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    Join the Hostile crew for this bi-weekly look at the NHL and Blackhawks hockey. Of course, it just wouldn't feel right without plenty of inappropriate jokes and references. Available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 18


Buckle your seat belts for this soon-to-be legendary, year end, Savoir Faire, New Years Eve-Eve Shoutcast.

Gatekeeper and Pat cover latest news, thoughts on Hummus, Skating the Maggie Daley Ribbon, more on some kid who we think is from Lemont IL, Gatekeeper's painkiller induced "hostility", of course, MORE EPIX RANTS, and more "f-bombs" than you can put in a dump truck.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 18 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Monday, December 29, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Predators
5-4 SO Win Recap

The $4 Million Dollar Appearance

by @Patrick_Stankus

Who would have thought there would be an 8 goal game between the Blackhawks and Predators? Well if you enjoy sloppy, careless hockey, and an all around ugly game, then tonight was the night for you.

The Predators opened the scoring in the first period by way of an uncontested, 45 foot wrister from Roman Josi. If you're looking for the definition of a soft goal, there would be a video of this goal shown. This is one that a $6 million dollar goalie should stop, no excuses. Craig Smith added another goal late in the period, and after one the Predators were up 2-0 on the Blackhawks heading into the intermission.

The second period was probably one of the ugliest periods of hockey I've seen a long time. A total of seven penalties were called, and five goals were scored. Rough. James Neal got the Preds out to a 3 goal lead just prior to the midway point. To the Blackhawks credit, they controlled the next 10 minutes of play. With goals by Richards, Shaw, and an absolute cannon by Hossa, the Hawks tied the game at 3. However, just 6 seconds into a Blackhawks penalty, with just under a minute left in the period, James Neal added his second goal of the game, to give the Preds a 4-3 lead after two.

Down one in the third period, the Blackhawks battled their way back to tie the game at four with just over a minute remaining. Expensive, under producing, underachieving, Bryan Bickell tied the game, by magically parking himself near the front of the net, and put home a rebound past Rinne. Stunning, I know.

After a scoreless overtime frame, the game headed to the totally awesome skills competition to settle the outcome. Luckily for the sake of hockey, Jonathan Toews scored the lone goal, and Crawford stopped all three Nashville attempts, to give the Hawks a 5-4 shootout win.

Next for the Hawks is, well apparently they're playing in this game called the Winter Classic on Thursday afternoon. I guess its some sort of outdoor game, where everyone wears cool throwback uniforms, unless you're the Blackhawks this year.

See ya next year folks!

The Good
  • The Patrick Sharp experiment lasted all of one period I believe. If you don't have a problem with a guy carrying a $5.9 million cap hit playing on the "4th line," please go read up on the salary cap. This is ridiculously stupid that Q even tried it.
  • Secondary scoring by the Hawks tonight was key. Its not every night you see guys like Richards, Shaw, and Bickell all tally a goal. I'll take it.
  • Despite the game looking bleak down three, credit to the Blackhawks for bouncing back, and tying the game. I certainly didn't see it coming.
  • Seeing Niklas Hjalmarsson get up and eventually return after being destroyed by Eric Nystrom was a good sign. I'll say it again though, with all the wear and tear Hammer takes, he'll be lucky to still be playing at age 35.
  • After just 5:03 of TOI, we might finally be closer to the Gorilla Salad time being up. Excuse me while I pop a bottle of champagne a few nights early close to midnight.
  • Duncan Keith, was the machine known as Duncan Keith, +3, 3 assists, and 32 minutes of ice time.
The Bad
  • Seriously, the Hawks were down 3-0 to Nashville, at home.
  • This line juggling has gotten out of hand. (See the Patrick Sharp comment in the good)
  • The overreaction to Bickell's tying goal was vomit inducing. Folks he makes $4 million dollars. He should be parking himself in front the net, scoring ugly goals. I'm not going to joy for joy because he finally did it. And don't even get me started on Q's comment about the goal after the game.
  • It'd be nice if the Blackhawks could stop known dickbag James Neal.
The Ugly
  • $6 million dollars in net, stop a fucking 45 foot wrist shot. Period.
  • The hit on Hjalmarsson wasn't dirty, nor was it a head shot. It was a violent hit, in a violent game. Stop calling every hit on the Blackhawks dirty. I'm not going to fault a guy who's committed to finishing a check, when the opposing player leans down, putting himself in a vulnerable position.
  • Olli Jokinen.
  • Johnny Oduya certainly didn't live up to his goal of "being the best Johnny on the team." He was a -2 and overall just terrible.
  • I am very disappointed I didn't get to see speedster Viktor Stalberg in the lineup for Nashville. Guess I'll have to road trip it up to Thrillwaukee.
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blackhawks at Avalanche
5-2 Win Recap

Rocky Mountain High


After a much needed break for the Christmas holiday, the Blackhawks resumed their season in the rocky mountains on Friday night. Much like the scenery, the start by the Blackhawks was more than a little rocky itself. Nathan MacKinnon got the scoring started, by firing a wrist shot past Corey Crawford, to give the Avs a 1-0 lead. To the Blackhawks credit, they responded just 31 seconds later with Brandon Saad scoring the equalizer.  Just over a minute later, the sloppy, choppy play continued and Erik Johnson regained the lead for the Avs. Late in the period Patrick Kane tallied his 17th goal of the season, to tie the game a two at the first intermission.

In the second period, the Blackhawks regained their legs, and used their speed to their advantage. Brent Seabrook scored the loan goal of the second period, ripping a slap shot past Calvin Pickard to give the Hawks a 3-2, and one they would never relinquish. Did I mention that Seabrook's goal was on the power play? Please forgive me as power play goals are few and far between.

With the Blackhawks up in the third period, birthday boy Patrick Sharp added another power play goal to increase the lead. Pardon me while I jump for joy. Patrick Kane added his second goal of the night, this time by way of the empty net, and sealed the Hawks 5-2 win over the Avalanche.


The Good

- First off, thank God that NBCSN has picked up Road To The Winter Classic, now maybe Gatekeeper will quit his bitching and moaning about Epix.
- After a sluggish start, the Blackhawks managed to get their act together for the start of the second period, which was a nice surprised. Based on how the first period went, I think the majority of us thought we were well on our way to a 7-6 or 8-5 hockey game.
- In the streaky play that is the Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook's hot streak continued, this time he netted the game winner. Keep this play up and he'll be penciled into Team Canada for the 2018 Olympics. Oh wait, never mind about that.
- Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, that is all.
- Despite a soft goal to start, Corey Crawford was strong in net for the Blackhawks. For Crawford it was a nice bounce back game from his last one against Wiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnipeg.
- Michal Rozsival didn't play. Guess the injury or old age is finally catching up to him. And lighten up people, its not a serious injury. Take a joke.
- Finally the Blackhawks solved an AHL goalie. Woohoo!!!

The Bad
- The sloppy start was kind of expected after a 3 day break, and a morning flight the day of the game, but it still wasn't a nice sight to see. Luckily the Blackhawks woke up in time, and took control of the game.
- The $4 million dollar man Bryan Bickell couldn't crack 9 minutes of ice time. Money well spent in a salary cap era. If Stan Bowman is looking for suggestions, look at two former Blackhawks and see Montreal's treatment of Rene Bourque and Nashville's treatment of Viktor Stalberg. In my opinion Bickell is becoming unwatchable.
- The MacKinnon goal was a weak one by Crawford. Probably should have had it.

The Ugly
- The hit(s) on Kane after his empty netter by Duchene, and Landeskog were cheap to say the least. Losing 5-2 at home and now you want to act like tough guys by going after the smallest guy on the ice. Maybe if you showed that fire all game the outcome would have been less embarrassing for ya.
- The Blackhawks went into Denver and took 2 points from the Avs. Lets not get too picky on the ugly. We'll just move along and focus on Nashville on Monday night.

