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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blackhawks at Detroit - Win Recap


After yet another late game breakdown, the Hawks headed up to Detoilet for a game with the always tough Red Wings. The Wings may be a shadow of their previous selves, but they always provide a tough game for our heroes in the Indianhead. I'm going to miss the rivalry when they are gone to the Eastern conference. As much as I hate them, at least they command respect unlike half of the other Hawks division rivals. Anyhow, the Hawks were in dire need of a statement win, and this was their chance on national TV. Live from the burnt out shithole, otherwise known as Detoilet, it's the Hawks and the Red Wings.

The Hawks did exactly what we all hoped for, opening up with three goals on 7 shots before the Wings could even manage a shot on net. The Wings eventually put some pressure on, but that 3 goal lead put the Wings at a huge disadvantage and in a big hole. The Hawks out shot the Wings 13-7 with their 3-0 lead, going into the 1st intermission.

The Hawks were out shot pretty heavily in the second period, yet still out scored the Wings 2-0. The Wings had 15 shots on net, to the Hawks 7, but it did no good. The Hawks held tight and carried a 5-0 lead into the second intermission.

The third period was just a mere formality. The Hawks were out shot again 12-6, but the Hawks still out scored the Wing 2-1. They lost the shutout, but throwing a touchdown on the board in Detoilet is a great feeling. Now the Hawks had to see if they could keep the momentum tomorrow night in the UC against the Predators.

The Good

  • Jeremy Morin scored in his first shift back with the Blackhawks in over a year. Jimmy Howard misread a bounce off the wonky Joe Louis glass, and it popped right out in front of the net. After a little scrum, Morin got a hold of it and wraped ut around Howard and into the net. 1-0 Hawks just two and a half minutes in.
  • Just 48 seconds after the Morin goal, the Saadfather was left all alone with Jimmy Howard. Saad pulled a little shimmy, and tucked it in behind Howard. Frolik was the guy that found Saad, and set that goal up.
  • Fifty one seconds after the Saad goal, Jakub Kindl helped the Blackhawks out immensely with Jimmy Hayes on his back. He tried to chip the puck around the net and top shelved it on Howard. Hilarious!!! It was 3-0 before the Red Wings could even get a shot on net. Bolland got credit for the goal, but really had nothing to do with it. Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson was on the ice for all 3 first period goals. A quick minus 3 will earn you some bench real fast.
  • General Saad helped put the Hawks up 4-0 about four minutes into the second period. Saad blew around dumb shit defenseman Niklas Kronwall and fed a streaking El Capitan, who chipped it up and over Howard's glove, ending his night.
  • Saad scored his second goal 8 seconds later on the new Wings goaltender. The Toews won the faceoff to Hammer, who fed Saad. Saad just blew around the Wings Lashoff and between Gustavsson's legs. 5-0 Hawks.
  • Bolland gave the Hawks a 6-0 lead almost halfway through the third period. Hayes fed Bolland at the blue line and he just sizzled a wrister past Gustavsson. Pack up your bags, boys. This one was over.
  • Nick Leddy took his obligatory end to end rush right up the left side, as usual, but this time he put it on net, maybe even surprising Gustavsson with just under 4 minutes to go in the game. 7-0 Hawks after the extra point.
  • Everyone but Hjalmarsson, Bickell, Stalberg and Shaw earned a plus 1 in the first period. How is that for a little schmutz on your face?
  • Quenneville opened up the game with Hjalmarsson and Keith, Leddy and Seabrook, Oduya and Roszival. I can't say that was the reason for the big start, but there was a shakeup needed. Later on, Seabrook was out on the ice with Oduya, so take it for what it's worth.
  • Of course it'll get lost in the recaps, but Crawford had a great game. Goalies usually don't get a lot of credit in big wins but this is one where he was huge. All the haters and Emery bandwagoners need to recognize a good game when it's popped in front of them.
The Bad

  • Of course the pain in the ass Wings can't even get their ass kicked correctly. They broke the shutout with 33 seconds to go in the game. A shutout would have been nice, but a 6 goal win is a nice feeling. Eat Shit, Cory Emmerton.
  • Three of the Hawks four centers were dog shit at the dots. If you take El Capitan out of the mix, the Hawks centers were 32%. That has to change. They aren't going to get away with losing 2/3rds of their draws and getting out shot against good teams. This was purely an anomaly.
  • Even though they won 7-1, the Hawks were out shot 34-26. It makes no sense and I have no explanation.
The Ugly

  • I have to echo the Fels at the Committed Indian. This NBC bullshit with no pregame show is awful. I'm not watching a single second of those infomercials.
  • Gorilla Salad took a shot off the foot early on, and was in some clear distress. Might be the last time we see him for a long time. He was struggling to even get back on his feet. He only missed a shift and came back out. Fuck you, NBA and MLB pussies.
  • Datsyuk put a really late hit on El Capitan, in the second period, after Toews shot the puck out of the rink. While Toews was walked to the box, Mr. Lady Byng should have been right behind him.

Here are the video highlights:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blackhawks vs Ducks - Loss Recap

"Another Way To Die"

The Hawks finally got a chance to play the Ducks at the UC Friday night, but apparently some things don't change. The Ducks walked away with a late 2-1 win after a game that was virtually even throughout. Once again, a late Ducks flurry stuck the knife in the Hawks back. Frustrating to say the least.

In other news, the Hawks put Hossa on the IR retroactive to the night he was hurt, to open up a sport for Jeremy Morin.

The Good

  • Crazy 8s had a helluva powerplay goal two and a half minutes into the third period. Finally the Hawks had some life. Kruger and Saad kept the puck deep in the Ducks zone, and finally worked it out to Deuce at the point. Kane curled around and Deuce dumped the puck off to him. For some odd reason, the Ducks felt it was less dangerous to let Kane walk 1-on-1 with their goalie than to cover the pass. The result shows that was a poor choice. This all happened about a minute after Razor made a huge save on a sure Ducks goal.
  • The aforementioned save by Emery was both lucky and huge. The Ducks had Emery dead to rights in the prone position and couldn't lift the puck over his toe. The Hawks turned it around and ended up tying the game, but it wasn't the shot in the ass they needed. The Powerplay goal was the last time one of their pucks saw the back of the net.
  • Leddy's end to end rushes are thing of beauty. At least once a game, he decides that he wants to layeth the smack down, and take the puck end to end by himself. The kid may not be an elite defender today, but he's going to be dane close in 2 or 3 years. He has speed like Paul Coffey back in his heyday.
  • Outshooting the Ducks 26-24 is right about what you'd ask for, but one goal obviously won't do the job.
The Bad

  • Just a couple of minutes into the second period resident Ducks pest, Corey Perry, snuck in behind Oduya and ended up in on a 2-on-1 with Getzlaf. Hjalmarsson did what he was suppose to do, which is take the pass, but when you have a sniper like Perry bearing down it's more like death by firing squad, or death by hanging. The guy might be a huge shithead, but he is a hell of a player that can score at will.
  • Once again, Stalberg was left with a wide open net and couldn't hit the gaping cage. This is one reason why I feel that if the Hawks wanted to unload him before Wednesday, I wouldn't be heartbroken. They aren't going to be able to afford to extend him, and getting even a draft pick is better than nothing. It's time to see what Morin or Smith can do.
  • El Capitan, Megamayers and Bolland were all good a the dots, but the bottom 2 centers got donkey punched once again. Overall the Hawks were better, but that was because Toews was so good.
  • Yes, I'm going to dog Carcillo again. Not his fault, necessarily, but he only played 7 minutes. It would be nice to have a 4th line that they can trust, again. Ben Smith can play 7 responsible minutes a night, and probably chip in on the PK. Carcillo is only useful, and I use the term "useful" lightly, 5 on 5.
  • The Hawks score just enough on the powerplay to keep everyone from panicing but that doesn't mean they are good. This team should be in the top 10, if not, the top 5. Another powerplay goal changes this game.
The Ugly

  • The Ducks winning goal was shitshow from top to bottom. The Hawks couldn't get the puck out of the zone, and the Ducks were severely out working them. Jimmy Hayes was roaming around aimlessly, low in the zone, leaving Kane to run around and cover both points. That is never good, late in a shift, and late in a game. Souray was the lucky recipient of time and space at the point, and dog him all you want, but the man has a cannon for a shot. He let loose and the shot was so hard that is shattered Hjalmarsson's stick on the way to the net. The redirection threw Emery off enough to allow the puck to sneak by him with about two minutes left in the game. It never fails. The Hawks just seem to find a way to throw the game away, late, to this team.
  • Hjalmarsson and Oduya seemed to get clowned all night long, by Perry/Getzlaf/Ryan. It's about time that Keith and Seabrook get back to their usual slot against the top lines in the league. The league has figured out 4 and 27. I'm not saying they suck, but some adjustments need to be made. The have a place, but that place has changed. They were each minus two on the night and could have been minus 4. It seemed like every time that the Ducks had a chance, it was with 4 and 27 on the ice.

