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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



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.


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



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.


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



Friday, November 21, 2014

Blackhawks - Calgary 4-3 win recap

Circus World

Show of hands if you had Adam Clendening scoring on his second shift, on the power play, in his first NHL game. Alright liars, put your hands down.

However unlikely of a scenario that was, that's the way the Blackhawks got their annual "circus trip" started in Calgary. Clendening got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first, and later on in the 1st period, another unsuspecting Blackhawk continued the scoring. A hard working shift by the "4th line" resulted in Gorilla Salad giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead. After that, the sloppy, careless play of the Blackhawks took over, and they yielded 2 power play goals to the Flames to end the 1st period tied at 2.

Just past the midway point of the 2nd period, Brent Seabrook fired the puck past Jonas Hiller to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead. That lead however, was short lived, as the Flames managed to tie it up at 3 just under 2 minutes later.

Its well documented on my feelings on a goalie that plays the puck. I believe they should stay in the damn net. Well Jonas Hiller backed up my opinion by coughing up the puck to Patrick Kane, and Kane made him pay. Kane's goal put the Hawks up for good, and in the end got the circus trip started off on the right foot with a 4-3 win.

The Great

- Thank the good Lord that Brandon Bollig didn't score

The Good

- It was nice to see Adam Clendening score in his 1st NHL game. Way to set the bar high, and become the newest star in the meatball world.
- The hard work of the "4th line" paid off on the Hawks 2nd goal. Dirty work along the boards resulted in a turnover, and Gorilla Salad of all people scoring a goal. That's the kind of effort you want to see out of the grinder line.
- Patrick Kane's first game as a 26 year old was stellar. His steal resulted in the game winning goal, and he also had a sweet centering pass to Seabrook on the Hawks 3rd goal.
- The power play was 1 of 2 on the night. For a change, I'll take that.

The Bad

- Once again the "physicality" of the Blackhawks showed. I am big proponent of the stat of hits in the game, and the Hawks were outhit 15-4. Time to toughen up, and throw the body around when needed.
- Duncan Keith and Brad Richards defensive "positioning"  on the Flames 3rd goal was horrendous. Nothing like being mesmerized by the puck guys.

The Ugly

- Anytime you take five straight penalties in a game, you deserve to lose. Luckily for the Hawks they were able to get away with this tonight.
- Ladislav Smid was a solid -3 on the night. I remember actually wanting the Hawks to take a run at him at the trade deadline a few years ago. See we're not perfect or experts.
- This wasn't one of Niklas Hjalmarsson's strongest games, as he took 2 penalties.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 15

Gatekeeper and Pat discuss the Blackhawks recent roster moves, the terrible Winter Classic jerseys, the injuries to TVR and Sharp, the Quenneville Lineblender, and the lead up to the circus trip.

Also, discussed is the various league news.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
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 15 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blackhawks - Stars 6-2 Win Recap

One For The Road

It seems like every night there's a different milestone ceremony at The UC. Tonight, that honor belonged to Brad Richards as he celebrated his 1,000th NHL game. Kudos Brad, you're living proof that slow skaters can make it in the NHL. In seriousness, congratulations, well earned.

It seemed as if we were going to see a throwback 10-9 slugfest as the scoring got started early and often. Duncan Keith opened the scoring just over a minute into the game, giving the Blackhawks an early 1-0 lead. Dallas answered back with 2 goals of their own, in just under a minute, to take a 2-1 lead. Brent Seabrook kept the defenseman scoring going for the Hawks, as he tied the game at 2 with a power play goal (I could get used to saying that) just after the midway point of the first.

With no scoring in the 2nd period, the game headed into the 3rd period still tied. Then the Blackhawks finally woke up, and tore the game open by scoring 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd period, for the 6-2 win. The 3rd period scoring was lead by; Kane, Toews, Versteeg, and Saad.

This was a nice win against a division opponent, in the final home game before the Circus Trip. Hopefully the Blackhawks can build some moment thru the road trip.

