Friday, December 23, 2016

Blackhawks vs Avalanche
2-1 OT Loss Recap

"No Excuses"

by Gatekeeper

The schedule wizards of the NHL really stuck one in the fans behind when they scheduled a Friday night game on December 23rd. No one wants to spend Christmas eve-eve stapled to a United Center seat or their TV. It might be decent background fodder while most parents are rushing to wrap the mounds of gifts they had left, but it was going to be really hard to pay attention to a game against the thoroughly shitty Colorado Avalanche. I hope the Hawks asked the Avs to bring some of that special Colorado contraband with them, otherwise this was going to be a tough one to swallow.

Luckily for the Blackhawks had goalie Corey Crawford back from his illness, but the luck stopped in net. Center Vinny Hinostroza was a game time decision with and illness and the duo of Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov were ruled out with upper body injuries. For the Avs, goalie Semyon Varlamov didn't even make the trip to Chicago, so noted Blackhawks killer Calvin Pickard was in net.

The Blackhawks definitely looked like they were indulging heavily in the ol Colorado contraband for the opening of the first period. The Avs took a 9-1 shot lead before the game was ten minutes old. A Hawks powerplay turned the tide a bit, but the Blackhawks never caught up. The Avs finished the first period with a 13-12 lead and could have easily grabbed the lead. The Hawks were going to need to finish stronger than that against the last place team in their division.

Apparently the Blackhawks weren't interested in my analysis because they came out in the second period and put forth another "ho-hum" effort, for the first half, that is. It took them until the second half of the period to finally find some motivation. A powerplay goal gave the Hawks a shot in the ass and the goals, er goal, was to follow. This sustained pressure also resulted in a 15-10 Blackhawks shot advantage.

As can happen when you only carry a one goal lead into the third period, the Blackhawks coughed up that lead, like Forklift on Wednesday's Shoutcast. After they gave up that lead, the Hawks packed it in. Even though they out shot the Avs 12-9, they really never threatened to break the tie. I guess they were just happy to get to overtime, because they gave up the game winner 25 seconds into the extra time. What a colossal waste of everyone's evening.

That said, we want to wish all of you fans a Merry Christmas, and safe travels.

The Good
  • With their second powerplay of the night not exactly going swimmingly in the second period, the Blackhawks finally got the monkey off their backs with a powerplay goal. Jonathan Toews redirected an Artemi Panarin pass over the goal line to break his scoreless streak. I guess that means I had to delete my "Jonathan Toews is just snakebitten" note.
  • The Rasmussen/Kruger/Panik line has been amazing lately. They have truly become a solid shutdown line with enough skill to toss a goal or two in.
  • Corey Crawford was not at fault, at all. He kept the Blackhawks in the game all night and his team pissed all over him.
  • Calvin Pickard continued to be a Blackhawk killer, making 38 saves and taking home a win.
  • Other than Tanner Kero, the rest of the Hawks centers were dominant at the faceoff dots.

The Bad
  • Five minutes into the game and Jordin Tootoo snuck around the defense and had a partial breakaway. What does he do? He tries some stupid fucking between the legs move and never really got a good shot off. What the shit was that? Just get a good look and shoot the puck, you fucking dopey plug! Following that, Tootoo played 3 more shifts the entire game. Good. Asshole!
  • The Avs tied the game with 5 minutes gone in the third period. It was a simple enough play that was redirected 5 feet in front of the net past Crawford. The Hawks should never have been up by only one goal at this point.
  • How do you play the last place team in your division and take them to overtime in the first place?

The Ugly
  • Just a couple of shifts into the second period, Duncan Keith almost kicked a rebound right into his own net, but Corey Crawford got the puck with the toe of his skate. That would have been embarrassing.
  • Vince Hinostroza cross checked Joe Colborne right in the fucking yap, halfway through the third period and was lucky to only end up with coincidental minors. Not a smart play.
  • Twenty five seconds into the overtime period,, and after Patrick Kane turned the puck over, Nathan MacKinnon led a 2-on-1 but took it himself and won the game.
  • This game was boring as all hell. The Hawks gave zero shits.

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • Fran├žois Beauchemin (-18 Corsi) and Nikita Zadorov (-16 Corsi) were just run the hell over in possession.
  • So, when does Andrew Desjardins sit for a few games? He was far and away the worst possession play on the Hawks (-12 Corsi), and did nothing all night. This was all in just 9 total shifts and 5:47 of time on ice.
  • Tootoo would have been even worse than his -4 Corsi, if he didn't have his worthless ass stapled to the bench all night.
  • Tanner Kero didn't have a good debut at all. He couldn't win a faceoff and had a negative Corsi.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Panarin - Toews - Hossa
Hartman - Hinostroza - Motte
Rasmussen - Kruger - Panik
Desjardins - Kero - Tootoo

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Campbell - Seabrook
Forsling - van Riemsdyk


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