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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