The Good

- Aside for the mental lapse in the 1st period, the Hawks played a complete game. This is the kind of response I want to see after Friday's embarrassing performance.
- We've been hard on Andrew Shaw this year, and rightfully so, but thank you for finally fighting that dickbag Antoine Roussel.
- 47 shots, 6 goals. That's what you're supposed to see, not 49 shots, 1 goal. Great to see the Blackhawks find the back of the net.
- In the 6 goal theme, it was also nice to see the scoring spread around to 6 different Hawks. A nice balanced attack.

The Bad

- Screw it, I really didn't see too much bad tonight, except for the aforementioned 1st period lapse. I'm not going to nitpick. Enjoy the win.

The Ugly

- TVR left the game in the 1st period and didn't return. Afterwards, Coach Q said TVR would be out for awhile. In other words, fire up the Rockford Shuttle for a defenseman.
- New punching bag, Bryan Bickell managed under 9 minutes of ice time. When Versteeg doubles your ice time, you know you've hit a new low. How much longer until we seriously start considering giving Bickell the Rene Bourque treatment?


Friday, November 14, 2014

Blackhawks - Red Wings 4-1 Loss Recap

Motor City Meltdown

That wasn't just the look of Joel Quenneville during and after the game, it was also the look that Blackhawks' fans had after the shellacking they took in Detroit on Friday night.

The scoring got started early in the 1st period as, Kris Versteeg reverted back to his old self, and centered a pass from along to boards to a wide open Drew Miller, and Luke Glendening hammered home the rebound to give the Wings a 1-0 lead. Versteeg's assist was rewarded with a seat on the bench for the remainder of the period. The Hawks were able to answer back with a power play goal (jump for joy) by Patrick Kane just past the midway part of the 1st period.

You could make an argument that the Blackhawks were lucky, and had no business being tied at 1 after the 1st period, but they were somehow. Whatever interest the Hawks had in playing during the 1st period, was long gone when the 2nd period began. Again, two turnovers in the center of the ice proved costly. This time Versteeg's "turnoveritis" infected Kane and Rundblad, thus giving the Wings a 3-1 lead after two.

While the Hawks outshot the Wings 10-6 in the 3rd period, it was too little, way too late. The Wings added an empty netter to seal a 4-1 win over their former division rival. (NBCSN this is type of matchup that should be on rivalry night, not random Eastern Conference teams to fill an early timeslot)

The Good

- Corey Crawford (when he wasn't being hung out to dry) along with TVR were the two most notable Hawks to me that had some level of interest in playing.
- The Hawks were lucky this game wasn't even more embarrassing with a final score of 7 or 8 to 1. They can thank their goalie for keeping it closer than it should have been.

The Bad

- Why the hell did Duncan Keith get over 27 minutes of ice time in this beat down?

The Ugly

- Turnovers. A trio of turnovers by Versteeg, Kane, and Rundblad were brutal to say the least. Its not complicated, never throw a lazy pass to the open ice. Maybe Q and the coaching staff should find something other than clown faces to draw on the dry erase board.
- In keeping with the turnover theme, both Kane and Versteeg were a well earned -3 on the night. But the highlight may have been Versteeg just standing along the boards like an ass clown after he turned the puck over.
- Steve Konroyd's analysis is awful. He is the ultimate homer. Yes, the goalie interference call on Shaw was bad, but if you really think that would have changed the outcome of the game, you need to have your head examined.
- I love hearing Coach Q say he wants "consistency" on the ice. Well how the hell are they supposed to develop chemistry and consistency with the coaching decisions that are being made? The only thing that is consistent on the Blackhawks is the constant and unnecessary line shuffling that goes on.
- Seriously, what the hell was that, that I just wasted my time watching? That was pathetic.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blackhawks vs Lightning
3-2 Shootout Win Recap

"Mouth For War"

After a weird day in Chicago, with the temperature dropping 30 degrees and the legendary Turano Bakery exploding into a ball of flames, the Blackhawks hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning for a frosty November tilt. The Bolts came in as one of the hotter teams in the NHL, and the Blackhawks could be best described as tepid.

