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Monday, March 30, 2015

Blackhawks vs LA Kings
4-1 Win Recap

"We All Bleed Red"

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks had the second game of a back-to-back Monday night against the LA kings back at the United Center. This was a pretty important game for both teams, with the Blackhawks trying to hold onto their third place spot, and the Kings just trying to make the playoffs. The Hawks could help keep the Kings out with a regulation win, as well as help their own situation.

The Blackhawks and Kings went into the first intermission tied at 1, with the Hawks scoring in the first five minutes and the Kings in the final minute. The action went back and forth pretty evenly all period, but the Blackhawks led the shot count 16-10.

The Blackhawks came out of the first intermission on fire. They scored 2 quick goals, and could have easily had 2 more, all in the first 5 minutes. Eventually, the Blackhawks cooled off, and the Kings were about to tie the Blackhawks in shots 13-13.

The third period, had both teams letting off the gas some, with the Blackhawks pretty much icing the game with about 7 minutes remaining and out shooting the Kings 13-9. When the final horn blew, it was a convincing 4-1 Blackhawks win.

The Good
  • Five minutes into the first period, following a delayed penalty call on Mike Richards for running Andrew Shaw from behind, new WWE Heavyweight Champion Brandon Saad carried the puck from behind he net, and circled into the slot. He had enough reach to throw the puck at the net, and it deflected off Bickell's skate past Quick. 1-0 Blackhawks.
  • Just a minute and a half into the second period, the Blackhawks took the lead back. Duncan Keith was able to actually get a long point shot through and just miss Andrew Shaw, who was screening Quick. The puck had eyes and made it past Quick. 2-1 Blackhawks
  • Sixty four seconds after the Keith goal, and seconds after Patrick Sharp hit the crossbar, Nik Hjalmarsson kept a Kings clearing attempt in the zone and walking to the top of the circle and beat Quick for another Blackhawks goal.
  • Less than a minute after the Hjalmarsson goal, Teravainen just missed making it 4-1 with a break-a-way chance.
  • With about 7 minutes remaining, Hossa put on a show. He stole the puck at the Kings blue line, came in 1-on-5 and sniped Quick for a 4-1 Blackhawks lead.
  • One soft goal aside, Scott Darling was really solid as hell in net. He saved 31 of 32, which is exactly what the Hawks needed.
  • Hjalmarsson and Oduya were each plus 3. More of this, please.
  • This might be the best game we've seen out of Johnny Oduya all year.
  • The way Brandon Saad has been laying must make Stan Bowman's tighten up more each day. He's going to have to pay out the wazoo for this kid, and he would be worth it.
  • I know I might be in the minority, but I was pretty stoked to see Former WWE Champ CM Punk shoot the puck between periods. Sue me.
The Bad
  • Late in the first period, Brandon Saad was sandwiched by Drew Doughty and Kyle Clifford. He went down hard and got up slow, eventually going to the locker room.
  • I still can't say I've noticed Timonen out there.

The Ugly
  • Teravainen starting on the 4th line is NEVER good; so that's exactly what Quenneville did. To make matters worse, Andrew Shaw was back at fucking center. It doesn't matter what the score ends up being. It's a stupid lineup.
  • The Kings tied the game with under a minute remaining in the first period. Jake Muzzin threw the puck at the net from the half boards, and it just snuck through Darling and into the net.
The Lineblender
Versteeg-Toews-Hossa
Sharp-Richards-Vermette
Bickell-Shaw-Saad
Desjardins-Kruger-Tervainen

Keith-Rozsival
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Seabrook-Timonen


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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blackhawks at Winnipeg
4-3 Win Recap

Late Arrival
by Patrick Stankus

After an embarrassing effort at home on Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blackhawks traveled north of the border to Winnipeg on Sunday night for the beginning stage of games in back to back nights. Since the Hawks last left the ice on Friday night, they were surpassed in the Central Division by the Minnesota Wild, and now find themselves in the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference. To say this was a big two points on the line against a team that is only four points behind them in the wild card spot is an understatement.

Much like the game on Friday night, the Hawks came out slow and the Jets had the Hawks on their heels for the first 15 minutes of the game. A couple of huge saves by Crawford kept the Jets off the scoreboard while the Hawks were still awaking. Late in the period, Andrew Shaw drew a penalty, and subsequently scored on the ensuing power play to give the Hawks a 1-0 into the first intermission.

Unlike the first period, the second period in Winnipeg featured countless amounts of chances for both teams. The Hawks had a couple of 2 on 1s and 2 on 0s, but couldn't convert on neither. Meanwhile the Jets were able to capitalize on their opportunities. The one play that stood out was the Hawks forwards going for a change while the Jets were rushing the puck up the ice. As is always the case when it comes to bad changes, the puck wound up in the back of the net. In the end the Jets added 2 more goals, while the Hawks added one of their own. At the end of the penalty ridden second period, it was 3-2 in favor of the Jets.

The third period continued the trend throughout the game, featuring countless chances for both teams, and sloppy play. Patrick Sharp managed to seal the deal on a breakaway in the third to tie the game at three. The Blackhawks took two penalties in the third, including one late in the period, but were able to kill both of them off. Riding the momentum from the late kill the Hawks kept the puck deep in the Jets zone in the closing minutes. With 30 seconds to go Toews redirected a point shot from Hjalmarsson past Pavelec to give the Hawks the 4-3 lead, and that would wind up being the final.

The Good
- While people were busy bitching and moaning about the elbowing call on Hjalmarsson, the Hawks caught two breaks in the third period. 1, in which the ref anticipated Crawford freezing the puck, only to see Crawford never had it. And 2, Tobias Enstrom got tangled up with the linesman, resulting in Sharp getting a breakaway and shockingly scored on it.
-It can't be stressed enough, but to win this game in regulation was huge. They couldn't afford to give the Jets a point, nor would a shootout win be good if the standings are tied at the end of the season.
- Jonathan Toews is stepping up in the absence of Patrick Kane. It'd be nice of others followed suit.
- Yes, he yielded 3 goals, but Corey Crawford was huge in net for the Hawks tonight. He made a couple of saves that kept the Hawks in the game.

The Bad
- Why the fuck is Andrew Shaw playing center again? We all know how this is going to end.
- I'm all for Teravainen playing, but seeing him playing a fourth line role as a wing bothers me. Speaking of bothersome wing combos, seriously, again with Versteeg on the first line?
- Its not Crawford's fault that the defense, or forwards that went for a change hung him out to dry, but needless to say, Blake Wheeler faked him out of his jock on the Jets second goal.
- I was going to put Rozsival in the good category, but then we got his usual fuck up. This time it was courtesy of a late penalty in the third period.
- The Jets out shot the Hawks 34-24. It'd be nice if the defense could tighten up a little bit.

The Ugly
- Kimmo Timonen was absolutely awful in the first period. Its quite obvious he can't keep up with the speed and size in the Western Conference. He ended up with a team low 9:15 of ice time.
- What the fuck is Kris Versteeg doing killing penalties when Antoine Vermette is on the bench? Seriously, what the fuck?! Has Q not seen Vermette play before? What an asshole.
- You can't blame Q for a piss pore line change, but nevertheless, it was a piss pore line change on the power play that led to the Jets second goal.
- It was a rough night for the penalty kill as they allowed 2 power play goals.
- Great, Dustin Byfuglien had 2 goals for the Jets. Now we'll have to listen to all the meatballs say, "Hawks need Big Buff back."

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets
5-2 Loss Recap

Columbus Day
by Patrick Stankus

On Friday night the Blackhawks returned home to the UC to face the once division rival Columbus Blue Jackets. With the Minnesota Wild breathing down their neck, taking two points from a non playoff team was crucial. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the Jackets came ready to play, and caught the Hawks with their pants down.

