Saturday, December 17, 2016

Blackhawks at Blues
6-4 Win Recap

"Animal House"

by Patrick Stankus

With the Winter Classic just over two weeks away, Saturday night was an appetizer of things to come as the Blackhawks traveled to St. Louis to take on the Blues. For the Hawks this marked the end of their three game road trip that saw them visit both New York teams earlier in the week. It was also the beginning of a back to back as the Hawks will host the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night. With the excitement of the Winter Classic looming for both teams, it will be interesting to see if any bad blood starts to boil tonight.

The Blackhawks didn't exactly get off to an ideal start tonight. In the opening minute, Scott Darling gave up an extremely soft goal on an unscreened, 45 foot slap shot to put the Hawks in an early hole. Five minutes into the game, the Hawks had a power play chance, but nothing materialized, and they still trailed. As time went on though, the Hawks found their legs and got numerous chances on Jake Allen. With time winding down in the period, the third line came through for the Hawks. Dennis Rasmussen was parked in front of the net and was able to beat Jake Allen to tie the game with 26 seconds remaining to tie the game at one.

If you're one of the people crying for more scoring in hockey, then the second period was for you. The Blues took a 2-1 lead just past the three minute mark of the middle frame, but from then it was hold onto your seat hockey. In the last ten minutes of the period, a total of four goals was scored and the lead flip flopped more than the couple from Flip or Flop's recent story. Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell were able to tally for the Hawks in the period, but it wasn't enough to keep the Hawks tied with the Blues. With twelve seconds remaining, Alex Pietrangelo scored to give the Blues a 4-3 lead after forty minutes of play.

In the third period, the Hawks finally woke up and realized what the hell they were supposed to be doing. Early in the period, Niklas Hjalmarsson fired a slapper that beat Jake Allen and tied the game at four. From that point on, it was all Blackhawks. The Blues tried to do their best to get under the Hawks skin, but it was to no avail. Its sad the Blues still think the Hawks will still stoop down to their level and play hockey in a dumpster. With four and a half minutes remaining, Vinnie Hinostroza scored to put the Hawks on top 5-4. Artemi Panarin added an empty netter, and probably another zero to his next contract, to give the Hawks a 6-4 win over the Blues.

The Good
  • Dennis Rasmussen's hard work of late finally paid off. He notched the Hawks first goal of the night with some net front presence. All in all, Moose had a very good game. One of his best games of the season.
  • TVR had a great outlet pass that sprung Patrick Kane on a breakaway, in which Kane tied the game at two with. Of course though, since its TVR no one noticed or if they did, won't give him any sort of credit.
  • Lack of depth has been an issue for the Hawks this season, but tonight that depth showed up. The Hawks got goals from Rasmussen, Campbell, Hinostroza, and Hjalmarsson, in addition to Kane and Panarin. That's a nice balance there.
  • The third line of Panik-Kruger-Rasmussen was fan-fucking-tastic tonight. The fact they added scoring was icing on the cake...... which Hitchcock will gladly eat.
  • Who didn't enjoy seeing Vinnie Hinostroza out-muscle Joel Edmundson on the game winning goal? 
  • The Hawks had double digit shot totals in all three periods tonight, and ended the night with thirty-six. Not to mention a lot them were quality chances.
  • The Hawks did a good job of keeping their composure tonight, as they never allowed the Blues power play to take to the ice.
  • I'm enjoying all the games I've had to recap of late, because I haven't had to see Michal Kempny play.

The Bad
  • #RandomPatFoleyStats made another appearance in the first period. Tonight it was Gustav Forsling has been a +3 over his last five games. Keep these coming Pat.
  • Artem Anisimov left the game in the first period and didn't return.
  • Five goals in the second period???!!! That's as bad as hearing nine Pearl Jam songs at The UC during a Hawks game.
  • Gustav Forsling looked like a deer in the headlights tonight.
  • Scott Darling certainly wasn't as good as he has been of late, but he was alright tonight. He did have a couple of soft goals, but a night like tonight was expected based on how well he's played of late.
  • The power play wasn't exactly terrific tonight. They were 0 for 3, and one of the power plays they had trouble just entering the zone.

The Ugly
  • That animal, Ryan Reaves proved once he's nothing more than Andrew Shaw with no scoring touch, skating around out there, acting like an asshole. 
  • Forty one seconds into the game, Scott Darling got a piece of a Patrik Berglund slap shot from 45 feet, but it wasn't enough as it trickled past the goal line. Needless to say, an unscreened shot from that distance, that early into a road game needs to be stopped. No excuses.
  • Kyle Brodziak's goal in the second period was nothing short of luck. The puck hit a broken stick laying on the ice and beat Scott Darling as a result. I know it bothers @UncleRozsival to no end when officials refuse to pick up broken sticks. I might be on board as well now.
  • Colton Parayko was a -3 tonight. That's Michal Kempny bad.
  • Joel Edmundson had three assists for the Blues tonight, but he also assisted on at least two of the Hawks goals with horrendous defense. (Not sure if this belongs in the ugly, but then again Joel Edmundson's face is ugly, so it stays here)

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