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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blackhawks at Winnipeg
3-1 Loss Recap

"The Strangest Party"

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks traveled to the land of Lake Toews, Winnipeg Manitoba, Thursday night. They came in looking to add a little pep in their offense, after not scoring a regulation goal in over 2 full games. They made a couple of moves in preparation of the trip demoting Vinny Hinostroza, while recalling AHL Player of the Week Tanner Kero and defenseman Erik Gustafsson. Just to sprinkle in some drama, Quenneville scratched Teuvo Teravainen and dressed Bryan Bickell, who hadn't played in 12 days. Perfect way to spark some goals. For those that have a hard time sensing sarcasm...

The first period was already more productive than the previous six regulation periods, as the Hawks and Jets both scored, and the Blackhawks goal was on some strange advantage called a "power play". I'll have to "google" it. The Blackhawks also led in shots, 14-9. I guess we can't get greedy, because there wasn't much more than a few bad penalties to speak of.

The second period did not go quite as well for the Blackhawks. A sloppy penalty turned into a goal that gave the Jets a 2-1 lead. The Blackhawks, once again, led in shots 18-13 which didn't do them any good, in the end. Things did not get any better from there.

The Blackhawks had the wheels fall off the wagon in the third period. A poor start resulted in an insurance goal, which they were never able to recover from. Believe it or not, they actually out shot the Jets, again, 14-9 for a total of 46 to the Jets' 31. A late push wasn't going to be enough on the road, and they finally succumbed 3-1.

Next up, the Minnesota Wild, and another #Fatrick recap.

The Good
  • The Blackhawks wasted no time taking a lead in this one. Jonathan Toews drew a penalty just eighteen seconds into the game, with a nice bull rush into the Jets zone. A minute and seven seconds into the powerplay, Patrick Kane snapped a fairly innocent looking shot through Hutchinson, to take a quick lead, on a really nice cross ice feed from Artemi Panarin.
  • Blackhawks killer Michael Hutchinson was on fire once again. The Blackhawks had plenty of shots on net, but he answered all but one. That soft spot for lefty goalies just grows bigger.

The Bad
  • The Jets tied the game about half way into the first period. The Hawks were pinned in their own zone and Jonathan Toews lost the draw. Blake Wheeler curled around the circle, picked up the loose puck. Once he cleared the forwards, he snapped a wrist shot past Crawford's glove.
  • Five minutes into the second period the Hawks inability to clear the puck out of the zone on the penalty kill led to an Andrew Ladd goal. Jonathan Toews second penalty of the night was a costly one. The PK unit of Kruger, Desjardins, Hjalmarsson, and van Riemsdyk got stuck out on the ice for way too long, 1:12 to be exact. Crawford tried to keep the Jets at bay with a really nice save pushing across his crease, but eventually Ladd found a fat rebound on his stick and pumped it into the net.
  • Apparently, Steve Konroyd is unaware of the change to the tripping penalty. Andrew Shaw had a step on Jacob Trouba, and Trouba dove to knock the puck away. All good and well, but he also tripped Shaw. Doesn't matter if get the puck, anymore. A trip, is a trip, is a trip, is a trip. Shaw should have drawn a penalty at the very least, and probably should have had a penalty shot. Instead, no call. I haven't a fucking clue how you explain that.
  • David Rundblad, once again, ended up being one of the featured characters on an opposing goal. He got caught waving at an airborn puck in a very low percentage play a the Jets blue line, and Nikolaj Ehlers beat the covering Trevor Daley to the puck. Mark Scheifele was the 3rd man in, and Ehlers hit him on the tape. Scheifele wasted no time and snapped a low shot past Crawford, for a 3-1 Jets lead.
  • The Hawks were slightly under 50% at the dots, and one of those losses directly led to the game tying goal.

The Ugly
  • Steve Konroyd. God damn is he boring. I'd rather drag my nuts though a bed of broken glass.
  • The "boos" on the road for Patrick Kane...still out there.
  • This Bickell for Teravainen thing is fucking infuriating. Taking skill and scoring touch out of the lineup, and inserting a big dumb animal doesn't make a lot of sense. Bickell played a team low 13 shifts for 8:15. You mean to tell me that Teravainen couldn't provide more in that same amount of time? the answer is NO. Quenneville tried to spout some bullshit in the post game about it "not sending a message", and it was about "who deserved to play", which is an enormous fucking lie.
  • I try, David Rundblad. I TRY to give you the benefit of the doubt. You miss big checks. You fumble the puck at the blue line then leading to 2-on-1 breaks. You just SUCK!

