhawks save of the year, against Spaling. Spaling had a gaping net, and Crow kicked his leg and glove over, to stuff the shot. I already vote that, "Save of the Year". No competition.
  • Just saying, another big win without #19 and #2.

The Bad

  • The Preds finally broke the shutout about half way through the second period on a powerplay. Martin Erat snapped a wrist shot from the top of the circle, that had eyes, and beat Crawford.
  • Just about a minute later, the Preds scored their second goal of the game off Johnny Oduya's foot. Shea Weber threw a wrist shot into the zone after a bad Oduya turnover, and Oduya's skate redirected it up and over Crawford.
  • Alex Radulov anally raped Seabrook and O'Donnell to bring the Preds within one goal, and over 15 minutes left to play. He danced right up the middle of the Hawks zone and split 6-7 Sea. Not to be out done, and pulled it to his backhand and beat a floundering Crawford. That kid had some serious talent, and just another one of the reasons I'm sticking with the Preds as my pick in the playoffs.
  • Shea Weber scored his second goal of the game on a second bad Dave Bolland penalty, to bring the Preds back to even with the Hawks. Crawford really didn't have much of a chance on the play because he was screened three players, and Weber has a 106 mph shot.
  • Bollig, Hayes, and Olsen all under 4 minutes of playing time. Quenneville chose to ride his horses, but how tired will they be tomorrow?
  • Another nightmare night for Los Meatbalos. The Blackhawks had SIX hits. They can't possibly win a game like THAT, can they?

The Ugly

  • Late in the second period with the Hawks on the powerplay, Dave Bolland turned over the puck at the center dot to Spaling, for shorthanded break-a-way that Crawford got a piece of. That could have turned the game around for the Preds if Crawford didn't make that save. Brutal turnover, though.
  • The Hawks got their asses kicked at the dots, again. Kaner, Kruger, and Sharpie were 5-32. OUCH!

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, March 30, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Blues
Shootout Win Recap

"Perversions of Pain"

The Hawks had a great chance to make a statement on Thursday night, with the league leading St. Louis Blues rolling into town. This sounds like a tall order, until you look at their road record, which was a very average 18-16-5. A serious contrast from their home record of 30-4-4. Both teams had identical records in their last 5 and last 10, so they were equally as hot. For the second game in a row, they were facing an excellent penalty killing team, which really looked bad for the Hawks chances of actually getting a powerplay goal again this year.

The action was pretty even for most of the first period, as both teams scored opening period goals, and the Hawks out shooting the Blues 14-8. It really should have been 1-0, but a tie is much better than giving up a lead to this team. The second was more of a lockdown period with no goals scored and only 13 total shots, which led to an important 3rd, again. The third period led to 2 goals for each team and the Hawks holding a slight 9-7 edge in shots, which led to overtime. The Hawks had a decided advantage in the extra period, out shooting the Blues 7-2, but still not able win the game in 4 on 4 play. It only took the Hawks one shootout goal to earn the extra point, which was, AGAIN, a big statement game without Toews and Keith.

The Good

  • Half way through the first period, One Trick Bick pulled his patented move, curling behind a streaking Bolland, and snapping a wrist shot past Halak, from about 40 feet out. There is one thing Bickell does well, and the Blues allowed him to pull it off. Shame on them, but kudos to Bickell for taking what was given to him and putting an open look on net. Sometimes simple is the best option.
  • Bruno picked up a fat ass rebound at the top of the crease, to put the Hawks up 2-1 just under 5 minutes into the third period. Hossa and Kaner crashed the net, as well as half the Blues team, and Halak was stuck out of position. Kaner had the best chance to poke it into the net, but somehow, it ended up on Brunette's putter. Huge third period goal.
  • Almost half way through the third period, Stalberg and Sharpie hooked up on a 2-on-0 that was a result of a bad Blues turnover at center ice. They raced in together, and Stalberg was smart enough to know just who the trigger man should be on that play. 3-1 and the place was rockin! But this one wouldn't last, either.
  • Out shooting the league leading Blues 40-20 should bring a big win, but only brought the Hawks a shootout win. Alas, Two points are two points, though. Fans need to keep telling ourselves that these games are without two of their top players. When put into perspective, there isn't much to complain about.
  • Six more shots for Stalberg. I can't fault him for flicking the biscuit. Like I said last game, if he could only finish, he'd be sitting on 40 goals.
  • Shooter also lived up to his nickname, flicking 7 on net, including one goal. I wonder what was going on in the heads of Stalberg and Sharpie on that 2-on-0. You know they were both dying to shoot it. It was like a battle of Jedi mind tricks.
  • For the first time in forever, the Hawks were actually over 50% at the dots. While Kaner was his usual brutal 33%, the rest of the centers picked up the slack, and Mayers cartoonish 83% prety much did the trick.
  • Once again, the Blackhawks beat their opponents in blocked shots and eventually won the game.
  • At least the impending Ryan Reaves/Brandon Bollig theatrics were averted. I'm a fighting supporter, but when they are so clearly staged, they make a mockery of the game. Every true hockey fan should be offended by it.
  • While I love the excitement and emotion that people like Kaner and Sharpie show, the expression on Bolland's face after his shootout goal was superb. All business, like it wasn't his first NHL goal.
The Bad
  • Under a minute after the Sharpie goal, the wind was taken out of the UC crowd when Jason Arnott scored on a pretty simple wrap around. It looked like Crawford had him sized up, but he was allowed to whack away at the fucking rebound. If you give a guy that many chances, in the crease, it's eventually going to end up in the net. That was a combination of bad defense and Crawford's inability to control the rebound.
  • With a minute and a half left in the game, the Hawks allowed the Blues Perron to park in front of Crawford and tip a Russell point shot into the net. The Hawks actually out numbers the Blues, but the puck found Perron's stick and got past Crawford. The Hawks could have packed it up and accepted the point; to their credit, they didn't.
  • The Hoss/Kane/Bruno line was a minus 6 collectively, despite their third period goal. This has to be better. I understand Kaner's defense is suspect at best, but Hoss and Bruno are usually pretty responsible.
  • Given Stalberg's clear issues with finishing, I'll never understand the choice of him before Bolland. It will never make sense to me. 1-on-1 Bolland will put it on net, and has moves. Stalberg MAY hit the net, and has shown zero moves on breakways.
The Ugly
  • Of course, the Hawks good fortune couldn't last more than 9 seconds. The Blues won the ensuing faceoff and pushed the puck up to Steen, who got a step on Leddy and threw a shot on net from the dot. It was an angle that Crawford has to have. I understand he's been lost in his net quite a bit this year, but he had the angle and blew it. So much for that momentum.
  • The powerplay. God awful and getting worse. Simply pathetic. How are 5 teams worse? How is that possible?
The Shootout
  • Kaner was stopped by Halak.
  • Crawford stood tall on Perron.
  • Sharpie couldn't make it two games in a row against Halak.
  • Oshie was stopped bt Crawford.
  • Stalberg actually got the puck on net, but into Halak's pads.
  • Tough stop on Steen by Crawford.
  • Bolland is all business, scoring on Halak
  • Berglund hit the post
Here are your video highlights:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blackhawks at New Jersey
Shootout Loss Recap

"Diabolus in Musica"

So, we're all in agreement that we're glad the Blackhawks got the stinker out of their system against Nashville on Sunday, right? I thought so. Now it's back to business, with the Hawks traveling to "beautiful" New Jersey for a roll in the sewer sludge. The good news for the Hawks is that "Frank the Tank" Montador was back in the lineup, as well as Marcus "Dream Warrior" Kruger. The Brendan Morrison Experience is thankfully over, because he just proved how worthless he is to this team, the last two games. If Ray Emery didn't get hurt Sunday, he MAY have seen the net last night, but Carter Hutton was recalled to backup Crawford, so Corey got a reprieve. As far as records go, the Devils have crawled up from the depths of hell, and were only 2 points behind the Hawks overall. In their previous 5 games, the Devils were 1-3-1 though. This could be one of the last times that the Blackhawks see Marty Brodeur, so as an NHL fan, I will enjoy this one. The guy is a legend and goes right up with the Roy and the other top netminders of all time. This picture of Marty cracks me up:

On to the actual game action. The Hawks opened up with some serious butter fingers, and some big time brain farts. Luckily, only one of them ended up in the net even though the Hawks out shot the Devils 13-11 in the first period. The Hawks played much better in the second period and even out shot the Devils 10-4, but completely blew some important powerplay chances. The Hawks tied the game up in the third period, outshooting the Devils 12-4, but couldn't take the lead, which led to overtime. They killed an overtime powerplay but, again, couldn't solve the Devils netminder, which eventually led to a shootout loss.

