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Friday, October 31, 2014

Darling Sent To Rockford

Head Crusher


The Blackhawks announced this morning that they had re-assigned hometown golden boy Scott Darling back to Rockford, which really rubbed me the wrong way.

Go figure, right?

This is why I'm agitated at the Blackhawks organization over this move. When Darling was brought up to fill the vacant spot left by Corey Crawford, Antti Raanta was anointed the starter. He shut out the Flyers in his first game and, kind of, tailed off a bit. It was shown that he was getting over aggressive and having issues controlling rebounds, which calmed the meatballs some. I was not a big fan of switching to the unproven Scott Darling, Sunday, but he made me a liar and a fool, which is not hard to do. Darling deserved a shutout, but Brad Richards had other ideas.

I was sure that Raanta would be back in net against one of the toughest teams in the league, Tuesday, but Quenneville made me look silly again, against the Ducks. Darling played well, and deserved yet another shutout, but this time Brent Seabrook had other plans.

Surely, two in a row was a fluke, right?

Fast forward to Thursday night, and there is Scott Darling in net against the Senators, again. Not Darling's greatest game, but the Blackhawks defense was dreadful in front of him. The only clear one on him was the 4th goal, that beat him 5-hole. Again, the defense did him NO favors. In the shootout, he was stellar. He allowed no goals against, and earned the SO win.

None of this takes into account the flood of media attention Scott Darling has knocked loose around the Chicago area, FROM THE BLACKHAWKS ORGANIZATION, and the league in general.

Did you guys know Scott Darling is from Lemont? Did you know he grew up a Blackhawks fan?

Literally, most people that follow the team closely had accepted that Darling was going to be the new glory hound of the team, once Crawford was healthy enough to play. He is cheaper against the cap, physically bigger, and obviously a positive media circus lightning rod. So the Blackhawks can save cap money and have this new fan favorite take the focus off things like the progressive failure of Brad Richards, or Antti Raanta's lack of rebound control. Right? Raanta doesn't have to pass through waivers, so this would be a perfect opportunity to give him some more playing time to brush up. All makes sense, right?

The organization just spent the last 5 days pumping the tires on this guy, as the feel good hometown hero, indirectly shitting all over Antti Raanta's confidence and image for a quick 5 day thrill, and then it's "back to normal" on Friday. That quickly. Brush it off, Rebound-aanta, and "fuck you" Scott Darling. Back to the farm for your trouble.

None of it makes more sense than this:


Why jerk everyone around? I was told Sunday that they need to go with the system, because early season games aren't as important as later season ones. So, let me get this straight...

The plan all along was to start Antti Raanta for three straight, this week, but the roles reversed when Crawford got hurt?

Crawford would not have played against Anaheim, if he was healthy, correct?

DA PLAN DOH!

Let's get to the funniest part of this ordeal. All of a sudden twitter reports that Scott Darling has a gaping 5-hole, after giving up one 5-hole goal last night. This just before a pretty impressive shootout 5-hole stop, against NHL sniper Bobby Ryan.

I can't even make this donkey dung up.

Antti Raanta spent the better part of 2 1/2 games flopping around like a fish out of water and kicking rebounds to the tape of opponent's sticks, and it's Scott Darling that needs the work on his 5-hole in the AHL.

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Blackhawks at Ottawa
5-4 Shootout Win Recap

Big Night For Big Hoss


For the second time in five nights, the Blackhawks found themselves playing their season series with the Ottawa Senators. This time however, the Blackhawks were the ones traveling as they start a quick two game road trip to Ontario.

The first period was a track meet. It featured end to end action, and countless scoring opportunities for both teams. But at the same time the game also took on a sloppy, careless tone, with five penalties tallied. The Senators found the net within the opening three minutes. The Blackhawks to their credit, bounced back and managed to take a 2-1 lead at the end of the 1st period.

The sloppiness carried over into the middle frame as both teams took two penalties each. The Senators were able to tie the game just under three minutes into the 2nd period while on the power play. Despite both teams tallying double digit shots, the pace of the game slowed dramatically.

Once again, the Senators were able to net the first goal of the period, as Bobby Ryan scored just 30 seconds in. Later on El Captain tied the game at three, for his second goal of the net. In what looked to be the cliché storybook ending, Marian Hossa scored to give the Blackhawks the 4-3 lead late in the 3rd. For Hossa it was a significant goal, as he reached the 1,000 career point milestone. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, much like we saw last year, the Hawks blew a late lead, as the Senators tied the game.

Overtime wasn't much fun, because the Blackhawks found themselves on the power play, and lets be honest, pulling wisdom teeth is more enjoyable than watching the Blackhawks power play. So then it was onto the glorified skills competition that is, THE SHOOTOUT. SNORE.

Darling stopped all three shooters he faced, while Toews was stopped, Kane hit the post, and finally Sharp ended the All Star Game festivities.

Bottom line, the Hawks escaped with two points tonight. It was ugly, but I'll take it.


The Good

- Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist, and reached the 1,000th career point milestone. Well gone Big Hoss.
- Our #1 superstar on the Hawks, Kris Versteeg had a nifty goal, that made Erik Karlsson look silly.
- The Blackhawks once again were strong at the faceoff dot, winning draws 34 to 25
- Once again the Hawks peppered the opposing net, this time with 39 shots, but unlike before found the back of the net more than twice. Baby steps people, baby steps.

The Bad

- This probably shouldn't be in the "bad" category, but Scott Darling was alright tonight. He made some nice saves, but at the same time allowed a goal or two that he might want to have back.
- Trevor van Riemsdyk was caught out of position, and allowed Mark Stone to get inside the dots, thus leading to a redirect and an early Senators goal. Its a work in progress with van Riemsdyk, but he'll learn.
- To me, Patrick Kane looked lazy. I noticed him gliding towards the puck instead of skating more than a couple of times.

The Ugly

- Start the clown music, the power play was a big 0 for 5. Need I say more?
- Three 3rd period penalties. If you told me the Hawks would win after taking than many penalties late in the game, I would have told you, no way. But hey, I was wrong. Either, clean up the sloppiness.
- The "Three Headed Monster" goalie tandem that was in Ottawa. Crawford was the backup, while Raanta was in the press box. Just pick a backup already. Stop making it more complicated than it has to be.
- Jeremy Morin and Bryan Bickell. Just as you give these two guys praise a game or two ago, they go and do something stupid, and they wind up stapled to the bench. Hard to break a sweat when you only play just over 6 minutes isn't it?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blackhawks vs Ducks
1-0 Shutout Loss Recap

Die, Die, Die, My Darling



The red hot Anaheim Ducks came to Chicago to face the Blackhawks, Tuesday night. In sort of a surprise move, the Blackhawks decided to give Scott Darling his second start in a row against Ducks rookie John Gibson, which I was vehemently against. How would it work out...

