Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blackhawks vs Predators
3-2 Win Recap

"Wanna be in LA"
by Gatekeeper

After spending 5 days in warm, sunny Anaheim Ducks country and after spending 9 hours in a plane for a trip that should have taken 3 1/2, what is my reward? The Nashville Predators. Nothing better than coming back to recap a game that has the high likelihood of a low score to cheer you up.

That said, the Blackhawks "welcomed" the spineless Predators organization into the United Center Tuesday night. This would be the first time that the Hawks have faces newly acquired Ryan Johansen in a #PERDS uniform, after they sent former 1st round pick Seth Jones to #LOLumbus for Johansen. Now we all get to see just how fat an out of shape he really is. In a late surprise, just before the game, Artem Anisimov was scratched with an illness, so Richard Panik made his Hawks debut.

The open to the game was pretty sloppy. The Hawks gave up a few really good chances and they had quite a few less than impressive clearing chances. The Blackhawks sure didn't make things any easier by taking three straight penalties, after their own fruitless powerplay, early on. Luckily, the Blackhawks were able to grab a last minute flukey goal, and go into the first intermission up 1-0. The Blackhawks amazingly out shot the Preds 11-10.

The Blackhawks definitely capitalized on their chances in the second period, putting 2 more goals on the board. Two goals on only SIX shots, that is. Not exactly what you would expect to hear in a game facing "All-Star" goalie Pekka Rinne. The Preds, on the other hand, struggled to get one goal on TWENTY shots. The one goal they did manage to score was pretty flukey. We'll take it.

The third period was more of a lockdown period for the Blackhawks and they were out shot once again 13-6. The only goal scored was a very late Preds goal, and just for good measure they added a little drama in the final seconds. As it has been for most of the season, Corey Crawford held them in the game. Next up, a tilt against former Blackhawks player and front office member, Marc Bergevin and his Montreal Canadiens.

The Good
  • With Anisimov out, Teuvo Teravainen took his spot between Kane and Panarin. So we got to see the "Kanes of 1000 Nations" line. The Finnish Kane, the Russian Kane and the Real American Kane.
  • With under a minute remaining in the first period. Andrew Shaw picked up a loose puck to Rinne's right and just threw the puck back at Rinne as Rinne was scrambling to get back in the crease. It hit Rinne on the inside of the left leg and dribbled into the net.
  • The rag tag combination of Rasmussen, Hossa, and Shaw put the Blackhawks up 2-0, early in the second period. Hoss made a great play at the Preds blue line to turn the rush back in the Preds direction. Rasmussen dropped to Hossa, who got a shot through the defender. Rinne slid out of his net and the rebound laid in front of a gaping net, that Andrew Shaw swept into the net, in pretty unspectacular fashion.
  • The Blackhawks started to pull away slightly past the halfway point of the second period, with a pretty Patrick Kane / Brent Seabrook give-n-go goal. Seabrook tee'd up from the ladies tee and sent a heavy cannon past Rinne. An NHL player with a chance like that SHOULD score on a look like that at least 75% of the time.
  • Let's all enjoy Andrew Shaw while we can, because he is going to be shoved down our throats for the next couple of weeks, after the last couple of performances he's had.
  • Marian Hossa celebrated his 37th birthday with assists on both Shaw goals.
  • Joel Quenneville got his 782nd career regular season win, tying Al Arbour. That's pretty damn good.
  • I find myself very satisfied with the Hawks top 5 defensemen. The Scrozsival two headed monster has been adequate as well. I think the Hawks are finally onto something, after trying to fit that square Rundblad peg into the round hole for half the season.

The Bad
  • Some of the penalty calls were serious head scratchers, both ways. At least they were consistent. I won't complain too much because at least they stuck to the bar they set for both teams.
  • The Preds got a late powerplay because of a Brent Seabrook holding infraction. Corey Crawford made several nice saves, but the Preds eventually cut the Blackhawks lead to one goal with Forsberg bunting a waist high puck past Crawford.
  • Richard Panik made his debut and was invisible. I can see the Richard Panik phase passing quickly but did we really expect much more, for the smoldering career of Jeremy Morin?
  • Scuderi was pretty bad in puck possession, as well, and his zone starts were much more even.

The Ugly
  • Eighteen seconds after the Seabrook goal skidmark Mike Ribeiro got a bit of a gift goal. He picked up the puck behind the net and took it towards the crease. Crawford cheated a little and went down early. Ribeiro just jammed the puck into Crawford and it somehow popped up, off Crawford and into the net. Bad goal, but whatever.
  • According to the "high on acid" official scorer, Mr. Carrie Underwood led the Preds with 7 hits. In what bizarro universe, may I ask, did this happen?
  • How is that Cody Hodgson deal working out for you, Smashville? He had a minus 4 Corsi in just over 10 minutes.
  • Speaking of bad nights, let's all take a gander at The Manshitter. A minus TEN Corsi, and was out there for a goal against. Granted his offensive zone starts were almost nil but c'mon. Seriously, Bryan Bickell is worse than this guy?
  • Speaking of the huge orange boat anchor named Bryan Bickell, he was was scratched; again. This has gotten thoroughly embarrassing. Do something, ANYTHING.

The Lineblender
Shaw - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Teravainen - Kane
Panik - Danault - Desjardins
Garbutt - Rasmussen - Mashinter

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Gustafsson - Seabrook
van Riemsdyk - Scuderi


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