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Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Time For Love, Dr. Jones

Not a week after the Blackhawks on their second Stanley Cup in 4 years, before they can even have their parade, they made some announcements this morning:

  • Unless they are claimed on waivers, and they won't be, Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz will be bought out with the Hawks two compliance buyouts. Par for the course.
  • The Blackhawks, Stan Bowman specifically, said that even if an offer sheet is put in on Nick Leddy, they will match. No big surprise there.
  • It has been widely reported that the rotting carcass of Dave Bolland is on the trading block. For those of you living in 2009, this is a surprise. For those of us living in 2013, that realize that he is an aging, injury prone, overpriced, fourth line center, this is no shock.
  • It was revealed that Andrew Shaw has been playing with a broken rib for possibly as long as a few weeks. As I said many times before. The kid is a warrior. He didn't show any ill effects, and broken ribs are painful as hell.
  • Bryan Bickell sprained his knee in the LA series, and said he would take the hometown discount to stay. For whatever that is worth.
  • Michal Handzus has "multiple injuries".
  • Mayers undecided in retirement but if he does, he will, "walk away a champion".
  • Oduya was hurt, but no specifics on just what that injury was.
  • Sharp had that lingering shoulder issue and won't require surgery

The NHL draft is also this weekend, so if moves are to be made, this weekend would be a good time to recoup a couple of draft picks that were lost through trades. The Hawks don't currently have 2nd or 3rd round picks this year, thanks to the Oduya trade.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The End Is the Beginning Is the End

If you would have told me just over 5 months ago that Chicago would be planning a Stanley Cup parade on Friday, I would have smacked you and told you to quit bullshitting me. Look where we are. At around 11am on Friday, the Blackhawks will board busses, at the United Center, and begin the trek a few miles east to Grant Park for a celebration with a few hundred thousand of their closest friends. I will be one of those people. Thank you, Chicago Blackhawks.

Some of you are aware that I started thoroughly covering the Blackhawks following the 2010 cup run, so I went through that purely as a fan, not a wise assed blogger. This was not because I wasn't a fan, because I was a huge fan, but I just didn't jot my disturbing anecdotes down for the entire intarwebz to enjoy. This time around, I was much more thoroughly entrenched in the chase and it was mildly stressful. OK, it was infinitely more stressful. I felt like my heart was going to explode more than a handful of times and I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle, jumping around my living room when the Hawks scored the game winning goal Monday.

I'd like to take this time to thank all of you that read my stuff and those others that also cover the Blackhawks. Friday is our day too. We have given up a significant amount of our free time and dedicated it to the Chicago Blackhawks, purely for the love of the team. We do this willingly, and voluntarily because we love hockey and we love the Blackhawks. Take some time to bookmark some of my fellow bloggers/writers that probably do the job more eloquently. These are people I highly respect, even if I don't always agree with their views. They deserve your attention.

The Committed Indian and Fifth Feather
The Third Man In
Cheer The Anthem
Dry Island Castaways
James Neveau at Madhouse Enforcer
Second City Hockey

Thanks to the Blackhawks and some shenanigans they pulled Monday night, there won't be much of a break from hockey this summer before action starts up again. The Draft is this weekend in New Jersey, and free agency right around the bend. Take this time to enjoy what little summer we will all have, and gear up for a FULL 2013-14 season and Blackhawks title defense. Have fun Friday, and please be safe! Until then, lets dance...


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks at Boston
Game 6 Stanley Cup Series Win Recap

"Reign in Blood"

For the first time since 2010, the Blackhawks had the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup Monday night, in Boston. After the war in game 5, there were some question marks as far as injuries went. Toews said he was 100% after what looked like concussion protocol in the 3rd period of game 5, and the Bruins had what seemed like a more significant injury of their top center, Patrice Bergeron. Whatever the case, the Blackhawks had to win one of the next two games to be crowned champs once again. Here we go:

The Bruins had a blazing blue flame under their asses for the first period, dominating the Blackhawks for the entire first twenty minutes. It's amazing that the Hawks were only out shot 12-6 in the period and down one goal, because I could only recall one Hawks shot on net.

Not that the Hawks play could have been any worse thank the first, but they actually played a solid second period. If it weren't for a bunch of penalties, the Hawks may have even scored a goal. The Hawks out shot the Bruins 9-6 in the middle frame which is about all we could ask for.

The third period seemed like it was heading to a game 7 in Chicago, but the Blackhawks had a very different plan. With two goals in the final minute and twenty two seconds the Blackhawks brought the Cup back to Chicago. They ended up out shooting Boston 16-7. Enjoy this video I put together......2013 Chicago Blackhawks, Stanley Cup Champs!!

The Good

  • El Capitan took advantage of a Chara neutral zone turnover while the Blackhawks were shorthanded that ended up a Toews and Kane 2-on-1. Toews took it himself and beat Rask 1-on-1 to tie the game. The penalty had just expired so it wasn't a shorthanded goal, but you can basically call it a shorthander.
  • The Blackhawks controlled most of the play in the second and third periods, which is a tall task after the terrible first period they had.
  • With just over a minute left in regulation the fireworks began. The Hawks rushed the zone with their MVP, Crazy 8s, leading the way. He worked it deep and kept it in the corner long enough for Toews to dig the puck out and hit Bickell on the back door. The big mule slammed the puck home and there was life. More life than anyone realized!
  • SEVENTEEN seconds later the Blackhawks looked to throw the fourth line out there just to kill some time, after busting their humps to tie the game, but David Bolland had other plans. Johnny Oduya took a long shot after the Hawks swarmed the zone, and the puck bounced past Rask and hit the post. Bolland was "Johnny on the Spot", and out muscled two Boston defensemen (Ference and Boychuk), and jammed the puck into the net for the game winner with 59 seconds left in the game. Shine up that Stanley Cup, because it's coming home!!!
  • Patrick Kane took the Conn Smythe trophy home, but probably stole it from Corey Crawford.
The Bad

  • The Bruins took a 1-0 lead about 7 minutes into the first, as the Bruins 4th line won a faceoff, and then just outworked the Blackhawks defense. Chris Kelly was left all alone on the back door, after the forwards got caught running around high in the zone. Bolland, Kruger, and Seabrook left Keith to fend for himself, and the result was a 1-0 Bruins lead.
  • The Hawks turned the puck over behind the net, with just under eight minutes in the third period and David Krejci worked the back of the net until Lucic found the soft spot between Toews, Bickell, and Kane. Lucic settled the puck down and beat Crawford, just past his blocker. 2-1 Bruins.
  • Only El Capitan was able to win more than 50% of his draws, and the team was 40%. In fact, the other 4 centers they dressed, weren't any better than 40%.
  • For some reason Leddy sat the bench once again. In those three minutes he played, he drew a penalty and had a few nice rushes. I don't get it, but hell, no use crying now.
The Ugly

  • Late in the first Shaw was hit in the yap with a deflected puck at the Hawks blue line and he went down like a bag of bricks. Sure enough he came back out for the second period stitched up. What a warrior.
  • The Hawks were called for four straight penalties in the first half of the game, some of which were really soft. The Hawks killed all four and even scored a goal immediately following the third one.
  • Sure, you may notice Stalberg's speed, but halfway through a 1-1 Stanley Cup game with he puck on your stick, you HAVE to get the puck deep into the opponent's zone.

