Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Stars - Win Recap

"Impact Is Imminent"

The Blackhawks welcomed the Dallas Stars to Chicago for a good old fashion butt whooping, Monday night. With heavy hearts as a result of a senseless act in Boston, the game that was supposed to be played there was cancelled. The rest of the NHL trudged on, with the victims in mind.

The Stars came in with a five game winning streak, but that wouldn't last if the Hawks had anything to say about it. The Blackhawks were on a roll of their own, and that cancelled out the Dallas blip on the radar. Dallas has had chances to take hold of the 8th playoff spot, but the Red Wings seem to have other plans. Personally, I would think a first round matchup with Dallas would be ideal for the Blackhawks, because they really aren't that good of a team. Anyhow, Live from the UC in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and Stars.

The first period was heavily slanted towards the Dallas end, with the Blackhawks getting 13 shots while only allowing 4. In fact, the Stars had three of the first four shots of the period, and only managed one the rest of the way. A few powerplays and all those shots only yielded one goal, but the Hawks could have easily been up 2-0.

The second period had a goal each way, and the Blackhawks out shot the visiting Stars again, 9-7. A foolish Hawks gaffe left the door open for the Stars to cut the Hawks lead in half, and that is exactly what they did. Luckily the Hawks still carried a one goal lead into the final frame.

The third period didn't exactly start off all that well for the Blackhawks, as the Stars tied the game up pretty early, but the Hawks roared right back and scored two of their own to ice the game. The Hawks only needed 6 shot, and they scored on 3 of them. A late open netter put the exclamation point on the win, and the Blackhawks continued to roll.

The Good

  • The big dogs put the Hawks up 1-0 with about 7 minutes remaining in the first period. Saad, Hoss and El Capitan worked a tick-tac-toe across the Dallas zone and it ended up with Toews tapping a Hossa pass past Bachman. The play just made the Dallas defense look stupid and clueless. Robidas just let Toews camp out and tip the puck past his goalie. Weak effort.
  • Michal Handzus sent Stalberg in on Bachman for the second Hawks goal of the night, with seven minutes remaining in the middle period. The two were covered pretty well after a faceoff win deep in the Hawks zone, but Swedeberg hit that third gear and blew past the Dallas defense. Handzus saw this and saucered a pass right to Stalberg's tape, and he was in. For the first time in recent memory, Stalberg actually just picked a spot, AND HIT IT! This Handzus deal has paid for itself already.
  • Just a minute and a half after the second Benn goal, Kane drew 4 defenders en route to the Dallas net and he was able to dump it off to Shock-n-Shaw. Shaw snapped a shot though Bachman's wickets to take the one goal lead back for the Hawks.
  • Hoss set up Hjalmarsson for a sweet goal, about 8 minutes into the third. Hossa rushed up the ice with half a step on the Dallas D-man but never had an angle to shoot. He pulled a "Maverick", while dropping the puck to himself. The defender flew by, and Hossa retrieved the puck. Once he had the puck, he located a streaking Hjalmarsson who had about three and a half days to pick his spot and blow it by Bachman. Stopping an NHL slapshot at that distance, with no opposition is next to impossible.
  • For all the grief I've given, I have to give Bolland credit where it's due. He won 15 of 19 faceoffs, in a complete anomaly, because you will NEVER see it again. The rest of the team wasn't all that impressive but, as a team, they were 56% thanks to Bolland's one time career faceoff night. For the first time in forever, El Capitan was UNDER 50%, at 44%.
  • 28-18 in shots is exactly how you draw it up. No complaints here.
  • Shaw had a nice little night, with a goal and a plus 3.
The Bad

  • The power play is such a fucking Shanghai Fire Drill that Dr. Lineblender put Handzus, Frolik, and Kruger out there to open a second period powerplay. They didn't do any better, or worse, than the other powerplay units so what did they really lose? That is how utterly horrid the other units are.
  • Anyone named Antoine has to be a turd. I mean do you know anyone named Antoine that isn't?
  • Jamie Benn scored his second goal of the game early in the third period and tied the game up. The play started off an unfortunate bounce, in which a Handzus clearing attempt went off the ref and turned the play back in the Hawks zone. Of all people to end up with the puck on his stick, the Hawks let Jamie Benn have enough time to beat Emery from the left circle. That's why he gets paid all that money. Oh yeah, Keith also screened his goalie on the play, which is always fun to deal with.
The Ugly

  • This fascination with Bolland at the point on the powerplay has to end. I cannot recall one time where I thought, "I'm sure glad that Bolland was back there, what a great play". Not ONCE! He is sucking the life out of Kane and sucking the life out of the second powerplay unit. If it weren't for the faceoffs, he would have been completely worthless.
  • Zus and Dullig, yes Dullig, worked a 2-on-1 early in the second. Tell me if this is a surprise; Dullig couldn't handle the pass, and the chance was missed.
  • A terrible Kane turnover in the offensive zone resulted in a 3-on-1 coming back the other way. Jamie Benn led and finished the play, with Hjalmarsson and Emery not having much of a chance. Hammer cut off one of the passes, but that still left a 2-on-0 and a Dallas goal. Kane's decision to try and stick handle through the Dallas defense with 3 of his teammates already deep in the Dallas zone was a god awful choice. His arrogance got the best of him, and you can hang that goal on his hook.

Here are the video highlights:

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