Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blackhawks at Detroit - Season Finale
Shootout Win Recap

"Blood Red"

"I fart in your general direction"

So, the 2011-2012 regular season coes to a close in one of the least desirable places in the NHL. Detroit. You know the NHL schedule gurus chuckle when they put this one on the agenda. Really, there is no other place, other than the UC, where the Blackhawks should want to end their season. It is tradition. What better way to give you my 300th post? On to the festivities:

The first period of the game, Saturday, really was favoring Detroit, but the Hawks took advantage of some lazy defensive coverage by grabbing a 1-0 lead. The Wings only led in shots 9-8, but the ice seemed slanted towards the Hawks end. The Hawks came out in the second and scored another goal, while fending off some serious Detroit powerplay pressure. The Hawks actually out shot the Wing, in the middle frame, 13-12. The third was all Red Wings. As far as shots go, the Hawks led 10-9, but the Hawks were out scored 2-0, which sent the game to OT. There were plenty of OT chances, but the teams took it to a SO, and The Hawks eventually won it. Next stop, Phoenix Arizona!

The Good

  • Vik Stalberg was given a gift goal, halfway through the first frame, when the Red Wings thought the puck was out of the zone, and kept in by Sharp. Sharp hit Jimmie Howard and the rebound shot out to Stalberg, who was wide open in front. Stalberg one timed it between Howard's wickets. 1-0 Hawks.
  • The newest Hawks powerplay expert, Andrew Shaw, put the Hawks up 2-0, late in the second period. Shaw missed on a wide open chance in front, but never stopped on the play. Eventually, wheeled around and took a no look backhand pass from Sharpie, which he didn't miss. The kid just keeps producing. HUGE goal.
  • It wasn't a big roster move, but Sami Lepisto was in the lineup for Dylan Slowlsen. I like his speed and I'm glad to see him back. Against teams that have speed, he's a nice alternative.

The Bad

  • No Toews, Bolland, or Brunette in the lineup.
  • I'm going to have homicidal rage if I have to listen to Pierre McGuire mouth manipulating the Red Wings, and Babcock. He should be banned from their games for the safety and sanity of the fans. "Oh, everybody, the Red Wings changed their lines up, can I please tongue Mike Babcock's balls?". Quenneville has done that his entire tenure in Chicago, yet no ball tonguing there. Such a kiss ass little troll.
  • Eddie O doesn't think Stalberg is a top six forward, you say? On this team he is, and has been doing a pretty good job of it. I'd rather have him playing top six than being saddled with a more important defensive role on the third line. He's pretty much all offense, but Brunette is a better third liner than Stalberg, every day of the week.
  • Crawford's stellar afternoon was marked with a big bandaid when he let Franzen squeak one in from the corner. Definitely a goal he should have stopped, but Oduya really should have made a better clearing pass. A guy shooting from the corner just has to be stopped. The momentum completely shifted from that point.
  • The Hawks got caught running around in their own zone with under a minute to go in the game and Datsyuk was left wide open on the off post. Someone has to come back and help on that play. You cannot leave Pavel Datsyuk wide open, at the edge of your crease, with under a minute to go in the game. Nothing Crawford could do on that one, but if he didn't let up the softie, this goal would be irrelevant.
  • Frolik and Bickell is an "interesting" OT lineup, to say the least.
  • Thanks to Kruger's 4-for-12 faceoff number, the Hawks were their usual sub 50%. This NEEDS to get better, but when they are missing two centers, I can't complain too much.

The Ugly

  • The first Blackhawks powerplay was just embarrassing. On national TV, no less. They had a double minor, and Detroit had more pressure than the Hawks did. A powerplay that bad won't get them past the first round, period, end of discussion.
  • It doesn't get any uglier than blowing a 2 goal third period lead.

The Shootout

  • Datsyuk missed the net after a fancy pants move.
  • Kaner beat Howard on an even fancier move.
  • Hudler got bitten by Crawford's glove.
  • Sharpie wound up and Howard got a piece.
  • Bertuzzi hit the post.

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