The Blackhawks first period should have very well been at least 1-0 in their favor, but the Lightning took advantage of another poor Hawks line decision, and held a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes.

The second period was more successful for the Blackhawks. While they only out shot Bolts 12-7, they were able to tie the game and take a 1-1 tie into the third period.

THe Blackhawks came out and took a fast lead in the third period while getting out shot 11-7, but could not hold the lead. A late Lightning goal forced this game into extra time and, eventually, a shootout.

The Good

  • Despite the goal results, the Blackhawks outshot the Lightning in the first period 19-6, which is what we should be happy with. Shooting percentage is another story altogether
  • Halfway through the second period, Quenneville threw the defensive combination of Rozsival and Richards out on the powerplay, which might be the slowest combination ever imagined. Sure enough, Versteeg gets thrown into Bishop and Richards eventually gets a goal, which means Quenneville with beat us to death with his newest asinine Boggle combination. That said, the Blackhawks had tied the game. I suppose we were supposed to be happy about that.
  • Just a minute and a half into the third period and Marcus Kruger tipped a long Hjalmarsson shot past Bishop to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. The Blackhawks were due for a bounce and this was it.
  • Crawford rebounded from giving up the first shot of the game to save 28 of 29, including the shootout. By the way, this was priceless:
  • Even though he got the loss, Ben Bishop is the real deal. In the mold of a Pekka Rinne, I'm glad he is in the eastern conference.

The Bad
  • The second period rolled around and Quenneville pulled out the Lineblender once again. The Defense was Keith/TVR, Oduya/Seabrook, Hjalmarsson/Rozsival. Not only that, but Richards was right back on the fourth line, which means his promotion lasted all of 20 minutes. Shaw was moved back to the second pivot.
  • During two consecutive shifts, in the second period, Versteeg had 2-on-1 breaks with Toews and Kane. Both times he saucered the pass, and both should have been goals. Bishop robbed the Hawks on both plays, but I have to give Versteeg credit where it's due.
  • Johnny Oduya blocked a Jason Garrison slapshot just previous to the second Bolts goal, and didn't return. Just previous to overtime Oduya was seen heading to the locker room and angerly threw something down the hallway. Not a good sign.
  • The Blackhawks had 23 shot attempts blocked. Still an issue that needs to be addressed.

The Ugly
  • If there is one thing everyone agrees about, it's that Brad Richards and Brent Seabrook are a terrible second powerplay pairing on defense. The only person that can't see this is, of course, Joel Quenneville. Not 5 minutes into the game, the Blackhawks earned a powerplay, and sure enough Dr. Lineblender throws his horrible nag out there. Sure enough, Richards makes a terrible play at the Bolts blue line and gives up a 2-on-1...WHICH ends up in the back of the Blackhawks net. What a stupid stubborn asshole, Quenneville is. Maybe Crawford should have made the save, but there is no way that he should have been put in that position.
  • Late in the second period, after a play in front of Bishop, Jeremy Morin was slammed to the ice by JT Brown, and the only one to stick up for him was...Jeremy Morin. Bickell just stood there like Frankenstein staring at a flaming torch. Morin ended up in the box but drew the extra 2 minutes.
  • Ben Smith got one of the worst goaltender interference penalties I have ever seen. He bumped Bishop just outside the crease and Bishop just gave him the Rock Bottom.
  • Halfway through the third period the Blackhawks misfortunes started when Johnny Oduya blocked a shot. The Lightning pinned the Hawks deep in their zone, and a Deuce clearing attempt took a bad bounce off the official. All these circumstances totaled one thing, a Lightning goal. Nikita Kucherov took a Drouin pass on the back door and tied the game.
  • I'm pretty sure that I've come to the end of my time as Bryan Bickell apologist. I watched him let a smaller teammate get pounded right in front of him, and then later he basically did a fly-by rather than actually doing a quick stop and fighting for the puck. I can't defend that. It's lazy and worthless.
  • Fourth line wingers Regin and Morin played under 14 minutes total. I guess rolling 3 lines is part of "the plan". Can't wait for March, when all those well rested forwards will still be stapled to the bench, and Marian Hossa can barely stand up. Lets hear it for blind faith!