Oh, how to sum up the start by the Blackhawks tonight. Words that come to mind are tire fire, train wreck, disaster, or, screw it, you should get the idea. The Hawks underestimated their opponent and they paid the price early and often in the first period. Despite goals by Saad and Toews, the Hawks yielded 4 goals to the Jackets, two of which were via the breakaway, and Q pulled Crawford to avoid the embarrassment that was sure to continue by the defense.

To say the Hawks were better in the second period isn't saying much considering how awful, just awful they were defensively in the first. With Lemont native Scott Darling in net, the Hawks found some energy, but couldn't solve Bobrovsky despite having 2 power plays. I know absolutely shocking the power play couldn't come through when needed. After two, the score remained 4-2 in favor of the Jackets.

The third period consisted of much of the same as the second period. The Hawks went 0 for 2 on the power play (sounds like a broken record), and couldn't get a puck past What About Bob. The only scoring in the period came by the way of an empty netter for the hat trick by Cam Atkinson. Yes folks it was that bad. Finally when the knife stopped twisting, the final ended up 5-2 in favor of the Jackets.

The Good
- Its hard to say there was anything positive tonight, but Johnny Oduya had a nice game. He had two assists, and was a +2 on the night along with Hjalmarsson. Considering the night the defense had, its shocking any of them had a night in the plus territory.
- While Crawford was not to blame for the debacle in the first period, he did get the hook, and Lemont native Scott Darling, came on in relief and stopped all 13 shots he faced. His highlight of the night was his save of a redirect off of Artem Anisimov's skate.
- For a change the Hawks won the battle at face off dot decisively 37-20.

The Bad
- Unfortunately for Blackhawks fans, we weren't able to see former Blackhawks 1st round pick Jack Skille, and Jeremy Morin saw limited time. So we'll have to wait until next year, hopefully, to see the Skorin' Line. But if the Skorin' Line is no more, we'll always have this Puckin' Hostile beauty of a photoshop by our own Derek Harms.
- Now that we're done shedding tears about the Skorin' Line, how about we shed some tears for having to watch Bryan Bickell skate around like he has no fucking clue on how to play hockey any more.
- Corey Crawford took the lost in net, but we all know who is responsible for that. The pathetic "defense" that was played in the first period.
- Apparently Pat Foley thinks that Antoine Vermette played for the Hawks the last time they played the Jackets in December. Sorry Pat, but #80's only two points with the Hawks came against San Jose, which is no where near Lumbus.
- I will NOT take the nickname of "That '80s Line." 1., lets come up with our own material, and not modify a Kings thing, and 2., That '80s Show was so bad it lasted one season. Then again, there might be something in common, since That '80s Line would probably only last one shift with the line blender that is behind the bench.

The Ugly
-Mr. Norris Trophy, Duncan Keith, had a horrendous night. Three turnovers by him in the first period ended up in the back of the Hawks net in the first period. Keith ended up the night a -3. Yuck. Oh, and can we stop acting like his shot in the 2nd period was so great? If it wasn't for a Columbus defenders leg, the shot would have been 10 feet wide.
- If you think Brent Seabrook was better, you'd be wrong. He was a -4 on the night. Double barf.
- The title of this recap is fitting, since in the first period, it looked like the Hawks defense was celebrating Columbus Day by taking the first period off.
- I'm shocked Lumbus could put up these offensive numbers without offensive powerhouse and former Blackhawk Rene Bourque in the lineup.
- The power play was just awesome tonight at 0 for 5.
- Oh, just look at all those chances the Jackets had in the first period. Did I even mention the numerous breakaways that the Hawks allowed?
- A loss like this is terrifying, because all signs point to a Michal Rozsival return to the lineup on Sunday.

  
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Kyle Baun and Mike Paliotta Will Disappoint......Ahhh Nevermind

by Gatekeeper

For those of you that are surprised, you're about to get fooled once again.

The Blackhawks signed free agent college forward Kyle Baun and 2012 3rd round draft pick Mike Paliotta to similar 2 year entry level deals, Thursday. I want to start this all off by saying I have nothing against either of these kids. I hope they light the fucking world on fire and turn into the next Trevor van Reimsdyk and Brandon Saad. The reality of the situation is that they are more likely to turn into the next Drew LeBlanc or Shawn Lalonde. That isn't what chafes my ass, though...

There are two things in particular, about this situation and these deals, that are burning me from the inside out.

First of all, the general consensus around the fan base is that the Blackhawks needed to beg these two players to sign. By "beg", I mean that they had to concede extra years on the deals and promise to allow both players to play, while burning a year off this season. I don't fully buy this rationale, and this is why.

Baun, reportedly, had 18 other teams that were bidding for his services. It is not Stan Bowman's style to beg and plead for such a wildcard. In fact, Bowman is notoriously overconfident when it comes to swallowing his pride, and the Nick Leddy trade is a prime example of this theory. At least from the outside, he refused to take deals that may have landed him a better return, because he wasn't getting what he thought he wanted in return. Confident and stubborn to a fault. He was backed into a corner with the cap deadline quickly approaching and probably ended up taking even less than he could have gotten earlier in the summer, for a pretty hot young prospect like Leddy. There is no other reason that he would have waited as late as he did.

The next example of this theory is the Patrick Sharp situation. Not THAT situation.

As much as is has been downplayed in the media, it's pretty well known that the Blackhawks were feverishly trying to find a reasonable deal for Patrick Sharp. The entire league knew Bowman was over a barrel and he refused to pull the trigger for anything less than what he felt he deserved. As a result, The Blackhawks will have their backs against the wall once again, when they need to shed salary, following the season. Again, confident and stubborn to a fault.

That is why I'm perplexed as to why Bowman signed both of these guys to 2 year deals with which they are willing to burn half of, in a handful of the remaining 10 games this regular season. This leaves the Blackhawks roughly 15 months to develop these two players, and let them become RFAs. The last players to make any sort of impression on Quenneville that fast were the aforementioned van Reimsdyk and Andrew Shaw. Not even Saad progressed through the ranks that fast.

The money is really irrelevant in these deals, but giving the organization that little time to develop 2 college players into NHL players doesn't make sense. Especially an organization that has been notoriously slow in maturing their prospects, partly, because of the lack of room and lack of trust by the head coach. Yes, The Blackhawks will hold these player's rights and, more likely that not, they will able to re-sign them to bridge deals. That is another reason that these essentially one year deals are questionable. Bowman will be forced to give them SOME sort of raise. In Paliotta's case, he may have held the cards, but Baun is going to be a depth guy in Rockford next season. Among those 18 teams, there had to be a better opportunity, and Stan didn't "need" to "beg" for this guy.

This brings me to my second concern. Paliotta is one situation, because he was drafted by the Blackhawks. I can see the urgency for this to not turn into the Kevin Hayes situation again. Kyle Baun is an undrafted college free agent, though. If someone can point me to the last college free agent position player that has amounted to anything, I'll show you 100 that didn't. Drew LeBlanc was the best college player in the entire country when he signed in Chicago. The "Jack Eichel" and "Johnny Gaudreau" of that year. Right now he's mightily struggling to be a regular AHL player. Matt Carey is the same situation. He was as hyped as Baun, last year, and is currently sitting at 20 points in 59 games, in Rockford. A little better than LeBlanc. Even Stephen Johns was highly lauded right before he signed. He's currently adjusting in the AHL, too, after concussion problems.

Players rarely step right off a college campus and into succeed in the NHL. Fifteen months isn't enough.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blackhawks at Philadelphia
4-1 Loss Recap

"Night of Long Knives"


by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks and travelled to the city of big shoulders Wednesday night to face the disappointing Flyers, which turned out to be less than disappointing for the Hawks.

The Hawks came out in the first period and let the Flyers control a majority of the play getting out shot 13-10, and getting out scored 1-0. The Blackhawks had their chances
but could not tie up the game...before the video feed went out, and we were left guessing what was going on.