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Friday, December 26, 2014

A Very Puckin' Ugly
Road Trip To Lumbus

Greetings From Columbus

In the past 3 years, since I finally grew up and got a real job, its become a goal of mine to make a road trip for an out of town Blackhawks game. The inaugural trip saw me travel to Columbus, the next trip took me to Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Red Wings (which just so happened to fall on my birthday, and made it to and from Detroit in 15 1/2 hours), last year however I didn't make it to an out of town game. So in an attempt to rekindle the fun times of a Blackhawks road trip, I returned to old faithful, and paid a visit to Columbus again this past weekend. So without further ado, lets recap the Lumbus Road Trip Part II.

The unfortunate thing about this Lumbus road trip is, unlike my first visit, this game happened to be on a Saturday night, not an afternoon, so sightseeing was not an option. Thus there was no time to take the Dagwood challenge again (see Man V. Food, Columbus episode). For the record it totally kicked my ass, but in my defense I was severely hungover and in no mood to eat a 2 1/2 lb sandwich with a pound of fries.  This go around, I only made it to Columbus a little over an hour before the game, so it was literally check into the hotel, and shlep my ass over to Nationwide Arena.

My first impressions of walking over to the arena was, "holy shit, I traveled 360 miles for a road Blackhawks home game." However once I made it into the arena, it was quite obvious that there were more Blue Jackets fans (yes, they actually do exist) in attendance. I'd say it was 65% Hawks fans, but I'll give the Jackets fans credit, they were loud and fired back when the Lets Go Hawks chants started.


If you haven't been to Nationwide Arena, I highly recommend you visit there. The sight lines are fantastic, plus the selection of beer is absolutely phenomenal. Anytime you can drink Yuengling on tap and watch a hockey game, is a pretty sweet deal in my opinion. Did I mention how awesome the cannon is that they shoot off after the Blue Jackets score? IT IS THE BEST GOAL CELEBRATION IN THE NHL.

video

As the booze began to take effect, I took some notes of what was happening during the game;
  • The chant of "Lets go Jackets" sounds a lot like "lets eat chocolates." Maybe that was the hungriness of a drunken idiot.
  • There were several unexpected things I saw that I thought were noteworthy; 1. Michal Rozsival had an assist. 2. Jonathan Toews getting into a scrap. I'm calling it a scrap because he did drop the gloves. 3. Of course there would be a lengthy video review, because you all know how much I love instant replay. Replay is for the fans, not the refs. 4. Speaking of painstakingly long, how about that shootout? Watching paint dry would be more exciting in my mind.
  • Perhaps though the biggest slap in the face was seeing Jack Skille score the Jackets first goal, and then the cherry on top with Morin scoring in the shootout. I'm guessing Morin let out a big fuck you to the man behind the Blackhawks bench after he scored.
  • I managed to strike up a conversation with the Blue Jackets fan in front of me. Surprisingly, he was knowledgeable about hockey. After a Wisniewski turnover, he made have said, "you guys can have him back." Forgive me, the booze was talking and I said I'd take Wiz back on the Hawks any day.

How bad of a game was this to be in attendance for? I didn't even want to show my face.

Despite the Hawks losing in a shootout, thus "improving" my attendance record to 1-0-2 on the year, the trip was not all lost;

I got drunk off of an insane amount of Yuengling!


  • I wandered the streets of Columbus between bar stops, and snapped a pic of the skyline. That is the actual skyline people. One giant Nationwide building.
  • Something else I'm quite proud that I accomplished was finding edible pizza outside the city of Chicago. Shout out to OH Pizza and Brew for the pizza and fantastic pumpkin beer they have on tap.
  • If you're a coffee drinker and haven't had Tim Hortons, do yourself a favor and try it. Its excellent. Plus it helped with the hangover.

Overall though, based on Jack fucking Skille scoring, Morin scoring in the shootout, Rozsival getting an assist (and someone I was with constantly suggesting Rozsival isn't that bad after seeing the assist), two long video reviews (one an overturned goal call against the Hawks, which was the correct call, and the aforementioned previously), and a piss pore shootout, this Columbus trip ranks at the bottom of my hockey road trips. That's saying a lot considering I've been to old UIC Flames hockey games, Rock Vegas, and Thrillwaukee for AHL hockey.

Peace out Columbus, you've got work to do before I come back next year.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Jets 5-1 - Loss Recap

In Excess Of Jets


Hey lets see if I remember how to do this. Well, it looks like I do. What a game I get in my first recap back in a long, long, long time. Its good to be back, especially after the shit show that took the ice tonight at the UC.

The first period saw the Jets fly (sorry, had to do that) out to a 3 goal lead, and chase Corey Crawford from the net. See folks, Crawford sucks. Dump him and give me the tandem of Raanta/Darling any day. Pardon me while I punch myself in the head to snap out of the meatball talk. Aside from the sloppy, flat, turnover ridden play by the Blackhawks in the first, the highlight may have been Gorilla Salad get his ass handed to him in a scrap with Jay Harrison. Are we closer to this experiment ending? Probably not. I see a 3 year extension in the cards for Carcillo in the near future for his stellar play.

Back to hockey now. The second period continued with much of the same. The Jets increased their lead to four before Marian Hossa finally solved Michael fucking Hutchinson. Its about time. As is the case it was false advertisement of giving the Hawks "hope." There was no hope, no comeback or anything close to that. Blake Wheeler added an empty netter, yes Quenneville pulled Raanta for an extra attacker while down 3 with five minutes to go. As Gatekeeper would say, thank you Patrick Roy. In the end, Wiiiiiinnnniiiipeg  spanked the Hawks, en route to a 5-1 win, and a much needed break.

The Good
- Michal Rozsival suffered a lower body injury. (More on this later)
- The Blackhawks finally scored on Michael Hutchinson. That is not a joke.
- Screw it, two in the good category was too many.

The Bad
- Michal Rozsival's lower body injury isn't serious and Q said he "should be ok." Dammit. After all he's been nothing but a sensation in bringing the best out of his rotating 6th defenseman partner.
- Seriously, how much more do we have to see of Gorilla Salad make a fool of himself. This kind of shit belongs in Rockford or an all star team featuring John Scott and Brandon Bollig.
- Whoever said hits are a meaningless stat is wrong. The Jets manhandled the Hawks all night, and last I checked the Jets never trailed, thus they weren't chasing the puck.
- Corey Crawford wasn't good, but he wasn't the only reason the Hawks were awful. He got no help with turnovers by his teammates, and a bad bounce.

The Ugly
- Dustin "Stay Puff" Byfuglien was a +3. Please, stop meatballs. The Hawks don't need him back.
- Hearing Eddie O say "the pride and joy of Crystal Lake Andy McElman" is becoming just as bad as hearing "local boy Scott Darling."
- Kris Versteeg, what the fuck is this look?

- Who the hell picked the 3 stars of the game tonight? After a shellacking of 5-1 on home ice, I can't say the number 3 star should be from the home team tonight.
- Since its my first recap back after a suffering a sprained liver, I'm leaving it at that. If I get too much more negative, I might further injure myself and subject myself from further recaps. (You're welcome for that Ferris Bueller reference.) Just throw the tape of this game in the dumpster fire that is the St. Louis Blues, and move on.


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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blackhawks vs Maple Leafs
4-0 Shutout Win Recap

"The Fallen Angel"



The Blackhawks welcomed the Toronto Maple Leafs to the United Center with very heavy hearts as it was announced that assistant equipment manager Clint Reif passed away Sunday. Let us all remember Clint for what we know him best for:


After all these emotions, unfortunately, there was actually a game that had to be played.

The Blackhawks started the game out a little low in the first period, but rebounded nicely to score two goals and out shoot the Leafs 12-7. A last second goal seemed to take a lot out of the Leafs sails for the second period.

In the second period, the Blackhawks and Leafs were scoreless, but the Hawks led again in shots, 15-9.

The third period started out as a disaster, with the Hawks getting out shot 9-1, but a powerplay turned their fortunes around. They were still out shot 15-7 but scored 2 goals in the second half of the period, to blow out the Leafs 4-0.