Here are the video highlights:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blackhawks vs Flames
Shutout Win Recap

"Boot Scrapers"

What is there to say about the prospect of the Flames coming into the UC on the second night of a back-to-back? They stink. They are a terrible team, that is on the verge of a complete fire sale and the Hawks had a chance to help nudge them over the cliff. They have played terrible, been bitten by injuries, and have the worst GM in the NHL. Don't worry, I won't sugar coat it. Live from the UC, it's the Blackhawks and the smoldering Flames.

The Flames looked pretty terrible in the first period, but I wouldn't exactly classify the Hawks play as anything other than "good". The shots favored the Hawks 11-6, and the Hawks had the only goal of the period, but the first period isn't where the Hawks have had their problems.

The Hawks continued their dominating play in the second, out shooting the Flames an embarrassing 16 to 3, also scoring the game's second goal late in the period.

The third period was much more even, probably due to four Blackhawks penalties. They still managed to out shoot the pathetic Flames 8-7 and preserve the shutout. A game the Hawks should have won, and did. Just another day at the office.

The Good

  • The first Hawks goal, just 7 minutes into the game by Nick Leddy, was about as soft as baby shit. Leddy picked up the puck at the left dot, and despite having no real angle, threw the puck at the net. This is where the magic happened. The puck banked off the top of Kiprusoff's left pad, down through his 5-hole, and into the net. You could see the life drain out of him and into a puddle in the crease, after than goal.
  • Lucky Number Sleven scored the second Hawks goal of the night in the late minutes of the second period. Mike Cammalleri ran off to get a new stick and left his team behind in the defensive zone, down a man, to defend the Hawks pressure. Kane camped out behind the net long enough for the odd man to get open, and that odd man was Lucky Sleven. Seabrook took the Kane pass, walked the puck around Iginla and took the shot. The shot changed speed because of an Iginla deflection and floated past Kiprusoff like a Gaylord Perry spitball. It looked embarrassing on TV, but speaking from experience, a shot like that is frustrating and extremely difficult, when you're set and ready for a laser beam. I felt for Kipper on that one. Nonetheless, it was 2-0 Hawks.
  • Razor was big, when he had to be, in net for the Hawks. Granted, I fully believe that Crawford could have shut them out too, but props to Razor for another shutout. I really don't care which one wins the game, as long as they are winning. BUT, if anyone starts this "Ray Emery for Starter" horseshit I'm going to bludgeon them to death with a tire iron, simply because you're an idiot and need to be erased from this planet.
  • Four more shot blocks for Hjalmarsson. I have come full circle on this guy. I was not a big fan, and called for his trade many time. The fact of the matter is that he has progressed and become a major part of the heart of the defense. He has his rough nights, but who doesn't? SO glad they kept him instead of Niemi, and that has never changed.
  • It might not show up on the score sheet, but Brandon Saad just gets better and better. I have no shame in saying how much I like this kid. His drive to the net, speed, and confidence are SCARY. The goals will come, because he puts himself in the right areas to succeed. The way he blew through the Flames, late in the third period, was absolutely jaw dropping. I think it's safe to say Viktor Stalberg is watching his Blackhawks career flash before his eyes. How the Hawks got this kid, where they did, was total larceny.
The Bad

  • Toews, Mayers and Carcillo all had great chances alone against Kiprusoff in the first, but none of them could put the puck in the net. The barrage continued throughout the game and Kiprusoff held his ground very well, but you can't win many game when you team doesn't score a single goal. He may want to rethink that threat to not report if he is traded. A trade may be his only saving grace.
  • Dullig was out, and Carcillo replaced him. 7:02 of glory, and barely a blip on the radar.
  • Kruger and Bolland were dogged at the dot something awful, going a combined 31%. Oh, but lookie here, MegaMayers won all 4 faceoffs he took. Good thing they are saving him for the playoffs with all those healthy scratches.
The Ugly

  • Is it a league mandate that every Jackman needs to be a total ball bag. Yes, I thought so. Must be a clause in the new CBA.
  • The powerplay was anemic against the league's #20 penalty kill unit. Now that the Hawks penalty kill has come back down to earth a little bit (dropped to #7 at 84.3%), the powerplay needs to step up. Yet, it's getting worse and worse as the season wears on. By no means am I preaching doom and gloom, but this is an important part of the game that needs to get UNFUCKED real soon. Top 10 is not too much to ask with this cast of characters, because the talent is there.

    They are on the verge of slipping into the league's bottom third, and that is just unacceptable. They were #16 (17.7%) the year of the cup, but were #5 in the playoffs at 22.5%. Strangely enough they currently have the same EXACT percentage they finished with, in the 2009/10 regular season. Needless to say, they will need to get better in the playoffs, if they want a repeat performance.

Here are the video highlights:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blackhawks vs LA Kings - Loss Recap

"The System Has Failed"

We're as doomed as doomed can be, you know!

Now that we have that out of the way, seriously, we can get to the task at hand, which is back to back games against the Stanley Cup Champ Kings and lowly Calgary Flames. The Kings have found their "swagger" lately, despite losing two in a row, and one might call this the Jerome-a-palooza. Both teams are reportedly in the short list of Iginla destinations. Mr. #12 might find two bouquets of flowers left behind after last night's game. First of all the game needed to be played. Live from the United Center in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and Kings.

After the brutal ending to the last game, the Hawks came out just as we would all hope. They out shot the Kings 11-7 and had the only goal of the period. There were a few other really good Hawks chances that could have really handicapped the Kings, but one goal was all they mustered up.

The second period was almost a complete shitshow for the Blackhawks. They gave up two early goals, and barely managed many shots at all. Thanks to some dumb luck they managed to salvage some self worth with a couple of late period goals, but a very late Kings goal to tie the game hurt. The shots heavily favored Los Angeles 12-5, and despite the Hawks goals, the Kings held the momentum.

The third period was much like the second, with the Kings controlling a majority of the play and scoring another late back breaking goal. The Kings out played and out shot the Hawks 17-8, leaving the UC with a 5-4 win. Nice showing on a nationally televised game, boys. Just enough to fuel the troll fire.

The Good

  • With the absence of Hossa, Frolik was given a shot with the top line, and he took advantage almost immediately. In his second shift of the game, he put the Hawks up 1-0. Toews won the faceoff, and Saad ended up with the puck on his stick. He saw a slight window to hit Frolik, and did. Quick pass, one timer by Frodo, and B-I-N-G-O. I love seeing him finally rewarded with some success.
  • Frolik scored his second of the game with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. Deuce wound up with the puck on his stick walking the blue line and instead of ripping a clapper on net, he unleashed a slap pass to Frolik. Frodo redirected the pass enough to find Quick's 5-hole. This tied the game up, when the Kings had all the momentum.
  • Kaner took the lead back for the Hawks with 40 second remaining in the second period. He snuck in behind the shadow of Jimmy Hayes, who had somehow drawn two Kings defenders. Kane slid in behind all three players and ended up on a partial break-a-way. Kane dodged a Quick poke check, and stuffed it in behind him. The goal was a beauty, and highlight worthy.
  • Frolik got his third point of the night on an El Capitan goal, just a couple of minutes into the third period. Toews won the faceoff to Keith, who found Frolik. Frodo snapped a shot on Quick, but the rebound landed right in front of Toews, who shoveled it between Quicks legs and into the net.
  • El Capitan put a move on Mr. All-World, and made him look like he was big orange pylon outside the UC. After all the bukkake sessions the league has had over Doughty, it's nice to see him schooled by classier and more talented player. That's right, CLASSIER AND MOIRE TALENTED.
  • Even though they were plus 3 each, Deuce and Lucky Number Sleven didn't exactly tickle my tits. Seabrook was better than he had been, and Keith's pinch on the powerplay helped lead to the shorthanded goal.
The Bad

  • Anze Kopitar took advantage of a great Kings bounce, walked between Oduya and Hjalmarsson and beat Crawford with a perfect shot to tie the game at 1, with almost 5 minutes gone in the second. Johnny and Nik looked pretty confused from the moment the puck hit the blue line.
  • Dullig got back to the hammer throwing shenanigans in a tussle with Jordan Nolan. Dullig took the decision, but the Kings proceeded to score two goals shortly thereafter. You connect the dots.
  • Oduya and Hjalmarsson were minus 3 each. Is the rest of the league catching up to them?
  • Not sure what other outcome you should expect when you're out shot 36-24, but this was a generous fate. Two goals on 5 second period shots was fortunate.
  • Toews and Kruger were the only Hawks to win over 50% of their faceoffs, but one particular Toews loss cost them the game winning goal. Dismiss faceoffs all you want, but deep in either zone, they are crucial.
  • Look at that, the Hawks actually out hit a team. How did that work out for them?
The Ugly