The Second period picked right up where the first left off. The Flyers took a 2 goal lead in the first 1/3rd of the period ,and then took a 3-0 lead later in the second. Some how, Some way, the Blackhawks were credited with 14 shots to the Flyers 9. I don't think anyone rooting for the team in white would have guessed that, based on the way the Blackhawks were being throttled.

The third period was SLIGHTLY better but, in the end, the Blackhawks still only tied 1-1 for the final 20 minutes. The Hawks mustered up some pressure and even broke the shutout early in the period, but late penalties killed them and the finally succumbed 4-1.

The Good
  • Early in the third period, during a quick power play, Duncan Keith walked the blue line and got a rare shot through to the net and somewhere along the line Andrew Shaw redirected the shot and it beat Mason. Of all people.
  • Classy move by the Flyers, honoring Kimmo Timonen.
  • Believe it or not, Vermette and Kruger were pretty good at the dots, but the rest of the Hawks were not. All in all, they wont 54% of their draws.
  • I'll put it under good, because there is no "meh" category. Crawford wasn't great, nor was he terrible. The Flyers goals were all decent plays, but he was not all star Crawford this game. If the Blackhawks are going to tempt that fate for the rest of the season, it's going to be ugly.
The Bad
  • When I'm actually not sad to see the mess that is Gorilla Salad over Bryan Bickell, shit is getting serious. That said, Quenneville sat Teravainen for Desjardins. Stupid as hell. Let your opponent dictate your lineup, and they already have the advantage. The stupid line combinations got even more stupid in the second period. So much so that Carcillo/Vermette/Desjardins was actually a thing.
  • The Flyers took a 1-0 lead about 7 minutes into the game. The Blackhawks were running around in their own zone and not on the same channel. First Crawford turned the puck over behind the net, then the ever reliable Marian Hossa also turned the puck over. Once the puck came back Duncan Keith was caught trying to help Michal Rozsival and let Wayne Simmonds sneak in on the back door. Read to Simmonds, to a wide open back door.
  • About 8 minutes into the second period, Andrew Shaw lost a defensive zone faceoff and the puck ended up in the Blackhawks net. Discarded ex-Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo took a long one timer that was deflected half way to the net by Ryan White, and past Crawford.
  • With about 5 minutes to go in the game, Jonathan Toews took a hooking penalty and you can imagine where this is going. Michael Raffl worked a pretty nice 2-on-2, looking off Seabrook and snapping a shot past Crawford.
  • The Blackhawks actually managed to out shoot the Flyers 35-33. Still far too many shots to be giving up, though.
  • Nordstrom played a team low 7:32 but that has to do with an injury, that we sgould find more about later.

The Ugly
  • The fucking NBCSN feed was still screen and radio audio for the last 5 minutes or so, of the first period. Thanks for that, assholes.
  • Late in the second, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux hooked up to take a 3-0 Flyers lead. Voracek looked off Keith and his eyes must have lit up, when he saw Claude Giroux bearing down on the Blackhawks very own pylon, Michal Rozsival. Voracek saucered a pass to Giroux, who redirected the puck over Crawford. Initiate infuriation.
  • In the matter of 30 minutes, Andrew Shaw went from 1st line, to 4th line, to benched. Keep chomping on that acne faced pacifier, though, Q.
  • I must have missed it, but I read that Gorilla Salad got in a fight. I was probably taking a dump at the time. I regret nothing, and probably accomplished more.
  • When Brad Richards is credited with 5 hits, you know you have a flawed stat.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Shaw
Sharp-Richards-Hossa
Versteeg-Richards-Carcillo
Nordstrom-Kruger-Desjardins

Keith-Rozsival
Timonen-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 25


In this special Bob McGill episode of the Puckin Hostile Shoutcast, Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by special guest CT from Hockeenight.com.

CT stops by to talk to us about Tonker.co.uk, GeorgeHutchins.com, and Veet for Men...



Oh right, and we also talk about their Gonna Drinken event on 4/11 at Galway Bay, since Forklift ditched us for tropical weather. We talk about the late Matthew Wuest of GapGeek, and it wouldn’t be a Shoutcast without 6’6’ Monster, Lemont Native Scott Darling and new local guy Bartlett Native Vince Hinostroza. We also go over the last few games vs the Coyotes, Sharks, Islanders, Rangers, Stars, and Hurricanes.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Also, please consider helping out our friend Lauren's ailing sister Caryn, in her quest to get treatment at the Mayo clinic:
http://www.gofundme.com/o5x7o4

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
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 25 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Blackhawks at Carolina
3-1 Win Recap

"Sad But True


by Gatekeeper

Despite the snow in Chicago, the Hawks traveled to Carolina to face the terrible Hurricanes. This was sort of a reuniting of coaches, with former Ice Hogs coach at the helm of the Canes. This team is just terrible. They are looking for the end of the season, and booking tee times.

The first period was pretty favorable for the Blackhawks, considering that they scored on their first two shots, and nearly scored on another. If you check the box score, it looks pretty even in shots at 10-9, in favor of the Canes, but that wasn't necessarily the case while watching.

The Blackhawks came out and played to the level of their opponent in the middle period, getting out shot 12-0 to begin the period, and 18-6 for the entire 20. Oddly enough, the few shots that the Blackhawks had were really good and the Hawks still held the lead.

The third period was almost as bad as the second. ALMOST. The Hawks spent a vast majority of the period in their own end, and it looked like they were going to surrender their lad at ant moment, if not for their goalie. They held on long enough to get a late empty net goal and pull one out by the skin of their teeth.

The Good
  • Andrew Shaw opened the scoring for the Blackhawks about half way through the first period on a pretty easy play. He was allowed to camp out about 8 feet from Khudobin, and one time a pass from behind the net by Marcus Kruger. Not really sure just what the holy fuck the Canes defense was doing, but two of them got mesmerized with a player behind the net and left Shaw wide open. Not a good idea in ANY league.
  • Just over a minute later, the line of Sharp/Vermette/Hossa put the Blackhawks up 2-0, on their second shot of the game. Hossa held up at the half boards, and waited for Sharp to drive the net. Once he cleared the defense, Hossa hit him for a perfect redirect through Khudobin's wickets.
  • Crawford was a beast in this game saving 43 of 44. After the first period, the Canes had 34 shots in the final 40 minutes.
  • Jonny Toews got his 500th career point on Shaw's empty netter. Not that exciting, but noteworthy nonetheless. Congrats to this very serious individual.
The Bad
  • Watching Michal Rozsival get completely walked and then hearing Eddie O gush all over this supposed "great play" makes me want to kick puppies. Stop making excuses for him being a huge liability.
  • Teuvo Tervainen showed a little immaturity late in the second period, when he was fed the puck by Toews and made a nice play to get a shot at being in all alone. He eventually made a pretty soft pass back to Toews for a nice one timer, but I would have liked to see the kid take that quick step and go 1-on-1 with the goalie, instead of conceding. In due time.
  • Crawford took a physical beating. Several times, he took high shots in the collar bone area, and a shot off the face. All of those shots take a toll on you.
  • Not the best game at the dots, by any means, but the Hawks won half.