The Good
  • Of all people, David Rundblad scored on a long shot to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. This after a friend and teammate (@MSchuldt29) found THIS gem of a video:
    He will be now and forever more names "The Magic Number Five".
  • With very little time left in the first period, Patrick Kane rushed up the ice and dished to Versteeg, who juked and snapped the puck by Reimer for a 2-0, with just 0,4 seconds remaining.
  • This was a sample size, but Raanta looks to be in control of his positioning and rebounds. He made a few nice plays in which I would have expected him to be slightly out of position, or at least spit out a fat rebound. This is very good news for the Blackhawks.
  • Marcus Kruger is the league's best 4th line center at this point. He's basically slaying bums, in his current position. Some team could drop a wheelbarrow of cash on the table, and he'd be stupid to resist. Not only that, but he could get third line minutes at the very least.
  • After a terrible start to the third period a David Clarkson penalty opened the flood gates. The first goal was Kaner's but the effort by El Capitan to keep control of the puck while down on the ice, and to get it back to Seabrook should be noted and applauded. Seabrook unleashed a shot and the rebound laid to Reimer's left, where Kane put it into the net.
  • Less than 2 minutes after the Kane goal, El Capitan got a goal of his own with some hard work. He was able to beat Gardiner to the puck and then just waited out Reimer. All business.
  • The Blackhawks team hug after the win was emotional, as well as equipment manager Troy Parchman's face, and Patrick Kane pointing to the sky as he was announced as the first star.
  • If it can be quiet, Patrick Kane quietly had a goal and 2 assists. Money. The other Patrick on that line, Sharp, had three assists.
The Bad
  • As good as Kris Versteeg has been this year, playing him at #2 center is a stretch. I'm sure he can handle the offensive zone assignments, but it's the defense that gives me hives.
  • We didn't hear the names Kadri, Kessel, Phaneuf, or Van Riemsdyk at all. Credit to the Hawks for that.

The Ugly
  • Once again, Michal Roszival has a play where he had the entire rink to make a clean pass, somewhere, and put it right on the stick of an opponent. How much more of this do we need to endure???
  • About halfway through the second period, Patrick Kane beat Roman Polak drive him face first, with a forearm to the back, into the boards like a neanderthal. Luckily Kane wasn't hurt, and the Blackhawks were awarded a powerplay...which they promptly blew.
  • The Blackhawks led in shots, going into the third period 27-16, and open up the 3rd getting out shot 9-1
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Sharp-Versteeg-Kane
Carcillo-Shaw-Bickell
Smith-Kruger-Nordstrom

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Rundblad-Roszival


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Blackhawks at Blue Jackets
3-2 Shootout Loss Recap

"Bite the Hand That Feeds You"



Since Pat was IN Columbus and I was otherwise tied up, lets get right to the abbreviated highlights...

The Good
  • Ben Smith is HOT. Not only he has been on the score sheet, but he's been getting serious quality chances.
  • Almost half way through the game, the Blackhawks finally got on the board. Sharpie picked up a free puck in the Hawks zone, and led a 2-on-1, with Shaw, up the ice. Sharp picked his spot and snapped a shot past Bobrovsky with some serious precision. 1-1.
  • While Crawford didn't stand out, he did enough in the shootout to win this game. One goal for in 9 attempts is pretty fucking bad.
  • I love Hossa's shootout attempts. I don't care how boring they are.
  • I have a similar play in the bad section late in the third a puck squirted through a pinching Hossa and ended up a 2-on-1. Seabrook ended up blocking the shot with a sliding play but, again, watching Hossa dig to get back is something all players should watch. He doesn't have to at his age, but he does.
  • Marcus Kruger had a little emotion in him last night. He took exception to a couple of after the whistle plays. Good for him.
  • On the bright side, the Hawks were good at the dots, winning 57%.
The Bad
  • Just over four minutes into the game Marian Hossa knocked the puck out of Bobrovsky's glove and chipped the puck into the net. It was immediately waved off.
  • Jack Skille scored the first legal goal of the game with about 2:30 left in the first period. Skille nd Erixon went down in the corner chasing a loose puck and Skille was able to get up, beating Erixon back to the front of the net. This was just in time to deflect a long Tyutin shot right past Crawford. The only thing worse would have been Skille tipping a long Wisniewski in.
  • Saad had an early second period break-a-way, and Bobo was better.
  • Out shooting a team 41-19 and losing in a shootout is a stolen win. Bobrovsky was amazing.
  • With one second remaining on the Richards penalty that carried over from the second period, Kevin Connauton used a Matt Calvert screen and
  • This could be in hte good and bad, but it started out bad. the early third period break-a-way that Seabrook gave up with a bad pass but then Hossa and Seabrook made nice defensive plays to stop the dangerous Ryan Johansen.
  • Ben Smith tied the game in the third period. I'm not really sure what Kruger was tryinf to accomplish with no stick, but kicking the puck toward the net like a slide into third base but, luckily, Ben Smith got a stick on it. The goal eventually went to Smith after a LONG delay.

The Ugly
  • Carcillo only played 5 minutes. Here we go with this shit again.
  • Jeremy Morin and Jack Johnson were the only two Jackets to score in the 9 round shootout. Just peachy.
  • The Blackhawks out shot the Jackets 15-3 in the first period, which should be in the "good" section, but one of those 3 shots ended up giving the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
  • When you cant manage a shot on a 4-on-1, you have an issue.
  • Check out Jonathan Toews going for a little snap-n-tickle with Brandon Dubinsky.
  • I'm getting tired of bitching about Michal Rozsival. Can we be done with this clown already?
  • The Blackhawks powerplay had a chance to take advantage of a very late Jeremy Morin penalty and failed.

The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Carcillo-Shaw-Bickell
Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Erixon-Roszival


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blackhawks vs Wild
5-3 Win Recap

"Human Disease"


The Blackhawks were a the United Center, Tuesday night, to face the Minnesota Wild. They would be without Duncan Keith, who was out with an illness, for this one. With the mumps running rampant through the league, everyone is concerned. And they should be.

It took a good ten minutes into the game for either team to show life. Once they did show life, it was the Wild that had the momentum. Oddly enough, the stats said that the shots were tied 9-9, but no one with eyes would have guessed that. The Wild took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The Blackhawks had a completely different demeanor in the second period. They came out and out shot the Wild 21-8 and out scored them 3-0. Without a major member of their defense, this was very impressive. A 3-1 lead, at home, go time!

The Blackhawks went back into their shell for a majority of the third period, allowing the Wild to actually tie the game. Luck was on their side as they got a late lucky bounce and a late empty netter, holding on for a sloppy 5-3 win.

The Good
  • In the second period, Andrew Shaw laid a big hit on Prosser, but Prosser hot hit elbow up to protect himself. Shaw wasn't happy, but the trainer clearly made him go back for a concussion test. With the screw up regarding Toews just a few games back, this was a no brainer.
  • Roughly halfway through the second period, Patrick Kane led a rush into the Wild zone that went from Versteeg to the stick of a wide open Brent Seabrook. With all the time in the world, Seabrook unleashed a cannon over the blocker of Backstrom, tying the game.
  • With 8 minutes remaining in the middle period, El Capitan figured that it was about time to put on a little puck control clinic, as he has been known to do quite frequently. The end result was a saucer feed to Boss Hossa for a 2-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • Few minutes after the Hossa Goal, El Capitan got one of his own. First he stole the puck from Christian Folin and then fed the puck to Ben Smith, who was WIDE FUCKING OPEN in front of Backstrom. Smith got a few whacks, and the puck eventually squirted in behind the Wild goalie. Toews followed up his feed and chipped the into the net for a 3-1 lead.
  • Seabrook-Oduya, Hjalmarsson-Rozsival, Erixon-Rundlbad, ended up being the pairings for the second and third periods. That's more like what I would have expected, given the Keith absence. Why wasn't this the setup from minute one?
  • After blowing the lead, the Blackhawks caught a lucky break on the powerplay. Patrick Kane tried to hit either Toews or Versteeg in front and banked it off Jonas Brodin's skate, right into the net.
  • For good measure, Ben Smith got a late empty netter.
  • Three points each for Toews, Kane and Seabrook.
  • Another great night at the dots for the Blackhawks. They held Koivu, Granlund and Coyle to under 45% each.
The Bad
  • The Wild took a 1-0 lead about 13 minutes into the game, as Thomas Vanek was left wide open in the slot, about 10 feet in front of Raanta. Granlund carried the puck in behind the Hawks net and found Vanek on the other side. Raanta had no chance on the one timer. The second pair had already gotten bailed out by the post and then given up the lead goal at this point.
  • with 8 minutes El Nino Niederreiter got in behind the Blackhawks D and Marian Hossa got dinged trying to help Raanta out. There was no debating that it was a penalty shot. Niederreiter did what he was drafted by the Isles to do. Activate lead evaporation.

