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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