The Ugly
  • A questionable Blackhawks change early in the second period turned first into an Eric Staal breakaway, and then into a Victor Rask goal. Staal got in behind Hjalmarsson and Keith during said botched change and Crawford made the save. The defense kind of failed him when the rebound popped out and Hammer was neither able to get to the puck nor tie up Rask.
  • Bryan Bickell has been just atrocious and he's not getting any better. The playoffs are all we have to hold on to, and that's getting really fucking old. After a brutal turnover in the third period, Bickell was benched and only saw 13 shifts the entire game for a whopping 9:17. If you're looking for a healthy scratch next game put your money on 29 white.
  • Versteeg was right behind Bickell in the battle of waning ice time, with only 15 shifts and 11:58. As a result Richards only played 12:11 in 16 shifts. What is the point of this awful 3rd line?
  • Talk about a boring game. There was ONE penalty called all game and it was early in the first period.
The Lineblender
Saad-Toews-Tervainen
Sharp-Richards-Hossa
Versteeg-Richards-Bickell
Shaw-Kruger-Nordstrom

Keith-Rozsival
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Timonen-Seabrook


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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blackhawks at Stars
4-0 Shutout Loss Recap

The Big "D" (Disappointment In Dallas)
by Patrick Stankus

On Saturday night the Blackhawks continued their four game road trip, this time visiting the Dallas Stars. While the Stars will miss the playoffs, and have nothing to play for other than their paychecks, the Blackhawks, on the other hand, can have first place in the Central Division at the tip of their fingers with a win. Since its a Saturday night and there's beer to drink, lets get right on to the recap.

As the puck dropped it looked like the Blackhawks were missing that extra jump in their step. As the period went on that became more and more evident. Despite having two power plays in the first six minutes, the Blackhawks looked out of sorts. Their passing was off and were careless with their decision making. The Stars managed to find some momentum off those two PKs, and would score shortly after the second Hawks power play. Late in the period the Stars would add their own power play goal, and take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

The second period seemed like a repeat of the first. The Stars absolutely dominated the Hawks through the first 15 minutes of the period. You can argue if the Stars had actual talent not named Benn, Seguin, or Spezza, they could have easily been up 5-0. Luckily for the Hawks sake, the Stars have Cody Eakin, and he is apparently allergic to hitting a wide open 6x4 net. In the final minutes of the period, the Hawks got some chances, but couldn't solve Lehtonen. After two the score was still 2-0 in favor of the Stars.

Whatever momentum the Blackhawks had at the end of the second period, it quickly vanished in the third period. Brandon Saad had an opportunity on a penalty shot, but was denied by Lehtonen. The careless, and sloppy puck decisions continued, and of course the turnovers wound up in the back of the Hawks net. The Stars tacked on two more goals in third period, to give them a 4-0 lead. While at the other end of the ice Kari Lehtonen stopped all 33 shots faced, en route to the 4-0 Stars win.

The Good
- Mercifully this game ended in just about 2 1/2 hours so we no longer had to see the assholes in the 100 level stand up, turn, and wave to the camera anymore.
- Unlike Steve Konroyd said, there were no positives, but like Jan from Toyota says, let go places. Like to the bad and ugly.

The Bad
- The defensive zone breakdowns allowed Dallas to have all the time and space in the world they wanted tonight. (See Spezza goal for prime example)
- Corey Crawford wasn't great, nor was he terrible. When your defense hangs you out to dry for most of the night what do expect is going to happen?
- In a game like this, it was pretty obvious from the start that the Blackhawks didn't have it or give a shit. So with that in mind I have a problem with Q giving Duncan Keith 25 minutes of ice time.
- When the best shifts in the first 2/3rds of a game are from your fourth line, that's a problem.
- Its hard to knock the PK because they've been so good for so long, so I'll put them in the bad and not ugly tonight. Either way, they yielded two power play goals to the Stars tonight.

The Ugly
- Looks like Kris Versteeg's turnoveritis has reappeared. He was a big old pile of dog shit tonight. How he got over 16 minutes of ice time is beyond me.
- Lets not single one defenseman out, lets just say the entire defense was awful tonight.
- In the "hits are meaningless category" the Blackhawks were out hit tonight 26-15. Last I checked weren't they the ones chasing the puck tonight?
- Stop being Johnny Positive everyone, and lets accept the fact that so far Antoine Vermette hasn't lived up to the expectations. Sure, he's still adjusting, but by now you'd like to see some sort of progress.
- Remember when we were drooling over the power play? Well tonight they were an 0 for again. This time, 0 for 2.
- Its sad to see Pat Foley can't remember what a good body check is. I'm speaking of course about Jordie Benn's hit on Andrew Saad, I mean Andrew Shaw.
- Fuck it, I am singling out a defenseman. Michal Rozsival was the only Blackhawk that was a -2 tonight. I've seen turtles and snails that are faster than him.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blackhawks at NY Rangers
1-0 Shutout Win Recap

Spin City

by Patrick Stankus

Just 24 hours after they faced that other team labeled "New York" in Chicago, the Blackhawks found themselves at the "World's Most Famous Arena" in New York to face the Rangers. With Henrik Lundqvist still sidelined with an injury, the Rangers had super sub Cam Talbot in net while the Hawks countered with some guy from Lemont named Scott Darling. With all those 3's in net, lets all be thrilled Pat Foley wasn't calling this game.

The first period could be described in one word; thrilling. Both teams saw excellent opportunities, but both goalies rose to the occasion. Also in the first period, the Blackhawks had two power plays, but unlike in the last couple of games, the Hawks couldn't capitalize, and the game would be scoreless after one.

Much like the first period, the second period again featured a lot of energy, and a torrid pace of end to end action. This time however it wasn't the Hawks who would get a power play, it instead was the Rangers, who like the Hawks in the first couldn't capitalize. Despite the chances and excitement, the game would still be scoreless after two.

The third period would finally see the end to the scoreless play. Brad Richards found a loose puck behind the Rangers net, and would patiently out wait Cam Talbot and roof a shot to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Despite another Rangers power play, and a flurry of chances in the final minutes, the Hawks would hang on and Lemont native Scott Darling would record his first career NHL shutout.

The Good
- Pretty simple here. Lemont native Scott Darling was awesome tonight. How awesome you ask? Well his save on Rick Nash in the first period made the highlight reels on shows not seen on NHL Network.
- Equally as good, and deserving of a shout out is Rangers goalie Cam Talbot. But unlike last time, the Blackhawks were able to get a puck past him tonight.
- Well wherever Brad Richards was hiding for the first 2 months of 2015, it seems like he is back to at least being serviceable again. Isn't that nice of him?
- That turtle Michal Rozsival was a scratch tonight, I'm not complaining.
- Once again, a solid night by the penalty kill. This time they killed off both of the Rangers chances.

>The Bad
- The long awaited healthy scratch of Kris Versteeg finally happened tonight. Hopefully he'll respond a little better than Bickell has to his benching.
- As good as the power play has been of late, tonight they were a bit off, as they were 0 for 2.
- The Hawks were dominated at the face off dot tonight 37 - 26. Notables who struggled were Vermette (24%) and Kruger (22%.)
- Kimmo Timonen played a team low 7:30 tonight. Its hard to pick on a guy coming back from blood clots, but this is a little troublesome. Come playoff time, the schedule will be more condensed, so he'll have to get in game shape real soon.

The Ugly
- As annoying as the "Lemont native" talk about Scott Darling is by Pat Foley and other Chicago media, tonight the NBCSN crew took the tall goalie talk to a new level. We get it, Darling is tall, and the tall goalie is the new wave of the future. I don't need this talk shoved down my throat. And I also thought Pierre McGuire calling Darling a "monster" is a bit too soon. He's a backup goalie Pierre. With talk like this, its no wonder you can't get a GM job in the NHL.
- That turnover by Brent Seabrook that lead to Nash's breakaway was vomit inducing.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blackhawks vs Islanders
4-1 Win Recap

"A Broken Spell"


by Gatekeeper

Nick Leddy's New York Islanders visited Chicago, for a St. Patrick's day game, Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the Islanders, Leddy was out with an injury, but the rest of a young, up and coming, Isles team was out in full force.

The Blackhawks came out like we normally expect them to spending a god majority of the opening period in the Isles end of the ice. They out shot the Islanders 16-10, and out scored them 2-0 in the first, and it really could have been 4-0, based on the pressure the Hawks had.