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks vs Bruins
Game 5 Win Recap

"Slaves of Pain"

The Blackhawks didn't exactly come out with authority in the first period, even though they led 1-0 after the first period. Boston out shot the Hawks 11-8 and were much more physical. The good news was that even though they came out a little flat, they were still able to win the period.

The Blackhawks came out with a little more fire in the second period, scoring a second goal, and out shooting the Bruins 11-5. Play was a little closer than the stats indicate, but the Hawks looked good. Twenty more minutes and the Hawks had a 3-2 lead going into game 6.

Due to some injuries, the third period was a shitshow. The Bruins were able to cut the Hawks lead on 13 shots, and the Hawks were able to manage 9 shots of their own. A late open net goal cemented the Blackhawks win as they took a 3-2 series lead into game 6, Monday night.

The Good

  • The Blackhawks took a late 1st period lead when Crazy 8s picked up a loose puck to Rask's right. The original play was set up by Toews using his strength against Chara and dumping the puck across the Bruins slot area. The puck ended up going to Oduya, who let a shot go. The shot went off Seidenberg's stick which slowed it down to a crawl. As the puck was going wide and past Rask, Kane grabbed it and stuffed it past the post. 1-0 Hawks.
  • Kaner scored his second goal of the game about 5 minutes into the second period. The play was started with a Toews and Bickell working a nice little give-n-go that ended up with Bickell one-on-one with Rask. He ended up carrying the puck wide and around the net, banking it off the side of the net to Kane. Kane put the puck up and over Rask's glove for a 2-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Dave Bolland was able to ice the game with an empty net goal from the red line.
  • Crawford rebounded after a weak game 4 and was huge in net for game 5. He made 24 of 25 possible saves, and stood tall in the 3rd. The only goal he gave up was nearly impossible to stop.
  • The Hawks were listed as having 21 takeaways, which is 12 more than the Bruins had.
  • With Bergeron out, the Blackhawks were huge at the faceoff dots. They were 58% as a team, and all the Hawks centers were 50% or better.
  • As bad as Hjalmarsson's night was in game 4, he was a plus three to lead the Hawks in game 5.
  • I keep waiting for the luster on Andrew Shaw to wear off, but he just keeps making things happen. He gets the hell beat out of him game after game, and just pops back up and takes it all over again. How he has enough score goals or do anything else is beyond me.
The Bad

  • FrankenChara cut the Hawks lead in half about 4 minutes into the third period, when the Hawks got caught running around in their own zone. Krejci saucered a perfect pass from behind the net to Chara and he one timed the puck past, you guessed it, Crawford's glove.
  • Patrice Bergeron seemed to tweak a back or something, in the second period, and was reportedly taken away in an ambulance during the second intermission. He's been a monster in this series, and would definitely help the Hawks with his extended absence.
  • Lucic, Horton, Krejci, Chara and Seidenberg were all minus 2, for game 5. More please!
The Ugly

  • Early in the second period, the Hawks looked to draw a penalty and got tagged for a diving call. I guess NOW we're going to start with the diving calls, now, right NHL? Weak call.
  • About halfway through the second, El Capitan made a nice rush through 3 Boston defenders, and it was finished up with a borderline head high hit to his head. But let's call diving penalties. Ridiculous. I don't have a problem if you ragdoll Toews with a clean hit, but when it's head/neck high, I have an issue. Of course, then he didn't play at all in the third period. Might not be a suspension, but it should be looked at and it should have been a penalty. Lets home he's alright for Monday night. He was a plus 2, with 2 assists before he was forced to sit out.

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks at Boston
Game 4 OT Win Recap


After a total let down in game 4, the Blackhawks were back in Boston, Wednesday night, to try and even up the series. Marian Hossa was back in the lineup for the Hawks, but how effective would he be? The Hawks were going to need some help to even this thing up, because the Bruins were whipping the Blackhawks all over the ice. This one was worth the money.

The Blackhawks came out in familiar fashion with momentum, and even scored an early shorthanded goal, but all that came crashing down with a Bruins powerplay goal. Following the Bruins goal, all the pressure favored Boston, even though the Hawks early pressure left them with a 12-9 lead in shots.

The second period was a complete shitshow and track meet. There were 5 goals scored and 24 total shots. The Hawks were lucky to come out of the middle period up one goal, but beggars can't be choosers. The Hawks had three of the five goals, and 13 of the 24 shots.

The third period wasn't AS bad as the second but the Hawks defense didn't do much better either. As fast as the Hawks took the lead back, they gaveth away. The Bruins were able to tie the game and take it to extra time. After all the fireworks, the Hawks had 16 shots, to the Bruins 8 shots. The fire drill of an OT went the Hawks way and they headed back home with a tied series.

The Good

  • The Hawks started off on what seemed to be a sour note, taking a soft penalty, but thanks to Tyler Seguin and Brandon Saad the Hawks scored a shorthanded goal. Seguin tried a fancy play on the boards, and Saad picked his pocket. Saad then rushed in on Chara, and was able to work a pass across to the late man, Handzus. Zus one timed it past Rask for a 1-0 Hawks lead. Great start for the Hawks. Love to see Chara picking the puck out of his own net, and slow ass Handzus beating Mr Universe Patrice Bergeron back on the play.
  • Just about halfway through the second period, El Capitan made an appearance. He started the rush up the left side and was able to throw a puck across the Bruins crease. The puck worked all the way back to Roszival who put a shot on net. Toews tipped the puck under Rask's pad and into the net, for a 2-1 Hawks lead.
  • Just a two minutes and eight seconds after the Toews goal, and following the Sharp breakaway, Crazy 8s picked up a very generous Bickell rebound. With the net wide open, after Rask committed to the Bickell shot, Kane put the Hawks up 3-1.
  • Less than a minute after the Lucic goal, Frolik and Kruger worked a 2-on-1 against Chara. Frolik waited out a prone Chara, and got the puck to Kruger. Kruger cut back across the crease, but couldn't get the puck around Rask's toe. Luckily, he had the presence of mind to put the brakes on and put it up over Rask, for a 4-2 Hawks lead.
  • After a 5-on-4 Bruins powerplay turned into a 4-on-3 Hawks powerplay, the Blackhawks eventually got their first powerplay goal of the series. Nothing special, just threw the puck at the net and Sharp jammed it in.
  • After the Hawks played pretty terrible defense the entire overtime, some diligent offensive zone work finally went the Hawks way, and Brent Seabrook was the fortunate son. Lucky Number Sleven beat Rask to tie the series up, and send the Hawks home with regained home ice advantage.
  • Funny how the play stays even when the Blackhawks score on the powerplay and win some faceoffs. If it weren't for Handzus and his 38% at the dots, the Hawks would have been over 50% for the first time in the series.
The Bad

