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.

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