  • It worked out in the Hawks favor, but Mike Richards was called for a 4 minute high stick penalty on a shot follow through. Bad call. TERRIBLE call, in fact. The Hawks promptly blew the power play chance, so no harm, no foul, eh?
  • Kane threw a tantrum in the second period, after getting a cross check in the back, and then proceeded to board Rob Scuderi from behind, like a spoiled child. Really, kid?
  • Jarred Stoll scored a shorthanded goal just a three minutes after the Kopitar goal, to take a 2-1 Kings lead. After the faceoff deep in the Kings zone, Shaw fell, Deuce got caught all the way down at the dot, and Seabrook was left to fend off a 2-on-1. Seabrook actually played it pretty well, taking away the pass, but Crawford got beat on his glove side. Ugly, ugly goal. Embarrassing, actually.
  • After the Hawks took the lead with 40 seconds remaining in the period, Drew Doughty decided to make something happen by rushing right up the gut of the Hawks zone and through all 5 Hawks defenders. Apparently, the Hawks thought that time would run out before the puck could end up in the net, or something. They were clearly wrong. After easily dismissing Kruger and Bickell, Stalberg, Hjalmarsson, and Oduya couldn't have looked less interested in Doughty's effort. Doughty got a decent shot off after tripping through the muck of uninterested Hawks players. The rebound eventually went off cement head Dwight King's Sasquatch sized skate and into the net with .5 seconds remaining. Stellar way to finish a complete clowning.
  • The Kings tied the game AGAIN, in the third period, on a weak flip shot from Tyler Toffoli. Not Crawford's prettiest goal against, by any stretch of the imagination. There was a slight screen, but pretty ugly all around. The Hawks just seemed insistant on giving gifts to the Kings.
  • The Kings took their final lead with under two minutes in the third. The Hawks lost a key faceoff, and Dustin Brown took a quick shot, hitting Oduya in the back. The puck came right back to Brown, who had a wide open net because Crawford had overpursued the initial shot. Brown isn't going to miss many of those open nets. Game, Set, Match.
  • Remember when I said the Powerplay and poor faceoffs would hurt the Hawks? Looks like I wasn't as stupid as some might think.
  • Crawford was fighting the puck and pretty average all night. When they needed him, he wilted. Quick wasn't much better, but the percentages were with the Kings.

Here are the video highlights:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Countdown to Insanity - Trade Deadline Edition

Just when most of us sane individuals thought that the Hawks winning streak and great record would keep the trolls from spewing forth ridiculous trade rumors, I am proven wrong. Thankfully, the Brendan Morrow derby, if there was such a thing, ended this weekend with Pittsburgh acquiring him for a prospect and draft pick. That said, there will be some movement on and around deadline day. This is a brief list of some forwards that could move in the next 10 days, based on their UFA status come July 5th, and their team's current lack of playoff position:
Mike Ribeiro
Alex Semin
Brad Boyes
Jerome Iginla
Matt Cullen
Vinny Prospal
Derek Roy
Mark Letestu
Nik Antropov
Eric Fehr
Steve Sullivan
Milan Hejduk
Kyle Chipchura
Ryane Clowe
Wojtek Wolski
Chuck Kobasew
Kyle Wellwood
Jochen Hecht
Ruslan Fedotenko

The list is, of course, much longer, but this is my truncated list. Names that grabbed my attention. The biggest name now linked with the Blackhawks, thanks to Darren Dreger, is Iginla. Apparently reports say that he is willing to waive his no trade clause to go to Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston or Chicago. The intarwebz almost spontaneously combusted when he released that little niblet. Meatballs from Bourbonnais to Kenosha pulled their Kyle Beach jerseys out and simultaneously ripped the name plates off.

For the record, I'm an Iginla fan, but I say hold your horses, Cowboys. Don't fire up this rodeo just yet.

First of all, I ask just where he plays on this Blackhawks team. Top line is Saad, Toews, and Hossa; second line is Kane, Bolland, and Sharp; third line is Bickell, Shaw, and Stalberg. Do they demote Saad to 3rd or 4th line? That's the only logical move. Are Sharp and Hossa more hurt than the team is letting on to? If so, this move is a reasonable one but if Sharp and Hossa are expected back, this is a huge salary and name to take on with no place to put said name.

Secondly, Who do the Hawks have to give up, to get a name like Iginla? Word on the street has been everything from a first round draft pick/roster player, to a first rounder/defensive prospect/roster player. Not that the Hawks first rounds have been anything special since Kane was drafted, but do you part with your pick for a 2 month rental? The Hawks have some players that they would easily give away, but do the Flames really want Shawn Lalonde, or Kyle Beach? Jay Feaster IS their GM, so that answer isn't as easy as you night think, and they DID pick up Blackhawks cast-a-way Akim Aliu, but I digress.

Third, you have to throw in the Bowman Factor. Stan worships at the altar of Poppa Scotty, who built his teams from within, and used trades to fill in holes with budget players. There aren't many times when you can find Pops making a blockbuster trade for a big name. The Blackhawks were in much more dire need of help the past two seasons, and really did nothing. This year the Hawks have one of the best records in the league, and have shown very few weaknesses. I would expect Bowman to make a safe depth move, and Iginla ends up somewhere else, unless they can get a helluva deal. Don't say I didn't tell you.

None of the other players really give me the warm and fuzzies. Clowe's size and aggressiveness might gather some interest but, again, where does he go? He replaces Bickell, who then moves to the 4th line. What is the price, and would Wilson even deal with the Blackhawks?

Otherwise, Roy, Cullen, or Letestu might help up the middle, but are they an upgrade over Bolland? They all can win a faceoff, which is what the Hawks really need. This is all purely speculation, and only Bowman knows what is on his plate, but don't fore up the Jerome Iginla welcome wagon, just yet.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blackhawks at Anaheim - Loss Recap

"Killer of Giants"

This is the game we've all been waiting for, since the middle of February. The Blackhawks were in Anaheim CA to face the red hot Ducks. Just when you think this team will fold it up and fade, they roll right along. Fresh off the re-signings of their two stars, Getzlaf and Perry, this year's St. Louis Blues were kicking ass and taking names. Luckily for the Hawks, the Quackers would be without the services of Corey Perry, thanks to a dirty hit against the Wild. This doesn't mean they weren't dressing some firepower, but one less is one less. Live from the Pond in Anaheim, it's the Blackhawks and the Ducks!

The Blackhawks were lucky to make it out of the first period tied. They were out shot 11-5 and out played, but managed to keep the game even. It goes without saying that they aren't going to have much luck getting dominated the way they way did to open the game.

The middle frame was much better as the Hawks found their footing. They out shot the Ducks 11-7 and scored the only goal of the period. For most of the period, the Hawks had some heavy pressure, which left them with a one goal lead going into the final 20 minutes.

The Hawks weren't very strong in the third period, giving up the lead, and eventually losing 4-2. I take that back; They sucked. The shots were even at 8, but turnovers and brainfarts were the death of them. This one was a serious choke job. Now the Hawks have four days to let this one stew.

The Good

  • El Capitan used a timely shorthanded chance to get a breakaway and beat Jonas Hiller, tying up the game up at 1-1. Once again, Jonny whips his dong out and mushroom stamps an NHL opponent right on the forehead. With Hossa out, he needed to kick his teammates in the ass.
  • Toews once again whipped out his dong, halfway through the second, rushing hard to the net despite wearing Sheldon Souray as a cape. The Hawks were awarded a powerplay for his efforts. On the ensuing powerplay, Ledd-Head celebrated his birthday with a goal of his own, using Swedeberg as a screen. Great timing all set up by the Captain's enormous coconuts.
  • The Hawks actually won more faceoffs than the Quackers with only Bolland sitting under 50%.
  • Getzlaf one upped his countercaptian in white by leading the third period comeback. Makes that brand new cap hit a little easier to swallow, doesn't it, Bob Murray?
  • Brookbank wasn't completely useless, with 3 blocked shots and 3 hits. That's about the most complimentary you'll hear me regarding Sheldon Brookbank, and furthermore, when the "good" defaults to him, I'm really grasping at straws.
The Bad