The first period was fairly slow and methodical, but it really didn't yield many chances for either team. The Blackhawks threw 9 shots at the net and the Ducks took 10, but there wasn't many quality chances, overall. This was probably fortunate for both rookie goaltenders.

The second was just a continuation of the first period, with a slightly less methodical pace, but the same result. The Blackhawks ended up with 11 shots on net, and the Ducks had 9, for a total of 20 shots for both teams.

And the third period was dominated by the Blackhawks, out shooting the Ducks 18-4, but it was the Ducks who took advantage of a huge Hawks mistake to score the only goal of the game.

The Good

  • About halfway through the second, Saad muscled his way into a partial breakaway, and not only got a shot off, but got a few whack at a rebound. The play was a great display of his pure strength.
  • John Gibson made a helluva save on Toews early in the third period that will be shown on highlights for quite a while. Solid play. I really like this Gibson kid.
  • Scott Darling played pretty well, and rightfully deserved a shutout. I'm still not anointing him the new starter, or even the new backup, but he's given the Hawks some hope in the system. That's where this should sit for the moment.
  • Jeremy Morin was the best Blackhawks player on the ice for the entire game. If this doesn't earn him a longer look from Quenneville, the world is not right. And the world is rarely right in this fan base. All that said, he the only players to play less than him were Tim Jackman and Emerson Etem.
  • The Blackhawks were absolutely dominant at the faceoff dots, winning 61% of their draws. Kesler was just worked, winning only 7 of 22 draws.
  • Did Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf even play, because I sure didn't notice them. Perry, especially, was held in check pretty well by the Hawks defense.
  • It was nice to see Bickell with some speed, going end to end, but he needs to finish.
The Bad

  • The Hawks powerplay, in general, failed them once again. This time, they had a full 2 minute 6-on-4 and could barely get shots to the net. That is a scenario when there should be an easy slam dunk somewhere.
  • Dany Heatley, oh how the mighty have fallen.
  • The amount of Hawk defensemen's shots that are blocked is seriously alarming. According to the official scorer, the Blackhawks defensive corp had 9 blocked. I would challenge that, and say they had at least a dozen blocked.
The Ugly

  • The embellishment call against Andrew Shaw in the first period was brutal. He WAS hit in the face, and anyone who gets hit in the face with the shaft of a stick will throw their head back.
  • The Blackhawks second powerplay unit failed Scott Darling, once again, with about 8 minutes remaining in the game. Seabrook got handcuffed with a bouncing drop pass at the Ducks blue line after dropping to his knees to stop prevent the puck from leaving the zone and blew a tire, not once, but twice. The puck rolled away and Devante Smith-Pelly was off to the races. Darling got a piece of Smith-Pelly's shot as Saad raced back and tried to get a stick on him, but it trickled through Darling's legs and into the net. Not on Darling at all.
The Lineblender

Bickell-Toews-Hossa
Kane-Shaw-Saad
Sharp-Richards-Versteeg
Morin-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
van Reimsdyk-Roszival



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Senators
2-1 Win Recap

"Sweet Home Chicago"


Much has been made in the past week of the Blackhawks goaltending situation since Corey Crawford went down with an upper body injury. On Tuesday Antti Raanta pitched a shutout in his season debut, and thus by the meatball coalition was anointed the new starting goalie. Fast forward a few days, two straight losses, and facing the second game of a back to back, we now have a new favorite goalie in town. His name is Scott Darling and he hails from Lemont, IL. So not only is he a "hometown hero," but he is now in the category of a winning Blackhawks goalie. Enjoy it while it lasts, because in a few days when Crawford is back, Darling will be on the I90 Express to Rock Vegas.


The game itself started out fairly sloppy and undisciplined for both teams. In the first period we saw two sequences of 4 on 4 hockey, which is the only time we should see it, after offsetting penalties. Darling to his credit held his own in net, facing 12 shots, and stopping them all. After one the game was scoreless.

There's been a lot of talk on how the Blackhawks haven't scored a 2nd period goal all season, but The Captain ended that just 21 seconds into the 2nd frame on a nice wrap-around goal. Later in the period, while on the Power Play, Brad Richards allowed a bad bounce of the puck off the ref to get the best of him and led Ottawa to a 3 on 1. Needless to say, Darling had a slim chance, and the Sens tied the game at 1. Just past the midway point in the 2nd period, a blast from Brent Seabrook found the back of the net and gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead.

The third period saw a lot of shots for both teams, but neither could find the net. Aside from the shot attempts, it was a ho hum period to say the least. All in all, it was a solid effort from the Blackhawks which saw Scott Darling get a win in his NHL debut. Despite that, there is no goalie controversy folks. Next up for the Blackhawks is a meeting at The UC on Tuesday night with the Anaheim Ducks.


The Good

- Scott Darling was good in net, its nice to finally have a goalie in the system who is taller than 6' 5"
- Bryan Bickell deserves some credit for finally doing his job, going to the front of the net, which led to Seabrook's goal
- We had a Jonathan Toews sighting
- Finally a good nice at the faceoff dot for the Hawks winning 39 draws

The Bad

- The spattering of ice time throughout the lineup was headscratching to say the least. One the 2nd of a back to back the 3rd pair of Rundblad and van Riemsdyk saw 6 and 7 minutes a piece.
- Once again it sounds like a broken record. The Hawks draw 6 Power Plays, but only can score on one of them

The Ugly

- I think Brad Richards is still cemented into the ice in the same spot, bitching about the puck bouncing off the ref. How much longer of Richards on the point of the Power Play are we going to take? Yes, he did have the nice keep in that led to Seabrook's goal, but right now he's a liability on the point.
- This was Jeremy Morin's best game by far. He was generating chances, and was all over the ice, yet Q felt the need to only give him 7:19 of ice time. At this point Morin looks more like the kid who won a contest to sit on the bench with the team than being an actual hockey player, since he sees such little ice time.





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Blackhawks at St. Louis
3-2 Loss Recap

To The Rats



The Blackhawks took the trek down Route 66 to smelly, St. Louis last night, to face the disgusting farm animals known as the Blues. These are teams that don't like each other at all, and don't hide it. This was a great way to spend a warm October Saturday night.

The Blackhawks came out with some fury in the first period, but when the game finally settled in, the Blues controlled a majority of play. This was evident by the shot total of 16-9 in favor of the Blues.

The second period was a little slower and slightly more even, until the final minute, but the Blues doubled the Blackhawks shots once again. After two very late Blues goals, the Blackhawks dug themselves a very deep hole in hostile territory.

The Blackhawks woke back up from their mid-game nap in the third period, but it was too late. They out shot the Blues 10-4 but they weren't able to tie the game.

