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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Week That Was - 10/25/13

As with everything, life and family take precedence over hobbies and extracurricular activities. Especially when you write a blog in what little free time you have. I touched on this through Facebook and Twitter about a week and a half ago, but going forward my game recaps will change format. They will be more brief and consolidated into end of the week summaries. Thanks again for understanding and supporting my silly little dream.

All that being said, here goes:

10/19 - Blackhawks vs. the Maple Leafs

  • Brandon Pirri scored his 2nd goal in as many games, on the powerplay, on a set up by Brandon Saad. These two youngsters are showing some great chemistry.
  • Bryan Bickell and Michael Kostka scored their first goals of the season. Kind of poetic that Kostka scored his against his former team.
  • The PK took another kit with Khadri's powerplay goal.
  • The Hawks had 40 shots on net while only allowing 20. MOAR BETTER
  • The Hawks won 56% of their faceoffs, which is about as much as you can ask. They particularly picked on Tyler Bozak all night.
  • Nick Leddy quietly had a nice night with 2 assists.
Here are the video highlights:
10/22 - Blackhawks in South Florida
  • The Hawks surrendered yet another third period lead, this time a 2 goal lead. This is unacceptable against a team that's struggling like the Panthers.
  • Carter 7 and Deuce had a rough third period, each lugging a minus 2.
  • Hawks centers actually had a second good night at the dots winning another 56%. This time Marcel Goc was their whipping boy
  • Somehow, Ben Smith was credited with 4 blocked shots.
  • Crawford had a really nice stop on a Huberdeau penalty shot.
  • The Hawks powerplay continued to click with the Toews goal, on a feed from Keith.
10/24 - Blackhawks at Tampa Bay
  • Khabibulin was simply just not good. Few more of these and the meatheads will be calling for his head on a stick. He faced 25 shots and let 6in. That's terrible.
  • For the third game in a row, the Hawks were over 50% at the dots. Stamkos had his dick beat in at the dots, but with 4 points, who cares?
  • Kane looked like a man on fire with a goal and an assist, but still managed a minus 3. Oduya joined Kane with his own minus 3.
  • Seabrook had a quiet plus 4 night. Carter 7 on the case.
  • El Capitan had a nice two point night.
  • Stamkos was incredible. 4 points. That guy is a stud.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blackhawks at St. Louis - Loss Recap

"One Kill Wonder"

I have really grown to like the Blackhawks games against the smelly and putrid St. Louis Blues. Not because the Blackhawks generally have good fortunes against them, but the resulting Slaky hatecaps at HockeeNight. I could never do them justice, so I'll stick to what I know best. Wednesday night rivalries in St. Louis with the Blackhawks and Blues....

The first period was pretty much what you'd expect from a Blues/Hawks game. There were chances, hits, odd man breaks and a couple of goals. Each team got opening period goals, and thanks to a late flurry, the Blues led in shots 13-12.

The second period was much like the first period. The Blues controlled a majority of the play as shown by their 14-9 shot edge. Despite the edge, they only managed one goal, which was later matched by the a Hawks goal.

The third period was just more of the same. Each team managed 7 shots and it looked like things were going to overtime. St. Louis took advantage of a costly Hawks pinch and won the game with under a minute to go in regulation. Overall, it was a great game and the remaining 4 games should be war.

The Good

  • Shockingly enough, the Hawks had two 2-on-1's in the first 10 minutes. Of course they didn't cash in, but the chances were there.
  • Six seconds into the first Blackhawks Powerplay, and Crazy 8s picked up a dribbling puck from a blocked Shooter one timer, just to Halak's right, and jammed it onto the net to the tie game up for the Hawks. The Hawks were on the powerplay because Lapierre couldn't resist being a dick bag, boarding Shaw from behind.
  • The Hawks came right back after the Blue powerplay goal, and scored one of their own. Toews worked the play below the goal line, and a rebound on a long Sharp shot was first picked up by Crazy 8s and then finally jammed in the net by El Capitan. Nice to see the powerplay looking dangerous.
  • Two powerplay goals in one game is amazing to see from this team.
  • Early in the second period, a great iso shot showed the big dope Ryan Reeves ask Brandon Bollig, "You wanna go?" and Bollig shook him off.
The Bad

  • It only took about 2 minutes for Brookbank to drop the gloves with Stewart. Man hugs and that's about it.
  • The Blues took advantage of a Duncan Keith pinch and a Hossa neutral zone turnover which turned into a 2-on-1. Unlike the Hawks early odd man breaks, Tarasenko held onto the puck and surgically picked apart Crawford's stick side.
  • David Back-ass put the Blue back up by a goal, after a shorthanded Marcus Kruger lost faceoff. The play went back to Pietrangelo wno let a long shot go, that was tipped by Back-ass past Crawford. God damn penalty kill!
  • Hossa is clearly hurt. He is a shadow of his usual self. At some point they might want to let him heal because he's not helping much on the ice.
  • The Hawks were back to getting owned at the dots. Kruger is just awful and most of the regular centers followed suit last night.
The Ugly

  • With 21 seconds to go the Hawks got caught deep in the Blues zone and the Blues turned around with a 3-on-1. Seabrook was the Hawks defender that got caught, and Steen drove right up the ice, blowing a laser through Crawford virtually winning the game.