  • Just to put a bad taste in our mouths right out of the gate, Dr. Lineblender started Gorilla Salad with El Capitan, and the Saadfather. After that, Kane was double shifted in his place. Call someone up, for christ sakes! How in the FUCK does a guy start the game on the top line and proceed to two more shifts the entire game? If he is that fucking useless, then call someone up to replace him. Enough of this patchwork horseshit, where Kane is playing nearly 24 minutes. What good is he if he's exhausted when they need his puck control most?
  • Peter Holland was the lucky recipient of Dan Winnik's hard work. Winnik stole the puck from Seabrook, and circled all the way around the net. He fed Sbisa who shot wide on the short side, but the puck came out on the far side of the net to Holland, who stuffed it in. Complete clusterfuck from the word go. Lucky Sleven in the hook for that one.
  • Of all people, Dullig scored about 5 minutes into the third period but was negated because he kicked it into the net. Of course he did, because using his stick is not something he can manage. He might as well skate out there with a club. Queue momentum shift.
  • With 5 minutes to go in regulation Bobby Ryan tied the game off a Getzlaf rebound. Getzlaf shot from a tight angle and the rebound squirted out across the crease and to Ryan, who had an open net.
  • A minute after the Ryan goal, Getzlaf set up Teemu Selanne after the Hawks got caught running around in their own zone.
  • Sheldon Souray iced the game with an empty netter.
  • Getting held to only 24 shots is a telltale stat. The Hawks need to be in the sweet spot of 28 to 32 shots, becasue under 25 usually means bad things for them.
The Ugly

  • Dullig took a terrible interference penalty just a couple of minutes into the game. He got rocked in the neutral zone and chased Staubitz all the way back into the Duck zone, finally pushing him into Hiller like a complete dumb ass. Sure let the top powerplay in the NHL out there a few minutes in. Luckily it didn't bite them in the ass, but why tempt fate? You couldn't still Bolling and put Carcillo there? I don't like either of them, but Carcillo is a better option than the bearded yeti.
  • The tale of the tape. Oduya and Bolland were minus 3 each, and Kane was minus 4. Looks like that double shifting crap worked out well. Oduya also had 3 giveaways.

Here are the video highlights:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blackhawks at Colorado - Win Recap


The Blackhawks travelled to Denver Monday night with a little revenge on their mind. The Avs, if you remember, put an end to the Hawks point streak last week, and did so in pretty convincing fashion. This time the pressure was off, and the Hawks only had to focus on one thing, two more points. This might be even easier, after the thrashing they laid out on Saturday night, in Dallas. Live from the thin air of Denver Colorado, it's the Blackhawks and the Avalanche.

The Hawks came out with a vengeance in the first period, and put two goals in the net in a matter of a minute about halfway through, but the Avs closed the gap with a very late shorthanded goal. The Blackhawks shot total was 11 to the Avalanches 6 in the opening 20 minutes of the game.

The second was right in line with the first period. The Hawks again out shot the Avs, 11-9 and again out scored them 2-1. A 4-2 lead against this team ended up being plenty to walk away with a win, but there were still 20 minutes to play.

The third period was just the icing on the cake with the Blackhawks holding the Avs to only 4 shots, while scoring a late goal on 10 shots of their own. This one wasn't much of a fight from the get go. It doesn't make up for the streak ending, but it does make the sting a little less annoying.

The Good

  • Jimmy Hayes scored his first goal this season on a feed from Crazy 8s, with just under 4 minutes gone in the first period. Kane intercepted a pass along the boards and fed it to a wide open Hazer at the top of the crease. Hayes turned and backhanded the puck over Varlamov for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Stalberg and Shaw hooked up about a minute after Hayes' goal on a 2-on-1. They took advantage of a stupid Erik Johnson play, and turned it into the Hawks second goal of the night. Not even 5 minutes into the game, and the Hawks were up 2-0.
  • Crazy 8s continued his hot play, but El Capitan did all the heavy lifting for the Hawks 3rd goal of the night. Toews lugged the puck back and forth behind the net, and eventually to the crease. Varlamov made the stop on his shot, but ended up in the prone position when Toews continued to bull through the front of the net. Kane picked up the rebound on the goal line extended and put it off the far post and in. 3-1 Good guys!
  • After missing most of the second period, in what some are speculating was a disciplinary measure, Brent Seabrook put the Hawks up 4-1 with about 5 minutes remaining in the period. Crazy 8s found Seabrook in a soft spot in the high slot and put it right in the wheelhouse for a lazer of a one timer.
  • El Capitan put the dot on the "i" of the win, on a 2-on-1 with the Saadfather. They just sped up the ice and Toews fisted Varlamov with a wicked top shelfer.
  • El Capitan and Kane each had 3 points. Sounds good to me.
  • Hjalmarsson saved what was a sure open net goal, in the first period, which was huge for momentum.
  • 32 shots to 19 is pretty convincing on the road. You can't ask for much more than that.
The Bad

  • A late second period powerplay by the Avs led to their second goal of the game. Oduya got turned up side down, and inside out, leaving Hejduk 1-on-1 with Emery, who had prematurely gone down (Hey now!). That's never a good combo, and the Hawks lead was cut to two goals.
  • Hossa went out in the first period with an upper body injury. Looked a little bit like a shoulder, but we'll probably never really know.
  • The Hawks were whooped at the dots all night. Even El Capitain was under 50%.
  • Due to the Hawks convincing lead and the injury to Hossa, Brandon Dullig played over twelve minutes. He might need oxygen after that.
  • On the flip side of Toews and Kane were Shane O'Brien and P.A. Parenteau, who were minus 3 each.
The Ugly

  • Ball bag Gabriel Landeskog blew around Brent Seabrook on a great shorthanded chance, and put the puck past Emery to bring the Avs back within one goal, in the final seconds of the first period. Seabrook ended up sitting a good portion of the second period in what Boden and Konroyd seemed to think was a slap on the wrist from Quenneville. His effort WAS pretty terrible. I actually thought he had a skate issue, or was injured on the play, because he NEVER gets walked around like that. The guy is probably my favorite Hawk, but watching that play made me cringe.

Here are the video highlights:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blackhawks at Dallas - Win Recap


Since this recap is late, I'll get right to the observations.

The Good

  • Ledd-Head looked to have grabbed the Hawks a lead about halfway through the first period. Upon further review, the goal was given to El Capitan. The Hawks had heavy pressure down low and the Saadfather put a pretty silly between the legs pass through the crease. Leddy pinched and let the shot go from just outside the circle. Toews got a piece of it, and the onslaught began.
  • Just a minute and thirty five seconds later, El Capitan scored his second of the night. The play started when he won a deep faceoff to Hossa. The puck was worked over to Keith who took a shot off Saad, and the puck landed on an open Toews stick. 2-0 Hawks.
  • Pick-To-Click Vik set up a Ledd-Dead goal, with just over 2 minutes to go in the first period. Swedeberg blew around a Dallas D-Man, and tried to jam it through Lehtonen, but was stopped. Shaw, and then finally Leddy had whacks at it, but Leddy's was the the one to go.
  • Johnny Oduya scored his second goal in consecutive games. Swedeberg picked the pocket of Jordie Benn and the puck came straight out to Oduya who let a lazerbeam go, ending Lehtonen's night.
  • Next up was Hoss, on a feed from Crazy 8s. Four on Four play was benefitting The Hawks were rolling, and the Stars had left the building.
  • Hoss got his second of the game on a 5-on-3 that he just snapped past Bachman. This brought the Hawks lead to 6-0 with a period to play.
  • By the time Deuce had scored his goal, the Stars were napping on the bench. They were begging to be finished off for good. 7-0 Hawks
  • The Kane spin-o-rama goal was just stupid good, even though Bachman should have never allowed that goal from that angle. Get lazy and be made an example of.
The Bad

  • The Hawks were pretty clowned at the dot. Toews was in the 80th percentile but the rest of the team was under 50%.
The Ugly

  • Stupid fight with Seabrook and Roussel. Guy gets put on his ass and has to start a pointless fight. That'll make up 5 goals, dumb ass.
  • When you're up 7-0, you're bound to get lulled to sleep, and the Hawks did. A poor penalty call didn't help matters, but the Stars were able to keep from getting whitewashed. Whatever.

Here are the video highlights:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blackhawks at Columbus - SO Win Recap

"The Duellists"

The Blackhawks couldn't have a break, and a trip to Columbus at a better time. The NHL and media bukkake session regarding the Blackhawks and "The Streak" has now come to a screeching halt and, in fact, the NHL has almost done a 180. Even though the Blackhawks have had their struggles against the Jackets, they needed a break from the high flying teams. They did their best to make it interesting. Live from tropical Columbus Ohio, it's the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets.

The opening period could have lulled you to sleep. The Jackets out shot the Hawks by one, 11-10, but there were no goals on the board, going into the first intermission.