The Ugly
  • Right after the Shaw incident, rookie Brett Sutter, son of Darryl, crushed Versteeg into the crossbar for standing over Backstrom looking for a rebound. A borderline dirty play by a Sutter......Shocking.
  • Three minutes after the Niederreiter goal, Marco Scandella let a long one timer go, that seemed innocent enough; until it ended up in the net. Not the best goal.
  • Niklas Backtrom's team headshot looks like he's John Scott's bastard brother.
  • After the game Mike Yeo said that Keumper was sick, Spurgeon was sick, and Backstrom started feeling it after the first period. The plague is wiping out the NHL. As I said on the twitterz, it's like this is the Oprah Winfrey Show. YOU get the mumps, and YOU get the mumps. EVERYONE GETS THE MUMPS!!
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Sharp-Shaw-Bickell
Carcillo-Kruger-Smith

Rundblad-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Erixon-Roszival

Scratched = Mumps, Nordstrom


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Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 17


In this EPIX Joe Murphy pre Christmas Shoutcast Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by Keith Schultz from http://www.twitter.com/Blackhawk_Up and http://www.BlackhawkUp.com.

We cover latest news, we Light em Mumps Mumps Mumps, discuss the end of the winning streak, some kid who we think is from Lemont IL, the trade of Jeremy Morin and, of course, and EPIX rant.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 17 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blackhawks vs Flames
2-1 Win Recap

"Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good"



The Blackhawks had no time to lick their wounds after losing the previous night in NY. They rushed home and too kthe ice Sunday night for a tilt with the Calgary Flames. The not only had the chaos of a weekend back-to-back, but it was announced Sunday morning that the Blackhawks had traded Jeremy Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Tim Erixon.

There were a few decent scoring chances in the first period but, overall, I felt like I was watching the Winnipeg game a few weeks back. Calgary out shot the Blackhawks 9-7, for the period. If you missed it, you didn't miss it.

The second period was slightly more eventful than the first. Each team had a goal, and the Blackhawks out shot the Flames 11-10. The Blackhawks also had a few very high quality scoring chances, only to be beaten by the Flames goaler.

The third period was all Blackhawks as they out shot the Flames 10-5 and scored the game winning goal late. Even when the Hawks aren't at the top of their game, they were able to squeak out a tough win. Two points are two points.

The Good
  • About 5 minutes after the Flames goal, El Capitan drew a penalty deep in the Flames zone. Just nine seconds after the call, a quick Kane to Toews to Sharp bang-bang play resulted in a nice goal.
  • With just under 7 minutes left in the game, Hjalmarsson stopped Johnny Hockey at the Hawks Blue line and fed El Capitan, who had snuck in behind the Flames defense. Toews led the rush with Brandon Saad, who had also gotten in behind the Flames defense. As soon as Saad cleared the Blue line, Toews hit him on the tape and he snapped a shot up and over Hiller's glove for a 2-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • The Hawks were STELLAR at the faceoff dots at 61%
  • Tim Erixon really didn't show much. He had just over 10 minutes in his debut. That's all they really need out of him.
The Bad
  • Five minutes into the second period, the Blackhawks got mesmerized by Johnny Gaudreau, and let former Red Wing Jiri Hudler slide into a kushy soft spot high in the slot area. Gaudreau fed Hulder, who snapped a half clapper past Raanta. Raanta didn't push over into position real strongly, but the shot was a lazer.

The Ugly
  • Thank god, we didn't have to deal with the Brandon Bollig show.
  • Not much more to complain about which is just fine by me.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Sharp-Shaw-Bickell
Carcillo-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Erixon-Roszival


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blackhawks at NY Islanders
3-2 Loss Recap

"Public Display Of Dismemberment"



The Blackhawks were in Uniondale New York Saturday night to face the young surprising Islanders, in what should be the last Blackhawks game in Nassau Coliseum. Good news for the Blackhawks was that Jonathan Toews was good to go for this one after an ugly play Thursday night.

The first period ended up scoreless but there were plenty of chances. The Goalies stood tall at each end, with the Blackhawks out shooting the Isles 10-8. Could have easily been 1-1 with the breakaways each way.

The Blackhawks came out in the second period and were out shot 10-0 to open the period. It really didn't get much better after that, with the Blackhawks getting out shot 17-7 for the entire 20 minutes. Some how; some way; The Blackhawks managed to take a lead, which they promptly gave up.

The Third period seemed to start out well for the Blackhawks and they pulled the same thing they did in the second period. They took a 2-1 lead and proceeded to give of two goals in 51 seconds to, eventually, lose the game and their winning streak came to an end.

The Good
  • The game started off with several good chances from Blackhawks big men Bickell and Saad.
  • The Blackhawks finally scored on a bizarre bounce. Gorilla Salad took a long snap shot on Halak, and it shot straight up in the air. When the puck came back down, it hit Halak in the top of the mask and dribbled into the net.
  • About four minutes into the third period, Patrick Kane worked some of his magic and grabbed a 2-1 lead for the Blackhawks. He was actually played very well, defensively. Given the chance, you would want him on his backhand, but like so many times before, Kaner snapped a backhand from an impossible angle over the goalie's shoulder. Magic, I tell you.
  • Scott Darling is most of the reason the Blackhawks didn't lose 5-2. I'm sure this will result in him being rewarded with a bumpy bus trip to Rockford when Crawford is back...CUZ BOWMAN GENIUS.
  • The Blackhawks were 59% at the faceoff dots, so they have that going for them.
The Bad
  • It took a third period powerplay and a flurry of action in front of Darling for the Isles to tie the game back up. It was really just a matter of time.

    Oh yeah, it was assisted on by the castoff; Nick Leddy. He sure sucks, doesn't he Quenneville?
  • Just a 51 seconds after the game was tied, Visnovsky took advantage of the third pair out on the ice, skating around first Dahlbeck and then, well, net even needing to avoid the slow and useless Roszival. That quick, the Blackhawks were down.
  • The Blackhawks were out shot 41-25 and only lost 3-2. Could have been much worse.

The Ugly
  • The powerplay has dropped back down into the bottom 1/3rd of the league again.
  • Michal Roszival was just blown the hell up by Matt Martin in the second period. He just stood 5 feet from his own net, with plenty of time and waited for Martin to fright train him. Of course Q kept trotting him out there. If that was any of the young guys, they would be sitting in the cheap seats for 3 games.
  • SIX SECONDS after Gorilla Salad goal, Duncan Keith got extremely flippant with the puck and basically gave the puck to Cal Clusterfuck, who was able 4 feet from Darling. Darling was as surprised as we all were, and had no time to react to a play that should have never happened. The moral of the story was that the the Blackhawks held the lead for all of 6 seconds. Keith owes Darling a fucking steak dinner.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Sharp-Shaw-Bickell
Carcillo-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Dahlbeck-Roszival


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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Next One To Want Out Of Chicago


With the recent saga of Jeremy Morin starting to drag out, I thought it would be the perfect time to look into the crystal ball, and think of who the next Blackhawk it could be to want out of Chicago.

Remember this past summer when Antti Raanta signed his extension and said he wanted to give Crawford a run for the starting gig? I know it was a long time ago, but fast forward to the present day and you have to wonder what the young Finnish netminder is thinking now. You would think with two separate injuries to Corey Crawford, that Raanta the "backup" goalie would be seeing regular playing time. Instead it would appear Raanta has just become a backup goalie, to Rockford call up Scott Darling.

Make no mistake about it, Raanta is a work in progress, but at the same time, how the hell is he supposed to improve when he is continually super glued to the bench? You're kidding yourself if you don't think there's some frustration starting to boil over with Raanta.