  • Sharpie had a breakaway on a long Nick Leddy feed, just prior to the Kane goal, and there was no trailer to follow up the play, AT ALL. You have to follow that up looking for a rebound.
  • The Bruins briefly cut the Hawks lead to 3-2 after Patrick Sharp blindly threw the puck up the boards to Chara. Chara got the puck to Lucic who was planted in the high slot. If Sharp didn't pull a total fly-by of Lucic, he wouldn't have been able to get the shot off, but instead he beat Crawford.
  • Just under two minutes after the Hawks went back up by two, they surrendered another powerplay goal. Chara took a shot that went over the net, hit the glass, bounced back off the top of the net and fell in front of the net, just outside the crease. Bergeron was standing there waiting for it, while Seabrook and Oduya stood around hugging the posts and watched. If Bergeron didn't bury it, Marchand was in position to get a hold of it, too. 4-3 Hawks.
  • Just two minutes into the third period, Jagr and Bergeron worked over the Hawks 4th line deep in their own zone and after all the running around, Bergeron was left wide open at the top of the circle. Jagr got him the puck and he beat Crawford with a one timer to tie up the game.
  • Just a minute or so after the Hawks went up 5-4 the Bruins came back and worked a Hawks makeshift line and Horton fed Boychuk, who blasted a shot past Crawford, for the 5th glove side goal of the game.
  • For some reason, Nick Leddy was held to a total of four shifts, equaling 2:37, but was still on the bench. I'm not sure I saw him do anything that would result in a benching, so I'm completely baffled. All Quenneville had to say after the game was, "Nick is fine". Eat a bag of dicks, Q! What the hell is going on?????? 67 and a half minutes on the bench for your best puck moving D-Man and only decent powerplay QB is NOT "fine".
The Ugly

  • The Bruins tied the game on a powerplay, after the Hawks took exception to a late Chris Kelly check on Shaw. The Hawks won the faceoff and Saad picked up the puck and tried to fire it out, but ended up not getting all of the attempt, and it went right to the Bruins D man. He kept the puck in but Saad had a second chance to clear the puck. That didn't go so well either. He blew a tire and ate shit right in the middle of the Hawks zone coughing the puck up to Peverley. Crawford was cheating, and expecting a pass across to a wide open Paille. Instead Peverley shot and beat Crawford. Ugly, Ugly goal. As responsible that Saad was for the Hawks goal, he was just as responsible for the Bruins goal.
  • Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand. Combined minus NINE. Consequently, Nik Hjalmarsson was the only Blackhawk worse than minus 1 with a minus TREY himself. Hammer was also listed as having 3 turnovers.
  • Doc Emerick is going senile. With 4:33 left in the game, he says, "Just over half way through the third period." I'm not a math whiz, but I think he might have been SLIGHTLY off.

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks at Boston
Game 3 Shutout Loss Recap

"Disposable Heroes"

We had all hoped that the Blackhawks could run away with this series before the Bruins realized what happened, but in our heart of hearts we all knew this was going to be a dogfight. That's exactly what we have, here folks. After the Bruins stole game 2 away from the Blackhawks in Chicago, the series headed back to BAAAAAHSTUHN, for games 3 and 4. A weeks worth of Clam Chowder should slow the Hawks down. A late Blackhawks scratch was Marian Hossa and he was replaced by Ben Smith, to join Viktor Stalberg in the lineup for the night.

The Blackhawks deserved to go into the first intermission down 2-0 or 3-0, based on their early sloppy play and godawful powerplay, but they got a reprieve. Great goaltending was what kept them close, and only that. Miraculously, the shots were only 11-10 in favor of the Bruins, and the score was 0-0.

The roof came crashing down in the second period, and the Blackhawks surrendered 2 goal on 15 shots, including a Boston powerplay goal. The Hawks surprisingly had 8 shots, none of which were memorable or even threatening. This one was on the verge of being a blowout, if not for some fortunate bounces.

The third period was pretty much just more of the same for the men in white. Shots were almost even (10-9 Hawks), but the play told another story. Maybe a good ol fashioned ass kicking is what the Blackhawks needed to wake them up...or maybe they are the 06-07 Bears. Only they can decide. Next up, Game 4 in Boston Wednesday.

The Good

  • Corey Crawford. He's the only reason this game didn't end up 6-0. If I see any of you mention Ray Emery, I'll send an envelope of anthrax to your home and feet your cat arsenic.
The Bad

  • Again, like Saturday night, it was a matter of time before the Hawks surrendered a goal. Especially after the in zone pounding they were taking. Less than 5 minutes into the second and a turnover in the corner turned into a Paille goal. Bolland half assed an attempt to pick up a loose puck low in the Hawks zone and Paille beat Crawford. 1-0 B's and that would be all they need.
  • After the Hawks proceeded to take two straight penalties, which resulted in a short 5-on-3, the Bruins found a wide open Bergeron on the back door and he made it 2-0. The moment the Hawks were called for the second infraction, a Hjalmarsson trip, I posted on twitter: "And queue up Bruins Powerplay goal". Right was I. The Hawks felt they could rely on picking off a knee high saucer pass going across the crease, and well, we see how that worked. They went with the same approach later in the second and almost surrendered another goal to Seguin.
  • Six penalty minutes and a minus 1 for Bolland. If Toews and Handzus aren't going to show up, it would be nice if ONE of the centers would make an appearance.
  • I never thought in a million years that I would be able to put Jonathan Toews and choke in the same sentence, but he has been invisible. This has become a glaring hole in this team. Maybe he's hurt, maybe the rest of the league has figured out how to neutralize him, but for at least 15 games he was been a non factor. It kills me to have to point that out, because I think the world of the guy, but with their captain goes this team.
The Ugly

  • The Blackhawks powerplay reached a new low late in the first period. They gave not one, not two, but THREE full or partial break-a-way chances, and none of them ended up in the back of the net. How that happened, I'll never understand. Oh right, Corey Crawford is why.
  • Calling El Capitan.....Calling Pat Kane.......Your flight to Boston was Monday. We would all appreciate your participation. Toews apparently had 5 shots on net and I can't recall a single one.
  • TWENTY FUCKING NINE PERCENT at the dots. that's right, TWENTY NINE. Bolland and "noted faceoff specialist" Michal Handzus a combined 1-for-17. In the Stanley Cup Final! Kruger's 29% made him look like an expert next to the other two dopes. Jonny Toews' 42% effort looked Herculean.
  • I always think more clear the morning after, and yes the Hawks have come back from a 3-1 deficit before. What people leave out is that it was against an inferior Detoilet team that barely made the playoffs in the first place. This is the Bruins, who would eat the Wings for lunch. No team would come back from a 3-1 Boston lead. None! So, if the Hawks are to stay in this, they NEED to win Wednesday. Otherwise, start digging the burial plots because this series will be over Saturday, or Monday at the latest.

