Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blackhawks at Nashville - Shutout Win Recap

"Dead Eternity"

No time to lick your wounds when you're playing 48 games in 99 days. The Hawks opened up a home and series with the painfully boring Nashville Predators. The first game of the series was down in Nashville, where there still may have been more Blackhawks fans than Preds fans. The Blackhawks were without Sharp once again, and newly injured Dave Bolland. Good thing they just picked up some depth at center, right? Anyhow, onto the game; Live on this spring Saturday afternoon from Nashville, it's the Blackhawks and the Predators.

As we've become accustom to, the first period of this affair was generally boring. The Hawks had a goal on 10 shots and held the Preds to 5 shots. Blah...

The second was even more boring than the first. The Blackhawks out shot the Preds again 13 to 8, and it was a complete snoozefest. Blah...Blah...

The snoozefest continued in the third period, until the final minute and half of the game. The shots were even at 7, but it was another scoreless period, and the Hawks ended up with a 1-0 shutout win. Blah...blah...blah...

The Good

  • Michal Handzus continued to pay off, setting up One Trick Bick for a 1-0 Hawks lead just 5 minutes into the game. A one touch pass at the Hawks blue line by Kruger set a 2 on 1 in motion with Zus and Bickell. Zus held the puck just long enough to draw the defender and Rinne, then saucered it over to Bickell, who had an open net.
  • 30 to 20 in shots is right in the Hawks wheelhouse. Can't complain about that performance on the road.
  • Ray Emery had a great game. Maybe another strong Emery performance will push Crawford to tighten up some. He only had to make 20 saves, but there were a decent amount of scoring chances.
  • It's no coincidence that with Bolland out of the lineup, and Handzus in, the Blackhawks faceoff winning percentage went up to 59% as a team. El Capitan and Zus were north of 65%, and Shaw won 4 of 5. Kruger was his usual terrible self at the dot, going 3 and 7 (30%).
The Bad

  • Hjalmarsson had two unfortunate turnovers, early in the second, but luckily neither ended up in the net. The first wasn't his fault, as the puck went off the refs skate, and the second was picked out of the air by Legewand, and Sugar Ray made the save.
  • With Bolland out, the lines were throw in the lineblender a bit. Hossa was with Toews and Saad, Kane was with Kruger and Carcillo (ugh), Bickell was with Handzus and Stalberg, Frolik was with Shaw and Bollig. On defense, the usual cast of characters was on hand except for Brookbank, who was in for Roszival.
  • The Blackhawks were the unfortunate recipients of a double minor for high sticking on Carcillo. Shea Weber dumped Gorilla Salad on his as, and once he lost his balance the stick came flying up and hit Weber right in the schnoz. Luckily, the Hawks killed it masterfully.
The Ugly
  • The Hawks were out hit 28-8 which is comical. That stat is so utterly subjective and inaccurate
  • How about that All World Shea Weber. How is his Norris trophy campaign going? Pretty much how Keith's would go if he lost Seabrook.

Here are the video highlights:

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