My suggestion to the Blackhawks is either ride Raanta as the starter while Crawford is out, or send him to Rockford to see regular playing time. When I compare Raanta to Darling, I think of Darling as the more prototypical NHL backup goalie than Raanta. With the way Finland is spitting out goalies as of late, I think there's more of an upside to Raanta than Darling. Other GMs around the league that need goaltending depth realize that. Which leads me to believe that if or when Raanta wants out of Chicago, he could hold the key to another team taking a bad contract off of the Blackhawks hands, cough, cough Bryan Bickell.

We've all seen how the Blackhawks have mismanaged their beloved prospects in the past. Remember Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy and Kevin Hayes? If the Blackhawks keep playing this game of sitting Raanta on the bench, its going to kill some of that value he has.

With the goalie status in Chicago cemented with Corey Crawford for the foreseeable future, there is no future for Raanta as a starter. If the belief is (which is what I think), that Raanta can be a starting NHL goalie, then the Blackhawks need to showcase him to the league. With the current cap situation of the Blackhawks, someone taking a bad contract off of the their hands, is the best scenario for the Hawks.

The risk the Hawks take in letting Raanta ride the bench, is the frustration that could be mounting. The last thing the Hawks need is for this situation become even more messy, and letting it get out that Raanta wants a trade. In the end, I do think Raanta will be traded at some point, but I'd much rather see him go at max value and take a bad contract with him, than just him for a 3rd or 4th round draft pick.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blackhawks at Boston
3-2 Win Recap

"Impaler"



The Blackhawks were in Boston for an early 6pm game, Thursday night against the struggling Bruins. For the Bruins, Lurch Chara returned to the lineup, after missing 19 games. The Blackhawks were enjoying the second game back from one of their leaders, in Patrick Sharp.

You wouldn't know it statistically, but even though the Blackhawks were out shot 14-12 in the opening period, they went into the intermission leading 2-0. The Bruins even won 15 of 24 faceoffs, which also turned out to be an anomaly. Up 2-0 early, on the road. More please.

Speaking of anomalies, the second period was just that. The Blackhawks were dominated for a good majority of the play but somehow, someway, they came away with a 1-1 tie for the period. It was so bad that they only had one shot on net for the first half of the period, and didn't get a single shot on net for a 5-on3 powerplay. If not for the several Blackhawks power plays, they may have been out shot by even more than the 10-7 margin that they were.

The third period was more of the Bruins domination. They out scored the Blackhawks 1-0, and out shot them 10-2. When the final horn blew, the Blackhawks narrowly escaped Boston with a 3-2 win. Getting out shot 34-21 and winning is barely getting out alive.

The Good
  • Ben Smith put the Blackhawks up 2-0 in the final minutes of the first period with the Bruins running around in their own zone. This was shortly after Smith set up rookie Klas Dahlbeck for his first NHL goal. Can't really complain about a 2-0 lead after one period.
  • After the total shit show the Blackhawks put on in the previous 13:30 of the second period, the Bruins defense once again coughed up the puck like a hair ball, and "Vezina Trophy Winner" Tuukka Rask took himself out of the play quickly. Chris Kelly did his best to stand in behind Rask, but Kane found some daylight and put the Blackhawks up 3-0.
  • Scott Darling had a strong 32 save effort. I was saying all day that if the Blackhawks are so in love with him, keep him. Dump Raanta in Rockford and just move on.
The Bad
  • After a terrible first half of the middle period, the Blackhawks football fucked their way through three powerplays eventually taking a penalty of their own. The Clownshoes powerplay is back.
  • The Bruins were finally able to beat Scott Darling on a slick play by little douche face Brad Marchand. Marchand looked like he was going behind the net with the puck but instead he banked the puck off the net perfectly to Reilly Smith, who had time to beat a surprised Darling.
  • With just over 7 minutes left in the third period Milan Lucic looked to be snuffed out by Roszival and Dahlbeck on a bull rush up the ice, but somehow was able to hit a streaking Torey Krug to beat Darling. After the play Shaw managed to lay a big hit on Lucic, late albeit. All hell broke loose with the clutching, grabbing and hugging, until Chris Kelly and Shaw had their little slap-n-tickle.
  • With their top faceoff guy out and another one in the box for 5 minutes, the Hawks were pretty powerless. It showed. 41% was not good at all. Bergeron was an absolute beast, winning 22 of 30.
  • I didn't know who Seth Griffith was before this game, but god damn he's terrible.

The Ugly
  • Gorilla Salad tried to sucker Brad Marchand into a fight, mid second period, and Marchand had no interest past yapping like a little girl.
  • Dennis Seidenberg damn near killed Jonathan Toews behind the Bruins net, earning himself a boarding call. I was one of the many Chicago fans holding their breath. The league will take a look at that one. I don't know that he was trying to do what happened, but he was careless. Toews played another shift or two, but then disappeared into the locker room, never to return. Call me a conspiracy theorist but I feel like the Blackhawks might have kept Toews out to also shine more of a light on the hit. We all know that dangerous hits resulting in injuries incur more wrath from the league office.
  • With Toews out and Shaw playing with his head up his ass, the Blackhawks were left with Kruger and Ben Smith as their only centers, and I use that term loosely for Smith.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Sharp-Shaw-Bickell
Carcillo-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Dahlbeck-Roszival



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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blackhawks At Devils
3-2 Shootout Win Recap

Slowdown On The Turnpike

    
The Blackhawks continued their 4 game road trip Tuesday night with a visit to New Jersey. As expected, the game was full of the trap style, boring, "soccer" hockey as I call it. It also wasn't a marquee goalie matchup by any means. The Blackhawks started Lemont native, Scott Darling again, while the Devils went with Keith Kinkaid. Snore.

For much of the first period, both teams had several scoring chances, with both Darling and Kinkaid coming up big for their teams. However late in the first period, the Devils got on the scoreboard first by way of a Jordin Tootoo goal. (Excuse me while I vomit.) This was a goal that Darling probably should have had, but hey he's from Lemont, so I'll cut him some slack.

The second period saw the Blackhawks pepper Kinkaid with 17 shots, but only saw one of them beat the rookie netminder. Bryan Bickell finally got the 75 feet he needs to wind up his wrist shot, and beat Kinkaid to tie the game.

Early in the third period, with the game tied at one, the Devils managed to take the lead on a flukey bounce, which has become the norm when Darling, who is from Lemont, is in net. The Blackhawks to their credit didn't let down, and with just over three minutes remaining Duncan Keith tied the game at two.

After a scoreless overtime, the game went to the gimmick known as the shootout. After both Martin Havlat and Jaromir Jagr used their walking canes for their shootout attempts, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane made Keith Kinkaid look like an OHL goalie, and the Blackhawks escaped from New Jersey with a 3-2 shootout win.


The Good

- I'll give a stick tap to Keith Kinkaid for a job well done. He was good enough for the Devils to win, too bad the Devils just aren't good enough.
- Lemont native Scott Darling was just as good. Yes the first goal was softish, but overall we shouldn't nitpick on someone who's from Lemont. All that matters is the W in the win column.
- Bryan Bickell's goal was nice to see, too bad for him only one of his eyes could see the puck go in. Hopefully, much like Hossa the other night, this will build some confidence for #29.
- Patrick Sharp for the most part didn't show too many signs of rust. He had several bursts of speed, which was some what of a surprise to see.
- Ben Smith was solid at the dot, winning 70% of his draws.
- The Blackhawks outshot the Devils 39-24. That's a nice reversal for a change.

The Bad 

- Two Blackhawks turnovers led to both of the Devils goals. A bad reception of a Seabrook pass by Andrew Shaw led to Tootoo's goal, while a weak clearing attempt by Klas Dahlbeck led to Stephen Gionta's goal. All too often, sloppy play leads to mistakes, which in turn, end up in the back of the net.
- A 4 minute power play in the second period was, politely, an EMBARRASSMENT.
- Back to Dahlbeck, he couldn't crack 10 minutes in ice time. Perhaps he's a few steps away from the Q doghouse.
  