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Three Years Of Puckin Hostile

I never thought I'd make it this far, but I can proudly say that the this insignificant little rag I started is officially 3 years old. On 6/16/10, I was so overcome with emotion from seeing the Blackhawks team I had cheered on for 25 years win the cup, that I sat down and wrote it out for the world. Three years later, I have over 1500 Twitter followers, 400 Facebook likes, well over 400 game recaps and posts. More people tolerating my wise ass musings than I would have ever imagined. From the bottom of my heart, I'd like to thank each and every one of you that comes back to read my stuff. I've met quite a few great people through this blog of mine, and I'm looking forward to meeting even more.

Let's hope this summer brings the same good tidings as that memorable year.

Puckin Hostile E-Card Direct Link


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks vs Bruins
Game 2 OT Loss Recap

"Symphony of Destruction"

The first period was ALL Blackhawks. they came out and out shot the Bruins 19-4 and out scored them 1-0. If it weren't for a great effort in net, the Blackhawks would have been up 2-0 or 3-0. Utterly dominant effort.

It couldn't keep up long, and it didn't. The Bruins tied up the game late in the second period, on six shots, while holding the Blackhawks to four shots.

The Hawks third period was atrocious. They couldn't even get the puck to the red line without icing it. It's amazing that they didn't surrender any goals, but they held the Bruins scoreless while getting out shot again 8-5. Game two was following the theme of game 1, going to overtime

The Hawks could barely get the puck out of their zone and the Bruins were able to jump on a huge mistake. Shipping out to Boston tied at 1-1.

The Good

  • Sharpie opened up the scoring for the Hawks, as there was complete chaos in the crease. All 10 players seemed to end up in the crease, with the puck bouncing around all over the place. The puck squirted out to the left circle and Sharp just grabbed it, turned, and fired it over the down Rask. 1-0 Blackhawks
  • After taking a second period penalty for tripping Bolland pulled the old "two for flinching" move on Marchand, which was hilarious!!
  • For the entire first half of the game, Patrick Sharp was into everything. Shooting, Passing, Hitting, Scoring, Drawing Penalties. He was doing everything.
  • The loss is not on Crawford. He, once again, made several huge saves and kept the Hawks in the game. If you even thought of blaming Crawford, kindly guzzle a bottle of Drano.
The Bad

  • Doc Emerick must have been high, because he called Johnny Boychuk, Niklas.
  • The Refs were the only reason the Hawks didn't go into the first intermission up 2-0. The Hawks jammed a puck past Rask, but the Ref "intended to blow". I can tell you first hand that the Refs blow. Cost the Hawks the game.
  • The second line got worked by a good portion of the Bruins 4th line and Seguin, late in the second period, and the puck ended beating Crawford to tie the game up. Just when the Hawks were dominating play but not able to beat Rask, the Bruins get a fortunate bounce, and the game is all even. Leddy and Roszival were definitely having issues on the play, as well.
  • Jagr had a great chance to snipe Crawford, early in OT, and hit the post. WHEW!!!
  • I could predict a few things every game. The Hawks will suck at faceoffs (46%); the Hawks will get out hit (34-50), and their powerplay will be terrible (0-3). Two of those three matter, and need to get better.
The Ugly

  • Fuck Comcast, and their bullshit. The HD feed went out in the first period, and unless you knew to scramble over to the Standard Def channel, you missed the first goal. $200 a month well spent.
  • Well, in overtime it was only a matter of time before the Bruins won the game. Color me surprised that Brandon Bollig was front and center leading up to the goal. He had plenty of time to clear the puck out of the zone, shit is diaper, and then allowed the Bruins to keep it in. The puck ended up on the puck of Dan Paille, who took a great shot that beat Crawford of the far post and in.
  • The Hawks had 19 shots in the first 20 minutes, and 24 shots in the remaining 53 minutes. That cannot happen.
  • I have to keep pointing it out, but we are all aware that the Blackhawks powerplay is rancid dogshit at the Clown College. They had chances to pull away and completely choked.

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks vs Bruins
Game 1 3OT Win Recap

"STORMtroopers of Death"

2013 Stanley Cup Final; the Blackhawks and Bruins. Get on with the track meet!

The first period was fairly even, Wednesday night, although the Bruins had a slight edge in play with their eleven shots and one goal, compared to the Hawks 7 shots. This wasn't the first time the Hawks went down early, only to come back.

The Hawks started the second period in terrible fashion, surrendering the second Bruins goal early. But, as good teams have been known to do, Blackhawks answered and then took control of play, out shooting Boston 16 to 6. Unfortunately, only one of those 16 shots ended up in the net but it was progress, and a one goal game, going into the third.

The Hawks began the third period digging themselves into a 3-1 hole and things didn't look good for the home team. I have to give them credit, because they didn't get down on themselves and fought back to eventually tie the game. Once again, they grossly out shot the visiting team 15-8 to give the Hawks a 60 minute total of 39-25. It was going to take at least one more shot to win this one, because game one was set for extra time. LOTS of extra time.

This one did not dissappoint. These two exhausted teams took the game to TRIPLE overtime, which is almost entire additional game. At the stroke of midnight, and almost 5 hours after the puck drop, the United Center erupted and "Chelsea, Chelsea" rang out. The Blackhawks are up one nil on the Bruins, and three wins away from another Stanley Cup.

Breathe, tranquilizer, blackout.

