Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blackhawks vs Predators - Win Recap

"Wake Up Dead"

After Saturday night's Music city snorefest, fans had a real treat to look forward to Sunday back in the UC. If left with the choice, I would guess a lot of fans would be watching Wrestlemania, and I'm not so sure they made the wrong choice. As funny as this sounds, the Blackhawks had a chance to clinch a playoff spot Sunday night with a win, or OT/SO loss. They would, of course, be the first team to do so. Who would have dreamed that the Blackhawks would be in first overall and have a chance to be the first team to clinch a spot, with 10 games to go. Live from the United Center in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and the Predators...

The first period was more eventful than the entire game Saturday night, with the Blackhawks out shooting the Preds 17-7. Unfortunately, the Hawks could only manage one goal, and kindly handed the Predators a goal, which had the game knotted at 1 after 20 minutes.

The Hawks second period had roughly the same outcome as the first period. The Hawks had a goal on 12 shots and surrendered one goal on 9 Preds shots. Once again, they let one of the few decent chances against even up the score. They were going to need a much better 3rd period to get a regulation win.

The Blackhawks did their best to hand he game over to the Preds, givin up the lead early on in the third. The Hawks responded by scoring 3 straight goals, and sending the Preds home with another loss. Next target the Wild in Minny-haha, on Tuesday.

The Good

  • As long as I've felt that Kruger on the 4th line was an injustice, I LOVE Andrew Shaw centering the 4th line. He is the epitome of the energy guy, and he backs down from no challenge. When everyone is healthy, he might end up on the wing, but they'll need his energy. Just about 7 minutes into the game he tipped a Frolik shot over Rinne's shoulder to take a 1-0 lead.
  • Bickell scored his second goal in two days, about two and a half minutes into the second period. Stalberg poked a puck past the Preds defense at their blue line and Bickell picked the puck up. He took two strides and did what he does best, snapped a wrist shot through Rinne's 5-hole.
  • The Saadfather tied the game back up with about 10 minutes remaining in regulation. He was able to pick up a pinballing puck right in the slot, and stuff it between Rinne's legs.
  • Fifty five seconds after the Saad goal, Crazy 8s beat the Preds defense and picked up a Hawks dump in. He located and hit a streaking El Capitan who snapped the puck past Rinne. That fast, the Hawks were back up by one. 4-3 Blackhawks.
  • Saad and Kane worked a great 2-on-1 for the empty netter to close out the Preds.
  • For the third straight game, the Hawks won in the faceoff dept. Shaw was the only Hawks center under 50% and Kruger had an EXCELLENT night, going 8 for 11.
  • Deuce was a rather quiet plus 3 on the night and the Preds Craig Smith was a minus 3.
The Bad

  • The Preds tied the game a couple of minutes after the Bickell goal, on a pretty basic play. Shaw was thrown out of the faceoff, Frolik lost the draw, and it went right to Shea Weber. Weber took a half backswing and quickly chipped it past Emery. After the play, some yapping to the Ref earned him 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Weak.
  • Another failed Blackhawks clearing chance turned into yet another Preds goal. Leddy's clearing play hit Weber, who kept it into the zone. Halischuk tried to wrap it around and it ended up on the stick of Legwand, and finally into the net.
The Ugly

  • The Predators jumped all over a bad exchange between El Capitan and Oduya, with the result being a first period game tying goal. The Hawks had plenty of time to break out and might have gotten a little complacent. Toews' pass was a little behind Oduya, went off his skate and sat in the slot all alone. That's when all hell broke loose. Emery made the original save but the rebound was smacked into the net. Brutal.
  • The replacement PA announcer called Saad, Andrew Saad when he was announced as one of the stars. Way to go rookie.

Here are the video highlights:

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