The Ugly

- The faces of Bryan Bickell, Daniel Carcillo, and Jonathan Toews should all be sports some swelling and multiple colors of purple for the next few days.
- Did I mention how bored I felt watching this game? Thank God the Blackhawks play in the Western Conference.
- Speaking of the conferences. Not only does the Eastern Conference suck, but so do the 6 pm starts. 
- As a former goalie, I feel the need to say this every time a game goes to a shootout. THE SHOOTOUT SUCKS.
- And finally, after reading this, you're probably tired of hearing about Lemont native Scott Darling, being from Lemont. Now you know how I feel when watching the game listening to Foley and Olczyk. Its old and tiresome. Now if you'll excuse me, I need some soft serve ice cream before I call it a night.




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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blackhawks at Predators 3-1 Win Recap

                                          Climbing The Ladder



Saturday night featured a battle of now proclaimed "arch rivals" according to the Nashville broadcast team in the music city. The Hawks came into the game just one point behind the Predators for top's in the Central Division, looking to continue their recent hot streak.

The Hawks came out flying on the start, riding the momentum of last night's late game heroics. Brandon Saad picked up where he left off against Montreal, and opened the scoring for the Hawks giving them a 1-0 lead after the first.

The second period saw the Hawks continue their scoring ways. This time Big Hoss tallied a goal, off a sweet backhand pass from Saad and buried it into an open net. Later in the period, we were treated to a Bryan Bickell scrap, perhaps someone woke up in a bad mood this morning. After two, the Hawks found themselves up 2-0.

Credit to the Predators, they didn't go quietly. Colin Wilson scored just 34 seconds into the 3rd period to cut the Hawks lead in half. The Hawks were able to fend off a furious charge by the Preds in the third, and Hossa added an empty netter to seal a 3-1 win for the Hawks.

The Good
- It would appear that Brandon Saad has woken up. I mentioned last week that the Brendan Gallagher deal could be the benchmark for a Saad extension. It appears someone has passed that memo onto Saad.
- It was awesome to see Andrew Shaw put noted dickbag James Neal over the boards and into the Hawks bench.
- Lemont native, Scott Darling was solid in net for the Hawks, stopping 32 shots. Its nice to see the Hawks finally starting to show some goalie depth behind Crawford.
- As mentioned before, Hossa netted 2 goals, perhaps this is a nice confidence booster for the future.
- The Hawks were good at the faceoff dot tonight, 38-30.
- And we'll give Klas Dahlbeck in the good category for a nice NHL debut. It looks like it was a nice start for the Swede as Quenneville only had positives to say following the game.

The Bad
- Brandon Saad is heating up. This isn't a knock on his play, its a bad thing because of the cap situation the Hawks are in. The hotter he gets, the more $$$$ you can imagine he'll ask for.
- Yes, the Hawks were outhit tonight, but in the end, they didn't get baited into a bad penalty or do anything stupid. I'll only put this in the bad because it was 23-7 in hits.

The Ugly
- Anytime you see an alert on your phone that says "Bryan Bickell leaves game after taking a stick to the face" you fear the worst. But when its followed by, "Bryan Bickell returns to game (face)" you can rest a little easier. 
- We'll end it at that, mainly because I don't really have anything else to bitch about.

  
  
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Canadiens 4-3 Win Recap

                    Better Late Than Never





Whenever two Original Six franchises play each other there's always a buzz in the air. That was the case Friday night as the Montreal Canadiens paid a visit to the UC.

The Hawks got off to a fast start and opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game, by way of old man river Michal Rozsival. Late in the period, Ben Smith added your typical grinder goal to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. The two goal lead didn't last long, as Montreal cut the lead in half just 28 seconds later.

The momentum from the late goal at the end of the first period continued over into the second for the Habs. The Canadiens added two more goals to give them a 3-2 lead after the second period.

The Hawks managed to battle back in the third period. El Captain pushed a loose puck across the goal line to tie the game at three. Then with just under 30 seconds remaining, Brandon Saad added some dollar signs to his name and netted what turned out to be the game winner, giving the Hawks a 4-3 win over the Habs.

The Awesome
- This is an honorable mention for Gatekeeper, Brandon Saad's beard is awesome. It puts our playoff beards to shame.

The Good
- The Hawks first goal, strictly because of this line; Rozsival from Bickell and Shaw
- Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg continued racking up the points. We're finally starting to see some chemistry. See what happens when you take your finger off the line blender.
- It may have only been 1 of 5, but still the power play tallied another goal. This is something I'd like to get used to seeing.
- I'll give an honorable mention to Carey Price. If it wasn't for him, the final score could have easily 6 or 7 to 3.

The Bad 
- Antti Raanta's rebound control was all over the place. Its a work in progress, but sooner or later its going to bite the Hawks in the ass.
- The Hawks allowed 41 shots to Montreal. You'd like to see that total come down just a little.
- Sergei Gonchar scored. Seriously, Sergei Gonchar scored.

The Ugly
- Blowing a 2-0 lead is never a good thing. To make matters worse, the Hawks allowed three straight goals to the Habs before they responded. Yes, in the end the Hawks won, but that's something that normally doesn't happen. Count your blessings.
- Speaking of blowing the lead, nice shift by the Hawks after taking a 2-0 lead. Allowing the Habs to score a late period goal, shifted the momentum to the side of the Habs, and it showed in the 2nd period.
- David Rundblad was a +2 on the night, which I didn't want to see. 1. because I wanted to see Klas Dahlbeck play, and 2. it probably means Rundblad will play Saturday night in Nashville.
- The "tripping" call on Patrick Kane was a joke, but I still say no to expanding instant replay.
- Apparently now any time Hossa hits the ice, we have to hold our breath. 


-    

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Blues
4-1 Win Recap

"Feeding Time at the Zoo"



It was the Wednesday Right Rivalry game on NBCSN between the Blackhawks and Blues last night, in Chicago. This was a game where the backup netminders took the headlines. For the Blackhawks it was recently recalled Scott Darling, and for the Blues it was recently signed Martin Brodeur. This might have been the first non fabricated rivalry game that NBC has broadcast.

The first period was full of knuckle dragging shenanigans, sloppy play and plenty of shots. The Blackhawks won the period by a slim shot margin 13-10, and goals 1-0. If the Blackhawks wanted to keep the game from turning into a sideshow they can't win, they needed to take less penalties.

The parade to the box continued in the second period, and it cot the Blackhawks the lead. not only were they out scored, but they were out shot 13-7.

Clearly the Blackhawks were not happy with their second period performance, because they came out in the third and fired off three quick goals, to pretty much end the game with 12 minutes remaining.

The Good
  • With about four minutes remaining in the first period, The Saadfather caught Ian Cole trying to keep the puck in at the Blackhawks blue line and Cole coughed up the puck to Kruger. Saad and Kruger came in 2-on-1 and Kruger beat a cheating Allen for a 1-0 lead.
  • Just moments into the third period, following a Blackhawks powerplay, El Capitan held on to the puck long enough to draw two defenders. Once they bit, he dished to Versteeg for a snappy one timer.
  • Mere moments later, a Richards to Versteeg to Kane play ended up beating Allen through a Barret Jackman screen for a 3-1 Blackhawks lead and they were dancing in the streets.
  • AGAIN, minutes later, Versteeg threw a puck in the area code of Kaner, who turnstyled Barret Jackman and ended up in on a breakaway. For good measure, Jackman took a hooking call, but all was for naught when Kaner beat Allen for a 4-1 Hawks lead.
  • Don't look now but, with 3 points, Kris Versteeg is second on the Blackhawks in scoring with 21 points, leads the team in +/- with a +13, and is tied with Kaner with a 1.00 PPG.
  • Ben Smith was worked over at the dots, winning only 3 of 14 but, overall, the Blackhawks were really good at 54%.
The Bad
  • Raanta looked rusty early on. The third shot that the Blues got was pretty much a whiff that hit the crossbar. Later on, he almost kicked a wonky dump in, into his own net. All that said, he made 40 saves pretty quietly.