The Lineblender
Tikhonov - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Bickell - Kero - Garbutt
Desjardins - Kruger - Shaw

Seabrook - Svedberg
van Riemsdyk - Hjalmarsson
Rundblad - Daley


One For The OCD Gaming Crowd

by Gatekeeper

For those of you, like me, that have OCD about the players, of at least the goalies, in the NHL games matching their real life counterparts, I have compiled the pad color combinations for each goalie. Enjoy:

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling
(Pads style is slightly off, because EA doesn't offer the specific Brian's style)

Michael Leighton

Mark Visentin
(Pads are slightly off because the EA color selector won't split some sections)

Mac Carruth


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blackhawks vs Lightning
1-0 Overtime Shutout Win Recap

"Eleventh Hour"

by Gatekeeper

The Tampa Bay Lightning made their first trip back to Chicago, Saturday night, since surrendering the Stanley Cup championship to the Blackhawks, last June. Clearly they were going to be looking for a little revenge, but nothing they did Saturday would make up for the pain of falling short in cup final. There were also quite a few new faces that the Bolts would need to adjust to, as well, including rookie scoring leader Artemi Panarin, among others.

Thanks to a few Tampa Bay powerplays, a good majority of the play was down in the Blackhawks end of the ice. The official scorer must have been high or drunk, because the scoreboard said the shots were tied at 9. Either way, there was no score after the first, so no harm, no foul.

The second period was much more in favor of the home team, with a majority of the action in the visitors end. The official scorer finally sobered up, and gave an accurate count, showing the Blackhawks leading 10-4. Again, though, neither team scored, which gave one the feeling that any goal could be the only goal. On to the third frame.

The third period was, again, in favor of the Blackhawks but, again, yielded no goals. The Hawks led in shots 11-8. As a result, the Blackhawks faithful would get their first look at 3 vs 3.

It took seventeen seconds for the Blackhawks to win it in overtime, which sent everyone home happy.

The Good
  • Both first period Lightning powerplays yielded very few shots and was killed off wonderfully by the Blackhawks.
  • Ryan Garbutt finally showed some flashes of production. He had several nice chances early in the game and played well on the penalty kill.
  • If Viktor Tikhonov is going to be the missing piece of the lottery line, I'm perfectly OK with that. He clearly knows how to play different role, albeit none of them extremely well, which is fine. He just needs to be adequate. Late in the third, though, Quenneville moved Teravainen up.
  • After having a very mediocre game, Jonathan Toews took only seventeen seconds to split Valtteri Filppula and Anton Stralman, then knife towards the net. Toews was being hooked and hacked all the way to the net, but he was not only able to get his initial shot on net, but poke the rebound though the legs of Kristers Gudlevskis' legs.
  • Corey Crawford stopped all 21 shots he faced, for a shutout.
  • Can't take anything away from Bolts goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. He shut the Blackhawks out for 60 minutes and 16 seconds.
  • The Hawks were solid in the faceoff circle, winning 56%.
  • I still don't understand the hate for Viktor Svedberg. He's logged a lot of time and done nothing to show that he has been overmatched. Just wait until Michal Rozsival gets out there. You'll all be begging for Svedberg.

The Bad
  • The second Lightning powerplay of the night was as a result of a terrible Vince Hinostroza grenade pass, that Hjalmarsson couldn't do anything with. Hjalmarsson tried to slow up the Lightning forechecker and ended up with a hooking infraction. Of course, Foley and Edzo blamed Hjalmarsson, with no mention of the live grenade Hinostroza lobbed at him.
  • If I have one criticism of Panarin and Kane, it is that they pass TOO MUCH. There have been several times where they attempt that fancy pass, and the chance is squandered. Of course, this is being extremely critical, but it should be pointed out.
  • While Rundblad and Daley looked better, I still get anxiety when they are out on the ice together.

The Ugly
  • It pains me to say this, but Jonathan Toews is getting in the way of production on the powerplay. Something is off with him, and the first unit looked much better with Artem Anisimov against Florida. I feel guilty for even thinking it, but this is the harsh reality, at this point. Quenneville obviously felt the same way because when they had an important powerplay in the third period, Toews wasn't with the first unit.
The Lineblender
Tikhonov - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Garbutt - Hinostroza - Teravainen
Desjardins - Kruger - Shaw

Seabrook - Svedberg
van Reimsdyk - Hjalmarsson
Rundblad - Daley


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Blackhawks vs Panthers
3-2 Win Recap

"Got Your Six"
by Gatekeeper

With the demise of the Cubs, Wednesday night, the Blackhawks fan base was rejoined by a vast majority of the loudest meatheads, much to the dismay of us non-baseball fans. To add to the festivities, this was the first game post "Duncan Keith Surprise Surgery", where the Blackhawks were going to be forced to find out just how deep, or thin, their defense was. I'm betting on thin, but god forbid you mention that, because #3CUPZ / #StanzPlan. I digress, though. The subject at hand was the South Florida Blackhawks, aka the Panthers.

