Friday, February 20, 2015

Blackhawks vs Avalanche
4-1 Loss Recap

Highway To Hell
by Patrick Stankus

The sixth game of the Blackhawks current eight game home stretch featured a visit from Central Division foe, the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks looked to continue their point streak, a streak in which you can argue the Hawks have given away more points during that stretch. (See the final paragraph for more.) With that in mind, there was a game to be played, so its onto the recap.

The first period was one dominated by sloppy play by the Blackhawks. Their passing was off throughout the period. Despite that, they did have some decent opportunities to put one past Varlamov, but failed to do so. The sloppy play was evident in their own zone, as they failed not once, but twice to clear the puck in one shift. It was that second clearing attempt up the center of the ice by Brent Seabrook, that was picked off by Tyson Barrie, and he fired a wrister that beat Corey Crawford to give the Avs a 1-0 lead. That's how the score would stay after the first period.

As the second period began, the Blackhawks changed their approach and became a little more selfish when it came to taking the open shot, instead of making the infamous extra pass. It was evident in the shot total of the period, as the Hawks out shot the Avs 12-7. Just before the midway point of the game, a Kris Versteeg shot found it past Varlamov to tie the game at one, and would stay that way after 40 minutes.

To say the third period went to hell in a hand basket would be an understatement of great proportions. The Hawks and Avs were tied until a little after the midway point of the period. That's when all hell broke loose. Both Sharp and Hjalmarsson would be whistled for separate interference calls at the 10:44 mark, and low and behold, the Avs would cash in on the 5 on 3, and then the ensuing 5 on 4, and basically put the game away. To add salt to the wound, Corey Crawford would allow a dump in puck to beat him and see the Avs hand the Blackhawks an embarrassing 4-1 loss on home ice. So following this loss, can we stop raving about how the Hawks were fine because they had been accumulating points during this home stand? These are missed opportunities, in what have been winnable games.

The Good
  • Nothing to see here, lets move along
    The Bad
    • Kris Versteeg lands in this category as a split the difference. Good; he scored the loan Blackhawks goal. Ugly; His front Chiclets are slightly chipped after taking a stick to mouth. As someone who knows what a bitch dental work can be, I feel your pain Versteeg.
    The Ugly
    • The Hawks were dominated at the faceoff dot. In the end it was closer than it should have been, 31 to 25.
    • Fire up the broken record machine, the power play was 0 for 2 and looked completely out of sorts.
    • On the Avs first goal, the Hawks failed to clear the puck two times. The second of which saw Seabrook throw a lazy pass up the middle of the ice, only to be picked off by Tyson Barrie, and the puck ended up in the back of the net.
    • Speaking of turnovers, wasn't it nice to see the two by Keith and Kane on the power play early in the 2nd period?
    • The penalty kill was assigned the tough task of killing off two simultaneous penalties in the third. Of course, the Avs would cash in on both, just 24 seconds apart.
    • As good as Keith and Seabrook can be, tonight they were simply awful. Everyone has games like this, but to see both of them to play this awful was tough on the eyes.
    • After a performance like this, I fear we just may see Gorilla Salad on Sunday, to "add a little spark to the lineup." In other words, expect a day of Salad until he takes a major penalty that results in a suspension.
    • And finally to Corey Crawford; Vesa Toskala called, he said nice goal you allowed in the third period.
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