The Blackhawks had a bit of a rough second period, partly due to an incredibly stupid major penalty that they had to kill. They weathered that storm and some Isles pressure from some unlikely sources to out score the Isles 1-0 but get out shot 15-5. That isn't a typo, they were out shot 15-5 and won the period 1-0.

The third period was much more tame after both teams scored to open the the third. The Isles out shot the Blackhawks once again 14-9 and 39-30 for the game, but the final tally was 4-1.

The Good
  • About seven minutes into the game, and the Isles surrendered an awful first goal to El Capitan. Toews chased a loose puck into the Isles corner and he threw it to the front of the net, looking for an open teammate. Instead, the puck hit a defenseman, then Neuvirth and into the net. Neuvirth was still out of position though.
  • Just an example of what we have in Marian Hossa. For a majority of the first period, he toyed with one of the best players in the entire world, in John Tavares. At his age to be playing top line level like this, and dominating, is astounding. He's pulling some Jagr stuff.
  • Late in the first period, Nik Hjalmarsson set up Jonathan Toews for another gift of a goal. Hjalmarsson looked like he was going to pass the puck near the red line but, instead, took it up the boards past some shocked Islanders. After getting to the blue line, he dumped the puck off to Toews, who was in on a 2-on-1. Toews went to his backhand and threw a shot at the net, which should have been a pretty easy bad angle save. Somehow the puck hit Neuvirth in the shoulder and went into the net. This was some long overdue luck on St. Patrick's day.
  • Shortly after killing Shaw's dumb penalty, Toews caught the Isles changing and got in behind their defense. He stuck with the puck and and was able to feed Hossa for a really pretty one timer and a 3-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • Fifty seven seconds into the third period, and the two hottest Blackhawks connected once again to take a 4-0 lead. Toews tried to hit Hossa but it deflected off Hossa's skate and into the net. It was abundantly clear that there was no kicking motion, so the goal stood.
  • Crawford once again held his team in the game. When all was said and done, he had 38 saves. The goal was a pretty fat rebound, but we can let him slide. (Ed. Note - Goal was not a fat rebound. Keith redirected at the point of attempt. Not much Crawford could do. Thanks @xxCARBONxx)
  • The Hawks won at the dots, again, winning 56% of their draws. Toews won 13 of 17.
The Bad
  • Pat's favorite play is when Crawford, or any goalie, plays the puck and brutally turns it over. He got his wish about halfway though the first period. I could hear him saying, "stay in the fucking net". Crawford recovered but it was ugly. Luckily for Shaw, the Blackhawks killed his dumb 5 minute major off masterfully, but that doesn't mean it wasn't colossally stupid.
  • I can honestly say that I didn't notice the third line on the ice until there were 3 minutes gone in the third period.
  • The Isles broke the shutout early in the third period, on a pretty innocent play. Crawford kicked the rebound out into the slot and Kulemin was able to deposit the puck into the open net between Saad and, you guessed it, Rozsival.
  • Versteeg played a team low 11:53. That hand injury might be the end of the good Versteeg this year.

The Ugly
  • Not 2 minutes into the game and this so called "bigger body" wearing number 11 got rocked by Calvin de Haan. MOAR.....cap space, I guess.
  • This Teravainen/Timonen Dad/Hockey Dad shit needs to end. We got it the first 40 fucking times.
  • About 5 minutes into the second period, Andrew Shaw got a 5 minute major for head butting. What a fucking asshole. How he hasn't been in Q's doghouse exclusively, for his stupid penalties, is beyond me. It is pretty clear that Gorilla Salad is completely redundant on this team now, as they have Shaw to now do the colossally stupid shit.
  • John Tavares and Josh Bailey both -4. Ouchie.
The Lineblender
Sharp-Toews-Hossa
Saad-Richards-Teravainen
Versteeg-Richards-Bickell
Desjardins-Kruger-Shaw

Keith-Rozsival
Timonen-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson


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Monday, March 16, 2015

Rockford Report - IceHogs at Wolves

by Patrick Stankus

On Sunday afternoon while the majority of people on the southside of Chicago were channeling their .1% of Irish heritage at the Southside Irish Parade, this guy felt the need to channel his 1% Canadian heritage and take in the Rockford IceHogs vs. Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena. While it got off to a disappointing start, it actually turned into a very entertaining game.

The disappointing start, can actually be attributed to the lineup decision by the Chicago Wolves to scratch Ben Eager. I mean, how could coach John Anderson scratch a guy like Eager, who has that Cup leadership every team desires? Anyway, despite that disappointing news, Anderson and the Wolves made up for it by starting Adam Burish. Lineup decisions aside, the Wolves decided to do their best Minnesota/Iowa Wild impression by donning special St. Patrick's Day jerseys. What a disaster those are. As bad as the green Blackhawks jerseys are, these ones were 100 times worse.

I'm not going to recap the game, instead I'll point out a few players and how I thought they played.

Antti Raanta - Its hard to say that a goalie who gave up three goals played good, but he did. Granted the IceHogs defense was stellar for 59 of the 60 minutes, but Raanta had no chance on the final two Wolves goals in the final minute of the game. On the Wolves second goal, Raanta had to deal with a pile of bodies in the crease and was down and out. Just 15 seconds later, another defensive breakdown resulted in the Wolves closing the gap to within one. Overall, for a goalie who is now a sporatic starter, I didn't have any complaints with his game.

Mark McNeill - McNeill had a very noticeable game, unlike the last time I saw the IceHogs play. Yes, he found his way on the scoresheet with an empty net goal, but overall he had numerous chances. In my opinion McNeill looks like he is NHL ready, but I'd really like to see how he progresses in the offseason and during training camp.

Phillip Danault -  Overall Danault had a so-so type of game on Sunday. He did record an assist on the Hogs first goal by the Manshitter, but he also took a lazy tripping penalty that gave the Wolves a 5 on 3 power play. Despite getting a taste of the NHL earlier this season with the Hawks, I'd throw him in the same category as McNeill. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing these two after camp next season.

Spencer Abbott -  Last time I went to an IceHogs/Wolves game, Spencer Abbott wasn't apart of the IceHogs as he was acquired just before the trade deadline. Despite Gate calling him an "AHL Lifer" I have to say I was impressed with him. His goal was a result of a great individual effort in picking off a pass, then danced around defenders, and roofed a backhander for what should have been a highlight reel goal.

Ville Pokka - Pokka is a great example of what could be a good NHL career. He's still a work in progress, but he could also potentially see some time next year. On Sunday, he let a cannon of a shot go from the point, and the Manshitter was able to redirect it in. His skating looked good, but he can use some work when it comes to awareness, but that's what is expected.

Keith Seabrook - For someone who just returned to hockey this past year and was playing in just his second game with the IceHogs, Seabrook was very noticeable on the ice. His positioning and awareness was good for the most part. The aspect I'd like to see him improve on in the offseason is his skating. Again, as I said before, I don't expect Seabrook to play with the Blackhawks, but if it makes older brother Brent happy, and happy enough to take a hometown discount when his contract is up following the 2015-16 season, then I'm all for it.

Trevor van Riemsdyk - To see TVR back on the ice this season is a great thing to see. However after watching him yesterday, I'd hope everyone has realistic expectations for his return. TVR definitely showed signs of rust. He looked like he was missing the extra jump to his skating he had before his injury. He also was a bit hesitant and passive with the puck. All of which is expected as he is just returning, but if you're expecting him to be the same player he was before the injury, you're going to be mistaken. I'd expect him to return to somewhat of form next year after a summer of training in the offseason.