Things looked pretty good when the Blackhawks opened up and took a lead just four minutes into the game, but they pulled a double bogey, allowing the Cats to tie up the game less than a minute later. Most of the action was in Florida's zone, and they out shot the Cats 12-4.

The Blackhawks second period opened up much like their first period, but they were able to actually hold their lead, this time around. It also helps your cause when you get five powerplays due to some sloppy play by the visiting team. They scored on only one of those powerplays, which gave them a slim 2-1 lead despite their 9-5 shot advantage. This was a prime example of not pouncing on chances when you're served them up on a silver platter.

The Blackhawks only took seventeen seconds to expand their lead on the rollover powerplay, in the third period, but the Panthers were able to cut the lead to one, later in the frame. The Panthers actually led in shots 9-6, thanks to the powerplay time, and they kept things interesting. In the end, the Blackhawks closed out the game with a 3-2 win.

The Good
  • Just four minutes into the game, Artem Anisimov took advantage of three napping Panthers defenders and drove from the half boards right through the crease with very little resistance, tucking the puck in around Luongo's right leg. Terrible play by the Cats, but a wonderful catch by the big lumbering center.
  • The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead, four minutes into the second period on the powerplay. Artem Anisimov won a faceoff to open the powerplay and Brent Seabrook let a howitzer go from the point. The puck deflected off Dave Bolland and hopped past Roberto Luongo for a rare powerplay goal.
  • Niklas Hjalmarsson definitely showed more offensive flash than we have previously seen from him. That could be a really good thing in the next 6 weeks.
  • During a late second period powerplay Quenneville threw out Seabrook, Anisimov, Panarin, Teravainen and Kane. Needless to say, there were some highlight reel passes. I don't hate this unit at all.
  • Seventeen seconds into the third period, with the Hawks still on a carryover powerplay, Brent Seabrook found Patrick Kane sneaking in behind the Panthers defense and hit him with a perfect pass. Kane was in all alone and Luongo looked like he just bailed. 3-1 Blackhawks
  • Trevor van Riemsdyk had a quiet, but solid night and it needs to be pointed out.
  • Crawford had a pretty solid night, as well. He only had 16 saves on 18 shots, but he made a could of grade-A stops.
The Bad
  • The Rundblad/Daley pairing is fucking putrid in their own end. This needs to change, like yesterday. Not only that, but I'll give you one guess which pair was the second pair on the powerplay.
  • With the 5 Blackhawks powerplays in the second period, it was a foregone conclusion that the Blackhawks would get dinged in the third; and they did. And if you're going to do something right, you might as well go all in. They did that, as well, with a 5-on-3 disadvantage. The Blackhawks had almost completely killed off the almost full two minute disadvantage when the Cats caught the pairing of Daley and Svedberg out on the ice. I'm not pointing that fact out because of their heroic play, so you can imagine what happened.

The Ugly
  • Thirty four seconds after the Hawks took the lead, they allowed the Bjugstad, Pirri, and Trochek line to waltz right into the their crease on Corey Crawford. Crawford couldn't locate the loose puck and cover it, so eventually Vincent Trocheck cued it into the net with a little help from Brandon Pirri. Yes, THAT Brandon Pirri.

    I'm told by many people, who apparently know more than I, that he sucks and he couldn't do anything like that for the Hawks, so that goal probably didn't count based on Pirri's lack of talent, right?
  • I love ol @Strombone1, but there are many times when he just looks like he's mailing it in.
  • When your opponent takes eight penalties to your three penalties, that should tell the tale
  • Six minutes in the box for Marcus Kruger and a whiff on an open net. Taking lessons from #Fatrick I see.
The Lineblender
Tikhonov - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Teravainen - Hinostroza - Garbutt
Desjardins - Kruger - Shaw

Seabrook - Svedberg
van Reimsdyk - Hjalmarsson
Rundblad - Daley


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 41

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast number 41, the (against my better judgement) Jocelyn Thibault episode, the Puckin Hostile stooges are joined by a returning guest, Chief Editor from BlackhawkUp.com, Keith Schultz.

Just because these pads are sick, for Pat:

The group discuss the following:

-G8's new intros for #Fatrick and Derek
-The banner raising ceremony.
-Some disappointing losses, and a couple of wins.
-Some early season NHL suspensions, and injuries.
-The rise of the newest savior, already the winner of the Art Ross, Rocket Richard, and Calder trophies as well as future 1st ballot hall of famer, Artemi Panarin.
-Some shuffling of both the lineup and Q's Lineblender
-Possible roadwatch ideas.