The Good

  • Saad took advantage of playing with two of the toughest players in the NHL, as he was paired back up Hossa and Toews. Hossa dug the puck out of the corner and got it to Saad, who was wide open at the circle. Saad then one timed a shot over Rask's glove to give the Blackhawks life, when there seemed to be none. Finally, something to cheer about.
  • With twelve minutes remaining in the third, and two minutes after the Bergeron goal, Dave Bolland took a pretty slick Andrew Shaw feed and cut the Bruins lead, again, to one goal. Shaw stole the puck at the Bruins blue line and led the rush, while
  • Johnny Oduya was the fortunate recipient of a weird bank shot off a Bruin's skate and into the net, tying up the game with 7:46 left in regulation. The Hawks were buzzing around the zone and a shot that was actually going to go wide. It hit the back side of Ference and dribbled past Rask. All treys!
  • I'm a big enough man to eat my words, but David Bolland was ENORMOUS on both ends of the ice. He probably saved at least three goals, while scoring one and being in on the game winning goal.
  • Well, the Blackhawks weren't AS bad at the dots, as in previous series, so I guess this has to be a small victory. They were 49% as a team, but if you exclude Bolland's paltry 31%, the rest of the team looks much better.
  • As the watches in Chicago struck midnight, in the third overtime, a long Michal Roszival point shot tipped off the stick of Dave Bolland, Andrew Shaw, and finally into the net. Bedlam ensued. That Shaw kid sure has a potty mouth. Good thing all the little kiddies were in bed.
  • I'm going to keep saying it until the wheels fall off the wagon; IF the wheels fall off. Take your Ray Emery horseshit and shove it up your dopey fair weather fan asses. Corey Crawford was a BEAST! I cannot count how many times he saved the Hawks asses, AND held the Bruins at bay long enough for the Hawks to rally back and support him. If the Hawks can really pull this off, Corey Crawford is your Conn Smythe Trophy winner. He made a HUGE glove save in the first period, which could be one of the best of the entire playoffs.
  • Well, I suppose this means we are going to see more Brandon Dullig. In his defense, he didn't do anything to hur the team, so as long as that continues, I'll be on board. I still prefer Smith, but Dullig played 14 minutes and had 9 hits.
  • Believe it of not, the Blackhawks outhit the Bruins in regulation and in the overtimes (61-59). I didn't think they were physically able to accomplish that, especially without taking stupid penalties.
  • Shaw...how about this kid? A goal, an assist, and 9 hits. Looks like the real deal, to me.
The Bad

  • Milan Lucic scored the first goal of the final, just over half way through the first period. Hjalmarsson went for a big hit behind the net and that left an odd man situation in the slot. Lucic had all day to pick Crawford apart, and did just that. 1-0 Bruins
  • Just 51 seconds into the second period, Milan Lucic scored his second goal of the game. How do you miss a guy that big, moving that slow into the zone? He was WIDE open, and was given FAR too much time and space.
  • A bad tripping penalty in the third period let to a Patrice Bergeron goal with 5 minutes gone in the period. The Hawks were running around on the kill and Seguin got the puck, wide open in the slot. Seguin chose to dish to Bergeron instead of shooting, who unleashed a blazing shot past Crawford.
  • If Horton is as hurt as he looked going off the ice, that is a huge blow to the Bruins offense.
The Ugly

  • The powerplay is god fucking awful. Just terrible. In the second period alone, the Hawks blew a 5-on-3 and another powerplay, that could have tied the game at the very least. I'm not going to buy into this, "well it got them this far" crap. If the powerplay scores just one goal, the wouldn't be packing urgent care centers for ulcer treatment.
  • A terrible pinch on overtime caused Thornton to end up 1-on-1 with Crawford, and Crawford beat him. I was sure the game was over. Absolutely sure!
  • The Hawks took a bad too many men penalty with just over 8 minutes left in the first overtime. Luckily the Hawks killed it off, but that wasn't all. Not to be out done, they took ANOTHER one late in overtime number 2. A long Chara shot off the post is the only thing that saved them from losing the game on that powerplay.
  • Bruin Chris Kelly was minus three on the night and 32% at the dots. More of this please? WOOF!

Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Monday, June 10, 2013

200th Hockee Night Puckcast

Sunday night was a pretty celebratory night for the Chicago hockey blogsphere, as the guys at Hockee Night held their live 200th puckcast show at Galway Bay on the north side. Since I don't normally get to make it out to their road watches, I had to get out and meet some of the fellow Hawks fans from the Twitterverse. I didn't realize they were going to call me up for a segment, but they did, which I have to thank them for. It was great to actually get involved when hockey actually being played. Give a listen to it, as this think goes off the track quite a few times and it's decided that Chicago is taking ownership of Blackhawks Legend Bobby Orr, and Slak will be pitching the Bobby Orr Heritage night.

Thanks to the guys for curing my panic attack inducing fear of public speaking, and nice meeting Fork, CT, Slak, Morph, Andrew and Kelly from Dry Island Castaways, James Neveau from the Madhouse Enforcer, Casey from Second Balcony Breakdown and the Chicago Snow Hawks.

For the record, I HATE how my voice sounds.

If you're the downloading type, here is the link to download: http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-31471/TS-754993.mp3


Sunday, June 9, 2013

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. LA Kings
Game 5 Series Win Recap

"King Nothing"

Preview, Schmeview. Right to it!

The Hawks couldn't have had a better first period, Saturday night. They came out and took a quick 2-0 lead, on ten shots, before the game was ten minutes old. They also held the Kings to only 4 shots, which is perfect. What a period!

The second period wasn't as good, for the Hawks. The Kings were able to score a goal, and cut the Hawks lead in half. The Kings also out shot the Hawks 8-6 in the middle period, and made sure the Hawks didn't run away with this one.

The Hawks looked to have won the game late in the third period, but a very late Kings goal sent the game to overtime. This could have been a back breaker, but the Hawks recovered. In that third, the Kings out shot the Blackhawks 11-8.

It took an overtime and a half, but the Blackhawks finally sent the defending champs home, and sent themselves to the cup finals. Like I said on Twitter, if you would have told me at Christmas that the lockout would end, the Hawks would have a record point streak, and make it to the cup finals, I would have told you to quit bullshitting, yet here we are.

The Good

  • Not even 4 minutes into the first period, and Duncan Keith opened the scoring. Welcome back, eh? Roszival recognized a slow Kings line change, and got the puck to Keith. Keith was just trying to make it over the blue line and get a rebound, but the puck snuck between Quick's 5-hole and into the net. Queue up that Chelsea, Chelsea!
  • Just a couple of minutes later, some miscommunication between Jonny Quick and his defense led to Bickell stealing a waved off ice call and setting up goal number two. The chaos in front caused Quick to end up on his back, with a the puck loose in the slot. Crazy 8s swooped in and scooped up the puck. He skated parallel to net and waited for the defense to clear the open net, and hit the gaping cage. 2-0 Blackhawks.
  • The Hawks took 3-2 lead courtesy of Crazy 8s and Bickell, with just under 4 minutes remaining. Jason Williams was chased behind the net by Bickell, and as soon as Bickell's stick got near him, his legs stopped moving and he flopped. Bickell got the puck to Kane who beat Quick. Chaos ensued!
  • Brandon Saad made a HUGE play with a minute left in the game to keep the puck pinned along the Kings boards for a good 10 seconds and then create enough trouble on the forecheck to take another 5-10 seconds off. You won't see that on the highlight reel, but it was a huge play and deserves to be pointed out.
  • It took until past the halfway point of the second overtime, but the two guys that needed to step up the most put the Hawks into the Stanley Cup finals. Toews stole the puck at the Kings blue line, with Kane streaking up the wing. El Capitan took his time and hit Crazy 8s for the one timer, the hat trick, the winner, and the STANLEY CUP FINALS!
  • I guess it was a given that the guys that were going to put the Hawks in the finals would be the bromance brother, Kane and Toews.
The Bad