My final thought on the game is, as a result of their win, the IceHogs won the Illinois Lottery Cup, which means, I cannot wait to get some championship swag.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blackhawks at Sharks
6-2 Win Recap

Sharks For Sale

by Patrick Stankus

 On Saturday afternoon, yes afternoon, the Blackhawks concluded their brief two games father's road trip in the now smoldering tire fire that is San Jose. While in the midst of battling for their playoff, Sharks "leader" Joe Thornton felt the need to tell his GM Doug Wilson to "shut his mouth" yesterday. Always a nice thing to see when teetering on the brink of a rebuild. Your thoughts on being part of a rebuild in San Jose, or dare I say it? Toronto, Joe?


Anyway, enough about the dirtiest center at the face off dot, we've got more important things to worry about. Like getting this 3pm (1pm San Jose) game under way so the Sharks can get a quick 9 holes in at the golf course and start practicing for their annual rounds played while the Stanley Cup Playoffs are going on.

At the start of the game, as been much of late, Corey Crawford bailed the Hawks out, as they were too busy sleepwalking early on. The Hawks did catch a break later in the period. A great touch pass by Antoine Vermette (or Brad Richards according to Steve Konroyd) sprung Patrick Sharp in on Niemi. Niemi stopped the initial shot, but couldn't stop Sharp on his rebound attempt to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Late in the period, you could see it coming from their dominant start, the Sharks were able to tie the game on a goal from Melker Karlsson. After one, the game would be tied at one.

In the second period, the Sharks had an early power play, but the PK put in another great effort and were able to kill it off. Later in the period, the Hawks were able to cash in on a bad penalty by Brenden Dillon, as Duncan Keith, with an Andrew Shaw screen in front, blasted the puck past Niemi to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Following a Jonathan Toews penalty, the Sharks responded with a power play goal after a sweet redirect by Brent Seabrook past Crawford to tie the game at two.

Early in the third period, Crawford lead an outlet pass to Teravainen, who sprung Saad, and Saad did all the rest to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead. The secondary assist by Crawford was his first point of the season. Yes, you are correct that a former goalie would point that out. Later Brad Richards found a loose puck behind the net, and with 4 Sharks players focused on him, he centered it to a wide open Bickell who beat Niemi. It was a beautiful display of defense by San Jose. With just under 5 minutes to play, on the power play, the Hawks all but put this game away as Patrick Sharp added his second goal of the game to make it 5-2. As if the game wasn't over already, San Jose decided to pull Niemi for the extra attacker with almost 4 minutes remaining, and Hossa added salt to the wound with an empty netter and give the Blackhawks a 6-2 win.

The Good
- Again, it sounds like a broken record, but Corey Crawford was awesome in net. He weathered the storm by the Sharks in the 1st period, while the rest of the Blackhawks were sleepwalking.

- Sharp, and Keith both scored, and Richards scored in Arizona. Isn't it nice to see these guys on the score sheet without a minus?

- Holy shit, the Blackhawks were 2 for 4 on the power play this afternoon!!! Stop the presses!

- I bad mouth Andrew Shaw a lot, but today I'll give him some credit. Parking himself in front of Niemi directly lead to both of the Hawks power play goals. Its not complicated. Move the puck to open shooting lanes, and get some traffic in front of the net. Its nice to see some greasy goals for a change by the Hawks.

- Thank God, this was the final game of the father's trip. While I think this is a great idea, I don't need to hear Pat Foley mention it during every stoppage.

The Bad
- Antoine Vermette had a rough day at the face off dot, as he was 32%.

- The decision by Marcus Kruger to go for a change instead of A. staying on the ice, or B. just grabbing a new stick from the bench, led to the Sharks first goal. It didn't help that Andrew Desjardins jumped over the boards and couldn't get his skates under him. He literally looked like a fish flopping out of water. Careful Andrew, I heard ice is slippery.

- Anyone else think there was a ridiculous amount of icings in this game?

The Ugly
- The start by the Blackhawks was lackluster to say the least. They're lucky their goalie bailed them out early on.

- The much anticipated return of Andrew Desjardins to San Jose turned out to be nothing more than a turd in a punch bowl. But hey he did have more ice time than John Scott.

- While Pavelski and Toews were slashing each other at the end of the first period, Jumbo Jack Ass Joe Thornton decided to come over and give a quick spear to Toews. This guy is a complete asshole.

- Seriously, does Steve Konroyd even look at a line up card? Who the fuck is Andrew Saad?? And Rich King is the perfect guy for that WGN intermission set, since both of them look like they're stuck in the '70s.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Blackhawks at Arizona
2-1 Win Recap

"Killing Time"


by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks followed the parade of Cubs fans to the greater Phoenix area for a late season tilt with the terrible Arizona Coyotes, Thursday night. Following a long layoff, for NHL standards, the Hawks were going to have try and cure their goal scoring ills at the expense of the Mike Smith and his wafer thin team. Just have to love these midweek 9 o'clock starts. I will not miss these.

The first period started off how you might think a rusty team would. The Blackhawks came out and gave up an early goal, which stunned the Hawks fans that had traveled to see beating. It didn't take long for the Blackhawks to tie the game, and finished the period leading in shots 17-6.

The second period resulted in even less as far as the goals go, even though the Blackhawks had several powerplays and out shot the Yotes again by another huge 17-6 margin. These are the kinds of games that worry me, because one soft goal puts the Blackhawks in a position of chasing the lead.

The third period was very much like the first two. The Blackhawks out shot the Yotes AGAIN, but this time it was a 10-6 tally. Luckily enough, the Blackhawks were actually able to manage a second goal, and thus win the contest. The game was too late, and I was too tired. On to the discussion points.

The Good
  • A few minutes after the Yotes went up, the Blackhawks powerplay took the ice, which is usually call for Yakety Sax. This time the first unit bailed the Blackhawks out of their hole. Duncan Keith shockingly got a shot past the opponent's shin pad, and to the front of the net. Mike Smith bit on the original blocked shot and Andrew Shaw was able to sweep a backhand through Smith for a tie game.
  • The Blackhawks are going to miss Klas Dahlbeck. The guy is really going to be a nice player
  • With about seven minutes left in the third period, the Blackhawks once again went to the powerplay, and this time the second unit got into the action. Kris Versteeg pulled a really nice tor drag around a Yotes defender and snapped a shot off. The rebound lay in the slot area and Brad Richards swept the puck past Smith, very similar to the Shaw goal earlier on.
  • Corey Crawford settled in nicely after an early soft goal but, let's face it, 18 shots isn't a plethora.
  • The Hawks won over 65% of their faceoffs. El Capitan was the lowest at 57%, but he also took a majority of them, as well.
  • Two powerplay goals. We'll take that, even if it is against a team ranked 26th on the PK.
The Bad
  • Just 5 minutes into the game, and the Yotes took a 1-0 lead on a pretty innocent goal. Tobias Rieder took the puck through the neutral zone, skated up the ice through the Hawks zone and cleanly beat Crawford on what should have been a pretty pedestrian save. And because I know you're thinking it, yes, Rozsival was on the ice.
  • Despite the powerplay scoring early, they had a double minor late in the second period, before which Konroyd proclaimed "the Blackhawks powerplay is looking real good". They then went and, maybe, earned 2 shots on net.
  • Bryan Bickell didn't exactly have that flame under his ass, after sitting the previous game.