The Good

  • Within the first 1:02 of the game the Blackhawks drew a penalty from their aggressiveness, drew a second retaliation penalty from a big Andrew Shaw hit, and scored a powerplay goal. That's what I like to see. Shooter scored a pretty easy backdoor goal on a feed across the goal line with one of the Blues best penalty killers in the box.
  • I'm not sure that I've ever seen the Blackhawks come out with this kind of controlled aggression. Shock-n-Shaw was the catalyst of this, and if he can keep this up without killing himself, fans are in for a treat.
  • Early in the third period, the Blues left Kris Versteeg wide open in the slot and he beat Elliot to bring the Blackhawks back within one goal. Q put the line of Sharp, Richards, and Versteeg together to try and make something happen and something did happen, even if it was brief.
The Bad

  • The Hawks got caught running around in their own end very late in the second period, and Dmitrij Jaskin gave the Blues a 3-1 lead with just 5 seconds remaining. He jumped off the bench, took a pass, and beat Raanta. The momentum change after Roszival's colossal fuck up is completely maddening.
  • Carcillo took an awkward hit to the right leg in the third period and took a long time to get off the ice. As much as I don't like the guy, I'm not really sure what we would have to accept as an alternative.
  • The Hawks were beat at the faceoff dots, 37-43.
  • There is a lot of talk about starting Scott Darling on the ass end of the back-to-back tonight, but I couldn't disagree more. The Blackhawks have lost 2, division games, in a row. Throwing a rookie AHL quality goalie in the net, even against the Sens, puts the Hawks at much higher risk for a loss. Then Tuesday, they face the Ducks, which might be their toughest game to date. I don't buy into this "plan" that a young goalie can't play two straight games. The plan changes when Crawford goes down with an injury. If you absolutely need to give Raanta a game off, do it when Crawford comes back or Thursday vs the Sens again. Whichever comes first.
The Ugly

  • The Blues tied up the game with just under 8 minutes remaining in the first period. The puck was rattling around in the slot and Jaden Schwartz just chipped it towards Raanta, who just simply missed it.
  • In the middle of the second period Brent Seasbrook had a brain fart and decided it was a good idea to chip the puck from his own corner to the slot area in front of the Hawks net. Kruger tried to intercept it, and only made matters worse. Jaden Schwartz nearly came up with his second goal of the game, but Raanta bailed out his teammates.
  • Can I just tell you what a piece of shit Barrett Jackman is? He's a complete cheap shot artist, and shame on the officials for letting him get away with his crap. He cross checked Richards, from behind, in the Blues corner, right in front of the refs and no call.
  • I'm not sure what Michal Roszival thought he was going to accomplish, trying to stickhandle through the Blues forecheckers at his own blue line, but it ended up a goal for the Blues and swung the momentum fully in the direction of the Blues. I still don't think there isn't a single camera angle that conclusively shows the puck cross the line, but after a long look from the war room in Toronto, they decided that the puck crossed the line. Worthless piece of garbage Ryan Reaves was given credit for the goal.
The Lineblender

Bickell-Toews-Kane
Sharp-Shaw-Hossa
Smith-Kruger-Saad
Carcillo-Richards-Versteeg

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
van Reimsdyk-Roszival


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blackhawks at Nashville
3-2 Loss Recap

"Skeptic"


The Blackhawks traveled to Nashville, Thursday night to face the Preds, who were looking for revenge after the Blackhawks overtime win the previous week. This time around it was the Blackhawks who were icing their backup goalie, rather than the Preds.

The first period was controlled, mostly, by the Preds, who out shot the Blackhawks 14-6. Even with that shot differential, the Blackhawks went up 1-0, but surrendered the tying goal with just under a minute remaining in the opening twenty minutes.

The second period was much better for the Blackhawks as far as shots, but the Preds won the second period with the only goal of the period, thank to some sloppy play in the Blackhawks zone.

The Blackhawks fell victim to more sloppy play in their own zone and some exceptional play by the Nashville netminder, which pretty much spelled the end of their undefeated season.

The Good

  • Just over halfway though the first period, the Blackhawks fourth line took a 1-0 lead. Marcus Kruger wrapped the puck around Rinne's left post and the puck laid in the crease long enough for Agent Smith to slam it past Rinne in typical grinding fashion.
  • The Blackhawks second period power play didn't earn them a goal, but the first powerplay unit looked like we expect it to. They were dominant and had the Preds running around for almost the entire 2 minutes.
  • Andrew Shaw took the puck to the net all by himself like a bull in a china shop with about seven minutes remaining in the game. Even though Rinne saved the initial shot, Shaw spun and whacked the rebound out of the air and into the net past the down goaltender.
  • Blackhawks were solid at the dots, winning 55%. Richards was the only one that was under 50%.
  • TVR is listed as having 4 blocked shots in only 13 minutes of ice time. He did nothing to tell me he didn't deserved more time.
The Bad

  • Didn't take long for Versteeg to get demoted to the third line with Richards and Bickell. Shocking. It got better in the second period, when Versteeg was dropped to the fourth line with Gorilla Salad and Kruger. Just when it didn't seemed like it could get any more weird in the third period, if you can imagine this, he was moved up with Kane and Toews, and essentially double shifted.
  • James Neal beat Raanta with just under a minute remaining in the first period, just after Mike Ribeiro went on a first period douche bag crime spree. Ribeiro help the puck long enough, in the neutral zone, for the Pred to make a line change, and Neal came screaming off the bench. He drove to the dot and beat Raanta cleanly on the stick side.
  • Two minutes into the third period, James Neal earned the natural hat trick when Raanta kicked a rebound right to Neal's stick and he chipped it into a gaping net. Seabrook was guilty of not tying Neal up enough to bail out Raanta.
  • The more I watch Raanta, the more his over aggressiveness and lack of rebound control becomes more glaring.
The Ugly

  • The Preds took a 2-1 lead late in the second period after Brandon Saad basically put the puck on a platter for James Neal to zing a shot past Raanta. Not a good goal at all, and not the way Saad is going to earn his way back to the second line.
  • Oduya and Hjalmarsson were combined minus 3 and both had minus 7 or worse Corsi.
  • Gorilla Salad barely played more than 6 minutes and Bickell only played 9:30.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Raanta-nomics


I feel like it is time to throw a bucket of water on this smoking ember before it becomes a raging inferno. There is no, nor will there be, a starting goalie change for the Chicago Blackhawks. The faster you get that through your heads, the less silly you are going to make yourself appear.

I will be completely honest, I like Antti Raanta. He is a talented guy, happy to play, and the Blackhawks are damn lucky to have him as their backup netminder. I have nothing against him; I truly don't. The problem that the Blackhawks have is that they have two GOOD goalies. Not GREAT goalies, but GOOD ones. There is a difference between the two, though, and it needs to be hammer through some thick sculls.

We have all seen that Corey Crawford can give up the aggravating soft goal, and being a similar type of goalie, I can totally understand. Silly bounces can handcuff you, and sometimes they look terrible. That is not an excuse. He needs to improve on those types of gaffes. You have goals, like the one in the Nashville game the other night. A deflected laser from one of the two hardest shooters in the NHL, from 35 feet away. He had no chance, but if you look at the stats, it looks terrible.