The Good

  • Something that wasn't advertised with Andrew Shaw, was his hands. He has picked several pucks out of the air in his games with the Hawks, and did so again in the first period, on Brodeur. The kid's hand/eye coordination is actually stellar.
  • Brent Seabrook scored an enormous goal about halfway through the third period, off a Kovalchuk defensive zone turnover. Seabs was left virtually wide open and Bolland hit him with a pass. Lucky Number Sleven took advantage by beating Brodeur, and tying up the game.
  • This was a game the Meatball's nightmare, with both teams combining for 21 total hits. They must be grunting and snorting in their caves, after this one.
  • The Hawks actually out blocked the Devils, 16-15. Funny how much more pressure the Hawks have when the numbers are just even, eh?
  • Seven shots on net for Pick-to-click Vik. That guy sure loves to flick the biscuit, it's just too bad he has a hard time finishing, or he'd have 40 goals. He gave the Devils "D" fits, more than once. Teams underestimate his speed, and before they know it, they are blinded by his tail lights. If he EVER polishes his finishing, the guy will be a 40-45 goal scorer. That's a huge "if" though, right Joe Murphy?
  • Just keep telling yourself, "It's a point; on the road; without #19 and #2". In past years, that may not have been possible, but the Hawks are making this happen.
  • Again overshadowed, was Corey Crawford, who rebounded from a soft performance against Nashville to only allow a 3-on-1 tap in goal. Not his fault at all. He's battling out there, and I will rarely hang a SO loss on a goalie. Those fucking things are stupid! Play a stellar game in net and have one bad bounce or rut in the ice, in the SO, turn into a loss. FUCK OFF!

The Bad

  • The Hawks had a seriously rough time getting the puck outside the blue line in the first half of the first period, particularly Johnny Oduya. They were able to shake the "yips" after the first 10 minutes, thankfully.
  • The Hawks got caught in a god awful shorthanded line change that left Hjalmarsson back all by himself with three Devils forwards attacking. Adam Henrique was able to hit Peter Sykora, for an easy tap in goal. The way they were treating the puck like a hand grenade, it's not a big surprise that they got caught in a vulnerable position. No excuse for that amateurish line change.
  • While the Hawks out shot the Devils 38-22, they wasted SO many chances. They were just a Seabrook finish, a functional powerplay, or a Brodeur turnover from winning the game.
  • Montador played 3 shifts in each of the first two periods, and only one shift in the third. Let's hope that had nothing to do with the elbow he took to the dome in the first period.
  • Was it me, or was Kaner virtually invisible for a majority of the game? He had some decent entries, but then just basically handed the puck over.
  • Without fighting, Brandon Bollig is completely worthless to this team, and even THAT is in question (queue up highlight of sad, staged, pointless fight against Nashville). At least Frolik has scoring touch, can forecheck, and is good on the PK.

The Ugly

  • The powerplay. That's all I really have to say. It is a pitiful display from a professional team. Simply fucking atrocious. From A to Z. They blew a big second period 5-on-3 without even getting a shot. Not only that, but a very late third period powerplay was negated by an offensive zone penalty, which led to an overtime powerplay. I've watched other teams, with much less talent, run a powerplay with some success. The coaching staff should be embarrassed.
  • During the second period, Pat Foley called the 6'3", 210lb, lefthanded, number 25, shield wearing Victor Stalberg; The nonshield wearing Andrew Shaw, who is 5'10" (wearing platforms), 180lb (soaking wet), right handed, and number 65. And did so for an entire shift. Drinking early, Pat?
  • The Hawks hit their normal 45% at the dots, with Kaner taking his lumps again at 38%.

The Shootout

  • Kovalchuck was stopped by a Crawford leg save
  • Kaner missed the net
  • Crawford shut the 5-hole on Parise
  • Stalberg was beaten by Marty's glove hand
  • Elias waited Crawford out, glove hand
  • Sharpie beat Brodeur low glove
  • Clarkson couldn't beat Crawford's right leg
  • Brodeur stacked the pads on Hossa.
  • Zajac beat Crawford glove side
  • Shaw hit the post

Here are your video highlights:


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Eagle Flies Home - Eddie Belfour

While the Hawks put up a real stinker, Sunday night, a Chicago Blackhawks icon returned for his very own heritage night. Ed Belfour was in the United Center, wearing his memorable #30 Indianhead. Since CSN wasn't airing the game, and NBC Sports couldn't care less, no one outside of the United Center was able to see the tribute. Major faux pas, and "FU" to the fans.

Anyhow, Ed Belfour seemed to appear out of nowhere in the 90's, which was a crucial time in my hockey memory banks. I was always a huge Mike Vernon fan, but Eddie Belfour was my "1B" favorite player, closely followed by some unknown Czech backup goalie named Dominik Hasek.

Please, Take a moment to watch these videos and remember the greatness that was Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour. If these don't put a huge smile on your face, you're not a true Blackhawks fan. Many of the people I grew up with will remember these moments vividly. This is what Chicago fans should have seen instead of the last 5 minutes of some stupid 3-0 Washington Caps thrashing of Minnesota. Learn to cut to what's important, NBC. Chicago wasn't looking for you to split the atom, here.

Welcome Home, Eddie!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Blachawks vs. Predators - Loss Recap

"Altar of Sacrifice"

Now that all the dust has settled, the Blackhawks had more important tasks at hand. They were within 2 points of the Preds and 3 points behind the Evil Empire coming into the action Sunday night. The task at hand was made quite a bit more difficult when Duncan Keith earned himself a 5 game suspension. Along with that, Kruger, Toews and Montador were still on the shelf nursing their injuries. While the Hawks were on a solid winning streak, the Preds were struggling a bit, going just 2-3-0 in their last 5. All that being said, the Preds were a tough team, with great defense and a world class goalie.

Not quite to plan for the Hawks in the 1st period. They out shot the Preds 11-8 but went into the break down 2-0 after a couple of sloppy goals. The second didn't go much better than the first, as the Hawks surrendered a powerplay goal, while tying the Preds with a boring 6 shots on net. Things just fell apart for good in the third period, with the Preds netting 3 goals. The Hawks were able to score one of their own, but it was a mere drop in the bucket. There wasn't much doubt of the results of this one, with the Hawks getting sent back to their locker room beaten, battered and 6-1 losers.

The Good

  • Viktor Stalberg finally cracked the net for the Hawks, right after their 4th failed powerplay of the night. Even though it originally seemed like a powerplay goal, it was a second after the powerplay ended. The goal was simple enough, as Stalberg just curled around the circle and snapped a shot past Rinne. That was it as far as offense goes for the Hawks.
  • Emery saved some Radulov threats in the third period; but he also gave up 2 goals. Had to find something positive in this mess. It's not easy to find positive things in a 6-1 loss.

