Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blackhawks vs. Sharks
2-0 Shutout Loss Recap

"Rotten Apple"

by Patrick Stankus

Tonight the Blackhawks returned home to The UC after a three game, post All-Star break road trip, to take on the San Jose Sharks. The Hawks were thrown a bit of a curveball, as Artemi Panarin was forced to miss this game due to an illness. Panarin wasn't the only late scratch tonight. Gate was supposed to recap tonight's game, but an upper body injury prevented him from typing tonight. I know you are all happy to have me recap a game between the two teams that made Jeremy Roenick most famous. You know the teams that saw JR score his 1st NHL goal, and his 500th career goal. Shit, no wonder why Gate pulled out of this recap. Before I get to the game, shameless plug, listen to the Roenick Life Podcast, its grrrrrrrrrreat. Alright, enough rambling, onto the game.

The first period got underway just as you'd expect from the Hawks in their first home game in some time. The Hawks were guilty of showcasing that famous "one too many passes" play style, but as the period went on, they simplified their game. Brandon Mashinter thought he had given the Hawks the lead late in the period, but after a coach's challenge by the Sharks, the call was overturned and the game remained scoreless. The Hawks would out shoot the Sharks 10-8, while also having two power plays in the first, but couldn't crack the back of the net. As the horn sounded ending the first period, the game would be scoreless.

In the second period, the Hawks would lack the same intensity they had in the first period. The Sharks pounced on the Hawks lazy approach, and dominated play for the first 15 minutes of the period. Midway through the period, the Sharks would capitalize on a Niklas Hjalmarsson slashing penalty, and gave themselves a 1-0 lead with a power play goal. In the final 5 minutes of the period, the Hawks would finally show some life, but couldn't tie the game. After 40 minutes of play, the Hawks would trail the Sharks 1-0.

As the third period got underway, the tone of the play was about as exciting as smashing your head against a wall. The Sharks clamped down on the Hawks, and made life difficult for them. The Hawks could rarely muster any sustained pressure, only generating a few one and done chances throughout the period. In the final two minutes with the Hawks net empty, the Sharks added another tally to seal a 2-0 win in Chicago.

The Good
  • Michal Rozsival had himself quite the opening 10 minutes tonight. Rozsival had two great defensive plays, one in which broke up a Sharks 4 on 2 attempt, and also drew a penalty, giving the Hawks the first power play of the game. Overall Rozsival was actually really good. And if Michal Rozsival is your best player, well, you're fucked.
  • Corey Crawford was again, Corey Crawford. Unlike Bickell, repeating Crawford's play in recaps is fun. Tonight he was good when called upon. He stopped 26 of 27 shots, and I hate to use the cliche, but he was good enough to win tonight.
  • The Hawks dominated at the face off dot tonight, 33-22. I'm really stretching for things now.
  • Anything else? No really anything else?

The Bad
  • The second period was boring as hell. A lot of that was thanks to the Hawks playing like they didn't give a shit for the majority of the period. As a result it felt like it was the longest 20 minutes of my life.
  • The power play was 0 for 3 tonight. Feast or famine with that bunch. Tonight nothing stuck out from any of the three power play chances.
  • Safe to say the honeymoon with the #AK72Line isn't over. Tonight the lines were a jumbled mess that couldn't get any sustained pressure. Please get healthy Breadman.
  • If there is one honeymoon that should be over, its the one with Phillip Danault. He's not Kruger's replacement, he's a poor man's Marcus Kruger. 
  • Bryan Bickell was in the house tonight, at least in calendar form being sold behind Section 114 at The UC.

The Ugly
  • The Breadman was moldy tonight, and missed the game due to an illness.
  • The coach's challenge for goalie interference is getting out of hand. Again tonight, the Hawks had a goal overturned due to "goalie interference." Give me a break. Simply breathing on a goalie isn't goalie interference. Go back to the old skate in the crease rule if we want ZERO contact with the goalie. Just make sure you enforce it correctly.
  • Of course Jumbo Jackass Joe Thornton would score an empty netter to make it 2-0. I can't stand that piece of shit.
  • Jiri Sekac played tonight for the Hawks. Apparently he had 4 shots too. I don't remember any of them. He's starting to tap dance down jackass alley that leads to Tim Erixon's house.
  • Since general soreness is a topic of discussion today because of the Bulls "star" player, I wouldn't be surprised if @UncleRozsival follows the lead by Derrick Rose, and calls in sick to work tomorrow due to general soreness after seeing how well Rozsival played tonight.


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