The second had all of the scoring, in regulation. The Hawks opened up a lead and promptly gave it up on a powerplay. The shots were again close, at 10-10, and the Hawks would once again take a tie game into the final period.

Neither team could decide the game in the final 20 minutes, even though the Hawks out shot the Jackets 13-3, which gave Columbus a little hope for overtime. The teams threw all defense out the window in the overtime period combining for 13 shots in the final 5 minutes. Again, both goalies stood tall and this game had to go to a shootout, which the Hawks finally won.

The Good

  • Oduya grabbed a lead for the Hawks that would last les than a minute. The Hawks had a real nice rotation working and Crazy 8s finally found Oduya sneaking in on the back door. He snapped a shot past Bobrovsky, and it looked like the Hawks were ready to roll. The Jackets had other ideas.
  • Both goalies were over .950 save percentage. You can't ask for more than that from your netminders. big comeback game for Crawford, after a rough weekend.
  • El Capitan had 7 shots on net, which is exactly what you're looking for from your leader
  • Dullig actually took time away from his pointless thuggery to get a sweet chance on Bobrovsky, and Bobo stoned him.
The Bad

  • Shaw decided to get into the fight ridiculousness, hooking with with Matt Calvert. Snore.
  • Kings castaway Jack Johnson took that Hawks lead off the board with a powerplay goal. El Capitan lost a rare faceoff, Hoss was late getting to his point, and Johnson just blazed a shot past Crawford. 1-1
  • Bolland had a prime change in overtime and completely shit the bed. The net was wide open and Bobrovsky dove over, which left everything above 10 inches off the ice wide open. What does Bolland do? shoot it right into Bobrovsky's stick.
  • The Hawks centers were barely serviceable at the dots. El Capitan was the only one over 50% at the dots.
The Ugly

  • The final goalie interference penalty was brutal. He was clearly pushed into Bobrovsky, and gets roped into a penalty, in the final minutes of the game. Weak call, and unacceptable.
The Shootout

  • Artem Anisimov roofed a backhander over Crawford
  • El Capitan went with old trusty to beat Bobo 5-hole
  • Crawford beat Ryan Johansen
  • Kane clowned Bobrovsky for the eventual winner.
  • Crawford poke checked Brassard

Here are the video highlights:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Oilers - Loss Recap

"Train Of Consequences"

Well, thank god that circus finally ended, right? Of course none of us wanted to see it end, but anyone with half a brain knew it was coming. Road game, hot team, not surprising that it ended that way. The Hawks were back home to face another fast team, but this time one that has had problems winning. Time to start a new streak, and the Oilers are the first victim. Live from the United Center in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and the Erlers.

The first period was complete and absolute abortion. The Blackhawks gave up 4 goals and several other great chances, while getting out shot 12-5. There was nothing promising or even slightly encouraging about the period.

The second period was even more wild than the first. The Hawks scored FOUR goals on 20 shots, and the Oilers had 2 goals of their own on 9 shots. All defense had been thrown in the green Chicago river. Who know what was in store for the third period.

The third period was certainly full of action. Unfortunately, the comeback came one goal short, even though the Blackhawks out shot the Oilers 11-4. The 4 goal deficit proved to be too much and the Hawks lost their second regulation game in a row.

The Good

  • Swedeberg started in place of Shooter, which I like, but the results weren't all that good.
  • The Hawks finally did something would getting excited about about 5 minutes into the second period. An Oilers misfired pass was chased down by Crazy 8s in the Oiler's zone, who beat Dubnyk to the loose puck. For some reason, Dubnyk thought it was a good idea to come 40 feet out of his net to pick up a loose puck. Kane then skated to the net and made sure it ended up in the back. Smart play by Kane, when nothing was going their way.
  • Hoss scored the second goal of the second period for the Hawks, on a great rush by El Capitan. He took the puck around the net and just as he cleared the far post, he hit a wide open Hoss for a one time goal. The crowd woke up with that goal.
  • El Capitan and Hoss worked a beautiful 2-on-3, while shorthanded, just after the Hossa goal. They weaved in, Toews suckered 3 defenders towards him, and Hossa was left wide open. They nearly finished but couldn't stuff it past Dubnyk, who was injured on the play.
  • Brookbank got his first goal as a Blackhawk, shorthanded, after Sam Gagner took a penalty on Hossa. Gagner interfered with Hossa, and then stopped to bitch at the ref about the call. Hossa kept playing, and even though neither him nor Toews could finish, Brookbank crashed the net and ended up chest bumping the puck into the net. That excitement lasted about 50 seconds.
  • Seabrook followed the Hall powerplay goal with a goal of his own. He just blasted a long slapshot through Denis' 5-hole to bring the Hawks back within 2 goals, 6-4. At this point the game was up for grabs. Not a lick of defense was being played.
  • Crazy 8s used a stupid Oilers penalty to get the Hawks within 1 goal, on a great cross ice feed from Bolland. I have no words for the craziness and lack of defense in this game. 6-5 Oilers with plenty of time to play. Too bad they weren't able to use that time to their advantage
  • The Hawks centers pretty much clowned the Oilers at the dot, with Toews leading the boys in red at 76
    %. Shaw was the only Hawks center under 50%.
The Bad

  • EVERY Blackhawks except Bickell, Shaw and Frolik was a minus one in the first period. FIFTEEN minus ones! FIFTEEN! IN THE FIRST PERIOD!
  • The Oilers scored their second powerplay goal of the game following Dubnyk going out of the game, with 10 minutes gone in the period. Nugent-Hopkins used Horcoff to deflect a nice pass past Crawford for a 5-2 Oilers lead.
  • Right after the Brookbank goal, Nugent-Hopkins used Taylor Hall the same way he did Horcoff earlier, to beat Crawford and negate the shorthanded Brookbank goal. One step forward and two steps back.
  • When you give up goals on 3 of 4 penalties againt, you're not going to win many games.
The Ugly

  • In the first three minutes, the Hawks managed to give up a terrible goal to Mike Brown, and a back door goal to Sam Gagner. The Hawks looked like a steaming platter of hot dog shit, and it didn't get any better in the fist frame. The first one was all on Emery, and the second was on the defense. The worst three minutes of hockey I've seen this team play in a long long time.
  • Ryan Whitney put the Oilers up 3-0 after the Hawks fell, or STAYED, asleep in their own zone. The Hawks won the faceoff and Taylor Hall turned it onto a feed to a straking Whitney for another
  • Sam Gagner split the Hawks defense (Oduya/Kruger), on the powerplay, to put the Oilers up 4-0, with 7 minutes still to play IN THE FIRST PERIOD! The powerplay was as a result of Mayers trying to start a fight, and Mike Brown laughing in his face. Funny how the Hawks opponents know not to engage in a fight when they have momentum, but Dullig will run out there and start a fight no matter what else is going on. This time it was MegaMayers looking like a fucking tool. Nothing more pathetic than getting turned down by another meathead for a fight.

Here are the video highlights:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Blackhawks at Colorado - Loss Recap

"Good Mourning/Black Friday"

The Blackhawks traveled to Denver, Friday night, to face the pesky Avalanche for the second time this week. After the last game there was sure to be a few hard feelings. The Avs knocked Patrick Sharp out, for what looks like 3 week, and also knocked Andres Shaw out with an elbow to the melon. The Hawks were going to need a better effort and better health in this game to open the second half of the season with a win, and continue the streak. Live from Denver Colorado it's the Blackhawks and Avalanche...

The Hawks actually looked really good to open up the game, even taking a lead pretty early. Unfortunately, an offensive zone penalty led to a late Avs powerplay goal. The Avs out shot the Hawks to the tune of 10-6, and the Avs also had the only two powerplays.

The Hawks completely filled their drawers in the second period. A shitshow if I ever saw one. The Avs netted 4 goals, and with all that action in the Hawks end, who had time for goals of their own? The Avs only out shot the Hawks 13-9, but it seemed live every single shot ended up in the net.

The third period was really a formality, because the Hawks had been done for a while. Each team put a pointless goal on the board, and the Hawks even out shot the Avs 14-12, but the Hawks second period was the death of them. The streak finally came to an end, which means they can finally cut the shenanigans and get to the task at hand, the playoffs and the cup.