The Lineblender



The Video Highlights


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Lightning - Shootout Loss Recap

"Choke Sermon"

The Blackhawks came off a nice little three day rest and welcomed the Tampa Bay Lightning into the United Center, Saturday night, for a warm October tilt. The Hawks were coming off a big opening night win over the Caps. It wasn't what you'd call a tightly played contest. Both teams were sloppy, and it was very clear that they were rusty. The only change for the Blackhawks was that Ben Smith was made his debut as Jimmy Hayes took a seat. Live from the United Center in Chicago....it's the Hawks and Lightning

For all of us spoiled by the great action of last season, a first period like this one will lull you to sleep. The Hawks held the Bolts to a big goose egg in the shots on net department, while throwing 11 pucks at the Tampa Bay net. Not much to write home about.

The Blackhawks opened up a 2-0 lead while out shooting the Lightning 13-6 in the second period. I guess the Bolts should have been celebrating their six shots because the Hawks had a goal before the Lightning managed a single shot on Crawford.

The third period was a disaster for the Hawks. They gave up two goals to allow the Lightning to tie the game up, even though the Bolts only had 8 shots. A fairly boring game that was now going to overtime. Lovely.

When all was said and done the Lightning pulled out a 3-2 shootout win. I hate shootouts.

The Good

  • Crazy 8s opened up a 1-0 Hawks lead just a minute into the second period. This was before the Bolts had a single shot on net. Hammer set the play up by driving up the right side and throwing the puck on net at a tight angle. Bickell whacked at the rebound and Kane chipped the third chance over Bishop.
  • General Saad got one of the easiest goals he's ever going to get, on the powerplay. Leddy dumped the puck in deep and high off the glass. The puck took a ridiculous bounce off a partition right back in front of the net that had been vacated by Bishop, who was trying to meet it behind the net. Saad met it and poked it into the net. 2-0 Hawks.
  • The Hawks weren't terrible at the dots. 50% should be considered a win for this group. Kruger was pretty bad, but the rest of the team had solid numbers.
  • Even though the powerplay goal was a fluke, the pressure that the Hawks put on was pretty impressive. If the Hawks traded in the PK success for PP success, I might consider that a loss.
  • Brandon Saad was probably the Hawks best player on the night. He was everywhere. Again, this was only game two, but this is promising.
The Bad

  • A lost faceoff deep in the Hawks zone led to a fat rebound that Keith actually had decent coverage on, but Martin St. Louis chipped it up and over Crawford's glove half way through the third period.
  • Teddy Purcell took advantage of a Toews penalty and tied the score up on their 11th shot of the game, just 2 minutes after the St. Louis goal. The goal was set up by a pass from St. Louis that went off the skate of Deuce and right into Purcell's wheelhouse.
The Ugly

  • The penalty kill has now given up goals on 4 of 7 chances, which is fucking terrible. I understand it's a two game sample size, but they swapped out Nordstrom for Smith and ended up with the same result.

The Shootout

  • Toews was stopped by Bishop
  • Filppula beat Crawford
  • Kane was bested by Bishop
  • Hedman hit the post
  • Hossa couldn't beat Bishop.

The Lineblender



The Video Highlights


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Banner Raising
Blackhawks vs Capitals - Win Recap

"Hit The Lights"

Game 1 2013. After the unbelievable summer the Blackhawks just had, it was time to start all over again. This time as defending Stanley Cup Champs. The banner was raised, and the season began. Once the cup circus was over it was time to put it all behind them and get this train rolling. Before we get to that, let's relive it just one more time.

The Hawks opened up a lead, early on, and then another lead later in the period, after Washington tied it up. Despite the Hawks lead, they were out shot 13-8 for the opening twenty minutes. A couple of bad penalties were pretty much the key to that shot differential.

The Hawks started out as flat as could be in the first half of the middle period and it cost them the lead. As they got their feet back under them, a fortunate powerplay goal ended up putting the Blackhawks back up by one going into the final frame. The Hawks dominance in the second half of the period was clear by their clownish shot total of 18-6.

The Hawks lost their lead early in the third period, but then came back to finish strong, eventually pulling out a 6-4 win and outshooting the Caps 34-32. 1-0 on a night where focus could have very easily been lost. THey have a lot of work, but a win is a win.

