Saturday, January 16, 2016

Blackhawks at Maple Leafs 4-1 Win Recap

"The Mountie"

by Patrick Stankus

The Blackhawks traveled to Toronto on Friday night to take on the Maple Leafs in the second of a brief back to back Canadian road trip. The Hawks came into Toronto off what can only be described as a goalie win in Montreal on Thursday night. After bailing the Hawks out, Corey Crawford earned the night off, and it was #LemontNativeScottDarling taking to the net for the Hawks. We all know what happened last time I recapped a game in which Darling was in net. Safe to say, it couldn't get much worse than that.

The game got off to a sloppy start for the Hawks. Patrick Kane took a high sticking penalty just over three minutes in, but luckily the PK killed it off. As for Kane, we might hear from him again in this recap. Andrew Shaw thought he had tallied the game's opening goal in the first period, but Leafs coach Mike Babcock challenged a potential offsides call against Marian Hossa. After a review, it was determined Hossa was offside, and the goal was taken away. The rest of the period was so good that we'll just move onto the second period.

The second period was simply the #AK72Line show. The tandem of Kane, Anisimov, and Panarin were on full display at even strength and on the power play. Kane opened the scoring just past the midway point of the game, after picking up a loose puck in the goal mouth, and put the Hawks up 1-0. Kane and the #AK72Line weren't done yet. A little over four minutes later, Kane fired a wrister on the power play from the bottom of the circle past Reimer to increase the Hawks lead to 2-0. The Hawks pretty much dominated play in the second period, thanks in part to the careless play of the Maple Leafs that resulted in four penalties. When the period ended, the Hawks would out shoot the Leafs 11-8, en route to their two goal performance in the period.

After a late second period penalty by Nazem Kadri, Roman Polak followed that up by taking a cross checking penalty 12 seconds into the third period. The Hawks wasted little time in making the Leafs pay. Just nine seconds after the Polak penalty, Artemi Panarin scored on the 5 on 3 to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead. Just under four minutes into the period the Leafs would get one back. Morgan Rielly used all the time and space that was given to him and fired a puck past Scott Darling to pull the Leafs within two. Despite getting two power plays later in the period, that's as close as the Leafs would get. Patrick Kane added an empty netter to record the hat trick, and give the Hawks a 4-1 win in Toronto.

The Good
  • Patrick Kane had himself a bit of a night. In addition to the hat trick, he also assisted on Panarin's goal for a four point night.
  • Speaking of Kane and Panarin. That #AK72Line is pretty good. I'm glad someone got to see in person that honeymoon is still going strong.
  • The power play went 2 for 6 tonight. We can thank the shitty Leafs for those late Christmas presents.
  • Andrew Shaw and Andrew Desjardins continue to be more than adequate. Both had solid games tonight. Enjoy this while it lasts. We all know how quick these two can crash back to Earth.
  • Scott Darling had a nice bounce back game for me to recap. He saved 28 of 29 shots faced, and made a couple real nice saves.
  • The Leafs had three power plays, two of which came in the third where they had a chance to get back in the game. Fortunately for the Hawks the penalty kill came through when needed.

The Bad
  • Two penalties by the Hawks right after the Leafs scored to cut the lead to two. Nothing like trying to hand a team a game on a silver platter. Luckily the Leafs tried to capitalize with paper plates instead.
  • I wanted more hats on the ice for Kane's hat trick. That's a tradition that is fun, and never gets old.
  • My God the Leafs are a feast or famine team. I pray for you Mike Babcock.

The Ugly
  • I enjoyed the outrage of the overturned Andrew Shaw goal. All I hear when it comes to replay is "we want to get the calls correct." Well I know from the one angle you saw it looked like Hossa's skate was on the ice, but sorry the NHL has a lot more looks than us. Plus on the one look you can see Hossa's skate come in contact after he crosses the blueline, thus making his skate airborne, not on the line like you want to believe. So stop criticizing the 4 inch tablets the linesemen use because Greg Wyshynski wants you to, Toronto is also watching the play. And most importantly, you wanted more replay, so deal with an overturned call.
  • If someone can explain to me what the fuck Rob Suckderi was doing on Morgan Rielly's goal, I'd love to hear it. I'm still trying to figure it out, and its almost 1:30 am.
  • Speaking of great defense. How much longer before Jake Gardiner is considered a swing and a miss. He was flat out awful for the Leafs tonight.
  • Fuck it, I've had Uverse problems all night, so my apologies for this slow posting recap. I'm ending the recap here before it goes out again.

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