The difference is that Raanta will sometimes turn routine saves into circus stunts with things like lack of rebound control, and over aggressiveness. My point being that Raanta sometimes digs himself a hole that he then has to bail himself out of.

First case in point was last night. One of Raanta's early saves was a simple low shot from a tight angle. Raanta went down into the butterfly to stop, but instead of directing the puck into the corner, the puck flipped end over end, into the air because he had his stick at a poor angle. This caused an all out panic situation, almost resulting in a goal. Raanta was beat, but the puck hit the post. Shutout preserved.


This is an additional case of a routine save turning into a Chinese fire drill, because of very poor rebound control. Shutout preserved.

Second case was this play, where he was WAY too aggressive and slid completely out of position. Had Vorachek not mishandled the puck, this was a simple goal. It is not often you see Crawford slide this far out of position. Shutout preserved.

Third case is this play, which was one of the first of the second period. Raanta was indecisive, and he froze. This put him in and extremely vulnerable position which forced him to make a much more difficult save. Generally, Crawford would have intercepted that puck on the initial dump in, or kept it from coming back out over the goal line. Shutout, again, preserved.

All this being said, again, I like Antti Raanta. Just to show I'm not picking him apart, these are two VERY good saves worth noting:




When all is said and done, I'm just pointing out that Raanta made some glaring gaffes against a very bad hockey team, and got away with it. He is simply not as composed as Corey Crawford at this point in time. These are all things that are able to be fixed, and probably will be. Do you really want to burn in an inexperienced goalie, in what may be the last hurrah for this special group of players? I sure don't and neither does anyone in the Blackhawks front office. There simply isn't anything close to a problem with the current setup. Be happy with the boring, safe, occasionally awkward starter that the Blackhawks have. Be happy that they don't have Ondrej Pavelec as their starter. Corey Crawford is far from perfect, but he's the best option the team has at this point in time. Learn to accept it.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blackhawks vs Flyers
4-0 Shutout Win Recap



Antti, Antti, Antti


Philadelphia is known for the little guy who comes out of no where, and captures the emotion of a city. And after one game in net for the Blackhawks this season, Antti Raanta has won over the hearts of the meatball coalition. Raanta posted a 32 save shutout en route to the Blackhawks 4-0 win over the Flyers. It was a surprise start for Raanta as starter Corey Crawford was ruled out for the game late this morning with an upper body injury. Raanta to his credit was ready to play when called upon, something that cannot be understated for a backup goalie. It remains to be seen how long Crawford will be sidelined, but lets make one thing clear. Corey Crawford is the starter for the Chicago Blackhawks. As much as the meatballs would want to create a goalie controversy, there is none. Once Crawford is healthy, its his net. So in the meantime, lets allow Raanta to bask in his Rocky Balboa moment, because its going to be short lived.


With the offense sputtering of late, we all knew it was coming. It just took Dr. Line Blender an extra game to get fired up. Heading into tonight's game, the Blackhawks found themselves with different line combinations. For now it was a nice spark to jolt the offense, as the Blackhawks came out flying. Something that has been screamed about before is the lack of the net front presence other than Andrew Shaw. Tonight we finally saw what crashing the net can, as that was a direct result of Brandon Saad's opening goal. Another touchy subject amongst Blackhawks fans has been the Power Play and the play of Bryan Bickell. In the first period we got to see a sighting of both, as Patrick Kane tallied the 2nd goal of the night on the Power Play (courtesy of a bad Flyers penalty), and Bryan Bickell capped the 1st period scoring by adding his 1st goal of the season. All in all, we saw the Blackhawks offense explode for 3 goals in just over 2 minutes. Its that kind of outburst we've been waiting to see.


The second period featured the Flyers taking undisciplined penalties, but the Blackhawks were unable to add another Power Play goal. Raanta saw 10 shots in the period, and turned them all aside. Early in the third period Patrick Kane was able to beat Steve Mason again for his 2nd goal of the game, and 2nd Power Play goal of the night for the Blackhawks. All in all, this was the type of game we expect the Blackhawks to play against a subpar opponent. Next up for the Blackhawks is a trip to Nashville on Thursday night.


The Good

- I mentioned it earlier, but Antti Raanta was fantastic in net
- Patrick Kane scoring two goals on the night, both Power Play goals
- Trevor van Riemsdyk, he keeps getting more confidence, and more comfortable
- Net front presence from Saad and Bickell
- Dan Carcillo for drawing penalties, and actually having hockey sense and not retaliating

The Bad

- Kris Versteeg returned (I had to put something in the bad category)

The Ugly

- Zac Rinaldo and Michael Raffl for being certified dickbags. But as a Blackhawks fan, I'm not complaining the dumb penalties they took.


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Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 13


Gatekeeper and Pat finally have some regular season hockey to talk about, whether it be the terrible Sabres, Oilers, and Avs, or the surprising Islanders.

They also have a chance to discuss the Blackhawks "earning" 7 of 8 points, as well as the surprises and disappointments thus far.

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 13 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blackhawks vs Predators
2-1 OT Win Recap

"The Chase Is Better Than The Catch"



The Blackhawks welcomed the Nashville Preds to the United Center Saturday night. This game featured former Hawks Viktor Stalberg and Carter Hutton, but the bigger story was new coach Peter Laviolette's debut in Chicago as the new coach of the Preds.

The Blackhawks took a lead early in the first but then surrendered the lead on the powerplay, even though they out shot the Preds 12-2 for the entire period. Blackhawks controlled a majority of the play clearly.

The second period was generally very boring. The Blackhawks out shot the Preds once again, 11-4 for the period, which left the Blackhawks leading overall, 23-6. This, of course, didn't translate to goals, for the second game in a row.

The third period ended up being a lot more of the same as far as boring play goes. Both teams had
11 shots, but neither was able to break the tie. Once again, the Blackhawks were going to need more than 60 minutes to decide their fate.

Despite having two kill a penalty, the Blackhawks were able to take advantage of a great buonce and win the game in overtime.