More importantly, Make sure to support our friend, and fellow goaler herself, Ali Lawrence at www.puckandgrind.com

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 41 MP3 Download

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Music by "The Bloodline"

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blackhawks at Washington
4-1 Loss Recap

D.C. Comical

by Patrick Stankus

After Wednesday night's rematch of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks continued their brief two game road trip out east with a trip to the nation's capital. The Hawks were coming off a 3-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Flyers, and looking for redemption against a familiar face behind the bench in D.C. For a team coming off a shutout loss, the last coach you want to see if The Catfish Barry Trotz. Remember all those explosive games the Hawks had against the Predators?

As the puck dropped, it was quite obvious that one team was ready to go, and the other was stuck on the bus. The Capitals came out firing, but Scott Darling was able to keep the Capitals at bay. Just after 8 minutes in, the Caps would get on the board by way of a T.J. Oshie power play goal and jump into the lead. Late in the period, the Hawks would get their own opportunity on the power play, but couldn't muster anything and went into the locker room down one after the first period.

Early on in the second period, the Capitals would add to their lead, by way of a John Carlson shot, to go up 2-0 on the Hawks. As the period went on, the Hawks would finally find their legs and outplay the Caps for the majority of the remainder of the period. Artemi Panarin had a great chance to get the Hawks on the board, but he rang a wrist shot off the pipe. As the horn sounded the Hawks would still find themselves trailing 2-0.

The opening minutes of the third period would feature tallies by both teams. Just over two minutes in, Matt Niskanen would beat a screened Scott Darling from the shot to give the Caps a 3-0 lead. That lead would prove to be short lived as Viktor Svedberg would register his first career goal to cut the Caps lead back to two. That would end up being the closest the Hawks would get. Later in the period, a sweet passing play between Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ovechkin with Ovechkin putting the dagger in the net to seal the Hawks fate. When the horn sounded the final would end up being 4-1 in favor of the Capitals.

The Good
  • The Hawks were a lot better in the second period, than the first. They ended up outshooting the Caps 17-7 and had a lot of quality chances.
  • Thank the Lord we didn't have to see Troy Brouwer's mug tonight.

The Bad
  • Just as I was going to give Shaw credit for having a strong game, he goes and takes a lazy, selfish slashing penalty. That's the Andrew Shaw I know.
  • Aside from the second period, the Hawks lacked fire power, and frankly looked like they could give a rat's ass about playing.
  • Keith, Teravainen, Tikhonov, and Baun all had solid nights. All ended up with a -2 on the night.
  • Speaking of Baun, what's the point of using his "spark and energy" if he's going to be playing just over 8 minutes a night.
  • I'm not panicking, but its quite clear the Hawks are turning into a bad piece of Swiss cheese with the holes they have. I looking at you back end defense, and left wing.
  • I really wanted to put Viktor Svedberg in the good category, but its clear he's a work in progress. Despite that, I would like to see him stay up and get some more time.
  • I understand that Viktor Tikhonov was trying to defend Jonathan Toews, but there's a time and place to retaliate. This isn't the KHL, we care about dumb penalties here.
  • That was a nice finish by Andrew Desjardins in the second period. Oh wait, nevermind.

The Ugly
  • The MoonCam made its return again tonight. Goddamn it NBC. Just as I give you credit for good coverage, you have to introduce something as stupid as the FoxTrax puck.
  • Coach Q had no issues pressing the panic button, I mean the power button on the line blender. I'm not even going to waste my time listing them.
  • The Hawks had a nice start to the game, being outshot 5-0 in the first 7 minutes.
  • Goaltending wasn't an issue tonight, unlike some of you that always want to make it one because of a bad loss.
  • Please CSN, get rid of Jamal Mayers. I'd actually rather listen to Konroyd. That is scary.
  • ANDREW SHAW WAS THE BEST BLACKHAWK TONIGHT. That is a HUGE problem, and something I hope to never type again.


Blackhawks at Philadelphia
3-0 Shutout Loss Recap

"The One That Kills the Least"

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks took the trip to Cheesesteakville, Wednesday night, for the first of back to back road games versus the Flyers and Capitals. The Flyers had a little hoopla of their own planned with the return of Kimmo Timonen. It was appropriate that they decided to have this celebration with the Hawks in town, since he won his only cup with them, last spring. The Hawks came in on a 2 game winning streak after sweeping a home-and-home with the Isles.

The first period was "clunky", at best. Lots of bouncing pucks and a few sloppy penalties, but no scoring. The Flyers had the best of the chances, and out shot the Blackhawks 8-6. That said, Corey Crawford looked really on point. This is great for the Blackhawks, if they the one place that they don't have to worry about consistency is in net.

The second period turned out to be one that Hawks players AND fans would want to forget. Several bad Blackhawks penalties helped contribute to a 15-9 Flyers shot advantage and a 2-0 Flyers lead. The Blackhawks we all love would be dangerous in the third period, down like that, but this isn't the same team.

