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.


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