The Shootout
  • Callahan ran out of room
  • Toews stopped by Bishop'spad
  • Crawford closed the 5-hole on Kucherov
  • Kane backhand top shelfer
  • Crawford stops Stamkos

The Lineblender


van Reimsdyk-Roszival


Puckin' Poll: Possible Roadwatch Dates

This is where we ask for some help from you fans. Pat and I are trying to get ideas for a possible road watch. The first three choices are preferred, but I added a couple of additional dates as choices. PLEASE vote, your opinion counts.

What dates are best for a Road Watch?
Sun 2/8 vs Blues
Sun 3/29 vs Jets
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blackhawks vs. Sharks
5-2 Win Recap

"Who We Are"

After a pretty lackluster loss to the Capitals on Friday night, the Blackhawks welcomed the San Jose Sharks into the House of Ill Repute Sunday night. The Sharks came in on a bit of a down slide, after starting the season off red hot, but also have a 6-2-2 road record. The Blackhawks weren't much better, with a 4-5-1 record coming into the game. The Sharks PP came in at 26% but their PK was a pretty paltry 80%. This could be the key to the game, as the Sharks also take almost 13 minutes in penalties a game. This was the ass end of a back to back for the Sharks, which means they should be ripe for the picking.

The first period was like the wild west. There was wide open play, mistakes and plenty of goals. When all was sad and done, the Blackhawks had 3 goals on 20 shots, while the Sharks had a goal of their own on 9 shots.

As happens often, the second period was quite the different story. The Blackhawks were out shot 13-6 and thanks to a four minutes Sharks powerplay, outscored 1-0. This mean that the Blackhawks, who seemed to be in control early, had to nurse a third period one goal lead.

Even though the Blackhawks won the third period, on the score sheet, the Sharks had a majority of the chances. The Blackhawks were able to score a fourth goal, and a fifth empty netter to sent the Sharks away losers. Next up, the Lightning on Tuesday.

The Good

  • With eight minutes left in the first period Trevor van Riemsdyk wound up on a Toews faceoff win and blew it past Niemi for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead. The play looked innocent and Niemi should have made the stop. The Hawks and TVR will take it.
  • Roughly two minutes after the TVR goal, the Blackhawks were swarming the net and the puck worked it's way around to Seabrook, who blew a one timer past an awkwardly sliding Niemi.
  • Twenty four seconds after the Seabrook goal, Nik Hjalmarsson snuck right up the gut, taking a feed from Marian Hossa, and used a screen to surgically dissected Niemi. At this point I was sure that Niemi was getting pulled, but it was not so.
  • With under 5 minutes remaining in the third period, Bryan Bickell dragged Mirco Müller around the Sharks zone for a bit like a pesky knat. Once Bickell cleared the net, Bickell spun around and snapped a shot over Niemi
  • With the Sharks pulling the goalie Patrick Roy style, Jonathan Toews said "Thank you very much", and deposited it into the open cage. Sharks defenseman Marc-Édouard Vlasic had been taking shots at Versteeg previous to the goal and Versteeg decided to throw some hooks at Vlasic following the horn.
  • The Blackhawks won the battle of the draws, winning 52%, even though Ben Smith was worked over. Joe Pavelski won only 1 of 7.

The Bad

  • Early in the first period, Versteeg had to primo chances and thought one actually went in, but after the play, the replay showed that the puck hit the post.
  • Shortly after the Hjalmarsson goal, Joe Pavelski slickly redirected a Braun shot past Crawford, to break the Blackhawks momentum. It was briefly reviewed, but it was pretty clear to everyone that the goal was a good one. Nothing Crawford could really do to stop it.
  • While these lines worked for a game, this is a short term solution. These combinations cannot say together long term.