The Good

  • The game wasn't two minutes old and Johnny Oduya beat Carter Hutton for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead. A neutral zone turnover was quickly turned around. Oduya just skated over the blue line and blew a clapper right through the ex-Icehogs netminder.
  • The Preds had Crawford dead to rights about six minutes into the third period, with a 2-on-0 chance in front of the Hawks net. Colin Wilson made the pass to Craig Smith, and Smith helped Crawford out, by shooting the puck low enough for Crawford to kick the chance away.
  • With the Blackhawks killing a Patrick Sharp tripping penalty, they were able to kill off a majority of the powerplay, until Jon Toews was able to put pressure on the Nashville defender at the point. Toews was able to get the puck to squirt loose for shorthanded breakaway, and El Capitan did what he does. Game over.
  • This is the second game in a row with over 35 shots and giving up under 20. You can't ask for more.
  • I hate to say it, but Gorilla Salad hasn't been as awful as he could be. This isn't to say he was been good either, but I'll accept "not bad" at this point. He'll fuck this up, he always does.
The Bad

  • Not too long after the Blackhawks took a lead, they looked like they were in good position, drawing a Shea Weber penalty. Then they proceeded to take two quick penalties. You can all imagine where that was going to end up. Shortly after the Preds penalty and the first Hawks penalties wee over, Weber blew a slapshot past Crawford and the game was tied.oh, and this was the Preds first shot of the game.
  • Shea Weber led all players with 28:21 of ice time. That won't wear him out by April, at all.
  • The Hawks were pretty brutal at the dots, only winning 44%. Brad Richards won only 1 of 6 draws. That said, Marcus Kruger won two big faceoffs while the Hawks were killing the Sharp OT penalty.
The Ugly

  • Early in the second period Blackhawks castoff Viktor St-LOL-Berg took a really stupid offensive zone penalty. Some things never change.
  • I know Deuce is playing fairly well and all but, once again, he had 5 of his shots blocked. This is the Keith we saw 3 years ago, when he struggled.
  • The Blackhawks powerplay looks like a steaming pile of camel dung. 0-5 and very little pressure. It's getting worse rather than better. There is far too much talent on their roster to be this bad.
  • Any time Brad Richards wants to add something would be fine by me.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Flames
2-1 OT Loss - Recap

The Return



For most of the meatball coalition, Wednesday night at the UC was the much anticipated return of Stanley Cup hero Brandon Bollig. Unfortunately for the meatballs, we did not see the overhyped, never going to happen bout between useless hockey players in Bollig, and new facepunching hero Dan Carcillo. Or are does he prefer the formal, Daniel? But we were treated to a sight Blackhawks fans are all too familiar. Bollig's highlight of the game occurred in the 1st period, when just like old times, he took a lazy, dumb penalty in the offensive zone. Luckily for Bollig he's with a team where there are no expectations, so the careless play warranted him more playing time, much to the delight of the puck bunnies in the 100 level.

Now onto more important things, like the actual game.

From the drop of the puck, it was clear that the Blackhawks were an NHL team and the Flames were an AHL team. The Blackhawks dominated the Flames in the offensive zone, outshooting the Flames 18-2 in the 1st period. However trouble seemed to be on the horizon as, despite the drastic difference in shots, and puck possession, we were scoreless after one. Furthermore, the real trouble started to brew as the Blackhawks went 0-3 on the Power Play in the 1st.

With the Blackhawks still dominating the play in the 2nd, it was the Flames who would strike first on the scoreboard. Dennis Wideman fired a slapshot, that was redirected off of Trevor Van Riemsdyk,  past Crawford. The Blackhawks found themselves with several scoring opportunities, and 2 more Power Plays, but were unable to solve Jonas Hiller.

In the 3rd period, the Blackhawks were finally able to beat Hiller. On their 7th, yes, 7th Power Play of the night Andrew Shaw redirected a slapper from Patrick Sharp, to tie the game at 1. Despite a few more chances, the Blackhawks couldn't beat Hiller, and the game headed to overtime.

Before we get to the overtime frame, I must say the dry scrape is a sight to see. You must see it for yourself.

The overtime period featured open end to end action, with both teams registering 3 shots. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks they found themselves on the short end of the stick as Mikael Backlund beat Corey Crawford with 24 seconds left, and the Flames went onto the 2-1 victory.

In the end, this is a game that the Blackhawks should have won. There's no excuse. Instead of grinding out a win, they tried their best to wow the home crowd with several fancy plays, that wound up biting them in the ass. Its a good thing this was only the 3rd game of the season, but then again you can look back and say this was a great opportunity at 2 points, and they pissed it away. Plain and simple.


The Good

- Giving credit where credit is due. Jonas Hiller was fantastic in net for the Flames. Regardless the Blackhawks didn't make it overly difficult, Hiller still faced 50 shots, and stopped 49.

-  Andrew Shaw once again made his presence felt in front of the net. Now if Bickell could only learn.

- Who didn't enjoy that penalty Bollig took?

The Bad

- Bickell's missed chance at an open net. Yes, there was a defender in the neighborhood, but no excuses, use your side to your advantage.

- Trevor Van Riemsdyk was alright. However if you're going to block a shot, block the shot. Don't stand there and allow the puck to redirect off your stick.

The Ugly

- Dan Carcillo. Period. Dan Carcillo. He somehow managed to miss two glorious scoring opportunities that any real hockey player would have scored. Hell the cardboard bubble hockey player would have scored both.

- The Power Play. 1 for 7 speaks for itself.

- Brad Richards playing the point on the Power Play. Once again a bobbled puck lead to a breakaway for the opposition. Richards is one rusty link on the chain closer to becoming the new boat anchor





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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blackhawks vs Sabres 6-2
Home Opener - Win Recap

This Momentary Bliss



The Blackhawks opened their home schedule last night at the United Center, hosting lowly Buffalo Sabres. Everyone pretty much knew what was at hand, with the Blackhawks being one of the top teams in the entire league and the Sabres racing towards the Connor McDavid lottery.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first three minutes of the game, but then became a bit complacent, letting the Sabres get back into the game. The Hawks pout shot the Sabres by a pretty good margin(17-10), but some sloppy play on the PP let to the game tying goal and they went into the first intermission tied at 2.

The second period was, shockingly, scoreless and both teams kind of settled into their rhythm. There wasn't nearly the action that we saw in the first period. Maybe it was that long change Eddie O is always talking about. This led to the 2-2 tie going into the third frame.

The Blackhawks sliced this game wide open in the third period. They showed why they are one of the top teams in the NHL, and why the Sabres...aren't. The Hawks out shot the Sabres a cartoonish 19-4, and potted 4 goals. When all was said and done the Blackhawks were able to celebrate a big 6-4 home opener win.