The Bad

  • The Predators 4th line ended up out working the Hawks and took a 1-0 lead for Nashville. Gaustad and the rest of the 4th line grinders just held the puck deep and Tommy Gunn Morrison looked like a guy that deserved to be scratched. Matt Halischuk was left wide open in the slot and took a shot off Oduya and past Crawford. Lets hope this isn't a preview of the next 4 games without Keith.
  • Andrei Kostitsyn gave the Preds a 2-0 lead, on a pretty innocent play, that ended up in the net behind Crawford. Kostitsyn skated up the right side and just snapped the puck past Crawford, but not before it went off the shaft of Seabrook's stick. Not a great way to honor Eddie Belfour.
  • Shea Weber, Russian defector Radulov, and Patric Hornqvist hooked up on the powerplay six minutes into the second period to give the Preds a 3-0. The Weber shot went off the skate of Raduov, and then Hornqvist's skate and into the net. At this point, the Hawks were hurting for any sort of momentum.
  • Francis Bouillon blew a shot past Crawford, to end Crawford's night, just 2 minutes into the third period. Tell me if you have heard this one before; The Hawks cant get the puck out of the zone after a scramble in the slot, the defense keeps it in the zone, and it ends up in the net.
  • Brendan Morrison lost a deep faceoff to Mike Fisher and Shea Weber blazed it through Ray Emery just 36 seconds after the Stalberg goal. Good thing Bowman picked up that defensive faceoff guy, eh? I don't envy Razor facing that cannon of a shot any more than I envy Rinne facing it in practice every day. That shot is worthy of diaper filling.
  • Mike Fisher put the exclamation point on this shitty game with the 6th goal of the night, for the Preds. The play was a 2-on-1, because Nick Leddy pinched on a play that really didn't matter in the first place. Fisher walked the puck in on Oduya and snapped a rocket over Emery's glove. I know it's 5-1 and you're looking for a little pride, but what's more important? The pride of not hanging your goalie out to dry, or scoring a second goal, and making it 5-2, when the game was over long before that?
  • While Crawford didn't look great, it looks like the first three goals were redirects. Kind of hard to fault your goalie if that's the case. I'll admit that you have to come up with a big stop or two, because that Kostitsyn looked stoppable. If he was being slightly more aggressive, thee is no way that puck goes in. Just the mere angle, alone, would leave nothing to shoot at.
  • Kaner got his ass tanned at the dot, AGAIN, going 4 of 15. This centering thing is clearly a temporary thing, because you can't have your #2 center going 27% nightly. He is a nice fill-in, but anyone who thinks he is the long term answer is sadly mistaken.
  • Michael Frolik was on the ice last night. Seriously. Didn't know that, did ya? THAT is how noticeable he's been. His Blackhawks days may be numbered, because he's making far too much cabbage to be invisible on the fourth line
  • Brandon Bollig labelled the hell out of Jordin Tootoo real good in their first period fight; which did absolutely nothing to inspire the Hawks. Step on the ice, locate cementhead, fight, repeat. There isn't much more to his game. I like fighting in the game, to a degree, but this is just asinine.

The Ugly

  • Those of you who follow me on twitter know the amount of bitching I spouted about NBC Sports not broadcasting the Ed Belfour Heritage celebration. Most of the celebrations are cool, but this is the first one that I've really wanted to see. Instead we had to endure the end of the Caps and Wild game. A game NO ONE in Chicago cares about. Fuck you NBC Sports! Give me EDDIE! This is all we get, as fans:

  • "Really quick young defenseman, Dylan Olsen"? Really Edzo? Are you fucking kidding me? When given room, he can be adequate, but under pressure, he's proven to wear cinder block skates.
  • Stalberg fell awkwardly into the boards in the third period and limped off the ice. We shall learn soon if this is something that will leave the Hawks even more shorthanded.

  • I'm glad Connolly is getting a chance in Calgary, but holy shit Tommy Gunn Morrison is just outright horrendous. The Hawks just really threw Connolly away, for nothing. At this point, they are better off bringing up Pirri. He was minus 3 on the night and might have well been minus 6. He was actually 6 of 11 on faceoffs, but lost a HUGE defensive zone one that directly led to the fifth Preds goal. During the first goal of the game, he got worked over in the corner, lost the puck and then looked like he had never covered an opposing player in his life.

  • Los Meatballos stat of the night: The Hawks kept up in hits, only losing 24-26. How'd that work out for them? They played better when they were outhit 3 to 1 against Columbus.

  • Just to show how HORRIBLE the Hawks are at getting shots to the net, the Preds blocked 25 shots, while the Hawks blocked 11. If the Blackhawks had 25 shots, and 25 were blocked, that's 50 total shots. If even half of those blocked shots get to the net, we might be talking a much closer outcome. what do I know though? I'm just a stupid blogger.
Here are your video highlights:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Mysterious Magic Elbow Theory

"Back and to the Left...Back and to the Left"

Last night, Duncan Keith did something uncharacteristic of Duncan Keith. He ALLEGEDLY took exception to a previous high hit by Daniel Sedin by returning a high open iced elbow to the dome. First and foremost, Keith's was a bad decision, and deserves some attention from the league. Any Blackhawks worth his/her salt knows this was a dangerous play.

Anyhow, as with any issue regarding the Vancouver Canucks, the fans are crying rivers, and screaming bloody murder. What is it about hockey in Western Canada that breeds complete and utter nincompoops?

Daniel Sedin checked Keith earlier in the period, high. It pushed a button, and Keith looks to have exacted revenge on Sedin with a poor hit. Sedin returned for the period, but was held out for the remainder of the game, most likely taking a long seat in the quiet room.

This is the original hit by Sedin, on Keith:

"Back and to the Left...Back and to the Left"

This is the follow up hit by Keith on Sedin:

The part that irks me most, and I don't justify fighting one dirty hit with another, is that Vancouver fans just crawling out from under their bridges are completely disregarding the Sedin hit. Hang Duncan Keith, Bury the Body, Done.

Sedin's creepy ginger ass does no wrong, and Alex Burrows? Lets go there. Kneeing a guy in the groin while he's in the birthing position on the ice? Two years ago it was hair pulling, and in last year's playoffs he BIT someone. This is a GROWN ASS MAN! Shall we point out Kevin Bieksa's rabbit punching horseshit? Own up, and acknowledge the shady characters your team employs, Vancouver, along with the childish shenanigans they pull.

No one can even deny I'm the first guy to point out low class douchebaggary by Hawks player, like Carcillo, Scott, Bollig, or any of the other clowns that have called West Madison Street their home. Turn-a-bout is fair play. Lobbing boulders from the smoldering looted ruins of your crystal palace isn't such a bright idea, people. You've still earned nothing but a questionable reputation.

My point here is that I openly proclaim, Duncan Keith deserves punishment, but be is not the only player that deserves a followup smack on the ass, though. My prediction is that Keith gets a 2 game suspension, which he earned it. If Sedin or, at the very least, Burrows don't get fined, something is seriously wrong.

Blackhawks vs. Canucks - OT Win Recap

"Shaw No Mercy"

There aren't many people in Chicago, or Vancouver for that matter, that weren't eying up this game on the schedule. The "entitled" Canucks came into town early Monday to enjoy our amenities, and probably our women, before playing the Hawks Wednesday night. These aren't the Canucks of last season, either. While they are atop their division, they aren't the big dogs anymore. The Blues and Rangers are ahead of them, and the Wings, Preds and Hawks are all within 4 points. That being said, they were still a very dangerous team to the Hawks. A Hawks team once again without their Captain. With their suddenly more solid defense, thanks to Johnny Oduya, fans weren't as worried as they were a month ago. If Corey Crawford could keep from "going Luongo", the Hawks had a solid chance. Vancouver had hit a bit of a lull in their schedule going 3-5-2 in their last ten. With ten games remaining for the Canucks, this was not a time to go cold. And lets not forget, Sweaty Boberto. How we love to torture thee.

The Hawks pulled the complete opposite of the three previous games, in the first period last night. They game up a fairly weak goal to the Canucks, just 27 seconds into the game. While the scorer claims the Hawks out shot the Nucks 12-6 in the first, I fail to believe this. Luckily, a 1-0 score is easy to even up. The second period turned into and absolute free-for-all. Twelve penalties (48 minutes) were called, and the Blackhawks tied the game up with one of their 11 shots, while holding Vancouver to only 3 shots. The third period was a whole different story, as Vancouver controlled the first half of the period peppering the Hawks with 14 shots. At that halfway point both teams went into prevent mode, which resulted in overtime. The theatrics worked out in the Hawks favor, this time, as the Hawks used an odd man rush to win the game and earn the extra point.

The Good

  • Kaner tied the game up, just a few minutes into the second period, off a Hossa feed/pass/rebound. The play was innocently looking enough as Hossa tried to catch Sweaty Rob sleeping unsuccessfully. The puck shot out to Kaner, who beat Boberto to tie the game up at 1's.
  • Four goals in the last 3 games for Andrew Shaw, as he won it in OT, deflecting a Johnny Oduya shot past Sweaty Rob for a Blackhawks win. The play was set up by Invisibolly who carried the puck into the zone and peeled off, waiting for the troops to march in. Shaw streaked to the net, and Oduya had a step on his guy. Bolland fed Oduya, who wasted no time with his prime change in the high slot. The puck gazed Shaw's leg enough to redirect it into the net and the place went bananas. The only thing better than OT winning goals against Vancouver, is playoff OT winning goals against Vancouver.
  • Crawford let the first shot of the game past, and then made 36 straight saves. Some of which were huge. He deserves credit, and I'm glad Savvy mentioned it, after the game.
  • For a game without their Captain, and a game in which they were missing their #2 center for over 20 minutes, and their #1 defenseman, the Hawks played well. Maybe this team really is maturing.

