Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blackhawks vs Flames - Win Recap

"Now Thy Death Day Come"

For the last home game of the 2013 season, the Hawks welcomed the Calgary Flames to the UC. No hiding the fact that the Flames came in with a pitiful record, and had nothing to play for. One of the few interesting facts was that this may be the last time the Blackhawks, or Chicago, ever see Miikka Kiprusoff. There is much speculation that he will retire after the end of the season, and that is unfortunate, because he's been the consumate warrior. He'll be missed. Unfortunately, the Flames announced that they were going to thrown former Red Wing Joey MacDonald in net as the sacrificial lamb. In addition to the Flames having nothing to play for, the Blackhawks had two blow off games before the playoffs begin next week. Would the real Blackhawks show up, or the ones looking ahead two games to the playoffs? How about half and half?

The Hawks came out relaxed and flying in the first period scoring two tow goals and out scoring the Flames 13-5. It almost looked like a men's league game between an "A" team and a "C" team. More of this and the Hawks were going to win 10-0.

Of course, the intensity of the first period didn't follow the Blackhawks into the second. They gave up a shorthanded goal and were out shot 13-12 by the Flames. A 2-1 lead was a tragedy against a team the Blackhawks were so much better than.

The third period was a little better, but not much better than watching pain dry. The Hawks out shot Calgary 13-8 and scored the insurance goal they needed. Other than that goal, it was really a snorefest for the Blackhawks. Calgary went down fighting, but it clearly wasn't enough and the Hawks walked away with a 3-1 won. Next, and last regular season victim...St. Louis.

The Good

  • The Handzus/Kane/Sharp line was buzzing early. With Bolland out, the Handzus move may become a total steal and might make Bowman look like a savant.
  • Of course, Sharp and Kane were involved in the first goal. Shooter took too long and couldn't finish, on a wide open net, but the Hawks smelled blood. Crazy 8s followed up by burying a tight angle shot to open the scoring for the Blackhawks.
  • El Capitan picked up a fortunate Brandon Saad rebound, that dropped behind Ronald MacDonald, and tapped in one of his easiest goals to get the Hawks a 2-0 before 15 minutes had even been played.
  • After a lackluster second period, Dream Warrior got a hold of a puck from the right dot and snapped a shot over MacDonald's blocker for a 3-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • Crawford was outstanding all night, making several huge saves. The goal against was not his fault at all. He only had 26 shots, but there were more great chances than you'd like to see.
  • If it weren't for Zus, all the Blackhawks centers would have been well over 50% at the dots. More please.
  • Nick Leddy led the Blackhawks in ice time with 22:11. It was nice to see the load taken off the top 4, which is how it should be.
The Bad

  • Halfway through the second period, the Hawks got complacent and gave up a 55 foot deflected shot, shorthanded. Part of the problem with coming out to a big lead in a game you don'r need to win is just not giving a fuck, and on this one, not a fuck was given.
  • The Blackhawks powerplay couldn't have been much worse, but it really didn't matter. They gave up a shorthanded goal on the first PP, and a shorthanded break-a-way on the second one. Luckily, Crawford bailed them out on the second one.
The Ugly

  • Maybe the most entertaining play of the game was Kane trying to set up Dullig with a pass for an empty netter, which he couldn't handle with his brick hands and cement head. Then, when he finally caught up to the puck, had his shot blocked. DOH!

Here are the video highlights:

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