Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Blackhawks at Rangers 2-1 Win Recap

"As Long As We've Got Each Other"

by Patrick Stankus

As you know by now, my recap titles this year are a tribute to Alice In Chains, but tonight we honor a legend. During tonight's game, it was announced that actor Alan Thicke died. As someone who grew up watching Growing Pains during the early 90's as well as the reruns, Thicke was one of my favorite actors. So before you tell me "too soon" with the title, its a tribute to Thicke and his legacy. RIP Jason Seaver.

The Blackhawks began a three game road trip on Tuesday night to take on the New York Rangers, in the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Tuesday's game also marked the second time the two teams have played each other in the last four days, thanks to the NHL schedule makers. The Hawks were looking to get some sort of payback after the Rangers defeated the Hawks 1-0 in Chicago on Friday night. Leading up to the game, the Hawks got some good news as Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook made their returns to the lineup.

In what was hopefully a sign of things to come, Jonathan Toews managed to win the opening faceoff of the game, something that hasn't been easy in his absence. In the opening minutes of the game, you could tell the Hawks had a bit of jump to their step, unlike in recent games. As the period went on, the Hawks had numerous chances, some of very good quality, but Antti Raanta was there to stop them all. At the other end of the ice, Scott Darling only had seven, one and done, shots thrown at him by the Rangers, and managed to stop them all. Despite dictating the pace of the game for most of the period, the Hawks would skate into the intermission scoreless after one period.

The second period of the game was nothing short of exciting. Both teams had countless chances, that also featured end to end action. After being dominated by the Rangers early in the period, the Hawks were able to get on the board first, thanks to an unlikely goal by none other than everyone's second favorite scapegoat TVR. However despite the goal, the Rangers momentum didn't break. Just under three minutes later, the Rangers managed to get the equalizer to tie the game at one. Late in the period, Scott Darling made a big save, to keep the game tied at one. Not surprising, after that save, the Hawks rode the momentum down the rink, and Artem Anisimov was able to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead after two periods.

While starts have been much of the story this season for the Hawks, tonight was a different story. In the third period, the Rangers absolutely dominated play throughout the twenty minutes. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the Scott Darling Show was in full effect in the third. Time after time, Darling came up with some spectacular saves to preserve the Hawks one goal lead. While the Hawks had their chances, they weren't able to add to their lead, and their goalie bailed them out. As time wound down, the Rangers couldn't do anything with the extra attacker, and the Hawks skated out of MSG with the 2-1 win.

The Good
  • Pardon me while I do some cartwheels as not only Brent Seabrook returned for the Blackhawks, but so did The Captain, Jonathan Toews.
  • #SlowlyImprovingTVR added his first goal of the season in the second period. That trade value just keeps going up, up, up, up, up.
  • The pass by Brian Campbell on Anisimov's goal was old school Brian Campbell. That kind of play has been severely lacking from Campbell thus far.
  • Marian Hossa's swipe of a loose puck in the Hawks goal crease in the third period was huge. When he's not scoring goals, he's saving goals for the Hawks.
  • The Hawks defense when the Rangers had the extra attacker was outstanding. They clamped down, and the Rangers struggled to even enter the zone.
  • Amazing, The Captain returns, and the Hawks become respectable at the dot again. Tonight they were 55%.
  • Unpopular opinion, but that Rangers third jersey is awesome. See what simple does NHL?
  • SCOTT FUCKING DARLING. Period. End of story.

The Bad
  • #RandomPatFoleyStats made an appearance in the first period. Tonight's random stat was Brian Campbell being a +4 over his last 11 games. DRINK PAT. DRINK.
  • While their start was good, the Hawks struggled at times during the second and third periods. In those two periods, the Hawks yielded 27 shots to the Rangers.
  • Those great six o'clock starts aren't so great during the work week.
  • Michal Kempny sat again. And again, I only mention this because it pisses Gate off, and lets be honest, he signs my checks here, so gotta keep the boss man happy.

The Ugly
  • Chris Kreider had a nasty hit on Ryan Hartman in the corner during the second period. Hartman was slow to get up, and eventually was forced to the dressing room by trainer Mike Gapski. Hartman did however return to the game.
  • In the first period, Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei took a skate to the face. A skate to the face is something you never want to see happen to anyone.
  • Kevin Hayes shit in the hallway and was a -2 tonight.

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