The Bad

  • Jannik Hansen torched Johnny Oduya and Corey Crawford 27 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead for the Nucks. Oduya got caught giving Hansen too tight a cushion and Hansen blew around him. Oduya recovered and stuck with him, but Crawford cheated, went down too early, and left the entire stick side open. 1-0 Canucks.
  • "Brandon Bollig has done a great job of not taking dumb penalties" - Konroyd. Have you been watching the same Brandon Bollig, Steve? This is right after he tried to bait Kassian into another dopey fight, like the 5 previous dopey fights he's been in. Just a reminder that the "enforcer" saw one shift in each of the last two periods. That is what we in the biz like to call a SHORT LEASH.
  • I've really given the powerplay a break, but last night was terrible. When Brendan Morrison is on your powerplay EVER, you're just simply fucking dreadful. The Hawks had multiple chances to put the Canucks away, with their thuggery, and failed to generate even a whimper. If you can't manage an NHL powerplay, then just overload a side and crank shots at the net. Instead, Kane sits on the half boards and dances around, trying to force bad passes, while everyone stands around watching, and no one moves their feet. Like this:
  • No matter what else is going on in the game, when you out shoot a team 23-9, through 40 minutes, you should be winning the game. Factor in 0-3 on the powerplay, and you have a recipe for near disaster.
  • Marcus Kruger was hurt in the second period, and ruled out for the rest of the game with an upper body injury. Not a position the Blackhawks are set at, so if he's out for any period of time and we have to endure any more Brendan Morrison, I may be on suicide watch. As the world turns.
  • I'm going to continue to point this out, but the Hawks, once again, got their asses handed to them at the dots. Kaner was, by far, the worst, going 3-18. Ouch!

The Ugly

  • ‎"Duncan Keith, meet Brendan Shanaban." - Today's Conference Call. All you have to read or hear is, "High Elbow to Sedin", and the league will jump up like their pants are on fire, to take a longer look at the hit Keith put on. It might earn him a game or two, but you bet your ass that they'll take a good long look at it. As the game went on, Sedin was held out, which means there was fear of a concussion. More reason to believe that Keith will get a call. Granted, Sedin finished the period, but that will, most likely, be brushed aside. Mark my words that Sedin will get away with his high hit on Keith, previous, because the Canucks nation is already threatening a looting party.
  • Three Hawks penalties in the first period CANNOT happen. Stalberg's hook was a clear call, Bollig's penalty was a stupid meatball penalty, and Keith needs to keep his fucking elbow down. They are damn lucky they didn't cost themselves any more goals against.
  • Half way through the second period, all bloody hell broke loose. Kassian started a boat load of shit, and Burrows kept up with his fucking scumbag reputation by kneeing Keith, who was on his back, in the groin. Some of the cheapest horseshit I've ever seen. Burrows got 4+10, like he should have, but somehow Keith did, too. I guess it was 4+10 for receiving, last night. When the second period was over, 48 minutes had been assessed.

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blackhawks at Columbus - Win Recap

"At Dawn They Sleep"

Ah, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oh, how Viktor Stalberg loves to hear your name. When they see #25 walking into the arena, they must have panic attacks. The Jackets have been playing "better", but "better" isn't exactly "good". They were 5-5-0 in their previous 10 games, but 1-4-0 in the previous 5. Goalie Steve Mason has apparently found his mojo, after just learning that goalie equipment can be tailored to his exactly specs. Makes you wonder what sport he was playing, because every kid has dreams of his own custom gear. Not only that, but whoever the Vaughn rep is for the Jackets needs to be hung, drawn and quartered. Colossal FAIL!

The Hawks came out on fire, for the third game in a row. Three Hawks goals in the first half of the first period, took any sliver of emotion out of the Jackets. Columbus actually out shot the Hawks 11-10 in the period, but it did little good. The second period was a snoozer with both teams combining for EIGHT shots. TOTAL. With the help of a few stupid Columbus penalties, the Hawks scored a couple of third period powerplay goals, but they couldn't hold on for the shutout. An easy 5-1 win will work, with a big game tonight.

The Good

  • Shaw scored just over 4 minutes into the game, to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. This was another nice puck control shift by the third line of Bickell, Bolland and Shaw. Bickell pulled the puck out of the corner and literally hit Shaw in the leg, and the puck bounced into the net. This was Shaw's 10th goal overall, and 3rd in 2 games. The kid just keeps overachieving. He might be this year's Ben Smith, but lets ride this streak until the well goes dry.
  • Two minutes after the Shaw goal, Sharpie scored a godawful goal along the goal line. 99 out of 100 times that puck goes wide or is saved. Pathetic effort by Mason, just fucking terrible. He needs to be a backup somewhere else next year.
  • Seabrook put the Hawks up 3-0 with a 55 foot wrist shot from the Jackets blue line. I don't care what vile horseshit Edzo spews; it was a weak shot and Mason had time to get in the way. Maybe the bigger equipment didn't help.
  • Sharpie opened up the third period with a quick one-timer powerplay goal, with under a minute gone. Pretty simple, and just the way you draw it up. Not a fuck was given by the Jackets, at that point.
  • Hoss got his 900th NHL point on a powerplay when the Jackets decided to run to the ever dangerous Andrew Shaw and left some guy name Marian Hossa wide open in front of the net. As I said on twitter, The Hawks should have scored that powerplay goal, and sat the money guys, with the big game against Vancouver tonight. That powerplay was a result of Darryl Boyce planting Nick Leddy head first into the boards. In a 4-0 game, is that really necessary? Your team didn't give a fat rats ass for 43 minutes, and NOW it's necessary to check a guy from behind? Bush League! That's why I said run up the score. You can either take an ass kicking like men, or you can be made an example of. The second you pull a dangerous move like that, you should be made an example of.
  • The Hawks were 2 for 3 on the powerplay. Even against a bad team, we'll take that number. Have to spank the bad teams before they can slap the good ones, right? Baby steps.

The Bad

  • If I were coaching that god awful team, Steve Mason would have been on the fucking bench after Sharpie's terrible goal, but I guess they are just mailing it in, and don't want to bother with the effort.
  • Overshadowed in the big win, the Hawks centers were anally probed at the dots. all were under 50% with Bolland taking three fingers at 31%. I'm surprised that there isn't more concern about this because, as opposed to the hit stats, this is an important figure come playoff time. If we ignore it, it's just not there, right?
  • Speaking of hits, Los Meatballos, the Hawks were out hit 38-10. Tells the take of the game, doesn't it? I'd still like to have someone, anyone, tell me what qualifies as a "hit". I've watched players go out and throw two solid checks in a shift, and be credited with none for the game.
  • Off night for Viktor Stalberg. Only one assist against his favorite team.

The Ugly

  • I'm so tired of hearing how Brandon Bollig "knows his role". What is this, the WWE? Is the Rock standing in the ring telling people to "Know your role and SHUT your mouth" ? Bollig jumps on the ice and grabs the first cementhead that will dance. He just fights for the sake of fighting. There is absolutely no point to these scraps. If his role is to do something completely unrelated to what is going on in the game, he succeeds every time. Why don't they just have a full line brawl at the puck drop, like the Rangers and Devils? Get it all out of their system, so we can actually watch hockey being played.
  • Leave it up to the deplorable Blue Jackets to fuck everything up, including Crawford's shutout. Fuck off! Seriously! Enjoy your first pick in June, shitheads!

Here are your video highlights:


Monday, March 19, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Capitals - Win Recap

"Season in the Abyss"

The Blackhawks welcomed a team that has underachieved more than the Hawks have this year. The 8th place Washington Capitals. They have been about almost as hot as the Hawks in their last 10 games, matching the Hawks 6-3-1. With the potential firepower this team had, the Hawks could find themselves in a hole fast, if they didn't come out focused. Could the home team pull out a win in Linesman Dan Schachte's last NHL contest, in Chicago, right where it all began?

For the second game in a row, the Hawks opened up a fast lead and played suffocating defense, to go into the first intermission leading 2-0 and out shooting the Caps 12-3. The second was a little more ever, with both teams netting two goal, but the Hawks had 12 more shots, as compared to the Caps 8. A solid third period should bring the Hawks 2 big points. The third was, pretty much, a stalemate as neither team could add to the score, minus the obligatory empty netter. When the final horn sounded, the Hawks had a convincing 5-2 win.