The Ugly
  • The Blackhawks were the fortunate recipients of an easy powerplay when Mike Smith jumped on Kris Versteeg and mugged him. Probably the best piece of action he has gotten in months.
  • I know you'll all be shocked to hear this but, early in the third period, Mike Smith heard a Hawks forechecker skating up behind him and flailed to the ice like he'd been shot. That guy is a complete asshole.
  • Joakim Nordstrom made a very stupid decision very late in the game resulting in a stupid boarding penalty against Oliver Ekman-Larrson, which also resulted in Ekman-Larrson getting injured. I wouldn't be surprised to see some disciplinary action following that.
  • Steve Konroyd is an enormous fucking vanilla clown. He called Klas Dahlbeck, Chris. He called Patrick Sharp, Andrew. To top everything off, Edzo was back in Chicago with Dan "Frankenberry" Roan, in what could only be described as Red Forman's basement, Dumbass.
The Lineblender
Versteeg-Toews-Hossa
Saad-Vermette-Teravainen
Sharp-Richards-Bickell
Shaw-Kruger-Nordstrom

Keith-Rozsival
Seabrook-Timonen
Oduya-Hjalmarsson

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 24


In this Doug Wilson episode of the Puckin Hostile Shoutcast, Gatekeeper and Pat are joined by special guest Adam Hess from FeatherInTheHat.com.

The guys go over the last few games vs the Panthers, Lightning, Hurricanes, Oilers, and Rangers, in addition to documentaries “30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men”, and “The Last Gladiators”. The Rangers’ Kevin Hayes is discussed, as well as Corey Crawford carrying the Blackhawks, as of late. Don’t miss this one.

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Also, please consider helping out our friend Lauren's ailing sister Caryn, in her quest to get treatment at the Mayo clinic:
http://www.gofundme.com/o5x7o4

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
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 24 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blackhawks vs NY Rangers
1-0 Overtime Loss Recap

Power Out-Rage
by Patrick Stankus

Sunday night featured a marquee, Original Six matchup on West Madison, as the New York Rangers made their only visit of the year to Chicago. Prior to the game, much of the talk in the Blackhawks world revolved around the expensive healthy scratch for the game, Bryan Bickell. To anyone who has paid attention this year, this should not surprise anyone. Of course however, that wasn't the only talk of the land. As is always the case, Coach Q made noise with his bat shit crazy line combinations. Oh boy, we're in for a real treat for this game.

As the puck dropped at the beginning of the game, we were still questioning the line of Carcill-Richards-Sharp, since the best way to get two struggling players out of a slump is to put them on a line with Gorilla Salad. How has Q won two Cups? Oh, I remember, it wasn't all about him. Throughout the first period, the Blackhawks allowed the Rangers way too much time and space and allowed 16 shot to New York. In addition to playing with fire by allowing all the opportunities to the Rangers, the Blackhawks also pissed away two power plays in the first. Some how after one, the game was scoreless.

In the second period the Blackhawks were a lot better defensively, holding the Rangers to just five shots. However all was not fine and dandy. The Blackhawks pissed away two more power play opportunities, both of which were frankly awful. I'd add more, but lets be honest that second period was flat out boring.

The third period belonged to the man in the crease for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made a few key saves in a sequence of chances for the Rangers just past the midway point of the third period. Meanwhile at the other end, Cam Talbot was just as good for the Rangers, denying a great opportunity by Patrick Sharp. The Blackhawks tried to hand the game to the Rangers by taking a late too many men on the ice penalty, but luckily they were able to kill it off. After a scoreless 60 minutes, we'd head to overtime.

As for the overtime, it didn't last long. Toews had an opportunity to open the extra frame, but was denied by Talbot. Following that play, the Rangers were able to get the puck out, and Derick Brassard found some open ice, and blew a slapper past Crawford to give the Rangers the 1-0 overtime win.

Next up for the Blackhawks is a quick two game road trip out west, where they will help the attendance in Glendale, AZ as they take on the soon to be former Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

The Good
- Any NBC or NBCSN televised game without Thrillbury and McGuire is a huge plus!
- Despite the overtime loss, Corey Crawford was fantastic in net. You can argue that if it weren't for him, the Blackhawks had no business getting a point. And stop if you want to nitpick the Brassard goal.
- As bad as the power play has been, the penalty kill has been excellent. Once again they put in a huge effort with a late kill in the third period.
- Overall this was probably Teravainen's best game, but knowing Q, he'll scratch him next game for being on the ice for the overtime goal.

The Bad
- Wasn't it painful to hear Kenny Albert and Eddie O try and make this game sound exciting? Sure at some points there was some excitement, but overall, this one was a snoozer.
- The game winning goal was a result of a missed assignment by Toews. Toews never looked behind to pick up the trailing forward, thus leaving Brassard wide open.
- So apparently down the stretch we're going to have to deal with a rotating 7 minute a game grinder between Gorilla Salad and Desjardins. Tonight it was Gorilla Salad's turn to barely break a sweat.

The Ugly
-While I've been an advocate of him being in the press box, it still doesn't make it okay that, Bryan Bickell and his $4 million dollar cap hit were a healthy scratch tonight.
- Sharp hasn't scored in 18 games, and Richards in 22 games, so lets stick them with Gorilla Salad. What the hell is Q thinking??!
- The power play. That is all. We've already pointed out the problems. But if you were wondering, it was 0-4 tonight.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Blackhawks vs Oilers
2-1 Shootout Win Recap

65 Minute Oil Change

by Patrick Stankus

After a lengthy break to start the month of March, the Blackhawks returned to action on Friday night, as the Edmonton Oilers came to town. Many people consider the Oilers to be a push over and a gimme in the win column, but as we learned last time the Hawks visited Edmonton, there is no such thing. Friday night proved that theory correct, again.

The opening frame tonight featured several chances for teams, with Ben Scrivens making a few spectacular saves, to keep the Blackhawks off the scoreboard. While the Hawks failed to convert their chances, the Oilers managed to capitalize on one of theirs late in the first to give them a 1-0 lead after one. During the first period, the Oilers managed to get 18 shots on net. Good to know that Corey Crawford was on task, since the defense wasn't.

The Blackhawks opened the second period with an early power play, and despite having a couple of decent opportunities, once again, they couldn't get one past Scrivens. As the play went on during the second, Scrivens started to put on a goaltending clinic, making stellar save after stellar save. Its no wonder they call him The Professor. After a somewhat evenly matched second period, the game remained 1-0 with the Oilers in the lead.

As the third period got underway, the Blackhawks came out with a lot more energy than the first two periods, and peppered the Oilers net with shots left and right. Unfortunately the turnovers also continued, and the Hawks were lucky that one of those Oilers chances off of a turnover hit the post instead of the twine. Finally, just past the midway point of the third, Brent Seabrook fired a puck past a screened Ben Scrivens to tie the game at one. Even though the Hawks played a much better third period than rest of the game, we'd stay tied at one and head to overtime.

In overtime, the end to end chances continued, with a Brent Seabrook redirect of a Marian Hossa pass being the closest to ending the game. In the end though, the extra frame would wind up scoreless, and we'd head to a shootout. In the shootout, Crawford would stop all three Edmonton attempts, while Antoine Vermette would score in the third round for the Hawks, to give the Hawks the win. Yes, the Blackhawks did win the game, but this was hardly a win to be patting yourself on the back for. It was a textbook U-G-L-Y win.

The Good
- Stunning that I'm going to say, as a former goalie, this goaltending display put on by Corey Crawford and Ben Scrivens was phenominal. Who says we need more scoring in hockey to make the game more exciting?
- Its nice to say, the Blackhawks had a good night at the faceoff dot, as they won 29 of 49 faceoffs. Not to mention, Toews was 69%. Nice work Yanic Perreault.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook were the two best defensemen tonight. Hjalmarsson had an extra jump in his step tonight, while Seabrook had the Hawks lone regulation goal.
- The #80 jerseys will be flying off the shelves tomorrow morning, as Antoine Vermette recorded the shootout winner.
- I'll throw this in just for Gate, Andrew Desjardins had 7, yes 7 hits in just over 9 minutes of ice time. How's that for MOAR GRIT and SANDPAPER???!!!

