Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blackhawks at Calgary
Shootout Win Recap

"Grand Larceny"

On to Calgary the Blackhawks go, after two straight shootout losses with little offense to speak of. Facing a team that came in with a 1-3-1 record should have been just what the doctor ordered. The Blackhawks were beginning to look like a team that started hot and had the rest of the league finally catch up with them. Stagnant offense was beginning to bite them in the ass, and things needed to change quickly or this road trip was going to turn into a disaster.

The Hawks actually came out of the box on the hot side but period of uncertainty in the middle of the period peppered the Hawks with shots, and the remainder of the period was pretty much spent in the Hawk end. There were bad turnovers and generally sloppy play, which supports my theory that the rest of the league is catching up to the Hawks level of play. The final shot tally was 10-6 in favor of the Flames.

When play in the second resumed, the Flames continued their hot play and pressure by testing the Hawks from every angle. Once again, the Flames out shot the Hawks 10-6 to lead 20-12 after 40 minutes. It could have easily been 2-0, if it hadn't been for the Hawks goaltending.

The third period was a Blackhawks dogshit circus, with the Flames dominating the entire period like a Harlem Globetrotters game. Somehow, someway, the Hawks took the lead, but that didn't last long. Calgary even took a lead with 30 seconds to play. In a game they had no business getting a point out of, they found themselves going to overtime, with a game tying goal very late. This is not a typo when I tell you that Calgary out shot the Hawks 24-6 in the third.

The Hawks did their best to give the game away in overtime as well, but Calgary couldn't finish. There were officially only 3 shots on net for Calgary in the overtime, but that was nowhere close to the truth of the matter. Ultimately, this game was decided in a shootout.

The Good

  • Razor is the only real bright light in the first period as far as the Blackhawks go, and he continued in the second. He was faced an Iginla breakaway in the second, and closed the 5-hole. The third period, overtime and shootout were all stellar by Emery, too. None of the goals were his fault.
  • Hossa had a shorthanded breakaway chance after a great shot block at the point, and tried to blast it through the 5-hole. Kiprusoff was one better, though.
  • Crazy 8's finally scored the first goal of the game after almost 44 minutes of scoreless hockey. Sharp wheeled behind the net and took a bad angle shot that surprised Kiprusoff, and the rebound ricocheted out into the slot where Kane launched it Kiprusoff who was down on his side. The shot was hard enough to sneak through and dribble in the net.
  • After the Bouwmeester goal everyone, including myself, figured the game was over. Calgary called a timeout, and the Hawks pulled Emery. With 2.1 seconds to play in the game, Hossa picked up a rebound in the slot and beat Kiprusoff, who was down and out. The Hawks had no business taking this game to overtime, and yet here they were.
  • Toews, Shaw and Mayers were all at, or around, 50% at the faceoff dots. Kruger only managed to win 3 out of 17.
The Bad

  • I can't say I'm overly enthused about the shift of Shaw to the second line, and Kruger only to the third. Kruger is much more suited for the second line than Shaw.
  • Dull-ig was back to his usual horseshit fighting Tim Jackman three and a half minutes into the game. Cementhead got a few shots in and cut Jackman's face, but was there really a reason for that, just 210 seconds into the game? I'm tired of repeating the waste of a roster spot that he is.
  • It was only a matter of time before the Emery's mastery and the penalty kill streak ended, and the third period was that time. Wideman took advantage of a Hawks late third period penalty, and banked it off Seabrook's skate and into the net. Absolutely nothing Ray Emery could do to stop that puck.
The Ugly

  • The Hawks offense, after the first few minutes of the first period was utterly pitiful. They could barely manage bad shots, much less a solid scoring chance. In reality, the goals they did manage in the third were really lucky.
  • Watching Kruger get thrown out of a faceoff and then Frolik earning a delay of game for also getting thrown out was just sad and pathetic.
  • As one would expect when you out shoot a team by 20 shots in a single period, the Flames used a Kane neutral zone turnover to take the lead with thirty seconds to go in the game. Everyone in the rink was sure that Calgary had won; but Marian Hossa...
  • There is no excuse to get dominated the way they were, by a very average team, and San Jose will shove it right up their ass Tuesday night.
The Shootout

  • Tanguay was bested by Emery across the crease
  • El Capitan ran out of real estate
  • Hudler was stoned by the glove of Emery
  • Crazy 8's beat Kiprusoff through the 5-Hole
  • Cervenka shot it over the net. Game...set...match

Here are the video highlights:

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