The Good

  • Shock&Shaw opened up the scoring for the Blackhawks just under 4 minutes into the game. Shaw pulled a nice toe-drag and shot deep in the Caps end, and the puck popped out into the slot and Keith beat Neuvirth off a Shaw deflection for a pretty quick 1-0 lead.
  • Pick to Click Vik gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead using his great speed to surprise and beat the Caps defender Orlov, four minutes after Shaw's goal. Stalberg beat Orlov to the puck and he took the puck hard to the net beating Neuvirth. 2-0 Hawks with under 10 minutes gone.
  • It took Washington 16 minutes and a Hawks powerplay to get a shot on net in this game. That's just pathetic no matter WHO you're playing.
  • Kaner put the Hawks back up by 2 goals, with a beautiful give-n-go with Brunette, to make the Caps defense look like clown shoes. Credit Bruno with some serious patience, to draw the defense and Neuvirth out of the net. Once the puck got to Kaner, the entire net was gaping. If he missed that, people would be calling his immediate trade.
  • Shock&Shaw gave the Hawks a 4-1 lead with a pretty wraparound, even though it SHOULD have been stopped. The Washington defense looked like they couldn't care less, and let Shaw take control of the puck, go entirely around the net and hit the far side of the net. Neuvirth really should have been able to pressure him, but the Hawks will take it.
  • Bickell scored a long distance empty netter, from center ice, to close out the game. It is what it is.
  • I'll take 65% at the dots any day of the week. All Hawks centers and even Sharpie were over 55%. Not bad without the Captain!
  • Bolland and Seabrook led the Hawks with a plus 3. After the last couple games, it looks like Invisibolly is rearing his ugly rat head. None of the Caps centers did anything, and you can bet The Rat had a hand in that.
  • With two goals and an assist for Shaw, this kid is out kicking his coverage by a long shot. I keep waiting for the honeymoon to end and he keeps making things happen.

The Bad

  • Ovechkin put on a SHOW beating the Hawks 1-on-3 and then undressing Keith, to bring the Caps back within 2 goals. He brought the puck from deep in his zone and took it up the left boards. Once he got over the blue line, he pulled it behind himself, and between his own legs to open up space to beat Crawford, who was far too deep in his net. Total highlight reel goal.
  • Neuvirth absolutely stoned Brunette on a backdoor chance. Everyone in the stadium and at home was sure that was going to be goal #5 and Neuvirth made the stop. Neuvirth also made a nice sprawling save, just previous to that, on Kane. Leave it up to Washington to waste some nice stops with piss poor defense.
  • Just wondering, Troy Brouwer lovers, did he dress last night? If he did play, he did a whole bunch of just what he did in Chicago, NOTHING. He's turned into Bryan Bickell with a much fatter contract. At this point Brouwer has 10 more goals, and the same amount of assists, with significantly more playing time. If Bickell didn't crawl into a whole for about 30 games he's be right on pace. Last year, Bickell had 37 points, and currently, Brouwer has 31. That's roughly $1.8 million for the same numbers. Clamor all you'd like, but Brouwer is/was over rated and over paid.
  • Hits were in favor 26-13. Again, all the meatheads can grunt and growl all they'd like, but that stat is HIGHLY over rated. The Caps were never in control of this game.

The Ugly

  • Knuble cut the Hawks lead in half, when Hammer decided that the Hawks must have been wearing white and landed a pass right onto the stick of Keith Aucoin. Aucoin sent it over to an open Knuble, who beat Crawford on the back side one timer. Nik Hjalmarsson, you sir, dicked the dog. Get your head out of your rectum!
  • For all the praise he was given in the pregame jerk off session, Dennis Wideman certainly threw out a stinker on national television, going -3.

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, March 16, 2012

Blackhawks at Dallas - Win Recap

"Stars Wars"

Friday night, the Blackhawks rolled into the battle grounds of yet another smoking hot team in Dallas, where the Stars at night are big and bright. Lame, I know, my deepest apologies. Anyhow, the Stars had crawled up from the depths of the dead, to the top of the Pacific division, and held a 2 point advantage over the Coyotes. They were 8-1-1 in their previous 10 games, which isn't too shabby. What IS shabby was their loss to Winnipeg in their last game, 5-2. Time to crash back to earth?

The Hawks opened up the game furiously, scoring on 2 of their first 3 shots. Not only that, but they hit 2 posts later in the period. It could very easily have been 4-0 going into the first intermission, but a 2-0 would suffice. The Hawks weren't so fortunate in the second period, with the Stars dominating a good portion of the period. The Stars had 11 shots to the Hawks 6, but the puck control was heavily in the Stars favor. The Hawks turned the gas back on in the third, opening up a fast 4-0 lead, just 2 minutes into the period, and pretty much closed out the game. The Stars managed to ruin the shutout, but lost the battle.

The Good

  • Ten seconds into the game, Invisibolly, Shaw and Bickell took the lead for the Hawks. Bickell made a pass to Shaw, who then dropped it to Bolland. Bolly drove straight up the gullet to the net and beat Lehtonen to the stick side. Now THAT is a start.
  • A minute and 32 seconds into the game and the Hawks had a 2-0 lead, when Sharpie scored his 27th of the year from a bad angle. It was a pretty innocent looking play and Lehtonen really should have had that one, but the Hawks will take it. I'll just give the credit to Sharpie for sniping Lehtonen. Yeah, that sounds good.
  • Just to show how the hit stats don't tell the tale of the game, the Hawks were out hit 15-1 in the first period. McClure and Fels at Second City Hockey pointed out that the reason it was so off was because the Hawks held the puck most of the period. Can't hit people if you're on the attack. Great point! The Hawks were outhit 41-14 and they won by 3 goals.
  • Oduya needs to teach the rest of the Hawks defenders how to create an open lane to shoot, because he seems to do that very well, and the rest are awful at it.
  • Thirty three seconds into the third period, Hoss opened up a three goal lead, off a one timer that went off the stick of Stars defender Pardy, and beat Lehtonen. 3-0 Hawks.
  • A minute and twelve seconds after the Hossa goal, a turnover in the neutral zone led to a Sharpie top shelfer where momma keeps the peanut butter, for a Hawks 4-0 lead. The play started off with an Oduya steal at the red line, and then he fed it to Stalberg, who wasted no time dishing it to the money man, Sharpie. In the NHL, that's what snipers do, and Shooter didn't miss. 4-0 Hawks
  • 31-22 is right where the Hawks would like the shot count, and look what magically happened.
  • The Hawks were 57% at the dot, with Kaner being the only Center under 50%. Coincidence?

The Bad

  • Keith ruined a first period 4 minute powerplay by coughing the puck up, and then getting beat coming back and taking a penalty. That could have swung the game in Dallas's favor, but luckily they didn't take advantage.
  • Kaner went down in the second, after taking a shot to the inside of the knee, and half the Chicagoland area held their breath. Luckily it only looked like a stinging to the inside of the knee.
  • Jamie Benn broke the shutout with about 5 minutes to go, off a terrible Hawks turnover that ended up on the stick of Steve Ott, who handed it over to Benn. 4-1 Hawks

The Ugly

  • Just the look on Steve Ott's face makes one feel like he is a complete ass clown, which is pretty much spot on. Maybe a more talented Carcillo. Andrew Shaw's idol, for sure.
  • The announced crowd in Dallas was 19,099 which, they claim, was the largest crowd to see a game in Dallas. That number was a complete farce. If you watched the game, half the seats in the lower level were empty. Their counting is more off than the hit stats in the NHL. Who you crappin, Dallas?

Here are your video highlights:


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blackhawks vs. Blues - SO Win Recap

"Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard"

I don't think any Chicago fan thought they would see the day when the St. Louis Blues would be leading the entire NHL in points. Why don't the hockey gods just piss in our Gatorade? Even back in the day, when Bernie Federko, the Cavallini brothers, and Greg Millen all played for the Blues, they found a way to be a consistent thorn in the Hawks side, but they couldn't beat anyone else. Despite their excellent 29-4-4 home record, their road record leaves a lot to be desired at only 16-14-3. If the Hawks were going to take down this team, it would have to be this game. Oh and what it game it was.

