Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Predators
OT Win Recap

"Good Day to Die"

The Blackhawks hosted the disappointing Nashville Predators Friday night, on Pat Foley night. The Preds came in with the second worst record in the Western Conference, and this season could be chalked up as a complete failure for them. Coming in, the Preds had dropped seven straight games while the good guys had won six games in a row. Even though we could probably expect a Blackhawks win, the game would most likely be a painfully boring one. I guess I've been known to be wrong, though. Anyhow, here is the highlight video of Pat Foley. Great memories here. My favorite is always the Troy Murray pocket pick against Winnipeg. I remember it like it was yesterday.

The first period was an adventure for both teams. The Hawks opened up the scoring, followed by two Preds goals, and the period was closed out with a game tying goal from the Hawks. The shots favored the Blackhawks heavily 15-8, but the Hawks would have to play much better in the final two periods. The middle frame was a little less of a circus, but there were still some fireworks. The Hawks opened up a lead but shortly gave it up, again, even though they also out shot the Preds, 12-9. The Hawks took and lost the lead for the third time in the game, late in the third period. They were also out shot pretty badly 10-2, which really didn't give them much to work with. Regulation play ended up 4-4, which meant extra time for these two teams. The Hawks took the lead and the game for the last time in overtime, to finally put the Preds to rest.
The Good
  • The Hawks powerplay showed some life, with an early first period goal. Stalberg fed a wide open Deuce in the slot, and Keith picked Rinne apart. This was all possible because of the great Hawks puck possession down low in the Preds zone. Amazing what happens when you actually move the puck AND your feet.
  • The Saadfather tied the game back up with about 6 minutes remaining in the first. Saad drove hard in the zone after taking a pass from Toews and took a shot for the slot, that was blocked by the Preds, but landed back on his stick. Rinne had already reacted to the original shot and was out of position, which left a lot of net for Saad to shoot at. Manchild score.
  • Kane blew around old man Gill early in the second at the Pred blue line, like Gill was bolted to the ice. Kane really exposed just how painfully slow FrankenGill is, but Rinne bailed his D-man out with a beautiful back door save on Shaw.
  • Bryan Bickell set up Crazy 8s for another go-ahead goal halfway through the second period. Bickell held on to the puck long enough for Kane to get a step on the two defenders and dished it off to him. Kane gave a quick leg kick to get Rinne down and open up his 5-hole. The rest is history.
  • Victor Bartley handed Michal Handzus his first goal as a returning Blackhawk halfway through the third period. Handzus was able to use his long reach to intercept Bartley's pass at the right circle, and then snapped the puck over Rinne's blocker, grabbing the Hawks third lead of the game.
  • The Hawks won the game on an overtime powerplay with Kaner feeding Hoss for a one timer across the middle of the Preds zone. Second powerplay goal of the game for the Blackhawks. Game, Set, Match, Queue up Chelsea Daggar.
  • The Hawks once again won the faceoff battle. Dream Warrior and Zus were terrible, but El Capitan was his usual inhuman self. Bolland and Shaw were both over 50%, which is all you can ask for from those clowns.
The Bad
  • Just a couple of minutes after the Keith goal, the Preds tied the game on their first shot of the game. Halischuk was left wide open in front of Crawford to tip a high Kevin Klein shot down and past Crawford. While it was a soft goal, the defense has to give him a little crap in front of their goalie.
  • The Hawks gave up the lead for a third time, with three and a half minutes left in the game. Bobby Butler was the lucky recipient of a fat rebound in the Blackhawks slot area, and buried it past Crawford. Legwand took a short angle shot from the corner and the rebound conveniently shot out onto Butler's stick in the slot. The Hawks had officially blown the lead once again.
  • Crawford has to play better, especially in the first two period. The three goals he gave up weren't exactly high quality NHL goals. Right now, Crawford isn't helping his own cause by giving up a softy or two a game. The haters are starting to bark, and if Emery didn't have inbred German Shepard hips, he might have gotten a better look. Remember, this is coming from a Crawford supporter.
The Ugly
  • Just after the halfway point of the first, the Pred scored an awful awful goal. After making an initial save, the Preds tried to bank it off Crawford's back and into the net. The puck hit Crawford and laid either under or next to his pad. It looked like the puck was under him but the refs let play continue. I'm not sure what Brookbank was doing, but he pretty much dove head first into the crease and his goalie. If you let them pitchfork at the puck long enough it will end up in the net, which it did. There should have been a whistle, and the Hawks got the shit end of that non call but the defense wasn't exactly helping much either. It was a shitshow from top to bottom.
  • Halischuk scored his second of the game after getting in behind Seabrook and Leddy for a break-a-way. Leddy was tired, looking for a change and cheating towards the bench which allowed Halischuk to receive a stretch pass up the middle from Bartley, going 1-on-1 with Crawford. Crawford made the initial save, but the rebound popped back out, where Halischuk whacked it out of the air and into the net.
  • OK, here is my bitch for the day about subjective stats. Anyone with half a brain in their head realized that hits is a subjective and imperfect stat, but there is another one. While looking at the other stats, you see that the Blackhawks had 12 TAKEAWAYS, yet the Preds only had 10 GIVEAWAYS. This is as equally stupid the other way around. The Blackhawks had 10 GIVEAWAYS and the Preds had 11 TAKEAWAYS. that doesn't make sense. Is there a third team out there I'm not aware of? To have a takeaway, you have to have a giveaway and vice versa. Otherwise that whole stat line is inaccurate.
Here are the video highlights:

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