The Good

  • Saader, Hoss and El Capitan put together a beautiful passing play to give the Hawks a lead with just over 5 minutes gone in the first period. This line just gets better and better. The play started out with a Toews steal to Saad, then a backhand pass to Hossa, who worked a give-n-go with El Capitan. Beautiful play, just too bad it went to waste, because it was pretty much downhill from there
  • Even though the game was out of reach, it was nice to see the Hawks continue to put in somewhat of an effort. Bryan Bickell ended up with a puck on his tape right at the faceoff circle and blazed shot over Valamov's glove.
  • Erik Johnson was a plus FOUR in his return. Do you think this team missed him much?
  • This streak became more of a "when will they lose", as opposed to "how many will they win". Personally, I'm glad it's over.
The Bad

  • Paul Stastny tied the game up for the Avs, on a powerplay with just over 3 minutes left in the first period. Douch-ene set the goal up with a half slap pass to the tape of Stastny, who redirected towards Crawford. This was the beginning of the end for the Hawks.
  • With Stalberg stuck on the ice, injured, in the offensive zone, the Hawks were left essentially shorthanded and the Avs took their first lead, with under 5 minutes gone in the second period. Matt Douch-ene slid between Hjalmarsson and Oduya and took a pass from Erik Johnson, to beat Crawford on terrible short side goal. Crawford looked really undecided on how to deal with Douch-ene, and the little pain in the ass made him look silly.
  • Thirty three seconds after the Douch-ene goal, John Mitchell and Ryan O'Reilly worked a nifty little pass play through Deuce, Sleven and Bolland. Mitchell then snapped a shot over Crawford's blocker, to put the Hawks in a 3-1 hole.
  • Half way through the second period, Crawford took an "iffy" tripping penalty, and the Avs Ryan O'Reilly scored 4 seconds into the powerplay. The Avs won the faceoff cleanly against Kruger, Douch-ene picked up the puck and sent a pass right into O'Reilly's wheelhouse. No professional should miss a chance like that. 4-1 Avs and it was only halfway through this fucking abomination.
  • If the game wasn't already put away after the powerplay goal, Jamie McGinn did it with a goal on a feed from Douch-ene, with 6 minutes remaining in the second. Douch-ene beat both Deuce and Sleven to a puck that should have been icing, then Bolland and Bickell completely ignored McGinn trailing the play. Douch-ene hit him right on the tape, and celebrating began. I would have pulled Crawford 2 goals ago, but what do I know?
  • Former Blackhawk for a second, P.A. Parenteau took a pass from Paul Stastny, beat Leddy and Razor, to put the icing on the cake, during a late stretch of 4-on-4 play. Whatever, the Hawks had been done for over a period already, why should I care at this point.
  • Emery opened the third period in net, which was about 2 goals too late. He let the 6th goal in.
The Ugly

  • This wasn't the reason the Hawks lost, but the officiating was absolutely fucking brutal. I can't remember seeing a game in which both teams got away with such blatantly clear infractions. If they can't tighten up for the playoffs, this year is going to be a free for all.
  • Good thing Dullig made the trip so he could be rocked by Huntwick, and do nothing about it. Down 3-1, want to grab momentum? How about getting rocked and letting the guy get away with it? Dullig is good for one thing, pejoratively speaking, and now he won't even do that.
  • Landeskog has to be the biggest bullshit scam of a captain in the NHL. He's a chippy little shitstain that in no way deserves to be a captain. He's a talented player but, as shown by his actions, a captain he is not. Fuck him and anyone that thinks otherwise. Stastny deserves it more. Props to Bickell for looking out for his teammate after a classless shot to the back of Keith's head.
  • Dave Bolland. Minus THREE on the night. OOOFA!
  • From the second period on, the Hawks looked two steps lower than the Avs. It was just not their night.
  • The Hawks faceoff stats were as follows: Toews (45%), Bolland (44%), Shaw (10%), and Kruger (17%). All of those guys sucked. Period. Those are terrible numbers.
  • Win or not, Mark Kiszla is a classless piece of shit. Journalists do not call out opponents for simply being good. You have etiquette of south of us dirtbag bloggers.

Here are the video highlights:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Avalanche - Win Recap

"11th Hour"

The Colorado Avalanche came Chicago, Wednesday, to trample over the corpse of the Minnesota Wild and try to stop the Blackhawks streak before they hit the halfway point of the season. This was the first of 3 Avs games in 12 days, which should be just special and annoying. It is unreal to imagine that the Hawks have made it to the halfway point of this season with no regulation losses. The Avs came into this game struggling a bit. They towed an 8-9-4 record into the UC, with a loss Monday night to Detroit. In their last 5 gomes, the Avs were only 1-1-3, so this was a prime chance for the Hawks to strike. As we all know, though, it's not the tough teams that give the Hawks problems, it's the ones with nothing to lose. This team has enough firepower to run the score up, but defensively, they could only hope to match the Hawks.

The Hawks opened up very similarly to quite a few of the more recent games. They spend a good portion of the first part of the opening twenty minutes period chasing the puck in their own end, but a powerplay goal swung the momentum in the Hawks favor. They ended up with 12 shots to the Avs 8, but a late Avs goal left the game tied, with 40 minutes remaining.

The Hawks had a little more jump in their step to begin the second period, but they couldn't capitalize on any of their chances. The Avs DID take advantage of their chance and took a 2-1 lead, even though they were out shot 9-6. The Hawks were going to need to solve the Avs goalie in the third to keep this streak humping along.

The third period turned into chaos as the Hawks potted 2 goals, and took the win. They threw 10 shots on the Avs net, and gave up 7. In the end it was a shorthanded goal, and one in the last minute of regulation to do the job. Next stop, Colorado on Friday.

The Good

  • Shock-N-Shaw grabbed a lead for the Blackhawks, with 10 minutes gone in the first period. The Avs had a hell of a time getting the puck out of the zone while killing a dumb Cody McLeod penalty, and the puck ended up on Seabrook's stick. Seabrook unleashed a lazer beam that may or may not have gone wide. Shaw tipped it down and past Varlamov. 1-0 good guys.
  • The Hawks came out in the third period with a Dr. LineBlender special of Shooter with Saad and El Capitan skating #1, Bickell with Bolland and Kane at #2, and Kruger centering Swedeberg and Gorilla Salad on #3. You have to do what you have to do when you have forwards hurting.
  • El Capitan and Bolland worked a beautiful 2-on-2 weaving pass play on the Avs defense while shorthanded, just a couple of minutes into the third period. When I say defense, I mean the players that were lined up on defense, because Colorado had 5 forwards on the ice. Toews blazed around Ryan O'Reilly and tucked the puck around Varlamov's right toe to tied the game and wake the crowd up.
  • Gorilla Salad, of all people, put the Hawks up 3-2 with under a minute to go in the game, off a scrum in the crease. He was able to sift through the slop and chip a Swedeberg rebound past Varlamov. That was all the Hawks needed to take the two points in regulation. Kruger did the dirty work behind the net, and everyone obviously understands that Stalberg = rebounds or shot obnoxiously wide.
  • The Hawks leaned HEAVILY on the remaining top forwards to carry them. Brookbank, Shaw, and Mayers all played under 10 minutes. Shaw was under more for injury than anything, but you get my point. The money men earned it last night.
The Bad

  • Quenneville opened up the game with Gorilla Salad playing on the wing, replacing Hossa, with El Capitan and General Saad. I cannot get on board with Gorilla Salad playing on the first line. Just cannot do it. Not ever. I can live with 3rd line, but wasting Toews and Saad's talents with that cementhead is just stupid.
  • John Mitchell and Ryan O'Reilly hooked up with under 2 minutes left in the first period, to tie the game up for the Avs. Mitchell was able to sneak past Deuce and Sleven, and take a bit of an O'Reilly touch pass, and put a backhand up and over Razor's glove.
  • Deuce has found opponents shin guards once again, and when he zeros in, he is bang on.
  • It was announced at game time that Hossa was a scratch, with an ever irritating upper body injury. Not really sure why, but that's a big loss. That announcement forced Quenneville to play Kruger between Brookbank and Mayers. YIKES, poor !
The Ugly

  • Doc Emerick's "waffle board" reference drive me crazy. Where is the petition to strike that from the hockey lexicon? They aren't waffle boards anymore, and haven't been for almost 20 years. Once or twice is fine, but the more he says it, the more I want to club baby seals.
  • I have a feeling that once this team comes back down to earth, Michal Rozsival is going to become my lightning rod. He took over the concrete skates that Big Slow left behind, and it gets him in penalty trouble. He's an upgrade over O'Donnell, but my patience is wearing thin.
  • Matt Douch-ene and former Hawk P.A. Parenteau worked a give-n-go around Deuce and Sleven. Douch-ene then banked the puck off Emery's hip from a short angle and into the net. Cant say I haven't been there, but the Hawks needed that save. This was 10 seconds after Shooter was denied on a great drive to the net in the Avs end.
  • Sharp struggled to get off the ice in the third period, after an offensive zone rub off by Ryan O'Byrne. He was laboring his shoulder of left arm. Could be another huge loss for this team. At the time, he was minus two on the night but had some great chances.
  • Not only did the Hawks lose Hossa and Sharp, but Shaw took a slightly dirty elbow to the dome from Stastny in the second period, that seemed to rattle his cage. Before going out, he was 0-fer at the dots.