  • Johnny Oduya had a wide open net in the third period and Quick somehow got a piece of the puck with his blocker.
  • A bad Bryan Bickell checking from behind penalty gave the Kings all they needed to tie the game, with over 15 minutes remaining in the game. It was only a matter of time before a stupid Hawks penalty would bite them in the ass, and this was that time. Crawford made the save on the long shot but Kopitar stuffed the rebound past Crawford.
  • Toews and Kane worked a beautiful odd man break in the first OT, that almost ended up on Kane's stick with a wide open net, but the pass missed Kane. SO close!
  • The Hawks took SEVERAL bad icing whistles in the overtime which led to far too many stressful faceoffs in the Hawks zone. Not smart at this point in the playoffs.
  • Kings Captain Dustin Brown and defenseman Robyn Regehr were both minus 3. Woof!
  • The Hawks were dogshit at the dots AGAIN. Only Shaw was over 50%.
The Ugly

  • Vik Stalberg got caught racing for a loose puck versus Robyn Regehr, which was pretty comical as Stalberg blew by him and got the puck to the net. I'm not going to miss his lack of finishing touch, but I WILL miss his speed. Dude is BLAZING fast.
  • The Kings scored their first goal of the game, shorthanded, on the Hawks first powerplay of the game. The Hawks rattled up little pressure and gave up a 2-on-2 shorthanded rush. Crawford made the initial save, but Dwight King followed up and beat Crawford, who had committed to the poke check. Find a clue on the powerplay, for fuck's sakes!
  • Andrew Shaw took a crosscheck to the face halfway through the third period that drew blood, but apparently the refs didn't recognize the red liquid coming out of Shaw's face. Should have led to a 4 minute powerplay, but the Hawks only got 2 because the refs called a crosscheck instead of a high stick. Not like the Hawks powerplay can generate anything anyway. What was I thinking?
  • The Hawks gave up the game tying goal with seven seconds left in the third. After an icing call, Stoll won the faceoff against Toews, and it got back to the point. The puck was worked to Kopitar who hit Richards with the shot and past Crawford. Not much you can do as a goalie right there. What the....

Cup Finals, Muthas!
Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Friday, June 7, 2013

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at Los Angeles
Game 4 Win Recap

"Crash Course in Brain Surgery"

The Blackhawks were looking to get back on track in LA, Thursday night, after a 3-1 loss in game 3. If they were going to win, they were going to have so without Duncan Keith, because of his one game suspension for clipping Jeff Carter in the face. As I said before, the Hawks lost, pretty much, a 2-1 game to a team that hasn't lost at home in the entire playoffs, and they didn't even really show up for 40 of the 60 minutes. No reason to panic. Lets get right to the action.

The Hawks looked like they might have come out a little flat in the first period, giving up the first goal, early on. They didn't roll over, though, tying the game up late and out shooting the Kings 11-10 in the period. This one was going to be a game.

The second period started the same as the first, with the Kings taking the lead early on, but the Hawks came back again and tied the game again late. The Kings actually out shot the Hawks 9-8 in the middle period, but no harm done.

The third period is where the Hawks clamped down HARD. They took the lead early on, and just shut the Kings down the rest of the way. The Hawks out shot the home team 9-2 in what might be the final period of hockey in the Staples Center this season. When the final horn went off, there were no silly streamers, and the Blackhawks were on their way home with a 3-1 series lead.

The Good

  • Only a few minutes into the game, El Capitan was sent in on a break-a-way and had Quick beat, but the Datsyuk-esque move rolled just wide. Of course, the Kings ended up opening the scoring on the next rush up the ice.
  • Sudden playoff juggernaut Bryan Bickell tied the game up with about 6 and a half minutes left in the fist period. He brought the puck in just over the blue line and let a long wrist shot go on Quick. Quick couldn't get a handle on the knuckling puck and it squirted past him. Weak goal, but fortunate for the Hawks. It's going to be fun laughing at whatever team gives him some asinine amount of money because of the playoffs, completely over looking the previous mediocre 5 years. Hello, Sean Bergenheim, John Druce, and Ville Leino. Pull another chair up to the table, because you'll have company shortly.
  • With just over 1:30 left in the second period, the Hawks tied the game once again. The Hawks were all over the Kings and Crazy 8s was flying around the zone like his pubic hair was on fire. After a few separate scrums in the crease, the puck was sent back out to Hjalmarsson. Hammer unleashed a shot that Bickell tipped and once again dribbled through Quick. Kane spotted the puck behind Quick and helped it over the line. Kaner! Nice to see you, kiddo! Thanks for joining the Western Conference Finals.
  • Handzus and Hossa recognized and jumped on a terrible Kings line change just a minute and ten seconds into the third period, and gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the night. One they would never lose. Handzus set up Hossa for a one timer on a silver platter, and Hoss didn't miss. He is Marian Hossa, and you are not.
  • When you hold the home to to TWO shots on net in a one goal third period, you're doing something right.
  • Corey Crawford made several huge saves, once again, and kept the Blackhawks in the game. None were bigger than the poke check on the Justin Williams break-a-way four minutes into the second period.
  • Da Hocks gotta hit more of dem Kings guys! They were out hit almost 2-to-1 and won.
  • The Hawks beat a team that hasn't lost at home, without arguably their best defenseman. End of statement.
The Bad

  • I'm getting tired of hearing the name Slava Voynov, that's for sure. Brookbank's first shift was a complete clusterfuck, and ended up with Voynov blasting a long shot past Crawford. Terrible way to start the game, and thank god we shouldn't have to see any more of Brookbank this postseason.
  • The Hawks were still dogshit at the dots. At this point, I guess we just have to come to terms with it, but just imagine how dangerous they would be if they STARTED with possession more than 4 out of every 10 faceoffs. Toews was the low man last night at 39%. How he goes from virtually tops in the league in the regular season to this is beyond me.
  • Sheldon Brookbank minus 2 in 6:50. Your seat in the press box is warm and waiting for you. OOOFA
The Ugly

  • The second Kings goal was a pretty lackluster one. Jeff Carter put a really soft backhand shot on net, and Crawford kind of lost it. Brookbank lost his man, Penner, behind Crawford and Penner just chass├ęd into the crease and poked the puck in to the net. Things did not look well for the Hawks at that point, but they got better.
  • The Hawks had a 5-on-3 early in the second period and couldn't manage Jack Shit. They manged one shot overall, and none on the 5-on-3 portion which is just absolutely pathetic.
  • Lard ass Penner took a cheap shot at Bolland early in the third period that the league will have to take a look at. Turnabout is fair play, LA Kings fans. Elbow to the head is a suspendable offense, especially to a player that already has concussion issues.

Back on track again
Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, and HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks at Los Angeles
Game 3 Loss Recap

"Clash with Reality"

The Hawks were told that they were going to have a good old fashioned dogfight on their hands back once they got to LA. At least that's what just about every analyst said. This would make sense. The Kings are a proud team that didn't make it this far by rolling over and dying. A dogfight was exactly what the Hawks got, in fact.