The Ugly

  • Niemi looked really uncomfortable for the entire first period. He was tracking the puck awkwardly, and just reacting very strangly overall.
  • Great googly moogly, Adam Burish is still apparently skulking around the league. Worthless.
  • Not even 2 minutes into a Blackhawks four minutes PK, thanks to a careless Adrew Shaw high stick, the Sharks found Joe Pavelski on the back door and he beat a moving Corey Crawford to cut the Blackhawks lead in half.
  • In a RARE Jonathan Toews blue line turnover, the Sharks Goodrow ended up with a breakaway about halfway through the second period, and Crawford made the stop.
  • The end of the game turned into a sloppy meatball festival, with penalties left and right. Thirty minutes in penalties in the final two minutes of the game, including 2 fights.

The Lineblender


Keith-van Reimsdyk


Friday, November 7, 2014

Capitals 3 - Blackhawks 2 Loss Recap

Catfish (The) Hunter

Heading into Friday's game with the Capitals, most of the talk had been centered around this game being a Winter Classic preview. However, the main focus should have been around the Capitals and their new coach, but not new to the Blackhawks, Barry Trotz. Once again Trotz's coaching style managed to frustrate the Blackhawks, with the Capitals taking a 3-2 win in Chicago.

The game started off with no flow, as numerous whistles dominated the opening minutes. Shortly after the sluggish start, the Blackhawks dominated the play, as Brandon Saad got the scoring started late in the 1st period.

Early in the 2nd period, the Blackhawks continued their dominate play, with Duncan Keith adding a tally while on the power play. Yes, you heard correct, on the power play. However as dominate the Blackhawks were, they decided to take their foot off the gas with 5 minutes remaining in the 2nd. A bad pinch by Brent Seabrook, led to a Capitals 2 on 1, and Andre Burakovsky cutting the lead in half. Then in the final minute of the period, the Capitals managed to score 2 goals in 42 seconds to end the period. Despite outplaying the Capitals for the first 35 minutes of the game, the Blackhawks found themselves trailing after 2.

From then on the Catfish's coaching tactics took over. Yes, the Blackhawks managed to pepper the net in the 3rd, but a lot of those shots were one and done opportunities. Braden Holtby stopped all 13 shots he faced in the 3rd, en route to the 3-2 win.

The Good

- The first 35 minutes of the game, the Blackhawks were on another level compared to the Capitals, giving us a sample of the team we are used to seeing
- Peter Regin had a nice game for someone just being called up from Rock Vegas
- Broken record, but Andrew Shaw continues to go to the front of the net, now if only the rest of the team would realize how this works.

The Bad

- The power play was 1 of 3 on the night. Baby steps people, baby steps.
- Once again the Hawks registered 40 shots, but only found the back of the net twice.
- In keeping with the shot theme, the Hawks had 18 shots blocked. Time to start skating and finding the open shooting lanes.

The Ugly

- Allowing a goal in the final minute of a period is never a good thing. Allowing 2 (1 of which was in the final 5 seconds) is a recipe for disaster, and in my opinion should get you a loss. Hockey is a 60 minute game. The Hawks need to realize that.
- Brent Seabrook had an awful game. A bad pinch by him led to the 1st Capitals goal, and the 2nd Capitals goal was redirected off of his stick. Hey, we're all bound to have a bad game every now and then.
- The Blackhawks had 9 giveaways. Time to start taking a little bit better care with the puck.
- Seeing Troy Brouwer back at the UC.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Who Replaces Sharp?