The Good

  • Just 4 minutes into the game and the last person anyone would have picked to score the first goal of the 13-14 season put the Blackhawks up 1-0.

    Yeah, THAT guy. Brandon Bollig continued his hot play by fighting through a check and picking up a Nik Hjalmarsson rebound to Holtby's right. After gathering the few wits he has, and his stick, he jammed it into the gaping net. Don't get to used to that. 1-0 Hawks!
  • Just mere seconds after the Ovechkin goal, Toews and Kane just marched right into the zone and put the Hawks back up by one. The Caps defense let El Capitan walk in and eventually feed Crazy 8s. Kane had about a day and a half to pick Holtby apart, thanks to what can be best described at "lax" defense. The kid just did what he does, and by that I don't mean get drunk and insult drunken Madison Wisconsin trixies. He lit the lamp.
  • The fourth line was the most consistent line in the first period, and they were rewarded with the first goal. They were one of the better lines in the second period as well. This Nordstrom kid might be a find....he just needs to be counted on a little less on the PK. We'll get to that later.
  • Carter Seven put the Blackhawks back up, on the powerplay. Yeah, the Hawks scored a powerplay goal in GAME 1! A fat Hossa rebound trickled into the slot and Seabrook buried it, immediately after Doc, Eddie and the little penis with glasses just spoke at length about the Hawks previous troubles with the powerplay.
  • Manchild scored his first goal of the season about eight minutes into the third period, when he worked a perfect give-n-go at the Caps blue line with old man Zeus. Zeus threaded the needle and his Saad on the tape, behind two Caps defenders. This tied the game back up at 4-4.
  • With six minutes remaining a Brandon Saad keep in ended up going over to Johnny Oduya. Oduya's shot looked like it was going wide but Holtby still casually played it, waving at it and knocking it into his own net. A gift that put the Hawks back up 5-4 for good.
  • Sharp and Nordstrom ended in the box late in the third period, giving the Caps a 5-on-3. Surprisingly, to every one in the building and watching on TV, the Blackhawks killed it off.
  • Hossa finished off the Caps when he raced in on the open net and was hauled down. Game, set, match.
  • Hjalmarsson and Oduya were both plus 4 on the night. Nice start gents. Since all the goals against were on the powerplay, everyone was even or plus, except Deuce, who was a minus 1. Oddly enough, Hjalmarsson was a plus 4, but had 3 giveaways.
  • I know this will come as a shock, but the Hawks actually beat the Caps at the dots, 52% to 48%. That's about as much as we can ask for, from this team.
  • not only did they win the battle at the dots, but they OUT HIT the Caps. Seriously, we all need to buy a lottery ticket, because this will NEVER happen again.
The Bad

  • A Brandon Bollig penalty ended up an Ovechkin goal about halfway through the first period. The new PK duo of Kruger and Nordstrom got to watch Captain Tramp Stamp put them in their place. As pass across the crease was redirected by Hjalmarsson right to the tape of Ovechkin, who just beat Crawford high glove. 1-1
  • Halfway through the second period Handzus disappeared into the locker room. Stop me if you didn't see this one coming.
  • Grabovski tied the game at 2 about half way through the game. Keith got caught with his head down and deep in the Caps zone, leaving everybody's favorite corpse, Rozy-Val, to fend for himself with a 2-on-1 bearing down. Grabovski really didn't even sell the pass, and just blew a shot past Crawford.
  • Mike Green was thought to have scored the Caps second powerplay goal just a couple of minutes into the third period to tie the game back up. El Capitan lost the faceoff deep in the Hawks zone, and the puck was quickly worked to Green. Green just sized up Crawford and beat him stick side. Lets not forget that this was the best powerplay in the league last year. Something we're not used to seeing in Chicago. The goal was later given to Grabovski, so whatever.
  • Green and Grabovski hooked up for the second Caps powerplay goal of the third period to put the Caps up for the first time. An iffy Rozsival penalty led to the powerplay.
The Ugly

  • Just prior to the third Caps goal, Doc and Eddie seemed to miss that it looked like Crawford was having an issue on the ice. I originally thought it was an injury, and it may have been, but they were babbling about water bottles or some shit.
  • Three powerplay goals against is completely fucking unacceptable. Once you give up two, and you have to change shit around. You can't keep trotting the same nags (I'm staring daggers through you Nordstrom) out there to get their asses kicked over and over. It's the kid's first NHL game. Don't keep throwing him to the wolves, and I don't mean the Wolves that play a few miles west.
  • Toews took a high elbow to the dome in the third which made the buttholes of all the Blackhawks faithful clench.
  • 4 points for Grabovski. For all those who thought I was insane for thinking the Hawks might be able to use him between Sharp and Hossa, SUCK IT! For that matter, Toronto can suck it, too.

The Lineblender



The Video Highlights

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