As just about everyone expected, the Kings came out with a chip on their shoulders. There were lots of big hits, annoying little cheap shots from the Kings as well as the only goal of the period. Thanks to some penalties, they had a little more room to work than they did in the UC. They only out shot the Hawks 8-7, but it seemed like double that count.

The second period was even worse than the first period. Thanks to a really stupid Blackhawks penalty, the Hawks ended up spending almost a quarter of the period killing penalties. Luckily, one of their paltry three shots ended up in the back of the net, which brought the game back to within one goal, before the final buzzer.

The Hawks actually showed up for the third period, but weren't able to get that elusive game tying goal. According to the official scorer, the Hawks were out shot 11-10, but not in the game I was watching. Anyhow, the Hawks were going to have to recover enough for an attempt to take a 3-1 series lead, Thursday night, before coming back to the UC.

The Good

  • Not sure what wild hair was up Patrick Sharp's ass, but he was perfectly willing to drop the gloves with Justin Williams late in the first period. The refs jumped on them before any hooks were thrown, but it was going down. He's been skating with an edge all series.
  • Bickell continued his great play scoring a late second period goal with under a minute left. He grabbed the puck behind the net after the Kings defenders took each other out. He had plenty of time to come around the net and out wait Quick. Huge goal for the Hawks when they had absolutely nothing going on.
  • Bickell WAS the offense and had the majority of the Hawks chances. He's earning himself a lot of money somewhere else this summer. Where has this Bickell been for the last, oh say, six fucking years????? All of a sudden it's a contract year and he's figured everything out?
The Bad

  • The Kings took a 1-0 lead, about 5 minutes into the game, off the stick of Justin Williams. The play started when Nick Leddy got a little too full of himself, and tried to pull one of his end to end rushes. He didn't make it past the top of the Hawks circle before Williams cut him off. The puck rattled around the top of the Hawks zone until the puck ended back up on the stick of William again. He let a quick one time shot go, and beat Crawford to the stick side. Williams caught Crawford trying to slide across, and Crawford didn't make it far enough across his crease to make the save.
  • The Hawks got caught running around in their own zone with Keith and Seabrook on the ice and Slava Voynov ended up with a clean look at the net from about 20 feet out. He wound up and actually broke his stick on the shot, but the change up ended up slowly hitting Crawford's left pad and skidding into the net. 2-0 Kings just a few minutes into the second.
  • The drooling troglodyte, Dwight King, scored an empty netter. Enjoy it, maybe it'll get you laid, but I can't imagine any woman stomaching that hideous serial killer grin. 3-1 Kings, aaaand fade to black.
  • Toews? Kane? Alright, you can join the rest of your teammates anytime you're ready. Play time is over. Your team is going to slowly start to hit the IR, from the sore backs they have as a result of wearing you two clowns as backpacks. Remember when we were up in arms because they weren't mentioned for the Hart Trophy? That was fun.
The Ugly

  • If the Hawks had even an AVERAGE powerplay, they might never lose a game but, alas, this team is enrolled at the Harvard of Clown Colleges.
  • The Hawks took a bunch of completely idiotic penalties. Keith's four minute penalty for whacking Jeff Carter in the face behind the play was no exception. You have to be smarter than that. Don't become the Penguins.
  • Hjalmarsson took a shot right to the inside of the knee on a Kings powerplay and was in some SERIOUS pain. I can't see him NOT missing time after that shot, even though he made it back out to finish the game. That would be a big loss on the Hawks back end if it swelled up.
  • Brian Engblom actually had the balls to say "good no call" on an inadvertent high stick against Keith. He couldn't be any more wrong. The refs just plain missed the call. A high stick is a high stick. One of the easiest calls to make and one of the few black and white calls this game has.
  • Hawks; Faceoffs; Suckfest Extraordinaire. Forty one percent is all I need to say. I still don't see these highly paid analysts mentioning this, but it's important. Instead we'll beat
  • Anze Kopitar? Anyone? This guy is supposed to be the best center no one talks about? We can see why they don't talk about him.

Still not jumping off this bandwagon just yet.
Courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, thanks to HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blackhawks sign Finnish Playoffs MVP Antti Raanta

Reports flooded the intarwebz Monday that the Blackhawks signed goalie and Elite league playoff MVP Antti Raanta. Raanta is 24 years old, 6'0" tall, and 187 lbs. He looks like he plays a style closer to former Blackhawks cup winning goalie Antti Niemi, and maybe even a little Jonathan Quick. He seems to cover the low part of the net very well, and the guys at the Goalie Guild say that Raanta reminds them of the Blue Jacket's Bobrovsky. This signing seems very eerily like the May 5th 2008 signing of a certain finnish goalie named Antti Niemi. Great move by Stan Bowman.

It was speculated as soon as yesterday that the Minnesota Wild were going to sign him. Bravo to the Hawks for stealing this one out from under the Wild's nose.

Here are some highlight videos:

SOURCE: http://blackhawks.nhl.com

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. LA Kings
Game 2 Win Recap

"Ride the Lightning"

The Blackhawks and Kings met Sunday night, just over 24 hours after the Blackhawks Saturday night game 1 win. The Kings were sure to look at tying up the series despite their terrible playoff road record. Mike Richards and Jason Muzzin were missing from the Kings lineup with the Blackhawks dressing the same successful group of guys from game 1. Another big win, and the Blackhawks had a chance to head to LA leading the series 2-0.

The Kings came out and actually out shot the Hawks in the first period 13-9, but two great chances put the Hawks up 2-0 and got the ball rolling, which is the complete opposite of Saturday's game where the Hawks were down 1-0 after out shooting the Kings 17-2.

The Hawks blew the game open in the second period scoring two more goals on 11 shots, and the Kings finally got on the scoreboard with one of their 6 shots. All the Hawks needed to do was hold the third period, and they were sitting pretty.

The Hawks were in defensive mode again, in the third, for the second game in a row, which is a nice thing to have to do. Getting out shot 13-6 is a little more than you would like to see, but the game was pretty far out of hand already. The Kings put in a late powerplay goal, but it wasn't nearly enough. The Hawks were off to Cali, up 2-0. I don't want to put a damper on this, but both of these teams were in two game holes and came back to win series, so don't start tooting the Blackhawks horn just yet.