Here are the video highlights:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Wild - Win Recap

"Third and Twenty Three"

The Minnesota Wild laugh at us, Chicago. Coming from the snowy wasteland of Minneapolis/St.Paul, the Wild must have been rolling on the floor with the attention this city was giving to the snow storm that local media was fawning over. Not only that, but the Hawks honored Marian Hossa for his 1000th game with a painting and pretty slick silver stick. With all the snowy shenanigans and Hossa-brations going on, there was actually a game to be played, Tuesday night. The Wild and their big names were in town to face the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks returned Dave Bolland to the lineup, and just in time because Frolik was out sick. Depth never hurt anyone, and the Hawks will gladly shoulder that problem all day long. Live from the United Center in snowy Chicago Illinois, it's the Blackhawks and Wild...

There might have been some worries about the Hawks coming out too cold, after the Hossa ceremony, with the Wild scoring the opening goal, but they scored 4 straight goals after that. The Hawks clearly out shot the Wild 17-6. Adversity was no problem for this Hawks team.

There weren't fireworks, like the first period, but the Hawks still controlled most of the chances in the second and again out shot the Wild 11-4. Even though there were considerably less chances, the closer checking play still favored the Blackhawks.

The Wild finally came to life in the third period with 13 shots and a couple of goals, but the Hawks had a goal of their own to put the game away. The streak was alive and well, and the next victim is the Avalanche Wednesday night.

The Good

  • Just a couple of minutes into the game the Hawks were killing a penalty and El Capitan lost his stick. As he went to the bench to get a new stick the Hawks took possession, and Hossa hit him with a pass right on the tape of that brand new stick. He had snuck in behind Suter, and was in on a breakaway. Unfortunately for Toews, he mishandled the puck, but the chance was excellent.
  • General Saad put the Hawks on the board with a rebound goal, about 13 minutes into the game. Hjalmarsson let a long point shot go, that dropped in front of Backstrom. Saad got two whacks at the puck and didn't miss on the second one. All tied up at 1-1.
  • One Trick Bick followed the Saad goal with one of his own, 42 seconds later. He picked up a Stalberg rebound and beat a late reacting Backstrom for a 2-1 Hawks lead. Just when you think the Wild might have the momentum, the Hawks put two goals on the board in less than a minute.
  • Bick struck again, with 2:45 left in the first as the first goal scorer, Saad, set him up for another goal. Saad picked up the puck along the left wall, took a stride or two, dished to Bickell, and Bick snapped a wrist shot over Backstrom's left should. 3-1 Hawks.
  • A few minutes after the second Bickell goal, General Saad picked up a loose puck in the slot and dished to Mr. Silver Stick, Hoss, and he ripped one past Backstrom, aka Swiss Cheese. 4-1 Hawks before 20 minutes had even been played.
  • The Saadfather put up 3 points in the first 20 minutes, alone. Yes sir, we will take THAT!
  • Even with the rare chances in the second period, Sharp got a late period breakaway on a feed from El Capitan. Kuemper made the save, but the chance deserves accolades.
  • Crawford's lateral movement continues to show improvement. There were a couple of opportunities that he would have been way out of position for last year, and was able to easily extinguish last night.
  • You HAVE to love seeing Kruger and Saad killing penalties late in the game.
  • Shortly after the Brodziak goal, Shooter took a feed from Bolland after a Wild turnover and threw a shot at Kuemper. The rebound ended up in the slot and on Kane's stick. Top cheddar snipe, and it was 5-3 Hawks.
  • Amazing what happens when you let Saad play where he belongs for 60 minutes, wouldn't you say Mr. Mustache?
  • El Capitan, Shock-N-Shaw, and Kruger were all over 50% at the dots. Bolland took the shitshow collar of the night, going 8 for 18.
The Bad

  • Andrew Shaw turned the puck over in a terrible area led to the Wild taking a 1-0 lead. The Wild picked up the turnover and Crawford made the original save, but the rebound lay in the crease for Setoguchi to tap into the net. There went the shutout.
  • The Granlund/Heatley/Bouchard line was a hearty -6 total in the first period, and -9 total in the game. OOOFA! Clutch, Gents.
  • The Hawks gave up a powerplay goal to Suter about 4 minutes into the third period. The play was pretty cut and dried, as the puck was sent out to Suter and he just blew it by Crawford's blocker.
  • Kyle Brodziak beat Brandon Dull-ig to a loose puck just outside the Hawks crease, and chipped it into the net to put the game within one goal at 4-3, but it wouldn't last long.
The Ugly

  • Niklas Backstrom, who normally plays great against the Hawks, was chased from the game after only 20 minutes and 4 goals against. Darcy Kuemper started the second period, but the 4 first period goals were not all Backstrom's fault. The Wild D was pretty pathetic around him.
  • Rumor has it that Zach Parise plays for Minny-Haha. I can neither confirm nor deny his employment after watching last night's game.
  • I have to give props to HockeeNight.com and their new nickname for Dan Carcillo, which I am going to use as well, Gorilla Salad. Genius. Speaking of Gorilla Salad, him and Dullig were the only Hawks with minuses on the night and didn't see the ice after the last Wild goal. No coincidence there, Folks.

Here are the video highlights:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dirty Black Summer

The Blackhawks have been on a cinderella run that none of us have seen in this city, well, EVER. As far as the Blackhawks go, that is. Regardless of what the Hawks do to finish the season, Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks are going to need to do work on some creative accounting to fill some holes, thanks to the salary cap rollback in the new CBA.

As the roster sits today, Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg will be unrestricted free agents. Marcus Kruger and Nick Leddy will be restricted free agents. With the deals they are getting in Stalberg ($875K) and Bickell ($541K), even if they re-sign, it'll be for a raise. Lets say, for the sake of sanity, that each of them double their salaries. Stalberg would be at $1.75 Million and Bickell would be at just about $1.1 Million. Both are palatable cap hits, in today's market, but that brings the Hawks cap room to just under $1.2 million, with Kruger and Leddy still unsigned and no backup goalie. You can see where I'm going with this. Even if they are ok with humping the cap ceiling, they are going to need to shed some payroll. My gut feeling is that one, or both of them will be playing elsewhere. Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Hayes should be able to fill the Bickell/Stalberg slots pretty well. Ben Smith is also another candidate to fill some of that ice time. I wouldn't be heartbroken with any of these moves, but Stalberg's speed is an x-factor.

On the other hand, Leddy is in for a payday and Kruger isn't far behind. Even if both of THEM double their salaries, Kruger is at roughly $1.8 Million and Leddy is at $2.233 Million. Again, both decent cap hits, but if the Hawks keep all 4 at double their current salaries, the Hawks would be nearly $3 Million over the cap. That number drops to about $1.4 million over, if they play the kids in Bickell and Stalberg's spots. Either way, the Hawks need to make adjustments.

There are some easy solutions, with a buyout of Rostislav Olesz and maybe Steve Montador. These two moves, alone, free up almost $6 million dollars, make the most sense, and leave the Hawks some room to either sign or bring up a backup netminder, with some slight wiggle room. It's doubtful that they are going to pay Ray Emery the raise he is going to be looking for, come season's end, but I've been wrong before. Hutton and Karlsson are both unrestricted free agents and if one is re-signed, my guess would be Karlsson, based on his NHL experience. I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see both left to test the market.

All of these moves and all of this speculation is based on one thing, the Hawks don't test the free agent market. At all.

This brings me to my next point, and I brought this up on Twitter and in my game recap last night. David Bolland. Has the success of the young centers made him and his $3.375 Million cap hit expendable? I would say yes, and here is why.

-With Bolland out of the lineup, Kruger and Shaw have filled his spot pretty admirably.
-Shaw has taken over Bolland's beloved third line shutdown spot, and some would say he's not missed a beat.
-Those in love with his playoff performance forget that he's no longer playing against the other team's top lines. Shaw's line has been.
-While Kruger has a tough time winning faceoffs, Bolland has has almost identical issues at the dot. If they want to have a #3 playing in the #2 spot, Kruger can do it at less than half the price, and much younger.
-Kruger and Frolik could center the 2nd and 4th lines respectively, at the same cap hit as Bolland.
-$3.375 Million is a nice chunk of change to have in your pocket.
-His growth hasn't been what you'd like for a 2nd line center, and he's been at a plateau for about 3 years.

