Monday, November 21, 2016

Blackhawks at Oilers
5-0 Shutout Loss Recap

"Slaughter of the Soul"

Pretty clearly isn't from tonights game, but I suck with photos. Sue me.

Patrick Norton

Pregame Thoughts

Last season, Connor McClavicle… excuse me… McDavid found himself on the long term IR before the Blackhawks had a chance to face him. The long awaited matchup is finally here. McDavid vs. Kane, McDavid vs. Toews, McDavid vs. the Blackhawks. See a trend here? McDavid has been the storyline of this matchup for a while now. It doesn’t matter that it’s a random regular season matchup, nor has the success these teams factored in. It’s all about McDavid. From Chicago publications to Edmonton sites, it's an anticipated matchup for many fans and media sources (excluding The Hockey Press. They just want you to have a successful DraftKings lineup) around the league.

Guess what? The Blackhawks don’t care. They’ve got another seventeen Oiler players to worry about and are coming off of one of their sloppiest starts to a game this season. The occasional loss is nothing to worry about, but being down to the Canucks after two periods is cause for concern. A miraculous comeback washes it away for the most part, but taking a step back, it was one of the worst played games this year. A win's a win, but the Hawks are going to need a strong start against an improved Edmonton team.

Game Time

The storyline going into every game this season has been “Can you Blackhawks get off to a fast start?” The answer has been “no” far too often. Tonight? Bingo. ‘Nough said? No? Let me elaborate. Noted Blackhawks killer Oscar Klefbom netted a softy against Corey Crawford and Leon Draisaitl followed up with a powerplay tally to round out the first period. The Blackhawks had their fair share of chances, but could not convert and trailed early, 2-0 after one.

Welp, the Hawks fell into the same trap that they did against the Canucks on Saturday. Seconds after a Kruger penalty expired, Andrej Sekera tallied on the powerplay. It’s frustrating that the Blackhawks put themselves in the same spot they were in against Vancouver. Here’s the thing; go down 3-0 after two to the Canucks. You’ll still probably win. You can’t go down 3-0 against a competent hockey team and realistically expect to comeback. It was a sloppy, yet entertaining period otherwise. Vinny Hinostroza deked Oscar Klefbom out of his jock strap. It was pretty hysterical. Anyways, onto the third, already down, 3-0.

I think the Hawks get a pass on losing tonight. Afterall, passing is all they could do tonight. Third game in four nights and the fatigue showed. However, there’s no excuse for being shutout. Granted, the last game wasn’t spectacular either. 7:17 into the third, Anton Slepyshev put the dagger through the heart of the Blackhawks and ended this one. Another goal from Leon Draisaitl just poured the salt into the wound. Another slow beginning plagued them, but it carried throughout the entire game. Simply put, they just didn’t have it tonight. Here’s how my father usually characterizes a loss; “They just didn’t want it as much as the other team.” Luckily the Oilers couldn’t find the net more than five times. They take this one, 5-0.

The Good

  • Cam Talbot had some exceptional saves early on. A breakaway from Toews and a point blank shot from Kane, both deflected wide gave the Edmonton goaltender some early confidence.
  • Puck movement between Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane has steadily improved each game, but tonight, they were able to generate some A+ chances in the zone, especially early. Unfortunately, nothing connected with the back of the net.
  • The fourth line combo of Hartman - Hinostroza - Panik matched the Oilers in speed; something the Blackhawks haven’t been able to do since I joined the bandwagon... hehe
  • Rogers Place is pretty cool looking. From a TV, that is. It’s nice to watch a game taking place in Edmonton and not feel like the lights are off and they’re skating on water. Good job.
  • The Oilers. Who knew?

The Bad

  • The intermission report with Steve Konroyd and Pat Boyle is just brutal. Konroyd makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall. Every opportunity he gets to remind the viewers that he’s Canadian, he’ll pronounce something like a fool. Not even like a Canadian. More like an impression of a Canadian.
  • The goals Corey Crawford let slip through were not completely on him. Missed defensive assignments and just giving clear shots on the goaltender pins those on the defense just as much. Unfortunately, Crawford could’ve had at least two of them, especially the Klefbom goal.
  • The Hawks had no trouble getting the puck on net, but they weren’t quality chances. Sure, lucky bounces happen, but Talbot wasn’t giving up many juicy rebounds.
  • My grade in Sociology. Should’ve been doing my homework instead of watching this crap. Whoops.
  • My original spelling of every scorer for the Oilers tonight. Thanks Google.
  • The powerplay forgot to show up again. They had decent movement, but couldn’t follow it up with a goal.

The Ugly

  • The first goal of the game, scored by Oiler Oscar Klefbom, was weak. Not a desireable start for one of the league’s best goaltenders.
  • Welp, they’re the worst PK in the league for a reason. The Hawks were able to kill one early,  but on the next chance for a kill, Leon Draisaitl had an easy route to the net for a lamp lighter. Then, to close out period number two, Andrej Sekera essentially put the game out of reach with a tally seconds after an Oilers powerplay had expired for Edmonton. Draisaitl then cleaned up Lucic scraps for another PP goal with just over a minute remaining in the game. Just another crap game for the Hawks PK
  • Once again, the first forty minutes were dismal for the Hawks. Three goal leads are usually pretty safe, unless you’re the Canucks. They’ve got to change their approach to the first two periods if they plan on remaining atop the West further into the season.
  • Who the hell is Slepyshev? And how in God’s name did he score? Maybe Mike Milbury was right about Crawford’s glove side during the 2013 playoffs. HAHAHAHA
  • The final twenty minutes weren’t anything to brag about, either. Ugh.
  • The defense of the Blackhawks shifted all of their attention to McDavid very early. There was no reason to and it burned them with five goals being scored by guys not named Connor McDavid.
  • Remember when the Hawks came back against the Canucks by scoring three goals in the third. Well, the Hawks were held to just three shots in the third. That just cannot happen.
  • Milan Lucic’s face.

I’m trying to think of more “Ugly” things about tonights game. There are too many, but I’m trying to remove this one from my memory. Great start to my time at Puckin’ Hostile.

The Lineblender

Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Schmaltz - Toews - Kane
Panarin - Anisimov - Hossa
Desjardins - Kruger - Motte
Hartman - Hinostroza - Panik

Keith - Campbell
Kempny - Seabrook
Forsling - Hjalmarsson

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats

  • I’m still not exactly what the point of Corsi is, but Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz, and Brent Seabrook finished with double-digit poisitive Corsi’s. Niklas Hjalmarsson was the only Hawk double-digits in the red.
  • The Blackhawks actually won 29/56 faceoffs, which is good enough for a 51.8% success rate, but it wasn’t good for any goals.

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