The Good

  • The Blackhawks jumped out to a quick lead and it looked like they were going to run away before the Sabres could even get their legs warm. The first goal was a long shot from Hjalmarsson that was tipped in by Shaw, and the second was a long point shot from Duncan Keith. Neither was anything special, and Jhonas Enroth looked over matched.
  • The third period is what we expected for all three last night, but at least the Hawks eventually got their shit together.
  • That Zemgus Girgensons kid is a player. Like a bull in a fucking china shop. I love that guy's style, and would give up three Nick Leddys to have him here.
  • About 5 minutes into the third period Buffalo native Patrick Kane gutted the Sabres and opened the flood gates. He took an Andrew Shaw pass off the half boards, and one timed it past Enroth. The shot looked to surprise Enroth, who was clearly upset.
  • After the Kane goal, it seemed like the Blackhawks were celebrating ever 4 minutes. The next one was a shorthanded goal by Marian Hossa. We are so spoiled by Hossa. He was able to lead a 2-on-1 with another Hawks player that isn't too shabby, El Capitan. Hossa used Toews as a decoy and did what Hossa does. Found a hole and beat Enroth. No flashiness, no highlights reel goal. Just a 4-2 Hawks lead. If the Kane goal didn't break the Sabres' back, this did.
  • Just over three minutes after Hossa's goal, Patrick Sharp unloaded a 55 foot slapshot, on the powerplay, for a 5-2 Blackhawks lead. Enroth looked like he has quit at that point.
  • The Blackhawks out shot the Sabres 47-23, and beat them at the dots, 28-20. Ouch, Buffalo.
  • I can't hate on Gorilla Salad for everything, and drawing 2 penalties is about as good as it gets.
The Bad

  • The first Sabres goal was basically the result of the Sabres just crashing the net and Crawford giving up a huge rebound. Seabrook and Keith just got pushed back into Crawford's face and were simply out numbered.
  • If it wasn't against the Sabres, 4 third penalties might be a tad concerning.
  • Brandon Saad very quietly had 3 assists. MOAR PLEAZE!
The Ugly

  • Maybe this doesn't belong in the ugly category, but screw it. Gorilla Salad's goal. The final goal, in a 6-2 blowout win. If you're going to throw anything other than "The only reason Dan Carcillo was even on the ice is because there is no reason to have a quality player out on the ice that late in a blowout", you're wrong and your opinion is invalid. The Sabres had given up, at that point, and the Blackhawks certainly aren't going to risk a star player getting hurt at that point in a blowout win against, Buffalo. He is still a worthless player, and was only out there as a spot filler. Period.
  • The second Sabres goal was complete clown shows. Richards was playing the point on the powerplay, and was forced into a tight position to try and keep the puck into the zone at the Sabres blue line. He forced a bad pas to Keith, who was clear on the other side of the rink, and everyone could see that the pass was going to be picked off before he even let it go. Veteran Drew Stafford one touched the puck to Tyler Ennis, who had jumped right past a panicking Richards, and Ennis was off to the races. Ennis made a nice move and beat Crawford to the stick side for a shorthanded game tying goal. Again, another reason why it should be rare that a forward plays the point on the powerplay, but Quenneville loves it and no one is allowed to question out 2 time Stanley Cup winning coach.
  • Andrej Meszaros was a -4 for Buffalo....ooofa.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Blackhawks at Dallas
3-2 Shootout Win Recap

Filtered Truth



The Blackhawks came out rather flat last night, Dallas, but were able to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on only three shots. They game up eight shots and had to have their goaltender stand on his head early to keep the game scoreless.

The Blackhawks came out in the second period much like they did in the first. They were out shot 6-0 before they even sniffed the net. The Stars ended up taking advantage of some very sloppy Blackhawks play and stupid penalties to go up 2-1 while out shooting the Blackhawks 16-8.

The third period was a little better for the Blackhawks as they finally woke up and actually out shot the Stars 14-9, and out scored them 1-0. To everyone's surprise, this game was going to be decided in extra time.

For the first time in the 14-15 season, the Blackhawks dominated a period of play and that period of play was overtime. They spent a majority of the 5 minutes in the Stars zone and could have easily won the game. That would have to wait until the shootout.

The Good

  • The best part of the first period was Brandon Saad on the penalty kill. It's nice to see the SaadFather with an expanded role.
  • The Blackhawks surprisingly scored the first goal of the game and the first Blackhawks goal of the season was by Duncan Keith. Kari Lehtonen basically gave the Blackhawks a free chance, and they cashed in. The Blackhawks were trying to muster up some sort of steam when Brent Seabrook seemed to have partially fanned on a touch pass to Keith on the half boards. When the puck finally reached Deuce, he just one timed it towards the net at Lehtonen. Lehtonen, for some reason, remained down on the ice the entire time, and Keith just blew the puck past him, on their 3rd shot of the game.
  • The Blackhawks first powerplay of the season had some nice pressure, with Sharp providing most of the action. Small victories, at that point. Later in the game the powerplay came up huge for the Hawks.
  • Corey Crawford is the only reason the Blackhawks weren't down 4-0 in the first half of the game. He had two breakaway saves and held the Blackhawks close. He had 4 partial and full breakaway saves. Stellar game.
  • Bickell laid a big hit on Kevin Connauton. The ref noticed Connauton laboring pretty noticeably and he was sent into the locker room.
  • In the Blackhawks second powerplay Andrew Shaw didn't get to control the puck much but his fight and balls of brass were laid in the collective chins of the Stars PK unit.
  • With just under 9 minutes remaining in the third period, Jamie Benn's brother took his second penalty. Patrick Sharp almost immediately blew a long slap shot by Lehtonen to tie the game up. No one knew how the Blackhawks were even in position to be in a tie game at this point.
The Bad

  • The Stars speed gave the Blackhawks fits, especially early on. They were out shot 8-1 early and Crawford had to bail their Hawks sorry asses out 3 or 4 times early on.
  • I took the Blackhawks til the halfway point of the first period to show any signs of life at all, when the second line of Saad and Kane were able to work Shaw into open ice, but he ran out of ice. This was following Jamie Benn ragdolling both Oduya and Saad in a matter of seconds.
  • Trevor Daley broke the Hawks shutout half way through the second period and 10 seconds into a 4 minute Hjalmarsson double minor. The puck was rattling around the slot and Trevor Daley was able to swat an unstable puck over Crawford
  • Duncan Keith is listed as having NINE shot attempts blocked. EEK!
  • Ben Smith and Andrew Shaw were eaten up at the dots.
The Ugly

  • Many of us Bloggers have been beating the Jeremy Morin drum all summer, and what does he do? Takes a stupid cross checking penalty in his 4th shift of the season. The rest of his night wasn't any better. Excuse me while I chew on this shoe.
  • Cody Eakin was left wide fucking open, ten feet from the net, in the slot, and he sniped the hell out of Crawford to give the Stars their first lead of the night. The real kicker was that the initial rush was a 3 on 4 rush. Kane and Shaw both did "fly-bys" on the play, and that pretty much did their goalie in.
  • I mentioned this online but David Rundblad and Trevor van Reimsdyk were a roaring tire fire the entire night. Rundblad looks TERRIFIED to shoot the puck. He had a few chances to unload in OT and forced bad passes instead. Van Reimsdyk, by the way, played double the sifts Rundblad did.

The Shootout

  • Spezza couldn't go 5-hole
  • Toews ran out of real estate
  • Seguin missed the net
  • Kane beat Kari with a backhand top shelfer
  • Hemsky mishandled the puck

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 - 2015 NHL Predictions


Since we're only hours away from the start of the NHL season, and now that I'm back from a 3rd world country and have access to a computer, I figured its better late than never to give you my predictions for the 2014-15 season.