The Hawks first period started off promising and quickly turned into a complete disaster. They opened up the scoring on a pretty play, and proceeded to give up 3 goals before it was all said and done. The second period was much more reasonable, with the Hawks scoring a goal, to bring the game back within one goal, on 11 shots. The Blues were held in check, on 8 shots. The Hawks tied up the game in the third period, on the powerplay no less, with 16 shots on net to the Blues 8. The comeback earned the Hawks at least a point, with some extra time, and eventually, a shootout win.

The Good

  • Big Bruno horsed Halak 3 minutes into the game, to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Kane and Hossa started the festivities with great passes, as well. Kane hit Bruno with a laser pass, and he one touched it to Hoss. Hoss worked the give-n-go back to Bruno who ended up in all alone and roofed a shot over Halak's glove.
  • The Hawks took advantage of a rare Blues turnover at the blue line to scratch their way back within one goal. Oduya kept the puck inside the zone at the blue line and it landed on the stick of Dream Warrior, who threw it on net towards Halak. Halak kicked it right off Stalberg and into the net to give the Blackhawks life. Stalberg celebrated after the goal, but you could see that he was worried the refs would negate the goal for a deliberate kicking motion, but the replays showed that there was no such action.
  • The Blackhawks powerplay actually came to their rescue just about halfway through the third period, with Seabrook blowing a shot past Halak to tie the game at 3-3. Goal or not even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. The powerplay still sucks sweaty balls. As I said on Twitter, it astounds me that there are 7 teams with worse powerplays. Simply astounding. Something that is even more shocking is that three of those teams; Dallas, Rangers, and the Coyotes are playoff teams.
  • Regardless of the outcome, the Hawks defense looked spot on, in the second, third and OT periods. This team is so schizo they should all be prescribed high doses Abilify, and star in a commercial for the drug. Is it motivation? Preparation? Something needs to be examined. They can't be having complete meltdowns like this and then have to fight their asses off the rest of the game.
  • Shockingly enough, whipping boy Corey Crawford stepped in to start the second period and didn't allow a goal through the second, third, OT or shootout. I guess heroes really DO show up at the strangest moments.
  • Anything after the first 20 minutes shows how you play against a physical team. By playing physical back wisely and AS A TEAM. It doesn't mean you have to send a couple of cementheads out there, because all they will do is act like clowns and do something stupid. This just shows everyone that this team CAN play physical when motivated.
  • I said it before, and I'll keep saying it. I cannot wait to watch this Blues team choke in the playoffs, and they will. They are like a poor man's Canucks, and so are their fans.

The Bad

  • A minute after the Hawks opening goal, the Blues Langenbrunner blasted a fairly weak shot through a screen and past Razor, to tie the game up. Hjalmarsson screened the hell out of Emery after letting Langenbrunner sit all alone along the boards and pick his shot. Good or bad, Hammer ended up leaving the game after the second period. That can't be good news.
  • Next it was Oduya and Leddy who got horsed by the Blues offense. They got turned and twisted around like fucking tops and the end result was Andy MacDonald with an open net goal. This Blues team is for real when they are clicking. Razor got caught leaning the wrong way, and the Blues took advantage.
  • Patrick Berglund and Barrett Jackman hooked up on another Hawks neutral zone turnover to put the Blues up 3-1 in the first period. All it took was a simple turnover at center ice, and the Hawks looked completely lost in their own zone. Nice first period, Gentlemen. Three goals on six first period shots. That would be the end of Ray Emery's night.
  • As what's become a regular theme, the Hawks got their asses kicked at the dot, again. Mayers was the only Hawks center over 50% and he only saw 3:49 of ice time.
  • What has Jimmy Hayes done to land in Chateau Bow Wow? He's relegated to the fourth line and didn't see another shift after the middle of the second period. I still like his size in front of the net on the powerplay. He has better hands than Mayers, and more size than Shaw. Not only this but he was left off the Rockford playoff roster, if they make it, so he doesn't even have that option. If you tell me he can't step in for Bickell, when he's being ineffective, then you're wrong.

The Ugly

  • In the last minute of the first period, Ryan Reaves completely rag dolled MegaMayers on a clean hit, and Bollig wasted no time to taking exception. The reason Mayers was left in that position, was the weak suicide pass Deuce gave him. Bollig was trying to make a name for himself, but that instigator penalty hurts the Hawks more than the fight help. Reaves is still a complete fucking waste of space no matter how you slice it. Bollig, on the other hand, saw one more shift in the game, and had the best seat in the house for the comeback.
  • The Hawks forwards CONTINUE to force bad passes over and over, while ignoring open looks. This cutesy bullshit needs to stop, YESTERDAY. The Hawks are in no position to pass up quality open looks. If you're up 5-1 you can pass them up; if you're down 3-1 you TAKE THE FUCKING SHOT! Seriously, this isn't quantum physics, but I don't know what I'm talking about, and this way is working so fucking stellar, right?

The Shootout

  • Kaner beat Halak through the wickets
  • TJ Oshie stopped by Crawford
  • Halak stayed with Bolland
  • MacDonald couldn't best Crawford
  • Halak as better than Sharpie
  • Perron stumbled and didn't get off anything clean on Crawford

Here are your video highlights:


Monday, March 12, 2012

Two more years of Car-cilliness

It was announced early this morning that Dan Carcillo had resigned for 2 more years. At first I was excited, because it had to be to play in Siberia, right? Then I realized that Stan Bowman actually signed Carcillo. I then proceeded to kick puppies, take candy from small children, and burn down churches. Well, maybe only one of those, and I'm not admitting to which.

In the grand scheme of the Blackhawks, this is not a huge transaction, if they threw very little money his way and he's going to be limited to fourth line duty. He's CERTAINLY no worse than John Scott was there. The problem is that someone fooled Quenneville into thinking he was worthy for top 6 minutes. Dan Carcillo, Folks.

The "suspended or fined 10 times in seven seasons" Dan Carcillo.

The "my season ended on a dirty hit" Dan Carcillo.

The "was issued suspensions twice in 28 games" Dan Carcillo.

THAT GUY! I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and he did nothing but prove he was the same guy that was advertised, in July. He served 3 suspensions (1 previous, and 2 while a Hawk), played only 28 games, and gathered 82 penalty minutes (5 fighting majors). You'd think he was the second coming of Tiger Williams, the way some people are going on about him. He had 2 goals in 28 games, and the Hawks were 4 games over .500 with him in the lineup. If he played 82 games, which he will NEVER do, Carcillo was on pace for roughly 6 goals and 246 penalty minutes (15 fights). He actually earned a RAISE here? Two years for $825K per year.

Some of the comments I've seen:

"Bob Probert had troubles but the Hawks took a chance on him."
How DARE you even mention Dan Carcillo and Bob Probert in the same breath? Before we look at anything else, Probert's troubles were off the ice. He was never considered a dirty player. Tough, certainly, but nothing about his game was considered dirty. Probert was not fined/suspended 10 times in his first 7 seasons. Carcillo will NEVER have a 20 goal season in the NHL, while Probert had 2, as well as a 19 goal season with the Hawks. Carcillo is known, league wide, as a dirty player that has to have a close eye kept on him. The league's disciplinary office has him on speed dial, and will continue to use him as an example.

"The Hawks were 16-8-4 with him in the lineup"
So, the Hawks were essentially 4 games over .500? That doesn't prove a thing, other than you're bad with stats.

"He had 11 points in 28 games"
Correction, he had TWO goals, none of which were game winning or tying, and one of which was an EMPTY NETTER! He had 9 even strength assists, which were scraps, as a result of playing with more talented players. Simply residuals. Leftovers.

"He wasn't signed to score goals, he was signed to add 'grit' and 'sandpaper' to the team."
It's pretty hard to add any of that when you're suspended or in the penalty box most of your time with the team. Physical play doesn't mean cheap and dangerous plays that injure opponents. Cal Cutterbuck has managed to play physical and lead the league in hits without ever breaking the 100 penalty minute mark, so I don't read me that line of bullshit.

The bottom line is that if they play him on the forth line, with under 10 minutes of ice time a game, have at it. But they wont. They will continue to tell us that he's capable of taking ice time away from people that can really put the puck in the net, while he's pulling his dirty shenanigans. Two years of it. Thanks Stan!