I'm The One

Now that we have all now gotten over the honeymoon of last night's 5-0 shutout win, the hangover begins. That hangover consists, mainly, of the absence of Patrick Sharp. Sharp took an awkward knee to knee hit in the corner, late in last nights win, and could not get up under his own power. All signs point to Sharp being out of action for at least a few weeks, possibly more. With this injury, as well as the Gorilla Salad injury, the Blackhawks are spreading themselves a little thin. The next logical move would be to put one of those players, specifically Sharp, on IR and bring up a kid to play. Here are some suggestions of just who that may be, listed from least likely to most:

Garrett Ross - He would be the nuclear option. He's played well, but his game would cause far too much chaos in Lineblender's world. He's a version of Andrew Shaw, if you can imagine TWO of those players on the same team. If they bring a player up, Q will want a versatile player that he knows he can trust. Ross is not that player, at this point. He is waiver exempt and could be moved up and down freely.

Teuvo Teravainen - One word, no. Not because he can't handle it, and not because he isn't ready. Because we have become accustomed to Quenneville's moves. They do not want to shuffle him up and down to play 4th line minutes, at this point in his development. When he makes his debut, it's been made very clear that he is not going back to Rockford. At this piont in time, they aren't ready to make that move. If Sharp is out for longer than, say, six weeks, you might have an argument. As of this moment that is not the case. He is waiver exempt and could be moved up and down freely.

Matt Carey - Carey has become a nice surprise after the Leblanc debacle. He had a good camp and is currently right behind Teravainen on the score sheet, but he is also the most expensive player not on the Blackhawks roster. Money will certainly be an issue. He is waiver exempt and could be moved up and down freely.

Peter Regin - I put Regin here not because he isn't the most qualified, but because he is not completely waiver exempt and the Blackhawks would have to put him through the waiver process, after 10 NHL games, if they wanted to move him back down. He is tied for the team lead with McNeill in scoring. If they only need a player for 8 games, sure, he would probably be perfect.

Mark McNeill - This guy is a big Bickell type, that has better hands and talent. He just needed to catch up mentally. Judging by his preseason and first 10 games in Rockford, he has taken that next leap. He currently leads the Icehogs in scoring with five goals, and 5 assists. This would be a nice option, but Quenneville tends to lean away from players that have no NHL experience, if he has a choice.

Philip Danault - Had a great preseason, which left some to wonder if he would make the team out of camp. He currently has two goals and six assists in Rockford, and is one of the leaders of the team. Given his solid two way game and ability to play the penalty kill, I would list him as the 2nd most likely player.

Joakim Nordstrom - This is the player I would bet on. Quenneville trusts him, he is highly respected at both levels, and can play anywhere. Not only this, but he might be the most cost effective option, as well. He is waiver exempt, and has a history with Quenneville. I have been wrong plenty, but this makes so much sense to me.


Blackhawks at Montreal
5-0 Shutout Win Recap

"New Pain"

The Blackhawks traveled to legendary Montreal, Tuesday night, for a tilt against the Habs. The Habs had been one of the hotter teams in the league at 8-3-1, and boasted one of the hotter goalies in the league. This didn't necessarily set up a warm and fuzzy for the Blackhawks.

The Habs came out with noticeably more energy than the Blackhawks in the first period, out shoooting the visitors 11-5. This would have been all peachy for the Home team if they weren't down going into the first intermission. Things certainly didn't get any better from there, as far as the Habs go.

The Blackhawks woke up in the second period and didn't look back. They led in shots 17-8, and scored the second goal of the game which then brought us to third period.

Our mighty Blackhawks opened up the game and applied boot pressure to the throats of the Habs, in the third period. They scored three goals, while out shooting the Habs 10-9 and holding on to that elusive shutout. Good on all accounts but the injury front, which we'll discuss later.