We'll start in the West, since that's where the best hockey is played.


Western Conference

Central Division

1. Dallas Stars
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. St. Louis Blues
4. Colorado Avalanche (Wild Card)
5. Minnesota Wild (Wild Card)
6. Nashville Predators
7. Winnipeg Jets

Pacific Division

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. San Jose Sharks
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Edmonton Oilers
6. Phoenix, no wait, Arizona Coyotes (because the name change will solve the attendance problems)
7. Calgary Flames

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

Metropolitan Division

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Islanders
3. Washington Capitals
4. New York Rangers (Wild Card)
5. Columbus Blue Jackets (Wild Card)
6. Philadelphia Flyers
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Carolina Hurricanes


Western Conference Final

Dallas Stars vs. Los Angeles Kings


Eastern Conference Final

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders


Stanley Cup Final

Los Angeles Kings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning


Stanley Cup Champions - Los Angeles Kings


Presidents' Trophy - Anaheim Ducks
Hart Trophy - Sidney Crosby
Rocket Richard Trophy - Steven Stamkos
Vezina Trophy - Henrik Lundqvist
Norris Trophy - Drew Doughty
Jack Adams Award - Jack Capuano

There you have it, my predictions for the upcoming season. And no I was not drinking when I came up with these predictions. Make sure you save them so you can tell me what an idiot I am when the season ends.

@Patrick_Stankus







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Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 12


Gatekeeper and Pat finally have some Blackhawks hockey to discuss with the preseason camp, the nightmare of calamities that was the Blackhawks preseason, the trade of Nick Leddy and we couldn't forget the meatball-tastic signing of Gorilla Salad.


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 12 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Where Do We Go Now?


Now that I have broken down the latest Blackhawks roster moves, what happens next?

I have been critical of Stan Bowman from time to time, but generally he has been alright. In the long run, at least a simple majority of the moves have been successful, but this ship is heading into an unknown abyss. Most of the Tallon blood in the Hawks system has been purged, and this can safely be called a Stan Bowman team.

I'm not so sure after this season ends, whether it be with a third Stanley Cup or not, that the Blackhawks won't be headed down that dork road names "Rebuild Parkway", and that does not bode well for some of these prospects that have been left to rot in the lower levels.


All you need to do is start at the top for the forwards. Teuvo "Simba" Teravainen. The chosen one. Debate all you want, but this kid doesn't have much more to prove anywhere but the NHL. He has more natural talent than someone like Versteeg or, dare I say, Car-Sh-Ass-Rie. Combined. How nice would it be for Teravainen to have a full year under his belt, playoffs and all, in the NHL before he is going to be forced to do so? You could go down the line with such players like Danault, McNeill, Rasmussen, and the ones not far behind them, like Hartman, Ross and Broadhurst. When people like Sharp, Kruger, and Oduya have to go next summer, where is your experience? Do we know if any of these players can even handle the jump? Nope.


Then you have the Defense. This complete mess didn't get better; it got worse. Leddy was stuck and not moving up. It really sucks that he had to go, but I understand. Hell, I'm no prophet but I called this in March, at the dealine. What does that leave, though? Michal Rozsival, David Rundblad, Kyle Cumisky and Trevor van Riemsdyk to play the third pair. OR; split up Hjalmarsson and Oduya, and strap one of those grenades to THEIR legs. But it gets better. Considering someone else needs to be sent down, what about the logjam of defensemen in Rockford? They are deep, sure, but how do you get through TVR, Dahlbeck, Clendening, Johns, and Brennan how does someone like Pokka, Svedberg, or Fournier get any decent time? How does Johns or Brennan for that matter? These guys are going to rot in Rockford while slugs like Rozsival and Cumiskey suck it up in the NHL. It makes no sense, and when Stan has to REALLY step up, his pants might be around his ankles. Enjoy this year while you can, because the bed Stan is making looks more like an old futon.

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The Great Space Coaster


After the completely asinine, head scratching camp invite of Daniel Carcillo, Friday, the real fun began for all of us crazy basement dwelling bloggers in Chicago.


It quickly spread like wildfire that the PTO that Carcillo had signed was actually going to blossom into an actually NHL deal to return to the Blackhawks. This, in fact, came to fruition when the Blackhawks announced the one year, league minimum ($550K), deal for Gorilla Salad. This means that instead of Brandon Mashinter being the Blackhawks resident fist magnet, Dan Carcillo will be assuming that position as well as notorious league miscreant. Just peachy.

If that wasn't enough to get your blood pressure abnormally high, the real fireworks went off Saturday morning. The fact that Leddy was scratched Friday in New York led everyone to assume that there was a deal in place, and that there was. Saturday morning it was announced that Nick Leddy and Kent Simpson had been traded to the New York Islanders for T.J. Brennan, Ville Pokka and the rights to restricted free agent goaltender Anders Nilsson. That induced a"Pokka Party":



The word on Brennan is that he is a Rundblad type. High potential, after being drafted by Buffalo, but never reached full potential. He was last year's AHL Eddie Shore best Defenseman winner with the Totonto Marlies, putting up some pretty gaudy numbers. That's all fine and well until you look who won that award in 06-07, Sheldon Brookbank. Case closed, your honor. He was immediately put on waivers to be sent to Rockford the minute he was acquired, but I'll get into that a little more later.

TJ Brennan Scouting Report


Ville Pokka-Face is one of the Isles, sort of, top prospects. Pokka is a smallish, bizzare looking Finnish defenseman that was named "The best players in the world you've never heard of", last April. He may turn out to be a real find at some point. There was a piece written about him back in 2012 before he was drafted, with high praise. I guess we'll see how this one pans out.


Recent Ville Pokka Scouting Report


The third player the Hawks acquired was a real wild card in rather large RFA goalie Anders Nilsson, who is currently playing in the KHL. I doubt we ever see this guy in Hawks colors, but I have been wrong plenty. He's 6'5" and 220 lbs, which is ideal in today's NHL. I can only assume that the thought of playing in NY was just too much to bear. If the Blackhawks can talk him into coming back for North America he might be a future backup in two years, when Raanta leaves for a chance at a starting jobs somewhere else.