With the moves above, the Hawks could go into the free agent signing period with almost $8 Million in their pocket. Of course, Stan doesn't like to dive deep into the free agent market, but a Bolland trade may alos bring back something of value, as well.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Blackhawks at Detroit - SO Win Recap

"Double Deuces"

Games like Sunday's, in Detroit, will always worry me until the Wings are moved into the Eastern conference. No matter how much the Wings struggle, they are a different team when playing the Blackhawks. No one will argue that the Wings have been a slightly above average team, but they will always have the ability to made opponents sweat a game out. We know their firepower inside and out, so I won't bore you with the details. The Hawks would have Corey Crawford back in net after his mysterious "injury" Thursday night as the Hawks go for 22 straight games with a point to open the season. This game was the 1000th of Marian Hossa's career, and nothing would make than better than a win. Live from burnt out Detroit Michigan, it's the Red Wings and Blackhawks.

The first period was spent, mostly, in the Detroit end. With the help of a couple of powerplays, the Hawks had a majority of the pressure, and out shot the Wing 9-3 for the opening 20 minutes. Despite the pressure, no goals were put up on the board.

The middle 20 minutes were a bit of another story. The Hawks came out with pressure, but the Wings took over for a majority of play. There were 12 shots either way, and the period saw quite a few good scoring chances go by the wayside.

The third period was owed by the Red wings as they out shot the Hawks 13-9 and took the lead on a bad matchup. The Hawks used a late powerplay to tie the game up, and send this game into overtime. Overtime yielded no goals, so the extra point in this game was decided by a shootout.

The Good

  • Early on, Sharp was taking Kruger's faceoffs. I've heard that theory floated somewhere before.
  • The third line of Bickell, Stalberg, and Shaw continued to give opponents fits with their forechecking. Of all the line combinations, this is nowhere near something I would have expected to give opponents fits. People aren't going to want to hear this, but the way that Kruger and Shaw have been playing, might make Bolland expendable. Shaw has filled in that shutdown position exceptionally, and Kruger is no worse than Bolland was on the 2nd line. Frolik can center the 4th line just fine, as well. Funny how that second line center problem has gone from red alert to stale green. When the summer hits, don't be surprised the see Bolland on the the block to open up space to either sign Stalberg and Bickell, and re-sign Leddy and Kruger.
  • A late delay of game powerplay, and the excellent forechecking by Vik Stalberg helped tie up the game with just over 2 minutes left in the third. A long shot was taken and the rebound bounced out into the slot onto the stick of a Detroit defender. Stalberg fought through one player, stole the puck and knocked it over to Kane, who snapped off a top shelfer. All tied up in Motown!
  • Corey Crawford. As I said before, Crawford is the #1 and anyone that thinks otherwise is a damn fool. He held the Wings to one goal in 65 minutes and shut them out in the shootout. He didn't look like he missed a beat. It's so comforting to see this duo doing well.
  • Crazy 8s. He has been electric whenever he touches the puck, and scored the only two Hawks goals of the night; one in regulation and one in the shootout. I'll bet all those meatballs that wanted to trade that "cancer" feel like a bunch of utter fucking dunderheads, now. If they don't, they should!
  • Toews, Kruger, Sharp and Frolik were all over 50% at the dots, but Shaw got schooled, to the tune of 1 of 6. Emmerton for Detroit was a clownish 6 of 7
The Bad

  • Tomas Tatar scored the first goal of the game about 3 minutes into the third period. The Wings Andersson looked like he was going to take the puck around the net but reversed a pass to a streaking Tatar, who had Crawford leaning the wrong way. Frolik and Carcillo had a chance to tie up Tatar, but let him skate right by. That makeshift franken-4th line isn't looking so hot now, is it?
  • The Hawks were't exactly stellar on the powerplay, but they came though on the most important one, late in the third.
The Ugly

  • For some odd reason, Quenneville sat Mayers and Bollig in favor of the Montador experiment with Brookbank, so the fourth line was Carcillo, Frolik and Brookbank. I'm certainly not a Bollig advocate, but he's a forward, Brookbank is not. Three minutes and thirty three seconds of ice time doesn't exactly make his concoction look like a good one
The Shootout

  • Datsyuk missed the 5-hole on Crawford
  • Toews got beaten by Howard's glove
  • Brunner mishandled the puck
  • Kaner slow and low for the goal.
  • Zetterberg stopped by Crawford's chest.

Here are the video highlights:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets - OT Win Recap


After Thursday night's fairly dominating win in St. Louis, the Blackhawks were back home to face the sad sack Columbus Blue Jackets, Friday night. Despite the recent domination on the scoreboard, the games haven't been that out of hand. That being said, the Jackets were without their two top defenders and Brandon Dubinsky. Huge hits for that team. Ray Emery was starting in net for the Hawks after that double top secret "upper body injury" that forced him out of action in the game Thursday night. Live from the United Center in Chicago Illinois, it's the Blackhawks and the Blue Jackets.

The first period began with the Jackets having a little blue flame under their ass. They took a lead under a minute in, but the Hawks were able to battle back in the latter part of the period. Even though the Hawks were out shot 5-1 early, they were able to eventually even up the shots 7-7.

The second started off similar to the first as far as pressure goes, and the Hawks looked a bit on their heels. The Jackets took a lead, but soon surrendered two late goals to the Hawks, and giving them a lead going into the third. The late flurries actually left the Hawks out shooting Columbus 8-5 for the period.

In a rare Hawks event this year, they gave up a lead in the third period all while out shooting the Jackets 17-8 in the final 20 minutes of regulation. This one was going to extra time to decide who got the extra point.

Overtime saw the Hawks steal the extra point and the Daggar echoed throughout the UC. Next victim, Detroit on Sunday.

The Good

  • The Hawks tied the game up with about 4 minutes to go in the first period. Even though it wasn't officially on the powerplay, the goal was scored one second after the powerplay expired. Stalberg found a free puck off Saad's skate and chipped it past Mason to put the Hawks on the board.
  • Shooter tied the game up once again on an awful goal with 2:40 left in the second. He skated up the left wing and and threw the puck on net from the backhand. The puck hit Mason's left leg and ended up in the net. Terrible goal.
  • A minute after the Shooter goal, Bickell played super man on an end to end rush. First of all, Bickell picked off a Tyutin cross ice, point to point, pass and then powered through, or over, Nikitin and raced in on Mason. He set himself and sent a lazer of a snapper past Mason to put the Hawks up 3-2. Finally using his powers for good.
  • Tazer set up the game winner in overtime on a beautiful display of patience. He carried the puck up the left wing fighting through an Adrian Aucoin check along the neutral zone boards and holding the puck as long as he possibly could, until Seabrook caught up with the play. Aucoin was beaten again by Seabs on the way to the net and El Capitan hit him with only a gaping net in front of him. Game, Set, Match. Kudos to Aucoin for getting beaten twice in the same play. Gotta love Captain Healthy Scratch getting horsed.
  • In the obligatory anticlimactic staged fight of the night, Sheldon Brookbank and Nick Foligno threw hooks in the first. Brookbank took the edge in the decision, but this was one of the rare times when a fight actually DID grab momentum for the Hawks.
  • Stalberg was a plus 3 on the night, but if he had any finishing touch at all, he would have had a hat trick. He's also become the Versteeg of 2013, because he loves to turn the puck over in the neutral zone.
  • All the Hawks centers, other than Kruger, were 50% or higher at the the dots. That suggestion of Sharp taking his faceoffs? I wasn't kidding. That needs to happen, sooner than later.
The Bad

  • The Jackets tied the game up late on a Ryan Johansen. A bad giveaway in the Hawks zone was taken in on Razor. Johansen waited Emery out and beat him on the backhand. 3-3
  • Nikita Nikitin took exception to a clean, but big, Carcillo hit on Fedor Tyutin and jumped Carcillo. He basically had his lunch handed to him, and took the extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike, as well. The Hawks blew that powerplay, which is another story altogether. How Nikitin gets an unsportsmanlike penalty but no instigator is beyond my comprehension.
  • Carcillo and Hossa were minus 2, each, on the night.
The Ugly

  • The Blue Jackets started much like the Hawks did the night before scoring a fairly weak goal just 30 seconds into the game. Dorsett got a step on Deuce and sent a deflected shot in on Emery, that he had problems handling. The rebound plopped down right in the slot for Prospal to put in the net.
  • The second Jackets goal wasn't much better than the first. Artem Anisimov took a long shot from the point that went off Carcillo's skate and past Emery.
  • Life could be so easy for all of us, Q. You could keep Saad with the talent on the first line, and you could leave Carcillo with the fourth line slugs where he belongs. Life can't be that easy can it? In a streak where there is little to critique, you have to give us something, don't you? As I said before, Carcillo was a -2 and Saad had an assist. What more does this kid have to do to cement a spot?

Here are the video highlights:

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