Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blackhawks at Columbus - Win Recap

Four down and the Hawks were playing a team they had dominated all last year. Easy pickins for number 5, right? It would be very easy for the Blackhawks look past the lowly Blue Jackets and focus on their first shot this season at the Red Wings, Sunday, but this is a tougher team than last year's whipping boys. Their star power took a hit with the face of their franchise, Rick Nash, being sent to New York, but they ended up with a good deal of talent in return along with a little of that beloved "sandpaper". If they didn't take this one serious, they wouldn't be going back home to face the Wing still undefeated. Live from Columbus, it's the Blackhawks and the Blue Jackets...

The first period started off pretty heavily in favor of Columbus, and they even took 1-0 lead, but the Hawks finally woke up out of their haze and tied the game before the period ended. Considering the slow start the Hawks were only out shot 9-8 and carried momentum into the second.

The Hawks took a lead in the middle frame and were out shot again 9-8. They lucked out when Columbus looked to have tied the game, on the powerplay, but it was waved off. This should have been the inspiration they needed to pull away. It would take the last 20 minutes to see if they would do just that.

The third period seemed to be slanted in favor of Columbus, but the shots were 8-8. Both teams scored in the period, but the Hawks held off a late Columbus flurry to walk away with a hard fought 3-2 win. Next stop, back in the UC against Red Wings.

The Good

  • Kane continued his red hot play, setting up Bolland for the game tying goal with 2 minutes remaining in the first. Crazy 8's blew by former Captain Healthy Scratch Adrian Aucoin, and drove in 1-on-1 with Steve Mason. Mason made the original save but the rebound was left sitting for Bolland to clean up. It must be nice to clean up after players like Kane and Sharp.
  • Hjalmarsson helped give the Hawks a 2-0 lead about half way though the second period on a feed from Frolik. One-Trick-Bick worked to keep the puck in, and Frodo picked it up in the corner. He made the safe play by throwing it back to Hammer for a long shot. The puck was redirected by Bick and past Mason for a 2-1 lead. This was all after two enormous saves, by Crawford on Jackets shorthanded chances.
  • MegaMayers was on the ice again, in place of Bollig, which is a good thing. Just too bad that he looked like Bambi on ice when he went after Jared Boll for hitting Kruger. Boll was able to get a few shots in and MegaMayers never even got his feet set after stepping on a lost glove, which led to him ending up on his ass quite quickly. He also only managed 4:44 of ice time with 7 minutes in the penalty box.
  • As much as I want to grab Jamie Kompon's tall lanky ass, shake the shit out of him, and ask him what he's thinking regarding Shaw on the powerplay, he makes up for it by using Stunning Swede-berg on the man advantage. It's amazing that they could be so stupid about using his size and speed before this season.
  • The Hawks ended up on the fortunate end of a gift with just over 6 minutes gone in the third period. Mark Letestu turned over the puck while breaking out at the Jackets blue line. Crazy 8's picked it off, and shoveled down low to El Capitan who was behind the play and wide open just feet in front of Steve Mason. Mason didn't stand a chance, 1-on-1 with one of the most dangers players in the game. 3-1 Hawks
  • Hjalmarsson was a plus 3 for the game followed by Oduya and Crazy 8's with plus 2 each.
  • Everyone, but Bolland, was over 50% at the dot. They could have achieved this with Sharp at the #2 slot, but they are winning and Crash Davis once said "Never fuck with a winning streak".
  • Crawford was once again big. He bailed the Hawks out several times. While I'll refrain from proclaiming him back to form, He's certainly playing much better.
The Bad

  • The Jackets took a 1-0 lead about halfway through the first on a mad scramble in the crease. Foligno drove to the net, and Crawford made the first save. Crawford then made a second save on Anisimov, and as he was laying on his stomach with his ass facing everyone else, Letestu chipped it into the net and the Hawks were left in a quick hole.
  • I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what Shock-N-Shaw has been doing that makes him a better third line option than Kruger. Kruger is smarter, more responsible, and more talented overall. Kruger has just made more happen too. Furthermore, Shaw on the first powerplay unit is going to make me throw something heavy through my flat screen. It doesn't take a brilliant hockey mind to see that this silliness isn't benefiting anyone.
  • After winning a faceoff deep in their zone the Hawks lost possession and a Dubinsky stuff attempt ended up loose in the crease. Anisimov chipped it up over Crawford and the Jackets were within one goal, with 2 minutes to play.
  • Deuce was a minus 2 on the night for the team low. He played better than this, but it still looks pretty bad.
  • Meatball central...The Hawks were outhit again 22-12 and won yet again. Shocking.
The Ugly

  • The Blue Jackets came out with a clear agenda to pound the Hawks thtough the boards.
  • The Jackets looked to have tied the game on the powerplay but they were called for bring in the crease, and the goal was waved off. I don't think anyone but the ref saw the play that way, but the Hawks will take it. The crowd continued to boo for a good couple of minutes after the play, and I can't blame them.
  • A terrible holding the stick/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty looked like it was going to give the Jackets a 4 minute powerplay, but they proceeded to take 2 penalties of their own, which turned into a short 4-on-3 advantage for the Hawks. The whole ordeal was set off with El Capitan controlling the play and taking on 3 Columbus players, and getting tripped.
  • I know we've only seen him for two games, but I really have no use for Brookbank. He looks slow and apparently wears skates full of lead laced concrete.
  • Captain Healthy Scratch was a minus 3, for which I only have one thing to say:
  • Bolland was absolutely cock whipped at the dots winning just 5 of 18.

Video highlights as promised:

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