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:


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