Blackhawks vs. LA Kings
SO Loss Recap

"Nice Shootin, Tex"

The clock is ticking for the the Blackhawks and Kings. While the Hawks are a pretty good bet to make the playoffs, the Kings are fighting for their playoff life. They say in the 11th spot but were only 2 points out of the 8th spot. Each game was important for Darryl Sutter's team. With the Kings only going 4-5-1 in their last 10, and losing their last 2 on the road, the Hawks should be able to continue their firm hold on the #6 spot in the western conference.

The Hawks came racing out of the gates like a 20 year old nag, giving up an early goal and 17 shots on net, while they were able to manage 11 shots of their own, but no goals. The Hawks had a much better defensive second period, but still gave up a goal on only 4 shots, while scoring one of their own, on 10 shots. Considering the questionable first period, a 2-1 deficit going into the third wasn't all that bad. The Hawks were able to tie the game back up in the third period with a goal on 16 shots, while holding the Kings scoreless, but the game was going to require extra time to decide who earned the extra point. When all was said and done, the Hawks couldn't manage any shootout goals, and lost after 6 rounds.


I am now on suicide watch because the Hawks announced this morning that Dan Carcillo has been resigned for two more seasons. Excuse me while I chug a bottle of antifreeze, while chewing broken glass, and bathing in a tub of boiling oil.

The Good

  • Seabrook absolutely destroyed Jason William, in the second period. Seabs caught him with his head down, and crushed Williams behind the Hawks net.
  • The Hawks finally broke the Quick shutout off a mess of a scramble. Dream Warrior picked up a Sharpie rebound that Doughty actually saved, and put it into the open net. Stalberg, Sharpie, and Kruger caused all sorts of problems for the King defense on the play, and Mr. All-World Doughty was tripping all over himself.
  • The Hawks followed up the missed Stalberg penalty shot, when Hossa bulled his way to the net with the puck, and the rebound was laying under Quick. Kaner swooped in and poked the puck into the net to actually tie the game up
  • Razor had another solid game. You can't fault him for a 4-on-1 goal, and Carters goal was a bang-bang play that he actually got a piece of. 1 out of 6 in the shootout was respectable, as well. A .931 save percentage is right about what you'd like to see from a starter.
  • After getting out shot 17-10 in the first, they out shot the Kings 26-11 the rest of the way. Jonathan Quick is like St. Louis' Greg Millen, back in the day. He could shit goals into the net all year long and would shutout the Hawks almost every time he played them.
  • Seven shots on net for Stalberg. If the guy could actually learn to finish, he'd be fucking SCARY!
  • The Hawks actually out hit the Kings 34-33 and still lost, as opposed to getting grossly out hit by the Rangers and winning. Take that for what it's worth, and don't get your chones up in a bunch about hits.

The Bad

  • Maybe these we took the John Scott fights for granite, because I have become so bored of these Brandon Bollig fights.
  • The Kings took the lead back just a few minutes after Kruger tied it up, when the Keith and Leddy variety show turned the puck over deep in the Hawks zone, and it ended up on the stick of Jeff Carter, who beat Emery through the 5-hole.
  • Vik Stalberg turned on the burners, in the third period, and earned a penalty shot, when Scuderi tripped him. Prime chance wasted when Stalberg couldn't beat Quick to tie the game. It ended up really costing the Hawks, when all was said and done.
  • MegaMayers (73%) and Bolland (58%) were the only Blackhawks that could win a faceoff. Otherwise, the team percentage was a dismal 42%.
  • As a professional team, you HAVE to find a way to score in the shootout. Andrew Shaw was a curious selection, to say the least. No Bolland? Hell, throw Seabrook out there. I've seen him score on a breakaway.

The Ugly

  • Ten seconds into the damn game, and the Hawks were almost picking the puck out of the net, as Nick Leddy immediately gave it away and Emery saved his ass. Sure enough, a minute later they WERE picking it out of the back of the net as they got happy pants in the Kings zone when they got a little pressure on Quick, and forgot to pay attention to back end. I'll give you one guess as to what happens when you give up a 4-on-1. Slava Voynov ends up with his 5th goal of the season, and the Hawks are down barely minute into the game.

The Shootout

  • Williams couldn't beat Razor
  • Kaner was stopped by Quick
  • Carter missed the net against Razor
  • Sharpie had Quick beat and couldn't get the shot off
  • Brown was shut down by Razor
  • Hoss ran out of room on Quick
  • Stoll missed the net
  • Stalberg couldn't beat Quick's glove
  • Kopitar was stopped by Emery
  • Shaw didn't beat Quick
  • Richards beat Emery on a stop move
  • Kruger didn't get a shot off

Here are your video highlights:


Friday, March 9, 2012

Blackhawks vs. NY Rangers - Win Recap

"Johnny O-Did-It""

Fourteen games and counting, gentlemen. The last time that the Hawks saw the Rangers, Coach John Tortorella threw Quenneville a solid. He started backup Marty Biron on the heels of a 10 game Blackhawks losing streak. The Hawks came out "guns a blazin" and ended their streak on the home ice of, what was at the time, the best team in the NHL. Still one of the top few teams, and plus one 6'8" face tenderizing yeti, named John Scott, the Rangers were on Chicago ice looking for revenge. Not only that, but the Rangers are on a little cold streak of their own. They have gone 2-2-1 in their last 5, and 5-3-2 on their last 10. Quenneville isn't throwing the Rangers the same courtesy as starter for the duration of the warmups, Ray Emery, has been handed the, temporary as it may be, keys to the Blackhawks machine. After beating a shorthanded Wings team, and getting dicks handed to them in St. Louis, fans were curious to see if there is still gas in the tank.

The Hawks played a fairly solid period, by Blackhawks standards. They were only out shot 8-7 overall, but the Rangers were able to get a last minute goal on a bad Hawks turnover. This is not a team you want to yield a lead to. The Hawks came out in the second period and tied up the game on 9 shots, and held the Rangers scoreless on 8 shots. In the third period, the Hawks started by giving up the lead to the Rangers, but they didn't pack it up. They scored 3 of their own to end up winning 4-3. Huge win after coming off a disappointing loss in St. Louis two nights before.

The Good

  • The Hawks powerplay looked great, which is promising. They held the Rangers to very few chances.
  • The Blackhawks tied up the game late in the second period, with the help of the newest Hawk. Oduya got the puck at the blue line and put on a little juke to get the wing to bite, and open up the lane to the net. Andrew Shock&Shaw tipped the puck down and between King Hendrik's legs. Deuce needs to watch and learn from Oduya, on how to open up those lanes.
  • Hoss, Sharpie, and Kaner hooked up for game tying goal in the third, on a beautiful forecheck and passing play that woke the crowd up. Kaner picked up a turnover at the Rangers dot, and hit Hoss, who one touched it to a wide open Sharpie, who hit the gaping net. And they weren't done yet...
  • Johnny O-Did-It to put the Hawks up 3-2 on a nice cross ice feed from Kruger, just 1:02 after the Sharpie goal. It was a simple play that you would think Lundqvist had a good look and should have saved, but we'll take it!
  • As boring as they usually are, Sharpie out hustled the Ranger defenders to the puck and fed Kaner in the crease, who kicked it to his stick and into the net. 4-2 Hawks.
  • I know the Rangers had a tough loss in Ottawa the night before, but holding the top Eastern Conference team to 25 shots is pretty damn tasty. They aren't #1 for nothing.
  • The Hawks were at 51% for faceoffs. Everyone but Bolland was over, or at, 50%.
  • Hammer fits much better on the 3rd pairing where there is less pressure to be the warrior.

The Bad

  • The Hawks had a ton of good chances early on, but they kept forcing that one extra pass. I counted at least 4 forced passes that ended up as turnovers, in the first half of the first period.
  • Stalberg and Kane cost the Hawks in the last minute of the first period to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Kane put a half assed effort in to get the puck out at the blue line, after Stalberg did the same thing. All Kane had to do was shield the puck with his body, and push it out of the zone, but he chose to reach for it, and his stick was lifted by Mitchell. Mitchell then fed Anisimov, who was late coming back and had lifted Stalberg's stick to start the turnover, and was behind Deuce and Seabrook. He had enough time to draw Emery down, and tuck it around him on a slick move. Kane has to want the puck more than that.
  • You have to love the kid's heart, but Bollig is not going to be long for team if he keeps getting his ass handed to him. This time it was Mike Rupp who split Bollig's face open.
  • Just when the Hawks were looking solid and in control, Brandon Prust picked up a McDonagh rebound and just beat Emery, to put the Rangers up 2-1. Not Marcus Kruger's best shift, as he failed to get the puck out earlier in the shift and was late picking up Prust for the goal.
  • In all the confusion after the empty net goal, Keith couldn't control the puck deep in the Hawks zone and Richards was able to hack it at the net and past Emery to bring the score back within one goal, but that would be it for the Rangers.
  • The Hawks were out hit 40-20, but that just shows you how irrelevant that stat can be in the outcome of the game.

