Friday, February 6, 2015

Blackhawks at Jets
2-1 OT Win Recap

Battle Of Struggles

by Patrick Stankus

On Friday night the Blackhawks continued their Ice Show trip in the frozen tundra that is Winnipeg. It featured a battle between two teams that have been struggling of late, both on and off the ice (at least in the Jets case.) We'll save the Evander Kane talk for the next shoutcast, but can someone please tell me why Blackhawks fans care so much about how Winnipeg disciplines their players? Ok, enough, onto the game.

While I always look forward to games in Winnipeg, I was especially looking forward to this one, as it marked the return of Gorilla Salad to the lineup. As expected, Salad was challenged to a fight early on by Chris Thorburn. I have to credit Salad, he didn't back down like a coward (cough, cough, Matt Cooke) and fought Thorburn as a sort of retribution for his dirty cross check to Mathieu Perreault the last time these two teams faced off. As for the scoreboard, oh boy, not much there. Winnipeg managed to open the scoring after a turnover by Rundblad led to a loose puck bouncing off an official and Mark Scheifele giving the Jets a 1-0 lead after one.

The second period wasn't much more entertaining. Patrick Kane was able to solve former INXS singer Michael Hutchinson, or in this case former AHL St. John's IceCaps goalie Michael Hutchinson, on a sweet backhand to tie the game at one. That early tally by Kane would be the only one of the period, but Corey Crawford did make a huge save on a HUGE human named Dustin Byfuglien to keep the game tied.

As for the third period, you'll have to forgive, it was absolutely boring. Combine that with a lack of sleep and Steve Konroyd's voice, and I have found a cure for my insomnia. Hell yeah. Oh, as for the game, it ended up going to overtime tied at one.

The overtime frame featured a few chances for the Jets, all of which failed to end the game. Finally Patrick Kane found the puck, and Brandon Saad cleaned it up for Kane, which gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 win over the Jets. So now as we all pat each other on the back because all is right with Blackhawks since they beat a fellow struggling team, just keep in mind St. Louis was embarrassed tonight in Columbus, so enjoy this win while you can. Side note, because the Blackhawks won, this cost me another 12 pack of beer. Its pretty clear I need to stop betting with the Capitals fan at work.

The Good
- The win marked the 300th win as coach of the Blackhawks for Joel Quenneville. I think Savard would have accomplished this feat too. That zing was courtesy of Nick Leddy for giving him the hometown healthy scratch last year. How's it feel have someone shit on your parade?
- Pop the champagne, the Blackhawks beat Michael Hutchinson
- Patrick Kane was fantastic tonight. Again, sometimes you need your star players to step up, and Kane is showing some leadership qualities here.
- Michal Rozsival had an assist. I shit you not. I know, I'm stunned too. It doesn't change my opinion of him, but I thought it would be good to give him a night off of the being in the The Bad or Ugly category.
- Corey Crawford made some big saves to keep the game in reach for the Hawks, and finished with 20 saves on 21 shots.

The Bad
- For awhile it was looking like the Toyota Jan commercials were going to be more entertaining than this game. Yes folks it was that boring.
- It'd be nice if the Blackhawks could avoid some hits from time to time. The Jets out hit the Hawks 41-16. Mark my words, these hits are going to add up come playoff time.

The Ugly
- Thanks to Mr. "I'm the greatest coach ever" and his fancy coaching decisions, Adequate Rundblad played a whopping 3:50 tonight. That's a fucking joke. Yes, Rundblad had a turnover, a turnover caused by a hit. It wasn't a bad blind pass like Kris Versteeg is famous for. So if someone can explain to me how rolling with 5 defensemen, 3 of which are NHL caliber defensemen, is what's best for a struggling team, then I'm all ears. Don't give me the "they still won the game shit" because that is all bullshit in the end. You damn well know what I'm talking about.
- As in the case of Gatekeeper's recap of the Sharks game, this recap has gone on way too long. See you after the St. Louis game on Sunday morning. Sounds like that one will be fun.


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