The Blackhawks DID show more life in the third period, but the Flyers goalie played out of this world. A 15-6 shot advantage earned the Blackhawks nothing, in the end, but when you put yourself in a hole, you can't always assume that you will be able to crawl out of it. When the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks had not won a regular season game in Philadelphia in SEVENTEEN years, so it is not like this result should have surprised us one bit. Next up, Washington. Where maybe they can learn from a team with a REAL powerplay.

The Good
  • Michael Neuvirth was outstanding. He shut the Blackhawks out, saving all 30 shots he faced. Credit where its due.
  • Viktor Tikhonov's promotion to the top line was deserved and he finally showed some promise.
  • Crawford deserved a better fate than he was given. He kept the Blackhawks in the game in the first period.
  • El Capitan was 15 of 20 at the dots, which is insanely good, but Anisimov and Shaw evened that out, going 5 for 17. Overall, 54% looks good, but Jonny Toews skewed that number a smidgen.
The Bad
  • About 5 minutes into the second period a careless Ryan Garbutt high stick turned into a Flyer powerplay. Noted Blackhawks killer Sam Gagner used a Sean Couturier and Viktor Svedberg screen to beat Corey Crawford on a pretty straight forward shot, high to the glove side. Not a great goal, but help your goalie a little, eh? Garbutt played one second period shift after that.
  • The Flyers really took advantage of Viktor Svedberg's slow feet in the middle of the second period. The flyers ended up getting a break, but Seabrook and Crawford bailed him out. The back checking Hawks, mosre specifically Vik Tikhonov, ended up taking a penalty on the play.
  • The Blackhawks just took way too many penalties early in the game. Five in the first two periods alone is way too much for this team to endure.
  • The Q Lineblender was on display for two brand new Blackhawks, in Viktor Tikhonov and Ryan Garbutt. This was good news for Hossa and Toews but awful news for Teuvo Teravainen.

The Ugly
  • I get the attempt to try a new camera angle on the powerplay, but the moon telescope cam isn't the answer. You have to zoom in some, so we can see the puck. The Flyers hit the post and the only reason anyone watching knew was that they heard it. This is VISUAL MEDIA, people. If I wanted to experience the game that way, I'd be listening on the radio and not a 65" HD TV. Sprinkle it in. It should be an added perk, not a forced evil.
  • If this is a sign of thing to come it's going to be a long season, but not deserved. Every time Patrick Kane touched the puck he was booed. I can't even complain. Kane and the Hawks brought this on themselves.
  • The Flyers made it 2-0 with about 3:30 remaining in the second period. The Hawks got caught in a sloppy change that resulted in Seabrook and Daley scrambling in their own zone. Claude Giroux found a fat rebound in the slot after Crawford was caught trying to stop a Raffl stuff in at the right post. Giroux doesn't miss many of those, and he didn't.
  • With about 2:30 left in the third period, the Blackhawks got caught with the first line out for a very long shift. Tikhonov and Hossa couldn't get the puck past center ice when the forwards were in dire need of a change. The Flyers turned the play back the other way on a rush that was nearly offsides. Wayne Simmonds ripped a high shot that nearly hit Crawford in the yap, and the rebound fell right in Matt Read's lap. Crawford was still able to get a piece of the initial chance, but the puck somehow squirted through him. This goal was just the punctuation on a pretty bad night.
  • Guys. 0-5 on the powerplay? With this group of players? I guess that since it has been this way forever we are just "OK" with it? That's not how this works. Shape this shit up. There is too much talent to NOT be like Washington on the PP. C'mon Laz.

The Lineblender
Garbutt - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Bickell - Teravainen - Tikhonov
Desjardins - Kruger - Shaw

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Svedberg - Seabrook
Daley - van Riemsdyk


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Banner Raising
Blackhawks vs. NY Rangers
3-2 Loss Recap

"Pride in Prejudice"

by Gatekeeper

Wednesday marked day one of the Blackhawks third title defense in 6 season, and began with all the makings of a ridiculous Cirque du Soleil. There were red carpets, limousines, suits, long celebration videos and even some crowd participation. The whole ordeal wrapped up with the ceremonial banner raising, which is NEVER distracting. Nevertheless, after all was said and done, the Hawks still had a game to play. Right, the game...

The first period was pretty much a complete shit show from the word go. The Rangers went up 1-0, 2-1, and eventually 3-1 before the final horn sounded. This was all despite actually being out shot 12-11. The goal the Blackhawks did have was nice, but major lapses on the back end left Corey Crawford to get sniped twice and then get completely taken out by his own teammate. Not really how you want to open the season.

The middle period was a little more what all of us fans were looking for. I'm not going to say that it was a perfect period, far from it, but much batter than the display that they put on in the opening period. The Blackhawks were able to cut the lead to one. The shots favored the Rangers 9-8 but everyone seemed to settle in a little bit. A one goal game going into the third period is not a bad position to be in despite their horrid start.