The Ugly

  • No uglies, other than John Scott acting like a fucking idiot gorilla.

Here are your video highlights:


Perfect Insanity: The Huet Theory

I cannot, for the life of me, believe that it is March 9th, with 14 games to play, and I have to even breach the subject of Cristobal Huet in a Blackhawks uniform. You read that right, folks. I have seen enough geniuses on message boards and Twatter to have to actually EXPLAIN to people why that is not only a stupid idea, but contractually impossible. This is the exact reason why people should be required, by law, to take a mental stability test, when buying a computer or using the internet. Get off the drugs, clowns.

I'm going to nip this shit in the bud, right off the bat. Huet is on loan to Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss League. He cannot be recalled until his current team's season is over, which it's not, and would need to pass through waivers, which he would. That, right there, should be more than enough to shut the brainiac couch General Managers up. Oh, but it's not...

Lets continue with this fucking non compos mentis charade, just for shits-n-giggles. Huet's last NHL season was 09-10, where he had a less than stellar .895 save percentage. This was 2 years ago, when he was facing NHL caliber players regularly. Huet is going to be 37 years old in September, and has faced AHL quality competition for 2 years. Do you see where I'm going with this? Last season, he has a respectable .919 save percentage but his GAA was 2.83, and he was swept out of the playoffs (0-4, 5.09 GAA, .832 sv%). He also played in for the French in the world championships. Six games played, 3.40 GAA. That's the Frenchie we all remember, isn't it? That's last season though, right? How did he do this season?

This season, Huet settled in with a much better 2.12 GAA, and a .915 sv%. This is AHL equivalent talent that he has FINALLY dialed into, mind you. His team is three games into their playoffs and he is 2-1 with a 2.50 GAA and .902 sv%. Not exactly the answer to all the Blackhawks problems, people. A 36 year old, AHL level goalie.

For arguments sake, let's just say his team is knocked out of the playoffs tomorrow, he passes through waivers, and is recalled to the delight of cabeza de chorlitos throughout Chicago and Blackhawks nation. The Chicago Blackhawks then have a goalie that they banished to Siberia for lack of talent, that hasn't faced NHL competition in 2 years, now at the wheel of your playoff short bus with only 13 games remaining. This is "outside the box" thinking? Let me tell you something. This is INSIDE THE MENTAL HOSPITAL thinking. How soon we forget the witch hunt to get Huet banished in the first place. The Hawks would have been better off signing Ty Conklin when he went through waivers.

Here is a novel idea. How about if the "brilliant" Hall-Of-Fame coaching staff fix the fucking powerplay to resemble something that could be called functional? How about if the defensemen not named Seabrook learn to play physical defense, and tie opponents up in front of their own net? Maybe? Please? Here is a little ode to anyone who has mentioned Huet as a solution to any problem whatsoever:


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blackhawks at St. Louis - Loss Recap


Fifteen games and counting, for the Blackhawks, and things aren't getting any easier. They traveled to St. Louis to take on the Blues. The Blues come into this game 7-3-0 in their last 10 and 4-1-0 in their last 5. Not the Blues we're use to walking all over. They are 10 points ahead of the Blackhawks, who have a game at hand. The Blues even jumped over the Wings, percentage wise, to have the third best record in the entire league. Slim Hitchcock has this team heading in the right direction, and the goaltenders have been out of this world. Both goalies have a GAA under 2.00, which leads the league. This is a serious contender. That is, until they completely collapse in the playoffs.

The Blackhawks didn't come out as strong as they needed to, in the first period, giving up 2 goals on 13 shots, while only getting 5 shots of their own. Spotting a team, that gives up under 2 goals per game, 2 goals, is not a good idea. Already in a hole after 20 minutes. The second period wasn't any better for the Blackhawks. They actually out shot the Blues 11-7 but were out scored 1-0 to drag a 3-0 deficit into the third period. Even though the Hawks were able to muster up a goal in the third, they were never in the game. All that accomplished was to break the shutout. St. Louis netted two more goals of their own to dominate the Hawks, 5-1.

The Good

  • Brandon Bollig did his best to entertain his hometown fans with and early fight against noted douche and noted troglodyte Ryan Reaves. Bollig definitely held his own against a guy that even gave Big Slow a run for his money. I give him some credit for that one. SOLID!
  • Stalberg blew around Jackman early on, like he was standing still. Jackman didn't know what hit him, and ended up eating goal post trying to make a play on Stalberg. If Stalberg could actually finish, we might have a weapon on our hands, here.
  • Bruno broke the Blues shutout bid just a couple of minutes into the third period. The Blues probably didn't give a rats ass at that point, and couldn't manage to get the puck out of the zone. Seabrook held the puck in at the blue line and dumped it towards the net. Brunette redirected it on his backhand and past Halak, for a pretty slick goal. Was there life in this team? Just false hope, actually.

The Bad

  • The Blues took a 1-0 lead about 5 minutes into the first period, with TJ Oshie tipping a long point shot from Colaiacovo. The Olsen/Lepisto duo was out there, facing the Blues money line, which had to have them licking their lips. Razor seemed to have the puck under control, but it squirted ever so slowly through his pads and into the net. Pat Foley actually exclaimed, "The score!" before the puck had even gotten to the goal line.
  • The Blues went up 2-0 on the powerplay, with the help of the cement skate of Dylan Olsen. Andy MacDonald rushed around Oduya, and tried to dump it to the front of the net. Olsen was charging to the net for support and kicked it into the net. After the goal, Olsen dumped MacDonald on his ass, and Douche Bag Back-ASS took a cheap shot on Olsen, which caught Emery's attention. I love Emery's fire, and willingness to jump into the scuffle. No pouting there.
  • Sobotka and Nichol clowned the Hawks powerplay stealing the puck from Hossa, and then out classing Leddy and Sharp on the way to the net. Sobotka then baited Emery to go for the poke check, which he missed. Easy shorthanded goal. This is exactly why you put fucking DEFENSEMEN on the point of the powerplay. A talented forward will completely horsewhip another forward trying to play defense nine out of ten times. Speaking of horses, haven't we beaten this dead one enough?
  • MacDonald put the Hawks away late in the third period beating Seabrook and Emery on a 2-on-1. At this point, the Hawks really looked like they couldn't give a flying fuck.
  • I get limiting Bollig's ice time, because he really has a limited skillset, but what is with Jimmy Hayes playing John Scott minutes? The guy has some use. When your team is getting their dicks knocked in the dirt, and have no momentum, a 6'5" guy that can take the puck to the net might help; correct me if I'm wrong. And I'm NOT wrong.
  • For what it's worth, Reaves and Bollig spent 11:56 on the ice and 14 minutes in the penalty box.
  • The Hawks were AGAIN under 50% at the dot, going 28 for 59. Mayers was the only guy over 50%. Thorough ass whipping, folks.

The Ugly

  • The Blues checking line beat the HELL out of the Hawks checking line for an entire shift, in the first. Leddy and Oduya were the recipients of some rough treatment as well, but MegaMayers was the one that took the brunt of the abuse. They are complete and utter dunderheads, but they sure can throw their big brainless bodies around.
  • Pistol looks to have possibly really hurt his ankle/leg when David Perron rolled on the back of his leg after being checked deep in the Hawks zone. That may have been the last time we ever see Sami Lepisto in a Blackhawks uniform. Pistol, how we hardly knew thee.
  • The final goal was just embarrassing. Emery cleared it up the boards, and no one in a Hawks uniform seemed to even give a shit. The Blues Stewart picked it off, and hit Arnott for what was virtually an empty netter with 14 seconds left. There is the cherry on top of your worthless win, St. Louis. Enjoy it when you're eliminated from the first round, in a month.
  • There is no excuse for the Hawks to get 5 or less shots, in 2 of the 3 periods. When a goalie only faces 20 shots, he's bound to win that game. That is a vacation.
  • The powerplay...ah forget it.

Here are your video highlights:


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