Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blackhawks at Colorado
3-2 Loss Recap

Snow Day
by Patrick Stankus

On Saturday night, the Blackhawks payed a visit to the Mile High city in Colorado to close out the 2014-15 regular season against the Avalanche. With the Hawks seeding position already determined before the start of the game, Quenneville decided to give this game a preseason feel, and give Keith and Toews a rest, which I can't disagree with. Also making his NHL debut with the Blackhawks was recent college signing Michael Paliotta.

The first period was much of what was expected in the final game of the regular season. Both teams had limited shots, the Hawks ending with 6 and the Avs ending with 7. It was however the Avs that would get on the board first, as noted face puncher Cody McLeod got the scoring started just past the halfway point of the period. That's the way the score would stay after the horn sounded, ending the first period.

The excitement picked up a bit more in the second period and the Hawks seemed to awake a little more, registering 14 shots. Patrick Sharp got the Hawks on the board 8 minutes in following a nice drop back pass by Bickell. Stunning, praise for Bickell. The tie wouldn't last long as noted ping pong all star player Jarome Iginla gave the Avs a 2-1 lead on a power play goal. After two, the Avs would continue to lead 2-1.

The final period of the regular season got underway with ho hum activity. Andrew Shaw and Cody McLeod decided to do everything, but drop the gloves to give us a little excitement. That was probably a good idea on Shaw's part not to drop the gloves. Late in the period, following a nice outlet pass by Rozsival (stunner #2 of the night) to Hossa, resulting in another pass to Saad who tied the game at two. Unfortunately a late penalty by Kruger would seal the Hawks fate, as Iginla added his 2nd power play goal of the night with 34 seconds remaining to give the Avs a 3-2 win.

The Good
- The college kids Baun and Paliotta had nice games. Paliotta had an assist in his debut, while Baun was noticeable all night. Baun even drew praise from Q in his post game press conference. So we all know what that means, enjoy the press box as a healthy scratch next season.
- Bickell had a nice play to get back on defense, (I'll confess I don't exactly remember the play), but I do recall hearing someone say how about Backcheckin' Bick as a nickname. I approve.
- Apparently Alex Tanguay still plays in the NHL, which makes me feel extremely old. What's next? You're going to tell me another Avs legend, Adam Deadmarsh, is still playing too?
- Let's all enjoy this Jarome Iginla card just one more time

The Bad
- If you had tickets to this game, I feel sorry for you. No Kane, Toews, Keith, or Gorilla Salad.
- Antoine Vermette's disastrous regular season came to an end on a good note. He was below 50% on draws again, and a -1 on the night.
- Michal Rozsival led the Hawks in ice time after the 1st period, with 9 minutes of ice time.
- I'm done with the Versteeg experiment Part 2. If trading him means the Hawks can then resign Desjardins, I'm all for it. Yes, I'd rather have Desjardins than Versteeg.

The Ugly
- Seriously, the Hawks allowed Cody McLeod to score tonight. That's flat out embarrassing.
- The penalty kill's sub par play of late continued as the allowed 2 power play goals to the Avs in 2 attempts.
- The Hawks were out hit 19-3, that's just for Gate.
- This was not #LemontNativeScottDarling's best night in net. 2 of the 3 goals he allowed were very stoppable, and you can make a case even the Avs 1st goal was stoppable. Oh well, nothing to piss and moan about though as this game was meaningless.

Since this was the final regular season game, a BIG thanks to all of the readers of Puckin' Hostile and listeners to the Puckin' Hostile Shoutcast. This season has been a blast with recapping games and the shoutcasts. I hope you enjoyed it, because greater and better things are coming now that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the bend. Also a BIG thanks to Gatekeeper for bringing me on board this year. Its been nothing short of fun times.


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