Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blackhawks Week That Was - 1/3

12/28 - Blackhawks at St. Louis
6-5 Shootout Loss

  • The Hawks had two chances to put the Blues away, with a 3-1 lead and a 5-3 lead. They gave both up. They have no one to blame but themselves.
  • At least half of the Blackhawks goals were pretty terrible. While Raanta wasn't stellar, Halak and Elliott were brutal. The Kane and Seabrook goals should have been elementry stops. The Saad goal wasn't much to shout about, either.
  • How about that Patrick Sharp kid? Looks like the Hawks might have a player there, eh? Maybe he has a future in this league.
  • The Berglund goal, to tie the game late in the third, was unacceptable. Seabrook looked gassed, and couldn't keep up with Berglund. Keith went for the pass block instead of trying to poke the puck off Berglund's blade. Raanta, well, I'm not too sure just what happened. He got handcuffed deep in his net. The play end up being a 1 on 3 plus Raanta. You don't score with those odds.
  • The Hawks were back to winning the faceoff battle, beating the Blues 57% to 43%. El Capitan had a rare off night, but the rest of the center picked up the slack. Berglund won a whopping 3 of 12 faceoffs for St. Louis.
  • Any game that Barrett Jackman and David Backes are a combined minus 2 with zero points, is fine with me.
  • Sharp and Toews are a combined plus 10 in the past two games. #Clutch
  • Shootouts suck. Every single one.
Here are the video highlights:
12/30 - Blackhawks vs Kings 1-0 Shutout Win
  • There wasn't much as far as goals go, especially since the only goal was in the first period, but that didn't mean there wasn't action. There was Dustin Brown's unsuccessful penalty shot, break-a-ways, hits, and big saves. This game might have been one of the more exciting 1-0 games you're going to see.
  • I truly thought that Antti Raanta is that goalie that will always give up that one goal to always elude the shutout. Just a few games ago he gave up 2 goals on 12 shots. Not a stellar night. Good for him though. The duo of Crawford and Raanta give the Hawks a serious team, better than even last year. I like Emery, but he's awkward and injury prone. Give me the 25 year old finnish guy with non plastic hips.
  • As far as the penalty shots go the officials were very inconsistent. If Dustin Brown's chance was a penalty shot then the chance Jonny Toews had in the third period was as well, and vice versa. Neither was a clean breakaway chance, but both were similar. Since they made the statement and gave Brown the shot, El Capitan deserved one also. If they didn't give Brown that shot, I wouldn't have disagreed, and I wouldn't have been upset that Toews didn't get one either.
  • The Hawks had a powerplay goal waved off in the third period and it was the right call. Andrew Shaw redirected a high Sharp slapshot down and into the net, but the redirection was a clear high stick. This one, the officials got right.
  • Late in the third, the Hawks, specifically Duncan Keith, got caught napping and let Kyle Clifford get in on a break-a-way. Keith didn't pout and coast back, he turned in the burners and not only caught Clifford, but reached around and knocked the puck away without any hint of an infraction. This was as big of a play as the Sharp steal against Colorado.
  • While the Hawks were out hit, as per usual, Andrew Shaw was credited with NINE hits. Merry Christmas Shawzer.
  • The Hawks continued their dot dominance, winning the battle against the Kings, 60% to 40%. The only center under 50% was old man Zeus, with was at 45%. El Capitan and Dream Warrior won 25 of 36 faceoffs between them.
  • Johnny Oduya didn't have his best night, being credited with 4 giveaways.
Here are the video highlights:
1/2 - Blackhawks at New York Islanders 3-2 Overtime Loss
  • The Hawks came out with a nice pace, but their defense left something to be desired. The Cizikas breakaway goal was due to a lazy change and Bickell being fed a live grenade. The pass was not a great one, even though Bickell was not exactly hauling ass, but I believe it was either Seabrook or Hjalmarsson that pulled the pin and lobbed that live grenade off to Bickell. Bickell just looked like a fucking sloth after it was turned over, because Cizikas just whizzed right past him. The Vanek goal was just sloppy coverage in the Hawks end. A rebound popped out to Vanek, who had an open net. And Finally, the game willing goal was terrible over pursuit by Sharp, Keith and Hjalmarsson. They all flocked to Tavares like his hair was on fire, and left Okposo wide open to pick up the fat rebound.
  • None of the goals could be plopped squarely on Crawford's shoulders, and he looked just fine. In fact he was less rusty than I had expected. I'm glad to see him back. Haters can eat a rather large bag of fecal matter.
  • Ben Smith was probably the most noticeable Blackhawks player on the ice. He was rewarded for his hard work with game tying goal. Poetic justice.
  • Seabrook's powerplay goal was a howitzer from the left circle on a nice feed from Versteeg. Nabokov had suck a slim chance of getting that puck, yet still just missed it.
  • I have to give credit where it's due, and Evgeni Nabokov player an excellent game. He made 37 saves and neither of the goals were his fault. For a guy that is just short of 159 years old, he was on his game.
  • Brandon Saad didn't show up on the score sheet, but he had a burst of speed that began as a 1 on 2, and almost ended up a breakaway, in the third period. This kid is so special. He would be a top 6 forward anywhere else in the league, and possibly, top 3. I love this kid's game.
  • Deuce and Hammer didn't have their best games. They were each minus 2.
  • The Hawks were credited with THREE hits. THREE! That stat category is utterly worthless. Matt Martin had 3 hits just stepping onto the ice.
  • The Hawks were 1 for 1 on the powerplay, and didn't give up and powerplay goals. That is something to slide over to the "plus" category.
Here are the video highlights:
1/3 - Blackhawks at New Jersey Devils
5-3 Win
  • Sharpie with yet another Hat Trick. He's playing on another level.
  • Keith, Toews, and Sharp were all plus 4 on the night.
  • The game was fairly tame until the third period came around and both teams came out and combined for 6 third period goals.
  • Only 10 shifts in the entire game for Bickell. Welcome to Chateau Bow Wow.
  • Henrique, Ryder and Clowe were all minus 4. WOOF!
  • Ben Smith and Kruger were terrible at the dots, winning only 5 of 16.
  • Raanta wasn't at his best, but he did enough to keep the Hawks into the game until they blew it open.
Here are the video highlights:

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