The Ugly
  • Shaw got caught by Steve the Pirate, with his head down in front of the Blackhawks net, and Ott tagged him. Gorilla Salad showed shades of his previous self and took a retaliatory penalty. More recently, Quenneville has stayed away from the knuckle dragging shenanigans but, in this one, he was reeled right in. Starting Gorilla Salad, Shaw, and Bickell was evidence of that.
  • Teams should always be delighted when their Captain takes a shady penalty in their own zone. St. Louis should be so proud. Best Captain in the league according to the mouth breathing trash in Missouri, folks.
  • Midway through the second period, Patrick Kane got stuck on stupid, drawing a penalty for throwing his broken stick at the puck carrier. On the ensuing delayed penalty, with very tired defenders on the ice, Ian Cole made up for his earlier gaffe scoring the game tying goal.
  • Shit just got stupid at the end as St. Louis pulled out their usual weak gorilla tactics. Gorilla Salad was given a 10 minute misconduct for directing a player away from a heated get together. I don't like the guy, and I hate defending him, but that was extreme and undeserved.
  • Anyone notice Stastny, Lehtera or Tarasenko out there? Me either.
  • I will leave you with this stat line. Best Captain in the league right here, St. Louis. Be proud.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Carcillo-Shaw-Bickell
Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Rundblad-Roszival


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Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 16


Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by http://www.twitter.com/GregBoysen from http://www.LetsGoHawks.net.

We cover latest news, the successful circus trip, the success of Gorilla Salad and Kris Versteeg, injuries, the losses of Pat Quinn, Viktor Tikhonov, and Jean Beliveau.

Also, discussed is the various league news.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 16 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blackhawks at LA Kings - 4-1 Win Recap

"Figure It Out"



The Blackhawks finished up their Western Coast swing in LA, Saturday night, against the defending champs. They came in 4-1 in another very successful circus trip, which is becoming commonplace. What better way to finish the Thanksgiving weekend than two of the top teams in the entire league.

The Blackhawks came out quick and took a lead in the first 2 minutes of the game, and then followed that up with another goal in the final 2 minutes of the first period, to take a 2-0 lead into the middle frame. They only out shot the Kings 9-8 but will certainly take it.

The Hawks and Kings were dead even for the second period, each scoring a goal, and each getting 8 shots. The Hawks had to be excited, going into their final period of the road trip.

The Hawks just clamped down in the third period, giving up only 4 shots. When the Kings pulled their goalie, the Hawks put the Kings to bed with an empty net goal, to end the Circus trip 5-1.

The Good
  • Gorilla salad grabbed a Blackhawks lead just two minutes into the game, when a shot hit Quick and popped up into the air. Carcillo located the puck in mid air and bunted it into the net for a quick 1-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Right after the Blackhawks killed off a second first period powerplay, Versteeg chased down a loose put and spit it out to Richards, who caught a lucky carom off Quick and into the net. 2-0 Blackhawks
  • Just a couple of minutes after the Kings cut the Blackhawks lead, the Blackhawks regained the 2 goal lead. Patrick Kane led the rush and fed Versteeg, who gathered the puck and fed Roszival. Roszival deked around the defender and hit Richards' tape for an easy back door goal. Love that Richards is beginning to come around.
  • Sutter pulled his goalie with an inordinate amount of time left and, surprisingly, gave up a Saad empty netter.
The Bad
  • The Blackhawks took two pretty iffy penalties in the first period, but were able to hold off the potent Kings powerplay.
  • A Bryan Bickell failed clearing attempt turned into a Kings goal, as Jordan Nolan tipped a Jake Muzzin shot between Crawford's legs.
  • We have to look for something bad, so the Blackhawks were only 45% at the dots.

The Ugly
  • Quick falling down while playing the puck behind the net in the third period was pretty hilarious.
  • With a minute and a half left, the Kings started a shitfest of stupid human tricks ending with a Gorilla Salad/Brayden McNabb fight.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Carcillo-Shaw-Bickell
Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Rundblad-Roszival



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Friday, November 28, 2014

Blackhawks at Anaheim 4-1 Win Recap

                       Coward The Ducks

                    

On what has become a somewhat of a tradition now, the Blackhawks continued their circus road trip Friday afternoon in the mump infested arena known as the Honda Center. Just as we were all about to come out of our Thanksgiving food coma, we got another special treat, as Steve Konroyd's coma inducing voice was doing the color commentary. The end result, the tv went on mute, and the radio was turned on.

The first period, the Hawks looked like the old Hawks we know. They were skating circles around the Ducks, and completely dominating. Brad Richards opened the scoring on a 2 on 1, firing a wrister past Frederik Andersen. Later in the period, Andrew Shaw added another tally on a redirect from a Duncan Keith slap pass, to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Late in the period however, Anaheim was able to cut the lead in half, for a 2-1 score after 1.

The Blackhawks passing display continued in the second period. This time it was a result of effort by Brad Richards, one handed knocking the puck behind the net to Versteeg, who in turn threw a no look pass to Patrick Kane in the slot, to increase the lead to 3-1. The Hawks had another chance to increase the lead, but Marian Hossa was robbed by Andersen.

The story of the third period belonged to Frederik Andersen. He robbed  Kane on the backhand, and made numerous saves that kept the Ducks in the game. As the time wound down, Kane added an empty netter to give the Hawks a 4-1 win in Anaheim.


The Good

- We'll have to wait a few days, but if the Hawks come out of this visit to Anaheim without the mumps, then this was a complete win for the Hawks.
- Despite the goal the quickly followed, who didn't enjoy seeing Hjalmarsson absolutely destroy Ryan Kesler? That's what you get for skating with your head down.
- The passes that led to the first 3 Hawks goals were fantastic. Seabrook had about a 90 ft. outlet pass to Richards, while Carcillo, yes Gorilla Salad, has a behind the back pass to Duncan Keith, and finally the effort from Richards and Versteeg on Kane's goal.
- Corey Crawford was excellent again for the Hawks. That's beginning to sound like a broken record, which is a good sound.
- The work of the "4th line" shouldn't go unnoticed. Once again, Nordstrom, Kruger, and Smith were superb.
- Speaking of the lines, the line blender seems to have found a nice combo of Kane, Richards, and Versteeg. That line is on fire right now.


The Bad

- Watching Rozsival be beat to a loose puck as the 1st period was winding down, was another sign of how many steps the guy has lost. Luckily for the Hawks it didn't bite them in the ass.
- Seeing Hossa skate off without laboring after taking an ugly cross check by Corey Perry to the ribs, was somewhat of a positive. Still, it wasn't good.
- Why do I always get the recaps when the power play is a complete shit show? Today was no exception. 0 for 5, including a failed opportunity on a condensed 5 minute to 3 minute major power play.


The Ugly

- As much as I enjoyed the hit on Kesler, I didn't care for every Blackhawk on the ice admiring the hit, allowing a wide open Ducks defenseman the opportunity to tip in a loose puck.
- Kyle Palmieri's hit on Johnny Oduya was brutal, plain and simple. Its the exact type of hit the league wants to get rid of. And in case you're wondering this hit was a lot different than the one on Kane the other night. The main difference is the route, how long Palmieri had Oduya lined up, and the fact he never let up. It was a dirty hit. But we did get a Boudreau face out of it, so that is the only positive out of it.
- When you look up the word "dickhead" in the dictionary, a picture of Corey Perry should show up.





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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blackhawks at Colorado
3-2 Win Recap

"Impact Is Imminent"



The Blackhawks traveled to balmy Denver Colorado for a black Wednesday tilt with the struggling Avalanche before a day off for Thanksgiving. Right to it.

The first period was pretty favorable for the Hawks after a slow start. They out shot the Avs 13 to 9, and had a majority of the scoring chances. I think it is safe to say that the Avs were happy to get out of the period tied 0-0.

The second period gave us more shots and more scoring, with the Avs opening up the scoring and the Blackhawks answering the bell with two powerplay goals of their own. Despite going into the third winning the shot battle 32-19 the Hawks were only up one goal.

The third period might have been the sloppiest of all three. The Avs tied the game early and the Blackhawks tied it later. The Blackhawks had a third straight period of outshooting the Avs, this time 13-10. After a late period flurry, the Blackhawks left Denver a 3-2 winner and winners of three out of 4 circus trip games.

