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



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