The Bad
- Despite being noticeably better, Brad Richards has now gone 22 games without a goal. Ouch. Somewhere Michal Handzus is laughing.
- The words "shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers" isn't something you should be thrilled about. Much like Monday against the Hurricanes, you should beat a team like the Oilers by a 5-1 margin. Okay, I get, I'm being Mr. Negativity.
- As teams start catching up to the Blackhawks in the standings, its worth noting that shootout wins don't count when it comes to playoff tie breakers.

The Ugly

- We've beaten this before, but its worth repeating. If Teuvo is going to be in Chicago, then why isn't he playing? Sitting in the press box next to Gorilla Salad is not going to develop his game. If anything, its going to hurt his development if Salad tries to give him some pointers.
- I'm not joking when I say the Oilers had 47 shots on net. Yes, the Blackhawks gave up 47 shots to the Oilers.
- Despite having a few good opportunities, I've seen better hands on a clock than that of the line of Bickell/Richards/Desjardins.
- Unofficially the Blackhawks had 8 giveaways tonight. Time to clean up the sloppy play.
- Seriously, if you didn't enjoy that goaltending clinic tonight, and say hockey needs more scoring to "be more exciting" then hockey isn't your sport.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 23 (Trade Deadline)


In this Stu Grimson episode, Gatekeeper and Pat discuss the trade deadline. From Blackhawks trades, rumors, and fallacies, to crazy NHL trades that we never thought we would see like Nathan Horton for David Clarkson.

The guys run down the acquisition of Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette, and Andrew Desjardins for draft picks, Klas Dahlbeck, and Ben Smith. What could have been, and much more.

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Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 23 MP3 Download

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Blackhawks vs Hurricanes
5-2 Win Recap

"Off With Their Heads"


by Gatekeeper

After the flurry of exhausting transactions on trade deadline day, there was still hockey to be played. The Blackhawks hosted one of the members of the "dishonor for Connor" club, the Carolina Hurricanes. As we outlined earlier, the Blackhawks shipped out Ben Smith for Andrew Desjardins while bringing in Kimmo Timonen and Antoine Vermette this weekend. This was going to make for a very interesting playoff run that started right here on March 1st. Some day I'll be able to look back on this day and think things...

The Blackhawks first period definitely showed the effects of the new faces in the lineup. Luckily, this game was against the lowly Canes, so the Hawks were able to carry the play, even if it was sloppy. The shots and score favored the Blackhawks 7-4 and 1-0. Decent start, but they knew they needed to be better.

The Blackhawks started where they left off in the first period, by scoring an early shorthanded goal following a period ending penalty that carried over. The Blackhawks followed up that effort with 2 more goals in the middle period, even though they were out shot 14-10. It sure didn't seem that way.

The Blackhawks were on autopilot in the third period, both scoring one and giving up two goals. The Hawks were out shot once again, 11-8, but the game was out of hand far before this. Another Blackhawks win, and one step closer to the playoffs...

Don't forget that we will have a special Shoutcast to wrap up the trade deadline, tomorrow night.

The Good
  • About eight minutes into the first period, the Blackhawks got a nice feed from a highly unlikely source to spring Jonathan Toews for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead. After two games off Michael Rozsival held the puck long enough for Toews to sneak in behind the defense and in on a partial breakaway. Toews one on one with any goalie is frightening, and this was no different.
  • The first powerplay of the game was pretty impressive, but for the wrong reasons. The Canes opened up the second period with a powerplay and it only took the Blackhawks a few minutes to take advantage of the Canes. Keith was able to saucer a pass Toews, who was in on another breakaway. Money time, and 2-0 Blackhawks
  • The Blackhawks PK looked really good, especially with Ben Smith off to San Jose. They scored a shortie and killed off a long 5-on-3 in a very short span during the second period. Nik Hjalmarsson was out there for almost the entire 70 second 5-on-3, which is unheard of.
  • Half way though the second period, Brandon Saad picked up a puck that Sharp dug out of the corner and took it straight to the slot. His first shot was blocked by the defense, but the followup beat Ward 5-hole.
  • Late in the third the 4th line got into the action. Andrew Shaw grabbed a loose puck that was kept in the zone by Marcus Kruger and took it right up the middle of the Canes zone, snapping off a shot that Ward saved. He gave a fast rebound up, and Marcus Kruger jammed the puck into the net, for a 4-0 Blackhawks lead.
  • After the Canes broke the shutout, Marian Hossa went to work on Michal Jordan, who was having a rough night. Hossa stepped over the blue line, cut towards the middle and used Jordan as a screen. The shot beat reserve goalie Khudobin for a 5-1 Blackhawks lead.
The Bad
  • This is going to get extremely frustrating if we're going to be forced to deal with terrible Kris Versteeg, again. He is back to making bad passes, not getting the puck deep, and coughing up awful turnovers. I sure hope this is rust from his time off.
  • Semin got a late "who cares" goal.
  • Go figure. The Blackhawks tout their new faceoff specialist, and the entire team can barely break 40%. Vermette was only 5 for 17 (29%). That is terrible.
  • Teravainen (11:58) played the least amount of time, but it was close with Vermette (12:04) and Richards (12:28).
  • Holy shit, American Hero Justin Faulk is ssssslllllooooooowwwwwwww
  • Timonen looked a little rusty, but he SHOULD look rusty.

The Ugly
  • John-Michael Liles broke the shutout early in the third period with the Blackhawks looking a little "uninterested". The Toews line was on the ice with Timonen and Seabrook, which seems like a favorable matchup, but turned into a mess.
  • In the latter half of the second, Corey Crawford made a goal saving sprawling save and that looks like he tweaked a hamstring or groin. He stayed in the game, but I can envision some more maintenance days for him.
  • This was a nice win, so I'll lay off on the ugly

The Lineblender
Versteeg-Toews-Hossa
Saad-Vermette-Sharp
Teravainen-Richards-Bickell
Shaw-Kruger-Nordstrom

Keith-Rundblad
Timonen-Seabrook
Hjalmarsson-Roszival


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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Deal Or No Deal
2015 Puckin Hostile Trade
Deadline Ticker


This a running ticker of the deals that the Blackhawks made for this year's trade deadline. Updates as needed.

The Trades


Blackhawks acquired forward Spencer Abbott from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman T.J. Brennan.

Nothing trade. Gives Brennan a chance to play in the NHL somewhere, and I guess the Blackhawks get another AHL depth guy.



The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a second-round choice in the 2015 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round choice in the 2016 NHL Draft.

This is a low risk, high reward deal. Timonen has been out all season with blood clots in his lung and legs. He was medically cleared to play and was going to play with the Flyers Saturday, but was traded. If this turns out to be anything, the Blackhawks might have a steal. He's a veteran that has been to the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks in 2010. He can help solidify the bottom 3 that have been a complete circus. Timonen can play power play, and shorthanded, too. I really like this pickup.


The Blackhawks acquired forward Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a first-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Another deal that could be sneaky good. Vermette is a top 5 faceoff guy that will fit perfect on the 2nd line, especially with the disappearance of Brad Dickards. No one can replace Kane, but Vermette will take some of the load off. Both Vermette and Timonen have worn captains letters so their leadership will help as will. A lot like Clendening, Dahlbeck was on the verger of the NHL, but the Blackhawks depth and Quenneville's short leash was holding him back. Now both players will have NHL jobs. Great for them, and I love this deal, too. Stan Bowman gets two thumbs from me. My cohort....not so much.


Blackhawks acquired forward Andrew Desjardins from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Ben Smith and a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.

This is a 4th line wing for a 4th line center. The move clears up some cap space for the Blackhawks, and Desjardins is a UFA after this season. Not much thought on this one. Let's see if he wears 69 here and becomes a cult hero. Garbage for slightly less garbage?

Other Moves

  • Blackhawks reassigned defenseman Kyle Cumiskey to the IceHogs

  • Blackhawks put Tim Erixon on waivers for the purpose of sending him to Rockford, but the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed him.
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