The Good

  • Even though they were out shot early, the Blackhawks powerplay grabbed a 1-0 lead, just over halfway through the first period. El Capitan tipped a long Deuce shot past a helpless Carey Price, and it looked as though all the stars were aligning in Montreal. Glad to see Tazer heating up because they will need it. Drive to the front of the net; goal. Not a hard concept.
  • Almost exactly half way through the second period three very unlikely characters aligned in a justice league of whipping boys, to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Kris Versteeg banked a pass from the corner off Markov, and over Price, for a pretty fluky goal from Bickell and Rundblad. Still looks to me like the pass hit Kruger, but what do I know? Total garbage goal, but anything to increase Versteeg's value.
  • Brad Richards scored his second Blackhawks goal, shortly into the third period, which then opened the flood gates. All he did was, again, drive to the net and tip a Sharp shot puck past Price. Nothing pretty, but certainly effective.
  • Heading into the home stretch, Patrick Kane joined the fun, showing a little chemistry with his BFF, Jonny Toews. They weaved through the Habs zone while Ben Smith, wait for it; drove to the net. That opened up the slot for Kane, and El Capitan hit him on the tape for a pretty redirect.
  • To finish the scoring, the unusual suspects of #DammitVersteeg, Ronnie Pickle and Strongbad struck again. This was another flukey goal, as well. Versteeg and Bickell worked the weave, similar to the Toews/Kane goal, but this time the shot went wide. A clearly aggravated Price over pursued and got dragged entirely out of the crease. Bickell dug the puck out from behind the net and Versteeg hit the gaping net. This was not a slam dunk by any means, because Versteeg and "missed open net" are almost as synonymous as Stalberg and "can't finish".
  • David Rundblad wasn't noticeable, which means he wasn't abhorrently terrible. So, hey, one point for him.
  • Faceoffs were split right down the middle, which we will call a win for the Hawks, because they were the road team. If it weren't for Brad Richards getting mushroom stamped (1 of 10), the Hawks would have been golden.

The Bad

  • The new stat to watch is attempts blocked. The Hawks had 24 blocked. This cannot continue. If we can see this from watching on TV and seeing the stat line, the coaching staff has to realize this.
  • Bourque, Subban, Markov and Eller were all -3 for the Canadiens. WOOF!
  • According to the stat line, Hoss had a rough night. Four PIMs, no points, not on the ice for any goals, two missed shots. No worries.

The Ugly

The Lineblender


van Reimsdyk-Rundblad


Monday, November 3, 2014

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 14

Gatekeeper and Pat discuss the Blackhawks recent power outage, their losing streak, the terrible powerplay, the goaltender head scratching, questionable coaching moves, league suspensions, Gordie Howe, and even sprinkle in a Cubs tirade to finish off the night.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
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 14 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Former Blackhawks 1 - Blackhawks 0 Loss Recap

Stuck On The Runway

Who would have thought the most exciting thing to happen on this Sunday night would be some guy walking on a tightrope across two buildings in Chicago. Well if you happened to watch the Blackhawks game against the Jets tonight, you'd agree with that statement.

The Blackhawks faced their division foe, the Winnipeg Jets, completing the second game of a back-to-back weekend of games. Much like their game Saturday in Toronto, the Blackhawks once again found themselves frustrated and on the losing end.

Former Blackhawk, Michael Frolik, found the back of the net just 20 seconds into the game, but that was all the offense the Jets needed. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson stopped all 33 of the Blackhawks shots, en route to the shutout.

It was hard to find someone other than Corey Crawford that had a good night for the Blackhawks. Crawford was able to stop 26 of the 27 shots he faced. Other than throwing random pucks at the net with no Blackhawks in front of the net, it was a pretty ho hum game on the offensive side. There was no real great scoring chance by the Blackhawks.

The Good
- The shitshow of a game only took just over two and a half hours. Any longer and I'm pretty sure this game would have set the game of hockey for years.
- Corey Crawford kept the uninterested Blackhawks in the game, which they clearly didn't want to be apart of
- Still trying to find out what else I could find that was good tonight for the Slackhawks

The Bad
- Once again, the Blackhawks made a backup goalie look like an All Star
- I'm skipping the rest and going right to the ugly part