The third period began with the lineblender in full effect. Bryan Bickell and Kyle Baun rode the pine, while the Blackhawks peppered the Rangers goalie with 14 shots. A late flurry nearly yielded a goal, but in the end the Hawks fell short. It was admirable that they shut down the Rangers for the final two periods, but that hole they dug in the first period was just too much. Not a big deal. Next is the "Home-n-Home" with the Islanders, Friday and Saturday.

The Good
  • With just about 5 minutes left in the first period, and after a questionable waved off icing, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin caught the Rangers defense napping. Keith Yandle bit on Kane and left Panarin completely wide open. Kanes pass hit Panarin on the tape and the Russian beat King Henrik to tie the game.
  • Seven minutes into the second period, the Lottery Line got into the act. Jonathan Toews forced a Dan Girardi turnover that wound up on the stick of Marian Hossa. Hossa found a breaking Teuvo Teraivanen in a soft spot just inside the circle. Teravainen one timed the puck past Lundqvist to cut the Rangers lead to 1.
  • The Hawks won the faceoff battle 30-27.
  • I know the outrage is to get Tervainen to the pivot, but I'm perfectly fine with him playing wing. His hands are really unreal. From the limited play we saw of Marko Dano, Teravainen is a far superior choice at this point in time. Jonny must be licking his chops.
The Bad
  • Just a little over a minute and a half after the Panarin goal, Ryan Garbutt took a high sticking penalty that led to a 6 on 5 delayed penalty advantage. The Rangers worked the puck to the open guy Kevin Klein. Klein one timed the puck over a shifting Crawford, from a tight angle. 2-1 Rangers
  • It's not the popular opinion, but the waved off goal with a minute left in the game was frozen long enough for a stoppage before Patrick Kane poked it into the net. The refs got it right, as much as it pains me.
  • Kyle Super Baun Baun took all of 2 periods to hit Chateau Bow Wow, and Bryan Bickell joined him.
  • I'll fully admit that David Rundblad is not much more than adequate on his good days, but he takes a lot up undeserved heat. It took him until late in the second period to really fuck up. When he does fuck up, he makes sure it's a good one though.

The Ugly
  • Just 1:43 into the first period, Rookie Oscar Lindberg took advantage of an oddman break after the Hawks forwards got sucked in deep to the Rangers zone. His backdoor shot beat Crawford pretty cleanly for a 1-0 Rangers lead. Who assisted on that goal? Yup, Viktor Stalberg. Also, makes one wonder if the duo of van Riemsdyk and Daley were going to be the whipping boys this season.
  • With a minute left in the first period, the duo of Daley and van Riemsdyk were on the ice once again for a Rangers goal. A Daley shot was blocked and ultimately led to a 2-on-0 back the other way. Corey Crawford made the first save and Trevor Daley took Crawford completely out of the play. Hayes passed the puck between Crawford and the net, and it dropped into the crease where Stepan was able to waltz right in and tap the puck into the net between Daley, van Riemsdyk and Anisimov.
  • The "very important" Jarrett Stoll won 1 of 6 faceoffs. Try again NBC.
  • Duncan Keith did NOT have the best game. His terrible turnover deep in the Hawks zone, inthe third period, nearly led to a 4th Rangers goal, but Crawford bailed him out and then took a swipe at Derick Brassard for good measure
  • I don't care if you don't want to hear "what ifs", just stop reading now. If Bowman finds a way to sign Kevin Hayes, he might not have to trade for Vermette, may not have to take on the Artem Anisimov salary and "The Cap Genius" looks like more of a genius. I'm never going to buy that there was nothing Bowman could have done and no one is going to tell me otherwise. Not only that, but there would have been room for Saad. But fuck me, #3CUPZ.
  • Thanks to the terrible AT&T U-Verse, our very own Fatrick wasn't able to watch the game or even tweet. I'm sure he didn't have anything important to say anyway.
The Lineblender
Teravainen - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Bickell - Shaw - Baun
Desjardins - Kruger - Garbutt

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Rundblad - Seabrook
van Reimsdyk - Daley


Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Season Preview Round Table
"Life Starts at 40"

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast number 40, the Darren Pang episode, we decided to throw together a Blackhawks season preview episode with, Greg Boysen from LetsGoHawks.net, Jim Kress Jr from CityOnTheTake.com, and Jay Zawaski Executive Producer of the midday show at The Score sports radio 670/Writer for CBS Sports/Co-Host of "The Big Navawski Podcast".

We spend most, if not all, of the time discussing the Blackhawks roster moves, training camp, the preseason games, Quenneville's curious roster decision, Bowman's curious roster moves, and plenty of time focusing on the new guys. We sprinkle, or tinkle, in a little news about that questionable character, Zack Kassian, and to everybody's utter shock, the NHL had a cocaine problem that has been completely ignored.

