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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