Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blackhawks at Vancouver - Loss Recap

"Nothin' to Lose"

No one would have guessed that when the season came to a close, this game would pretty much be a throw-a-way. Yes, the Blackhawks could clinch the Presidents Trophy with a win and a Pens loss, but the Blackhawks basically had their playoff plans set. This is just another fluff game against the noted douchebag armada in Western British Columbia. With Patrick Sharp nursing a sore flipper, and twitter sensation Boberto Luongo relegated to backup duty, this game really wasn't exactly what we were looking forward to, in January. They would still pull their ass hattery, and whine like little girls with skinned knees, but we can just laugh even more at them. The biggest worry will be if someone is really dumb enough to try and exact revenge after the idiotic Duncan Keith move last spring. This is precisely why I wouldn't be one big disappointed if Kane, Toews, or Hossa sat for the evening. That said, live from the Rogers Arean in burnt out Vancouver, it's the Blackhawks and the Canucks.

The first period was an absolute clusterfuck from the word go, since Comcast, in their infinite wisdom, decided to air the Bulls, and Cubs over the Blackhawks. Push the team with the best record in their respective league to the 3rd channel, A STANDARD DEFINITION CHANNEL, on your depth chart. Clowns. To steal a quote from CT at Hockeenight, "In a world where I have access to more than 900 channels on my television, there are apparently not enough to accommodate 4 separate local sports teams playing at the same time". I don't pay for HD service so that I can have seizures watching a flickering and pixelizing standard definition broadcast. I'm so glad to see the last place Cubs blowing a late April extra inning game, with 144 more of those remaining, was more important that the first place Blackhawks trying to lock up the best record in the league.

Anyway there WAS a game actually played, but you could have fooled the Hawks. They were out shot in the opening period 11-5 and gave up a powerplay goal. This was not what the way they needed to start.

The second period wasn't any better than the first period. The Hawks gave up a couple more goals, even though the shots were even at 9. They looked like they had truly mailed this one in. The third period was going to be just as ugly, if they didn't wake up.

The third period...whatever. They didn't really wake up. The Hawks never even really showed up to the Rogers Arena in the first place. The Hawks were out shot in the third 12-11, and scored a goal that did nothing but avoid the shutout. Credit where it's due, the Canucks had their agenda and smeared it all over the Hawks faces. Next opponent, Edmonton.

The Good

  • In the third period, the Blackhawks were finally able to break the shutout. Not much to it, Gorilla Salad just cleaned up a rebound and hit the net. Right place at the right time. Other than that, the Hawks spent most of the game looking like they were trying not to get hit, while making themselves huge targets.
  • While Crawford didn't stand on his head, he kept the Blackhawks in the game, until they evacuated themselves. Thirty two shots is way too much for either of these goalies to face on a regular basis. If you bring up the Calgary game, in which Emery had a voodoo doll hidden in his jock, I'm going to smack you on the head with a ball peen hammer because that will NEVER happen again. It was a freak occurrence, like the 5 goal comeback against the same team in 2009. If you expect that to happen again in the near future, you'll be waiting a VERY LONG time.
The Bad

  • After a Hjalmarsson penalty for and illegal hit, both Johnny Oduya and Jannik Hansen tipped a Jason Garrison power play shot past Crawford. The shot was a total dribbler, but it was redirected and slowed down twice on the way to the net. After Oduya got a piece of it, the puck actually went off Hansen's skate. Crawford really didn't have much help on that one on a shot that was pretty much a game of pinball.
  • Dave Bolland went out in the first period with an undisclosed injury. Other than the game Saturday night, he has looked like he was towing baby grand piano behind him, anyway. Anyway, the Hawks really can't afford to get any thinner at Center, so
  • Things got so crazy in the third period that Viktor Stalberg ended up on the ice, killing a penalty for the first time in, maybe, is Blackhawks career.
  • Crawford threw what might have been the Hawks best check of the game, in the third, which resulted in a penalty.
  • Minus 2 for Crazy 8s even after the Bolland sized monkey on his back left with an injury.
  • Six minor penalties for the Hawks. Haven't we established that despite their very good PK, the Hawks cannot spend this much time in the box with shenanigans?
  • On top of being stapled to the boards all night, only Toews and Shaw were over 50% at the dots. With Carcillo and Bollig both dressing, Handzus was in street clothes and it showed. The remaining Hawks centers had faceoff percentages in the 20s.
The Ugly

  • Bollig and Carcillo both took shifts with the first line in place of Brandon Saad, the second period. What a total shitshow. They did NOTHING to dissuade Canucks players from taking every chance possible to smear Hawks players into the glass. I'm still waiting for this magical policing power we were promised, from these two mouth breathing troglodytes. Please tell me what I'm missing here, because it's clear they are going to get walloped with or without these two on the ice. Might as well take your chances with some skill guys, if you're going to go down without so much as a whimper.
  • The Canucks took a 2-0 lead when Zack Kassian planted himself right between Hjalmarsson, Keith and Shaw. Sedin was behind the net waiting for and opening and got it. Kassian was able to just stuff it past Crawford.
  • While floundering to get some pressure in the Canucks zone, Daniel Sedin snuck in behind Keith and Hjalmarsson and received a pass from his brother. Sedin put a move on Corey Crawford that made Crawford wet himself. The move was pretty sick. I can't hate on that play, because he took Crawford to school with Keith hot on his tail.
  • Annnnnnnnnnnnd then we have THIS piece of fine art: Duncan Keith takes sexism heat after dismissing Vancouver reporter’s question

Here are the video highlights:

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