More importantly, Make sure to support our friend, and fellow goaler herself, Ali Lawrence at www.puckandgrind.com

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 40 MP3 Download

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Music by "The Bloodline"

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Preseason: Blackhawks vs Stars
4-0 Shutout Win Recap

Super Baun Baun

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks had their final preseason game versus the Dallas Stars Saturday night and also had to face a few familiar players. Antti Niemi, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya were all wearing green instead of red which was awkward to everyone. On top of that, the Blackhawks had made some curious moves Friday, waiving Bryan Bickell and sending youngster hotshot Marko Dano to Rockford. That whipped the fan base into a frenzy, but Bickell was right back in the lineup Saturday. On to the highlights:

The Good
  • Artemi Panarin came out in one of his first shifts and dangled his way through all 3 Stars forwards. If we can see much more of this, that would be just fine by me. He dangled some more later in the first, feeding Kane. Still, though, Let's not all swing on his nuts just yet. Let this play out.
  • Just after the halfway point of the second period, the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on the powerplay. Jonathan Toews took all the focus and fed Artemi Panarin on the back door with a nice spin around pass. Panarin's one timer was actually saved by Niemi, but the rebound was flopping around and was slammed home by Marian Hossa. 1-0 Blackhawks.
  • Just over a minute into the third period the Blackhawks won a faceoff deep in the Stars zone. Artemi Panarin gathered the puck, spun, and fired the puck at Kari Lehtonen, who had just entered the game. The rebound dropped to Lehtonen's right and Kane chipped it into the net.
  • Late in the 3rd period, Marian Hossa caught Kari Lehtonen cheating as Hossa was heding around the net, and banked it off Lehtonen into the net.
  • With a minute to go Andrew Shaw, who was bumped to the third line, Stole a Stars pass at their blue line, deked the ever loving shit out of Jason Spezza, and then beat the Stars goalie for a pretty goal.
  • Crawford and Darling combined for a 29 save shutout.
The Bad
  • Word has it that Corey Crawford was supposed to play the entire game, but #LemontNativeScottDarling came in halfway through the second. I'm not too worried. He took a few high shots and there is no reason to beat the shit out of the goalie in the preseason. Of course Pat Foley had to attempt to send everyone into a panic by saying it was very concerning.
  • Teuvo Teravainen was moved from 3rd line center to first line left wing, but it may have been because he lost 6 of 7 faceoffs. Anything to get Shaw off the first line, right?

The Ugly
  • Super Baun Baun came out in his first game after almost assuredly securing a spot on the Blackhawks by taking back to back penalties late in the first period. He took three full shifts in the second and five in the third. Did no good for that spot he supposedly won.
The Lineblender
Shaw - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Bickell - Teravainen - Garbutt
Desjardins - Kruger - Baun

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Svedberg - Seabrook
Daley - van Reimsdyk


Friday, October 2, 2015

Spies Like Us, Comrade

by Gatekeeper

Well, it's October, once again. Hockey, real hockey, is on the horizon. It would not be another Hockey year, though, without unreasonable expectations and angry, caps filled twats. God forbid you're pragmatic about unknown players or situations. If you're not on the "Panarin for Calder" tour bus before he has played a single NHL shift, on NHL ice, against NHL players, you're an enormous asshole.

I am, admittedly, an enormous asshole for plenty of reasons. Unfortunately for you all, this is not one of them.

I know, people. What is this loud mouth on about now? Here we go:

When the Blackhawks signed KHL 5th leading scorer Artemi Panarin, back in April, the prospect of a new, young player with some scoring touch was intriguing. That is all it should have been. Intriguing. Panarin is a 23 year old Left Wing, who turns 24 the day before Halloween, from Russia who has spent his entire career in the KHL. He started playing for Vityaz Chekhov, briefly, in the 08-09 and again in 09-10 season when he would have been 18. Most of his playing time, was in the Russian Junior League with Vityaz Chekhov. In 2010-11, Panarin saw his first full legit KHL ice time. He bounced around back and forth, eventually landing with SKA Saint Petersburg, late in 12-13. He played two full seasons there, winning The Gagarin Cup last spring. His accolades are as follows:

*2014-15 5th leading scorer in the regular season. 5th in goals. 6th in assists.
*2015 4th leading scorer in the playoffs. 15th in goals. 1st in assists.
*2013-14 12th leading scorer in the regular season. 9th in goals.

Impressive numbers.

Please keep in mind, though, that this is the KHL. This is a league that is, despite angry KHL fanboy replies, more comparable to the AHL than NHL. I digress, though, more on that later. He put up some very admirable numbers at 22/23 years old. This deserves some praise.

