Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blackhawks vs. Senators
4-3 Loss Recap

"Silence in the Snow"

by Patrick Norton

The Blackhawks would be riding a five game win streak into Tuesday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators. With Corey Crawford set to return to game action before the Christmas break, Scott Darling’s heavy workload could lighten up after a ten game stretch as the Blackhawks’ #1. Darling has lasted the entirety of each and every game Crow has missed, so I guess Lars Johansson and Eric Semborski have played an equal amount of time in a Blackhawks uniform. That will be Johansson’s lasting legacy: Equal to #BlackhawksLegendEricSemborski. With a healthy bunch and a confident group, the Blackhawks looked to make it a six game win streak in time for the potential return of the two time Cup champion goaltender.

Less than five minutes into the first, Bobby Ryan netted his seventh goal of the season to put the Blackhawks behind early. Just another slow beginning for the Blackhawks; was anybody actually surprised? Artemi Panarin added to his goal count and upcoming salary with a slick one timer from Seabrook just past the halfway point of the first frame. Other than that, the period went pretty back and forth, even though the stat sheet gave the Senators a 15-9 advantage in the shots department,

The second period gave both teams difficulty entering the zone, but Ottawa grabbed the lead on a Derick Brassard shot. After a defensive meltdown, the Senators tallied another goal just ten seconds later off the stick of Tom Pyatt. Tyler Motte put one past Sens goaler Mike Condon after Hinostroza and Hartman set up the near-empty net. With the lead cut down to one, crybaby bitch Dion Phaneuf scored with 5:38 left in the second frame to extend the Sens lead back to two. Sloppy play plagued both teams in the opportunity department, but Darling wasn’t as sharp as he had been in the previous two outings.

With the need for a quick start to the third period already down two goals, Patrick Kane shipped the puck over to Richard Panik and Panik buried it. Since the puck was deflected twice and Phaneuf intentionally kicked the puck away, yet inadvertently to Panik, Kane did not receive an assist and Panik’s goal went into the scorebook as an unassisted tally. Yikes, run-on sentence much? With that structure, I ought to go back home to The Hockey Press. Ryan Hartman found himself in the middle of a scrum in front of the benches and the Blackhawks seemed to be playing with a little pep in their step. While the Hawks kept up the intensity, that was the closest they’d get. No matter how many times they’d whack at the puck, Mike Condon seemed to be there. Marcus Kruger was handed a penalty shot and couldn’t convert and that left a sour taste in mouth, similar to that of a McRib. Condon looked like a Vezina candidate in the final few minutes and the Senators hung on to take one on United Center ice, 4-3.

The Good

  • Mike Condon didn’t have a great game, but I’ll be damned, his final three minutes of play were fantastic. He kept the Sens ahead, especially since his defense just stopped playing.
  • I was already high on Hartman, but damn Vinnie Hinostroza has grown on me. Those two looked great tonight, sans Hartman’s late game penalty. If you have the chance, go and watch the replay of the Motte goal. Hartman with a nifty move in their own end to Hinostroza. Hinostroza with a shooting mentality and Motte with the right of mind to get a stick on the wobbly feed. Great play from the Quenneville Youth. (Too far?)
  • So yeah, the defense stunk it up, but hey, I didn’t see Michal Kempny active tonight. Maybe Gate will have his wet dream come true. If he can clear the damn zone, I’m all for putting him back in the lineup, no matter how much crap I’ve given him.
  • If you’re reading this, I’m sorry for the impoliteness, but Ms. Sierra Santos, how you doin’? The intermission reports were short and sweet and there was a lot of Sierra Santos and Leila Rahimi and I loved it. Call me a weirdo, but I’m 17, so it’s a normal phase.
  • Panarin has a wicked shot. Comparable to the shot of Ovechkin. I can’t fathom losing him after this season. It’d be 10X worse than losing Saad. And losing Saad sucked, too, don’t get me wrong, but Panarin is leaps and bounds ahead of the player Brandon Saad has ever been. That’s going to be lot of money spent this summer. Everyone reading this needs to invest in Canadian oil in hopes the salary cap spikes. If not, we’ll be waving by to somebody important this offseason. Whether it be Panarin or Seabrook (my prediction), it’s the harsh reality. Yikes, I seem to have forgotten this is in “The Good.”
  • Panik took a half dozen punches to the face tonight, but still played his heart out. It’s almost like his alarm clock didn’t go off and he got some extra sleep this morning. #NeverForget.

The Bad

  • I know he’s not too familiar with penalty shots, but what in God’s name was Kruger’s move? I’d take a Hossa clapper over that any day.
  • I get it. Darling’s tired, but boy, am I happy to see Crawford back in net? Darling was fantastic in Crow’s absence, but I think I speak for the logical Blackhawks when I say I feel much safer with Crawford in net.
  • Eh, I hate doggin’ him, but I expect more from last years MVP. Kaner seemed to half-ass some plays until the final ten minutes of the game.
  • I feel bad for Toews. He’s been in some great positions, but he can’t seem to get the puck to cross the damn line. We’ve seen his scoring side, but it’s tough to watch him play with such frustration.
  • The absence of Anisimov stung a bit, but we’ve missed other players more. The Hawks actually had the advantage in the faceoffs department, but it would’ve been nice to have #ArtyParty rather than Quenneville’s child Jordin Tootoo.

The Ugly

  • I don’t know if I’ve seen the Blackhawks have such difficulty exiting the defensive zone this season. It was atrocious and was a direct consequence of Ryan’s first period tally.
  • Sorry NHL, but scoring isn’t making games more exciting. I’ve watched low scoring games this year that have had me on the edge of my seat. This game puts up plenty of goals and I seriously didn’t give a damn until Kruger’s penalty shot.
  • Just when you think the penalty kill is making strides, they have a horrendous “kill.” Man, their special teams have been so hit-and-miss all season. I get that there will be some inconsistencies, but the amount of woes at the level Hawks are playing at is unacceptable.
  • Two goals in ten seconds? Absolutely unacceptable. It pisses me off to see a complete defensive malfunction and meltdown. C’mon, how do you let that happen in a close game?
  • Dion Phaneuf can suck a bag of dicks. I know, not professional, but since when is Puckin’ Hostile about being professional? Exactly. Phaneuf cries about everything. I didn’t like him in Toronto and he still whines like a bitch in Ottawa. Some people use their change of scenery to come back down to earth, but Phaneuf shit the bed on that one, eh? Complains that the Hawks are flopping to get calls, yet the Senators look like f*****g Gordon Bombay is standing behind the bench. Give it a rest.
  • Did I mention how awful the defense was tonight? Oh, I did? Well, it deserves another mention.
  • It was a frustrating game because the Blackhawks had so many opportunities, meanwhile the Senators seemed beat, but were handed goals and chances. The Blackhawks deserve one in the win column, as well for beating themselves tonight. Sure Darling wasn’t fan-freaking-tastic, but he sure deserved more help than he got.

Alright, enough of my bitching. No Fatsy Stats or Lineblender tonight because it’s going on 2 AM and I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. I had to DVR tonight's game, go back and watch it, then write the recap. Anyways, tomorrow night, Gate and two special guests roll with the Shoutcast. He’s nice enough to give Pat and me a Christmas break, along with Froster and whatever the hell he celebrates. Boxing Day? Is that the thing?

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