The Good
  • Hawks forwards dominated for pretty much most of the first period but, again, didn't score.
  • The Blackhawks finally got on the scoreboard on a second period powerplay. Seabrook let a cannon go from the blue line and the puck squirted through Pickard, who had dropped his stick. El Capitan found the gift in behind Pickard and easily swept it into the net to tie the game.
  • Clendening and Richards on the second powerplay point. Not sure how I feel about that.
  • Shortly after the Toews goal, the Blackhawks drew another powerplay and this time Andrew Shaw scored the go ahead goal. Hossa and Kane set the table and Shaw yanked the table cloth out with a perfect one timer.
  • With five minutes left in the third period, Patrick Kane worked some of his stick magic long enough for Bryan Bickell to set up camp in front of Pickard. Kane few Bickell, who slammed the puck home for a 3-2 Blackhawks lead.
  • Any time you can out shoot a team 45-29 on the road, you're doing something right.
  • The Blackhawks won 40 of 65 faceoffs which is exceptional.
The Bad
  • Roughly halfway through the second period the Hawks defense was a little lax in their own end and let Max Talbot get in one on one with Crawford. The "fourth" line and third defensive pair got stuck out on the ice together, which should never happen. Talbot ended up working his way through Clendening, Roszival, Shaw and Carcillo. Not exactly defensive wizards.
  • In the final minute of the game, the CSN crew fixated on Andrew Shaw and Jarome Iginla chewing each others asses out.

The Ugly
  • Late in the first period, Brent Seabrook mishandled a puck at the Avs blue line on the powerplay, which left Tanguay in on a shorthanded break-a-way for 2/3 of the rink. Eventually, Crawford made the save but WOOF!
  • Four minutes into the third period, a complete Shanghai Fire Drill in the Blackhawks crease resulted in Ryan O'Reilly chipping a the puck into the net with his 9-iron, tying the game up.
  • Dr. Lineblender was at it in the third period, benching Adam Clendening. No need for that 6th defenseman.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Carcillo-Shaw-Bickell
Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Clendening-Roszival


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Blackhawks at Vancouver 4-1 Loss Recap

                            The Catch Up


It was bound to show its ugly head at some point. After last night's shellacking of the Edmonton Oilers, tonight's game had the makings of a trap game; 3 games in 4 nights, plus a couple of days off before the next game. In the end, the Hawks simply ran out of gas as the game ran on, and the Canucks ran away with the 4-1 win.

Jannik Hansen opened up the scoring in the 1st period for the Canucks, just as a Kris Versteeg penalty had expired. Despite Versteeg taking the penalty, it was one you don't mind seeing someone take, as he was sticking up for a teammate after Luca Sbisa drilled Patrick Kane in the corner.

The second period saw our favorite, wait most criticized player, Kris Versteeg net a power play goal to tie the game at 1. Hang on while I continually punch myself in the face. Of the 2 power plays the Hawks had in the second, this was the only one they would score on, and at the end of the 2nd period the game was tied at 1.

As the game went on the Canucks took over. The fatigue of the Blackhawks showed in the 3rd period, as the Canucks scored 3 times, to take a 4-1 win. Jannik Hansen completed the hat trick with an empty netter, and Radim Vrbata also tallied the 3rd Vancouver goal.

The Good

- Corey Crawford gave the Blackhawks a chance to win this game. More power to him consider he was playing his 11th consecutive game.
- Kris Versteeg hot streak continued, as he provided the lone tally for the Blackhawks.

The Bad

- Adam Clendening certainly came back down to earth tonight. A bad delay of game penalty, coupled with bad defensive positioning (that led to Vancouver's 2nd goal) proved that he is human, and a work in progress.
- The inconsistent power play continued tonight as well. The Blackhawks were 1 of 4, and didn't look good on some of those opportunities.
- The hit on Patrick Kane. I didn't have a problem with the hit by Sbisa, nor did I have a problem with Versteeg's response. The biggest problem I had is Kane putting himself in that position to potentially be injured by turning towards the boards.

The Ugly

- It wasn't the best night for some of the Blackhawks leaders. Toews was a -4, while Hossa and Seabrook were -3, and Keith was a -2. Over the course of a season, games like this are bound to happen.
- Watching someone like Jannik Hansen score a hat trick was vomit inducing.
- The Blackhawks were just about dominated at the face off dot tonight, 36 to 27.
- Someone please inform the Vancouver Green Men that their act is old, tiresome, and boring. Its run its course guys, come up with new material.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blackhawks at Edmonton
7-1 Win Recap

The Atrocity Exhibition



The Blackhawks continued their circus trip, Saturday night, in Edmonton. Edmonton is a team that has been struggling mightily, but had the Blackhawks number the last couple of years. This game did NOT go the Oilers way, whatsoever.

The Blackhawks opened up a fast lead, and never looked back. They had only eight shots, but took a 3-0 lead into the second period. A late first period penalty, led to some second period highlights.

The second period opened up with the Blackhawks scoring not one, but two, powerplay goals, just 3 minutes into the period. As if that wasn't enough, the Blackhawks added another even strength goal to take a 6-0 lead into the third period on only 18 shots.

The third period might have been one of the most uninspired periods of hockey that I've seen in a long time. The Blackhawks just wanted to get out of Edmonton without injuries, and the Oilers just wanted to crawl out of their own skin. Each team scored a goal, and when the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks left the Rexall Place with a 7-1 win.

The Good
  • Just a couple of mere minutes into the game, Brandon Saad fed El Capitan, who was all alone in front of the Oilers net, and Toews did what he always does in money situations. Clowned Scrivens for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Just about a minute after the Toews goal, the fourth line got into the act. Ben Smith dug the puck out of the corner and fed Marcus Kruger, who didn't have the best angle. That didn't stop Ben Scrivens from allowing Kruger to bet him for a 2-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • With 4 minutes remaining in the first period Brent Seabrook joined in on the fun. He was given roughly 36 hours to walk the puck up the gut and size up Scrivens. He teed up a shot and beat Scrivens low to the glove side. It looked like Toews may have redirected the puck, but credit was given to Seabrook. Either way, it was 3-0.
  • Just a minute or so into the second period, while on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Patrick Kane hit Kris Versteeg for the first powerplay goal of the night. Then the flood gates opened.
  • A minute and a half after the Versteeg goal, Marian Hossa picked up a rebound in front of Ben Scrivens and tucked it into the net for a 5-0 Blackhawks lead. This ended Scrivens' night.
  • Viktor Fasth's night started off on a sour note when Duncan Keith found a loose puck at the dot and blew a clapper past Fasth for a 6-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Just over half way through the third period, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane were able to get in behind the Oilers defense and worked a textbook 2-on-1. Versteeg had enough time and space to pick apart Fasth but dished a saucer over to Kane for the 7th goal of the night for the Blackhawks.
  • Just for good measure, the Blackhawks were 54% at the dots. Danault was the only center under 50%.
  • Speaking of Danault, the kid looked OK. He didn't get a flurry of ice time, but he held his own, in the time he was out there. He was responsible and hungry.
The Bad
  • Antti Raanta was scheduled to start the game but it was reported that he was ill. I was ill watching this Oilers team, too.
  • After 40 minutes, and with a 6-0, Philip Danault still only had 9 shifts. That's kind of silly. Especially when Konroyd was beating the "roll 4 lines" drum between both periods.
  • After two days of meatballs calling for all kinds of stupid moves, because Adam Clendening was the savior, the kid came back down to earth with a few bad passes and turnovers. Not to worry.
  • Joakim Nordstrom was credited with SEVEN hits. There is no way in hell that really happened.

The Ugly
  • Six goals on 14 shots is fucking pathetic and that's just what the Blackhawks had, 3 minutes into the second period.
  • The Blackhawks got really sloppy in the third period, after a great flurry of saves by Crawford. The Oilers Schultz took a long point shot that was tipped by David Perron about 4 feet in front of Crawford, and into the net.
  • This game was so terrible, that Gorilla Salad got powerplay time. That is embarrassing. The Oilers need to burn this festering garbage dump fire to the ground.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Richards-Versteeg
Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith
Carcillo-Danault-Bickell

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Clendening-Roszival


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