The Ugly
- David Rundblad sucks. End of story. How Stan Bowman felt the need to give up a 2nd round draft pick is beyond me. It appears to me that he's become the defenseman version of Viktor Stalberg.
- The constant line shuffling has gotten old, and tiresome. Its hard to build offensive chemistry when your lines are always changing. And anyone who thinks bringing up Teuvo will help is wrong. This kind of coaching will only hurt his development.
- Bryan Bickell barely broke a sweat tonight, playing just 7:21. You mean to tell me that letting him walk and using that $4 million in cap space couldn't be useful somewhere else? (See second line center) This is why you don't listen to your meatball contingent and fall in love with your roster Stan.
- 19 giveaways, hang on I need to put my eyes back in my head because I ripped them out about halfway through the game.
- Power play was back to it useless self, going 0-2
- Winnipeg blocked 30 shots by the Blackhawks. Good job of moving the puck into shooting lanes guys.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blackhawks at Toronto
3-2 Loss Recap

The James Gang

The Blackhawks were in the middle of another feel good media story, Saturday night, when they visited Toronto to face the Leafs. Trevor van Riemsdyk faced brother, James, for the first time in the NHL, which was the subject of every interview before the game. To make the story of the game a little thicker, James was facing the one player that was selected #1 before him in the 2007 draft; another American born player named Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks clearly made the right choice.

On to the game, the the First period was a little sloppy and no without scoring. Each team managed a goal, while each team had 10 shots on net. The Blackhawks didn't quite have the jump or the advantage one might expect against a team that was playing an early game on the ass end of a back to back.

The second period was basically identical to the first with both teams scoring goals. The Blackhawks out shot the Leafs by a single shot, 11-10, which set up the two clubs for a tight third period.

The third period was all Blackhawks, except for goals. They out shot the Leafs 26-7 for the last twenty minutes but couldn't manage a goal, while the Leafs were able to score the game winner. Another goalie win against the Blackhawks.

The Good

  • Just moments into the game and Patrick Kane had set up TVR for a prime chance at his first goal, against his brother's team. The story would have been magnificent, but it was not to be.
  • About 2 minutes after the Kadri goal, Brad Richards took, what seemed like, 20 seconds that the Leafs PK team gave him as well as an 8 foot cushion and just blasted a clapper from the top of the circle by Reimer's blocker, tying the game up. Nothing fancy, but the job was accomplished. Did I mention it was on the powerplay?
  • With just under 5 minutes gone in the second period, the Blackhawks got a fortunate powerplay against Tyler Bozak. After a little fiddling around, Brent Seabrook got a pass in his wheelhouse and beat Reimer with a long clapper from the point.
The Bad

  • The game wasn't even three minutes old and the Blackhawks were already killing a terrible penalty call, against Bryan Bickell.
  • With about 5 minute left in the first period Nazem Kadri took advantage of what looked like an offsides play and ended up wide open on the back door. Andrew Shaw did his best to not help Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook, coasting back and tying absolutely no one up.
  • When all was said and done it was the James Gang, Reimer and van Riemsdyk, that were the downfall of the Blackhawks.
The Ugly

  • Just 64 seconds after Seabrook took the lead for the Hawks, Johnny Oduya got stuck out on the ice with Roszival and played a full shift of suck by osmosis. Oduya sent a pass right to the tape of James van Riemsdyk who torched a surprised Crawford, to tie the game back up. That was just sloppy as hell.
  • Very late in second period, Nik Hjalmarsson took a deflected pass off the noggin which led to a lot of blood. He nly ended up missing one shift, like the warrior he has turned out to be. As if his night wasn't bad enough, he took a shot on the PK thet left him limping off the ice.
  • Just over 2 minutes into the third period, the Blackhawks got caught being lackadaisical deep in their own zone. Oduya was knocked off the puck behind the net and it was passed out to a wide open Holland in the slot. The bad puck control aside, Crawford should have stopped the shot. He got a piece of it, but it dribbled into the net.
  • Just a few games previous, Andrew Shaw was called for embellishment. This game, Stephane Robidais took a brutal dive to cancel out a Blackhawks powerplay, and no call.
The Lineblender


van Reimsdyk-Roszival


Shoutcast Player


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