Anders Nilsson Scouting Report

For more on this trade and the Blackhawks impending season opener, Check out the this weeks Puckin Hostile Shoutcast, recording soon.
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Friday, October 3, 2014

PreSeason : Blackhawks at New York Rangers
3-2 Shootout Loss

"Dead Eyes"


The Blackhawks closed out their preseason with a 3-2 shootout loss Friday night. After today's shenanigans, I'm getting right to the highlights:

The Good

  • I like what I see with Turbo Teravainen on the first powerplay unit with Shaw, Kane, Sharp and Seabrook. The kid has some great instinct and is very confident and comfortable.
  • Without their two top centers (Toews,Richards), the Hawks still looked pretty good. Shaw was the #1 pivot and Teravainen played second pivot. Kruger played on the third line and Regin centered the checking line.
  • Trevor van Riemsdyk looks like a nice catch. He moves pretty well and makes some nice safe plays. He made his mistakes too, but there is some promise.
  • With 5 minutes remaining in the second period, Pat Kane used Andrew Shaw as a screen and blew a shot past King Henrik, to tie up the game on the powerplay. That is exactly what one of the premier snipers in the league SHOULD do, given that kind of space and time.
  • Two minutes after the Kane PP goal, Kane set up Andrew Shaw for a gorgeous backdoor goal. That line of Kane-Shaw-Saad was clowning the Rangers for a solid minute and a half and Kane almost had his second of the night, and just kept pressing. If Richards doesn't work every night, then sliding Shaw in will be a nice option. Shaw is not an every day second line center, but he can certainly hold his own from time to time.
  • I hate to say this, but Kevin Hayes looks like me might be a nice player. Shame the Blackhawks couldn't hang on to him.
The Bad

  • It didn't take Gorilla Salad long to drop the gloves. the game wasn't even 5 minutes old and he was scrapping with Tanner Glass. After taking hi lumps he ended up going to the locker room. How ironic.
  • Martin St. Louis scored to give the Rangers a lead, with 5 minutes gone in the second period. Not really much Crawford could do, as St. Louis tipped it over Crawford from about 5 feet away. Van Riemsdyk was taught a lesson in NHL defense from the wily little shit veteran.
  • Ryan Malone ended up taking advantage of the Blackhawks 4th line to tie the game at 2, with just over 4 minutes left in the third period. Gorilla Salad was right in the thick of the action, showing his glaring uselessness.
The Ugly

  • Call me critical, but I still have no use for Kris Versteeg. He floats. He's not aggressive. He makes stupid plays, like taking an icing when was three feet from the red line. How he gets away with this crap, with Quenneville as his coach is beyond my comprehension.
  • The Hawks were generally pretty terrible at the faceoff dots. Derrick Brassard pretty much dominated the Hawks by himself, winning 8 of 9 faceoffs.

The Shootout

  • Kane hit the crossbar.
  • Zuccarello juked Crawford out of his jock.
  • Sharp stopped by Lundqvist
  • Duclair stopped by Crawford.
  • Teravainen beat the King on a nice backhand.
  • St. Louis hit Crawford in the glove.
  • Morin couldn't beat Henrik
  • Nash missed the net.
  • Ben Smith was beaten by Lundqvist's pad
  • Hayes mishandled the puck
  • Shaw couldn't elevate over the right pad
  • JT Miller was stopped by Crawford's pad
  • Versteeg barely got a shot off
  • McDonough missed the net.
  • Saad poked checked by Lundqvist
  • Stempniak stopped by Crawford.
  • Bickell stopped on a wrist shot.
  • Malone beat Crawford low for the win.

Behold the Highlights:
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Death Becomes Us

Gorilla Salad Returns



In a move that no one could have predicted, the Blackhawks announced that they had added Dan "Gorilla Salad" Carcillo to their training camp roster.


That was the reaction of most all Chicago fans. As the story unfolded more, Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville said that he was interested in signing Gorilla Salad to and NHL deal. I really don't even know where to begin with my utter disgust in this move and thee are several reasons why.

First of all, the Blackhawks just spent all of training camp trotting our gorilla, face punchers as a trial. The one they had their eye on got hurt. In a matter of 2 days, their plan, if you call it that, went to hell. Brandon Mashinter was injured against the Canadiens and may be more hurt than the Blackhawks are letting on to. If this was a week long injury, and you absolutely need a face puncher, then PC Labrie and Cody Bass are certainly no worse than John Scott was for 3 minutes a game. Instead they ran out and brought in a guy that was on the discard pile of the Kings, Rangers and Penguins.


Second, the Blackhawks are down to the wire with cap issues. They are roughly $2.2 million over and they must be compliant by this coming Wednesday. Mashinter would make $562,500, and the Meatball Bash brothers of Labrie and Bass would make $550,000. Unless Carcillo is going to accept one of those two deals, the Blackhawks will have to try and shed even more salary

By Wednesday.

Third, Daniel Carcillo is a reckless, and bad hockey player. There are very glaring reasons that the Kings, Rangers and Penguins didn't want him. He is bad. His time is over.


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

PreSeason : Blackhawks vs Canadiens
3-1 Loss


The Blackhawks faced the Canadiens, last night, in a pretty boring game that ended up a 3-1 loss. This is the preseason so I'm just going to point out a few observations.

-Michal Rozsival had a terrible turnover after attempting an asinine pointless spin-o-rama deep in the Hawks zone and was luckily bailed out by Antti Raanta.

-Later, Rozsival and his partner Kyle Cumiskey, were walked through for the first goal of the game. Cumiskey has to be thinking, "how am I going to make team dragging this putrid bag of bones around". Brutal!

-AND not to be outdone, just a mere minute and a half later, Rozsíval was out on the ice and right in the thick of the Habs second goal. That guy is DONE.

-El Capitan set up Bryan Bickell for what turned out to be a really nice rush. Bickell's legs look fresh, which is really good news for the Blackhawks.

-Manchild set up an Andrew Shaw break-a-way with a nice strip of Greg Pateryn,at the Hawks blue line in a 4-on-4 situation. He chipped the puck up and Shaw took it in alone on Price. One of the lone Hawks bright spots.

-Carey Price made a pretty damn nice glove save on a wide open Duncan Keith, high in the Habs slot.. Price was spot on.

-Speaking of Keith, his pass to none other than the open bench door led to the Habs open net goal that iced the game.

-Raanta was alright on the night. He made 16 of 18 saves, and could have had better numbers if Rozsival was taken out back and shot between the second and third periods.

-When you out shoot a team 32-18, you NEED to win that game. Whatever, preseason.

-Shaw and Bickell were two of the best Blackhawks. Shaw had six shots, three hits and a goal. Bickell had three shots and three hits. It didn't show on the scoresheet but he had to really nice chances and could have easily had two goals.

-Jeremy Morin is Brandon Pirri. The only one to play less, last night, was Anus P Manshitter. Morin will be playing somewhere else, probably Florida, in the near future. It is another one of these, "get better through osmosis, not reps" Dr. Lineblender projects. If you don't have glaring natural talent, the Blackhawks won't help develop you at the NHL level. Just sit on the bench and play meaningless minutes until Bowman can finally unload you to Dale Tallon.

Pirri

Hayes

Olsen

next up, Jeremy Morin.

-Toews and Kruger were dominant at the dots, but Richards and Shaw got worked over heavily. In the end the Blackhawks still came out ahead, but there can't be that much variation.

Highlights, if you want to call them such:
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