Panarin also played in the World Junior Championships in 2011, with future St. Louis Blues multi-millionaire Vladimir Tarasenko. He 3 goals and 2 assists for the gold medal winning team, in 7 games. He had a late goal, against the backup goalie, and assist in the final group play game against the Czechs, in which the Russians won 8-3. Panarin had an assist in the semifinal win against the Swedes. His biggest game was the championship game, where he had 2 goals against Canada, against current Rockford Ice Hogs potential backup Mark Visentin.

He also played in the IIHF World Championships this last year, for Russia where they were curb stomped in the championship by Canada's star filled team. Playing in 10 games, he put up 5 goals and 5 assists. This is probably the closest we have seen to Panarin playing against NHL competition. He was 15th in the tournament in scoring. Some other players in the tournament in the top 20 were Sid Crosby, Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Tyler Seguin, Filip Forsberg, Taylor Hall, Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Eberle, Marian Gaborik and Loui Eriksson. Certainly some pretty good company. His numbers were good for 13th in goals. I don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" but we ARE team negative, here. Panarin was held off the score sheet in the entire medal round for a big semifinal 4-0 win against the US, a 5-3 quarterfinal win against the Swedes, and in the championship game against Canada. his goals were all in the group play against Norway (6-2 win), Finland (3-2 Loss), Slovakia (3-2 win), Belarus (7-0 win), and Denmark (5-2 Win). Other than Finland and Slovokia, those goals were in blowout win games. Three of his five goals, to be exact.

All this said, Panarin was definitely worth the Blackhawks taking a look at. Especially, since they needed to find new, cost effective ways to fill holes and stay under the cap. I have never faulted Stan Bowman for going out and giving it the old college try. What people fail to understand is that is exactly what Bowman is doing, here. He was taking a gamble on an unknown entity.

There are some things to take into account, though. Artemi Panarin has played on bigger ice surfaces his entire life. Try and blow this off all you'd like, but when you cut 15' off the width of an ice rink, there is a considerable difference as far as room to maneuver. Especially for smallish skill players. It is the difference between skirting by a defender and being planted head first into the glass. It takes time, against actual opponents, to adjust, not just a few practices with teammates that aren't trying to hurt you.

Let's get back to the KHL. This fucking league has long been a contention of mine. The KHL is not the talent equivalent of the NHL. It's not any equivalent to the NHL. It is a distant second, very much closer to the AHL. The NHL would wipe the floors with KHL teams. Everyone needs to stop acting like success there relates to the NHL in any way. A majority of the most successful players in the KHL are player that were highly unsuccessful here in the NHL, or didn't simply just didn't even make it to the NHL. There are a few, like Igor Kovalchuk, but he isn't playing in the KHL because its talent is any better. It's just a better salary and closer to home.

You can look for yourself. Check out the KHL league leaders for the last few years. ANY years, for that matter. The top players in the KHL are generally castoffs, and former NHL busts. Currently, Alexander Radulov is leading that league in scoring, as he also did last year. I think we are all familiar with what a colossal douche bag and pain in the ass that guy is, after his two notorious stints in Nashville. Both times he was basically told to go home. Cam Barker is the 3rd leading scorer in the KHL. Yes, THAT fucking Cam Barker. Players like Brandon Bochenski, Jonathan Cheechoo, and Nigel Dawes are consistently in the top 20 for scoring. Last year's leading KHL goal scorer, Steve Moses, signed with the Preds in the offseason and is currently hunting for apartments in Milwaukee Wisconsin, because he couldn't make the NHL team. There are very few players that come from the KHL and succeed in the US. Vladimir Tarasenko is probably the most notable to come over and have NHL success. Mind you, Tarasenko is also FIFTY pounds heavier than Panarin. Five, Zero. For every Tarasenko, there are 50 Kevin Dallmans. Kevin Dallman is one of the most decorated defensemen in that league, but he was an absolute nobody with the Kings and Bruins organizations. Outside of a handful of players, the KHL is full of AHL level players. It is a fact. Send me your angrily typed out tweets and comments, but that doesn't change a god damned thing. It's fine to be a big fan of the AHL or the KHL, but don't give me a plate of hamburger and try to tell me it's prime rib.

My whole point in this, is to temper your expectations. The fact that I need to do this EVERY FUCKING TIME a new player arrives on the scene is pathetic. Marcus Kruger. Teuvo Teravainen. Kyle Baun and Mike Paliotta. Remember those people that said Tervainen was a 1/2 point per game player right out of the chute? Took almost a full year year split between AHL and NHL until he finally hit that mark in the playoffs, last spring. We still don't know he'll be in a full NHL regular season but, regardless, it has taken time for him to adjust. Which is exactly what I said, in March of 2014.

Realistically, you'll probably see Artemi Panarin moved up and down the lineup. A reasonable estimation would be 15-20 goals and 35-40 points. Respectable. If he is lights out and exceeds those projections, everyone wins. Let's not even get into Viktor Tikhonov.....

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