The Good

  • It took all of two minutes for the new energy line to open up a 1-0 Blackhawks lead. The play was started by Nick Leddy causing the turnover by holding the puck in along the Kings boards. General Saad jumped in to pick up the loose puck, feed Stalberg. Stalberg then shocked everybody by making a slick little blind backhand pass to a streaking Shaw, who beat Quick low to the glove side. This Shaw kid is defying the odds and Chicago is eating it up.
  • With under a minute left in the first period, Seabrook put the Hawks up 2-0. El Capitan and Hoss weaved into the Kings zone and Hoss hit Seabrook with a nice drop pass, leaving him all day to pick his spot. Seabs did all the work beating Quick, who had slightly over pursued the play, to the stick side.
  • Corey Crawford made a great save in the first period when a dump in, off the glass, dropped right in front of him with Tyler Toffoli hauling ass. He went full Hasek with the two pad stack and made the save. Highlight reel save.

    To follow that up, he found himself 1-on-1 with pancake aficionado Dustin Penner in the second period. Crawford ended up stuffing Penner and smothering the rebound.

    Finally, late in the third period, when dumb ass cement head Kyle Clifford took a shot at El Capitan, it was refreshing to see Crawford jump into the fracas and help his captain. Jonathan Bernier thought he'd be slick and skate out to the blue line. Not a bright idea, because Crawford can beat some goalie ass.
  • Bryan Bickell pulled his best lard ass Byfuglien impression on the powerplay, in the second period, with a little help from Robyn Regehr. Sharp took a long slap shot that Quick initially saved, but Bickell used his big ass to cause havoc right in Quick's kitchen, and swatted at the rebound. He wasn't able to put anything on the rebound, but Regehr whacked at the puck and put it right between his own goalie's legs. Thanks big guy!
  • Michal Handzus made it 4-0 just two minutes and nine seconds later on a 2-on-2 break with that Sharp Dressed Man. Handzus used the odd man break to his advantage, and Zus blew it by Quick's stick side, which was a theme Sunday night. That was the end of Quick's night. Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-hey-hey, Goodbye! Grab a ball cap and have a seat, kid! I joke, but I would not be surprised if Quick comes back with a vengeance on Tuesday and shuts the Hawks out.
  • Since Saad has taken over Bickell's old spot on the third line, the speed of that line has been lethal. Saad's ability to adapt makes him that much more valuable.
  • Keith and Seabrook were a combined plus 4. That'll do, yes sir, that'll do.
  • Even though the Kings scored on the powerplay, the Hawks penalty kill has just been lights out. Not much more needs to be said.
The Bad

  • Dustin brown hit on Keith in the first period was a little shady with the elbow to the face, but considering that the Hawks might have gotten away with one from a Bickell, who looked to kick the skates out from under Drew Doughboy, late in the first.
  • Party Boy Jeff Carter broke the Crawford shutout with under a minute left in the second period. Carter won the faceoff and the Hawks were never able to get their shit together. Eventually, Tyler Toffoli got the puck back to Carter for a one timer past a shifting Crawford.
  • Finally, someone was able to score a powerplay goal on the Hawks at home. With about a minute left in the third period, after another stupid delay of game penalty, Tyler Toffoli chipped the puck over Crawford. Meh, they can have it.
  • If Colin Fraser thinks that the stupid head fake he threw at Seabrook was going to scare Lucky Number Sleven, he's more stupid than he looks. Sit down and enjoy your 51 minutes on the bench with your dead eyes and clown hair.
  • For the second game in a row, the Blackhawks were just under 50% at the dots, and Michal Handzus was the only Hawks center to eclipse 50%. While they are winning, this is ok, but in LA they are going to need the puck control.
The Ugly

  • Dwight King and Kyle Clifford are a couple of talentless drooling gorillas. Throw them in a cage with Ryan Reaves from St. Louis and let them beat each other to death Thunderdome style.
  • Dave Bolland is really beginning to piss me off. He's really bringing nothing to the Hawks at this point, and there is no way they can keep him around next season with that salary. Over 3 million a year to play the fourth line is not feasible and his best days are behind him. That's sad to say, at 26, but it's the truth.

A little Holiday Road, courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, thanks to HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. LA Kings
Game 1 Win Recap

"Who Cares Wins"

After the exhausting Wings series, things got no easier for the Blackhawks. They opened up the Western Conf finals against the defending Stanley Cup champs. How is that for stepping up the competition? This was a team that the Blackhawks ruined the banner raising for, so there were no doubt some sour grapes. Live from United Center, in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and Kings.

The Blackhawks looked really good offensively in the first period, out shooting the Kings 17-2. Luckily for the Kings, the Hawks gave up a flukey goal, and went into the locker room down 1-0.

Even though the Kings and Hawks played much closer in the second period, the Blackhawks were able to take a 2-1 lead. The Hawks had 14 shots to the Kings 12, and carried some momentum into the third period.

The Hawks went into safe mode in the third period, but the Kings really didn't offer much pressure, either. I can't say there was a point where there was much threat of a Kings comeback. It felt like more of a "we got this" attitude from the men in red. When all was said and done, the Hawks held on and opened up a 1-0 series lead with their 2-1 win. Seven more wins!!

The Good

  • Almost halfway through the first period, and the Hawks were out shooting the Kings 9-0
  • As I said, The Hawks had 17 shots on net in the first period alone. Traffic in front or not, 17 shots are good.
  • It took the Blackhawks twenty six shots and a period and a half to finally solve Jon Quick. Johnny Oduya took a solid slap shot off Quick's left pad and it ricocheted right back out in front to Patrick Sharp, for a fairly easy goal. The UC crowd finally woke up with this one....for a second.
  • Just a few short minutes after the Sharp goal, Hossa tipped a long Duncan Keith slapshot past Quick to take their first lead of the series and never lost it.
  • Late in the third period Dave Bolland freight trained Mike Richards while Richards tried to whack at Corey Crawford. Richards was pretty clearly hurting after the hit.
  • Final shot tally was right in the Hawks wheelhouse at 36-22. That is exactly how they drew it up.
  • The Hawks tripled the Kings up in takeaways 18-6. Huge!!
  • The hits were MUCH closer than anyone would have expected and even though the Hawks were out hit, it was only by six at 44-38.
  • Quenneville was able to roll all 4 lines just like he did in the Wild series. The fourth line had several great plays despite being on the ice for the only goal against.
  • Crawford. The goal wasn't his fault, and he was his usual solid self.
The Bad

  • The Hawks first powerplay lasted under 30 seconds when Andrew Shaw took a stupid interference penalty.
  • Drew Doughty was the only King that was a minus 2. Funny, We haven't heard all that Norris Trophy talk this year.
  • Once again, the Hawks were beat at the faceoff dot. This time it was 48% to 52%. Handzus was the only Hawks player to eclipse the 50% mark. If something needs to improve, this is it. The Hawks might have won 3-0 if they had done better at the dots.
The Ugly

  • The Kings scored on their second shot of the game when Dave Bolland non chalantly handled the puck in front of the net and then tried to pass across the slot. Justin Williams picked the puck off and redirected it past the shocked Corey Crawford. Terrible first goal, and terrible play by the Hawks in their own end.

Since it's tradition now, thanks to HockeeNight

Here are the video highlights:

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