Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Blackhawks vs. Avalanche
3-0 Shutout Loss Recap

"Zero Hour"
by Patrick Stankus

The Colorado Avalanche came to town on Tuesday night to face the Blackhawks who were riding the wave of two straight shutout wins.  From the last time we talked, the Hawks made a tweak to the roster in acquiring D Rob Scuderi from the Penguins for D Trevor Daley. Much of the pregame talk was centered around how Rozsival 2.0 would fit on the Hawks blueline and that question was answered. On the third pairing with Rozsival. I know, we should all cringe at that.

From the drop of the puck, the Hawks looked like they were lacking that extra jump in their step. Despite having an early power play, the Hawks couldn't solve Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov. After having two power plays in the first period, the Avalanche would finally get on the board with just over five minutes remaining by way of a Matt Duchene goal that was redirected past Crawford. With the first 20 minutes in the books, the Hawks would trail 1-0.

The second period didn't get off to a great start for the Hawks. Just under two minutes into the period, after a nice passing play, Zach Redmond fired a wrister to put the Avs up 2-0. The Hawks would get a little better as the period went on, finally catching on to how Marian Hossa had been playing. Despite that, the Hawks could cut the Avs lead in half, and after two periods, the Avs would continue to lead 2-0.

The final 20 minutes featured both teams getting a chance on the power play, but neither could convert. The majority of the period saw both teams trade chances, but were to no avail. With time winding down, it was becoming clear that Patrick Kane's streak would come to an end. Which it did. The Avs would add an empty net goal late in the period to seal the 3-0 win over the Hawks.

The Good
  • Marian Hossa was the best Blackhawk tonight. Watching him corkscrew Francois Beauchemin to the ice was hilarious. Hossa ended the night with a team high six shots, and for awhile looked like the other Hawks interested in playing.
  • Corey Crawford had not a great game, but a good enough to win type game. Tonight he made 24 saves in the loss.
  • The sloppy play of the Hawks resulted in the PK having to kill off four Avalanche power plays. Luckily they came through tonight.

The Bad
  • Rob Scuderi was very Rob Scuderi, but not as ugly as Rob Scuderi in his Blackhawks debut. That pairing though of Scuderi and Rozsival is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • I'd love to know who is paying the beat writers to write that Bickell has been great since returning to Chicago. He's been mediocre at best. Tonight a missed defensive assignment by him lead to the Avs second goal.
  • Seeing Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla on the Avalanche makes even me feel old. Jesus Christ.
  • I'll put this in the good category when I see it more consistently. Tonight every Blackhawk (even Artem Anisimov) was above 50% at the dot with the exception of Kruger. All in all they were 35-26 at the dot tonight.
  • Patrick Kane's points streak came to an end at 26 games tonight. It was a hell of a run, but its over. Time to move on. I bet someone's parents wishes they made their kids study tonight.
The Ugly
  • Seriously, how the hell is Ryan Garbutt not playing in favor of Brandon Mashinter? At the very least, Garbutt can give you more than five minutes of ice time. When the Manshitter goes back to Rockford, he can take Bickell back with him.
  • The Hawks sloppy play resulted in them being shorthanded four times.
  • Let us marvel in the fact that former Blackhawks 1st rounder Jack Skille is playing for the Avalanche. Somehow the Hawks thought he was better than Anze Kopitar. Sigh.
  • The Hawks had 22 shots blocked tonight. Time to start moving those legs and finding open shooting lanes.

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