Thursday, December 15, 2016

Blackhawks vs. Islanders
5-4 Win Recap


by Patrick Norton


The Blackhawks enter play with the highest point total in the Western Conference, and the Islanders have the lowest total points in the Eastern Conference. This one has the scent of “trap game” from mile away. With Scott Darling playing exceptional hockey in the absence of starting goaltender Corey Crawford, the question was, would the Hawks offense be able to match the level of play of their goaltender. With the team finally getting back to full strength and coming off of a win against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, this would be the perfect opportunity for the offense to pick up some confidence.

Game Time

Whoops. Here come all the Stan Bowman haters for letting Andrew Ladd go. Just 2:14 into the first period, Ladd scored just his fourth goal of the season. The Islanders then grabbed the Hawks by the pucks with Casey Cizikas also picked up his fourth goal of the year. Down two, the Hawks went to work. After Ryan Hartman duped Cizikas into taking a roughing penalty, the Blackhawks got on the board with an Artemi Panarin one-timer. It didn’t take long for the Blackhawks and even it up. On another powerplay, some tic-tac-toe passing led to an Anisimov equalizer. Then, an incredible pass from Ryan Hartman gave Marian Hossa an empty net. Up 3-2, the Islanders felt the pressure and responded. Ryan Strome snuck one past Darling and tied it up towards the end of period number one. At the end of one, it was all knotted up at three...THREE!

That didn’t take long. Just twenty-two seconds into the second period, Anders Lee redirected an Islanders shot to give New York a one goal lead. After that? Both teams took a nap. After an eventful first period, the Islanders couldn’t pull away, but the Blackhawks couldn’t tie it up. A very lackluster period to follow up an energized first period. BUT WAIT A SECOND. Another PPG! With 18.7 seconds left in the second, Artemi Panarin scored off a nifty pass from Brent Seabrook. Maybe some momentum heading into the third?

Sure, there have been four goals for each team through two periods, but this game has been kind of bland. Hopefully the third would prove to be a little bit different. The first fourteen minutes of the third were very similarly to the second. Richard Panik was finally able to break the ice and give the Hawks the lead, their first since the first period. That’s all they would need, too. Somehow, the Blackhawks steal this one, 5-4.

The Good

  • The offense is alive and well. Three first period goals, including two on the powerplay finally gave fans something to cheer for on offense. Totalling five tallies including adding another on the powerplay gave them THREE PPGs.
  • The penalty kill was pretty solid. They didn’t give away many opportunities and were able to keep the Islanders from scoring on the advantage.
  • Marian Hossa is absolutely tearing it up. He scored his sixteenth goal of the season. Oh yeah, but he’s old, so it doesn’t count.
  • The powerplay was better than great. It helps that the Islanders penalty kill was trash, but the PP was marvelous, nonetheless.
  • Hjalmarsson is a stud. Blocking shots left and right. I can’t imagine the bruises he wakes up with in the morning.
  • Defensively, the first 20:22 were awful, but the remaining 39:38 showed a tightened up core, but also saw some new pairing. We saw a lot less Kempny and a Keith and Seabrook pairing.
  • Special teams was a solid tonight, which is always good to see when that’s been a big struggle for the team.
  • Talk about a team win. Needed a win that relied on something other than spectacular goaltending. Now, put it all together and put the best possible product on the ice. So, uhhh, not Jordin Tootoo.
  • Seabrook improved throughout the night and finished with two helpers, along with Keith.
  • Bread Man finished with a two goals and an assist. Last time I checked, he still does not have a contract extension.

The Bad

  • Sure, it was nice to score three goals in the first, but the start to the game was soooo sloooow. I don’t get how a league leading team can be so consistently bad at jumping out of the gun.
  • The Hinostroza line dressed. I think.
  • Konroyd and Boyle continue to find themselves in this section of the recap. When talking about potential #1 stars of the game, the seemed confused about Ryan Hartman and forgot about his behind-the-back pass to Hossa. C’mon. It was a sweet dish, but their only positive was a darn open ice check in the first period.
  • Ryan Hartman won over the hearts of a lot of fans tonight. He baited a penalty and had a sweet assist .Another good-near-great game for the kid.

The Ugly

  • Sorry Gate, but Kempny sucked. Seabrook wasn’t much better in the first period. Remember how the score was 3-3 at the end of one? Both defenseman were -3 at that point, too. Coincidence? I think not!
  • The start to the second was all Islanders. Surprisingly, they were only able to scratch one across the goal line in the entire period.
  • Puck possession for the Hawks was pretty crappy. Besides the powerplay, the Hawks had trouble getting sustained opportunities. The second and third period was full of sloppy passes and weak shots.
  • Scott Darling didn’t have the best defense being played in front of him, but he looked like a combination of Gate and Brian Elliott out there. He’s been worked a lot, but it looks like Crawford is close to a return, so Darling just has to get through a couple more.
  • This game was ugly for me. I’ve never had such difficulty critiquing a team. Sure, the first period was treacherous, but once the Islanders scored a fourth goal, the Blackhawks got their heads out of their respective asses. You can’t throw away an entire period of horrible defense, but the Hawks regrouped very well.
  • I’m still not positive if Jordin Tootoo actually skated once.
  • Thomas Greiss has a miserable night in net. Sorry pal, but you can’t let your team score four goals on a scorching goalie and still lose the damn game. That’s like rule number one in goalie school.

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

*I’d put the defensive pairing here, too, but they changed every thirty seconds*

#Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats

  • The PAK line had Corsi’s through the roof, but Brian Campbell shocked me when I saw he finished +16.
  • Michal Kempny finished with a team low -4. Not horrible, but still, not great.
  • The Blackhawks took just 23/53 at the dot. But they also took two points, so who gives a rats ass.


Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive