Saturday, October 31, 2015

Blackhawks at Wild
5-4 Loss Recap

"Fall To Pieces"

by Patrick Stankus

Following last night's loss in Wiiiiiiiinnnniiiiiipeg, the Blackhawks traveled south to the Twin Cities to pay Puckin' Hostile's favorite NHL coach, my brother #CountYeoCula a visit. For the third time in the last four games, this would mark a rematch of a playoff opponent for the Blackhawks. The last time these two teams met, it ended with handshakes, and a four game sweep of the Wild by the Blackhawks. Based on recent success, one would have to think tonight would be more of the same was in store.

Starting in net for the Blackhawks was #LemontNativeScottDarling, and unfortunately for him, it wasn't the start he had hoped for. Just 18 seconds into the game the Wild were on the board, courtesy of a shot that Darling should have stopped. The early hole the Hawks dug themselves into grew a tad bit bigger in the opening minutes as the Hawks would end up shorthanded. The Captain and Hoss, decided to lead by example, and that hard work would pay off in the way of a shorthanded goal to tie the game at one. Just past the midway point, Brent Seabrook would add a power play goal by way of a shot from the point to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. The Wild however would answer back with 2 goals in the final 6 minutes to give them the lead 3-2 after the first 20 minutes of play.

The second period would begin just like the 1st period ended for the Blackhawks. The Wild wasted no time and scored 3 minutes into the period to increase their lead to 4-2. The Blackhawks however would find another gear, led by The Captain as he scored just past the midway mark to cut the Wild lead to 4-3. Just under 3 minutes later, Artem Anisimov would tie the game on a breakaway after a fantastic 100 ft. stretch pass by Gustafsson from the defensive zone. With just under 6 minutes remaining Tanner Kero thought he had his 1st career NHL goal waved off as the referee lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle ending play. After 40 minutes, the game would be all tied up at four.

The early scoring theme would continue in the 3rd period, and once again, it was the Wild who would strike. Just 32 seconds into the period Nino Niederreiter would score on a rebound off of Darling to put the Wild ahead 5-4. The remainder of the period would see a couple of chances for the Blackhawks but nothing would come of them. Devan Dubnyk stopped all 10 shots he faced in the 3rd as the Wild held on to the 5-4 win.

The Good
  • Jonathan Toews answered his challenge tonight. All he has been saying is how you have to work hard to break out of a funk. Tonight his hard work resulted in two goals and set the tone for the change of momentum that turned in the Hawks favor in the 2nd period.
  • Erik Gustafsson had a solid NHL debut. His 100 foot stretch pass to Anisimov in the 2nd period was risky, but he read the play well, and resulted in an Anisimov goal on a breakaway.
  • We've all criticized him to some extent or an other, but Ryan Garbutt has had a solid week of play. Yes, he doesn't belong on the 1st line, but he is generating chances, and its only a matter of time before those chances turn into goals for him or teammates.
  • Jump for joy, the Blackhawks scored 4 goals!!
The Bad
  • Marian Hossa left the game in the 2nd period and didn't return. As of right now he's listed as day to day with a "lower body injury." Hopefully that's all it is.
  • As much praise as we've given TVR of late, tonight he wasn't very good. He got caught looking like a deer in headlights on the Wild's first goal, and ended the night a -2.
  • Viktor Svedberg also had a rough night. He looked like all he was interested in doing tonight was standing and reaching with his stick instead of skating. Work in progress folks. I'd rather this than the no longer #AdequateRundblad.
  • Be honest, did you notice Ryan Hartman at all tonight? But by all means the Hawks need MOAR GRIT and SANDPAPER.
  • Scott Darling was bad tonight. That's the truth, no sugar coating it whatsoever. He was over committing and over sliding his crease all night. Hey these nights are bound to happen, you just wish they didn't happen when a struggling offense puts up 4 goals.
The Ugly
  • Please stop whining about the no goal in the 2nd period. Its the right call. The referee lost sight of the puck. He's supposed to blow the play dead. Get over it. This is more directed towards Jamal Mayers, who is the WORST studio analyst I've ever seen. When you get lines like this; "The referee lost his view of the puck, don't know why that play was blown dead" all you can do is shake your head. By the way Jamal, you answered your own question.
  • I don't understand the call up of Hartman. All this does is create another duplicate of Andrew Shaw.
  • The trio of Bickell-Tikhonov-Rundblad had a nice quiet night in the press box. That's over $6 million dollars sitting the press box. That's a problem.
  • Since we're hard on Gate for being a GoalieSaurus Rex (that's a hockey dinosaur) I have to admit, I fell asleep during this game for an hour and a half. So my apologies for the late recap as I had to watch this on DVR. Hey, I was out till 2am on Thursday night, cut me some slack. But if this is what its like to be in your 30s then I want no part of this shit. Hell, I already have the hip of an 80 year old, so there's that.

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