Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blackhawks at Vancouver - Shootout Loss Recap

"100 Ways To Hate"

For recent Hawks and Canucks fans, this is the game they have been waiting for. The first game of the season against the easily hated Vancouver Canucks. While some of the usual cast of clowns won't be playing or have been let go, Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, and the ultra creepy ginger twins are still on hand. The Canucks came into this game 3-2-2 and with a continuingly annoying goalie controversy. Cory Schneider was anointed the starter after last season, and Borat was thrown on the trading block. Here we are into February of the next year, and Luongo is stealing starts from Schneider, like tonight. Live from Vancouver British Columbia, it's the Blackhawks and the Canucks.

As a few teams have done early in the season, the Canucks came out with momentum in the opening 20 minutes. AND as has happened a few times, an opposing goal woke the Hawks up. When the period ended, the shot clock said 9 each way, and the only goal was from the Canucks.

The Hawks used the momentum of some remaining overlapping powerplay time to come out hot in the second period, with several shots and great chances. The Hawks had picked up the pace, and managed 9 shots while yielding 6 to the home team. Unfortunately, the Canuck blanked them for a second straight period.

The Hawks were finally able to make some headway, in the third period, with a late goal on six shots. A few Vancouver powerplays allotted them six shots of their own, but neither team could score the go ahead goal. This one was going to overtime and eventually a shootout, for the second game in a row, to decide the extra point in the standings. All it took was one shootout goal to win it for Vancouver.

The Good

  • As badly as I wanted Hjalmarsson traded the last 18 months or so, I'm glad they didn't. He has been a beast on defense, and saved a possible goal by Zack Kassian.
  • The SaadFather continues to impress with a beautiful between the legs pass after drawing two defenders, to Hossa, and showed some serious speed on a great rush that drew a penalty in the first. He had an almost identical chance in the second, that drew another penalty.
  • Crazy 8's tied the game up with about 10 minutes left in the game, after Shooter was able to fight along the boards to keep the puck in the Nucks zone. He got it down low to Shock-n-Shaw, who turned and hit Kane's stick right on the tape. Kane delayed long enough for Luongo to fully commit, and leave just enough room to tie things up.
  • Crawford gave up one goal in 65 minutes of play. You can't ask for any more than that.
  • As with just about every other game this year, Toews and Kruger were over 50%; Shaw and Bolland were dick whipped at the dots.
  • The penalty kill is still on fire, but it's been more of a "bend-not-break" situation. They can't keep relying on it this way.
The Bad

  • It didn't take long for the Hawks, more specifically Hjalmarsson, to take a penalty. His was an interference call, that was really an iffy one. As they have all year, the Hawks killed it off very well.
  • Alex Edler gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead with about 5 minutes remaining in the first. The Hawks turned over the puck in the neutral zone and Keith had his stick knocked out of his hand. Zack Kassian ended up with the puck and held it long enough for the trailer, Edler, to catch the play. Edler did his job and sniped Crawford, who was dead to rights.
  • The powerplay looks to have fizzled once again. The chances they had looked very similar to the powerplays of last season. No movement, just stationary players playing catch. This needs to stop, because they have looked ridiculous on the powerplay for two straight games now.
The Ugly

  • Keeping with his usual douche bag shenanigans, Alexandria Burrows continued an offsides play by shooting the puck into the Hawks net well after the whistle. Sheldon Brookbank wasn't having any of that, and negated the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I really loathe Pat Foley advocating those actions. Standing up for your teammate and canceling a powerplay opportunity are two different things. They would have fucked the powerplay up anyway, but it would have been nice to give it a shot.
  • Bolland looked to have hurt himself early in the third period. If that is the case, Stan Bowman better warm up his phone dialing finger, and bump up his cell phone plan, because the Hawks will need another center, quickly.
  • Immediately after scoring the tying goal, the Hawks proceeded to take two penalties, that resulted in a 40 second 5-on-3. Hello foot, this bullet is for you. Perfect way to kill momentum.
  • If you can't score a single goal in a shootout, you can't win, plain and simple. EXPECTING your goalie to be perfect is a terrible approach.
  • Speaking of the shootout, I can understand that Hossa isn't much of a shootout kind of guy, even though he's not a terrible choice, but Brandon Saad has been flying up and down the ice for a few games now, and is grossly overdue. So what does Quenneville do? "Hey, Leddy, get out there". Dumb; just fucking dumb.
  • Dull-ig was back down to under 5 minutes worth of ice time. Way to make that roster spot count, Joel, especially with Bolland going down with an injury. Rolling 10 forwards with back to back games is fucking brilliant roster management.
The Shootout

  • Burrows was snuffed by Crawford
  • Toews ran out of room on Luongo
  • Kassian was also snuffed by Crawford's leg
  • Kane and Luongo got too close for comfort.
  • Lapierre couldn't beat Crawford 5-hole
  • Shooter got all of Lou's glove.
  • Schroeder snuck one though the 5-hole.
  • Leddy shot it over the net. Game...set..match

Here are the video highlights:

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