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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Jets
5-3 Loss Recap

"Wash. Rinse. Repeat."

By a disappointed Patrick Norton

It’s been a wild week as a Hawks fan. So many big moves to discuss, where do I begin? I can’t believe Stan Bowman actually listened to the fans and traded Jonathan Toews. It was a no-brainer to deal Corey Crawford, but to package Toews and Brent Seabrook was a bit of a surprise. Can’t wait for Mike Smith, Antoine Vermette and Anthony Duclair to arrive in Chicago. Only if we could orchestrate a Hossa for Sharp swap to give us the best odds for the Stanley Cup. Ohp, sorry. I thought this was my piece for @TheHockeyPress.

The only notable storyline coming into this game was Scott Darling receiving the start over Corey Crawford. Thanks a lot, Coach Wizzo. The next shoutcast will be three hours of Gate rants trying to shut up the meatballs who think Crawford is the equivalent of second-stint-Nikolai-Khabibulin. Sure, a little rest can’t help the struggling goaltender, but too many fans are going to see this as a long term thing. No, folks. We’ll see Crow right out of the gate after the All-Star break.

I’m going to go against the rules and tell you the first period shot totals before I tell you what happened. 18-8, Blackhawks. The Hawks had a little pep in their step to begin tonight’s action, but Thrashers...ahem, excuse me, Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck had the Blackhawks seemingly solved early. Leading in the shot department 9-2, #DickFuckingPanik was guilty of goaltender interference and headed to the box for two minutes. In a decent kill, the Blackhawks PK curse eventually continued with just fifteen ticks of the Jets’ man advantage remaining, as Patrik Laine had the puck on a platter after a sweet dish down low from Bryan Little. Then, on the ensuing shift… boy, have we heard that a lot… a Jacob Trouba shot from the blue line ricocheted off of stationary defenseman Brian Campbell and while heading for a gaping net, Shawn Matthias tapped it in for good measure. Shortly after, momentum shifted back to the home team. Duncan Keith took a ripper with Anisimov providing a screen and the rocket hit the back of the net cleanly. With the deficit cut in half, the Blackhawks brought a bit of that momentum into the break.

The Hawks stayed sharp in the second. Nick Schmaltz bounced off of the side boards and picked his corner short side past Hellebuyck to tie the game four minutes into the frame. The energy remained with the Blackhawks. A solid penalty kill added to the drive and with just over three minutes remaining in period number two, Tanner Kero put the home team ahead for the first time in the night. After a relatively busy first period, the defense tightened up, the offense regained their focus and Scott Darling came through with a few slick saves and the Blackhawks had a one goal lead heading into the third period. 

The third period began with a little 4-on-4 action, but nothing was doing. Every offensive rush for the Hawks seemed to be in the transition off of a mistake by a Winnipeg player. Nothing was sustained and the Blackhawks quickly fell in danger of turtling back into their shell, similar to the gameplan they instilled against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Luckily, the Jets jetsed and struggled to have a clean possession. Darling was lofted a few pucks in the first ten minutes, but the defense did an excellent job of keeping the Jets from the middle of the ice and preventing solid opportunities. I had written up to this point with 4:47 left in the third before I took my dog for a quick walk during the commercial break. Forrest, my mutt, had to take a dump, so when I came back, the score was 4-3. What the f***? Anyways, the recap of the final five minutes can be found in “The Ugly.” Tonight’s final, 5-3.

The Good

  • I know that there’s a chance that Nick Schmaltz is a prick in the locker room, but his second chance with the team has been an overall success. He had a decent portion of ice time, especially in the offensive zone. His defense was underrated, though. A few good poke checks here and there paired with his early second period goal lands him in “The Good” tonight. 
  • Duncan Keith finally had a classic Keith two-way game. He’s not declining, but he’s focusing too much on aspects that don’t include turnovers and adequate defense. Keith played a solid game in the back end and he added his eighty-eighth career goal. He perfectly balanced what he’s done in the past and what he’s been working towards this season.
  • He didn’t tack on any points, but Jonathan Toews continued his undervalued ways tonight. Shutdown defense and some playmaking in the offensive zone proved that the centerman may be on his way out of the slump he’s dealt with throughout this season. Okay? So, shut up!
  • Boy, Marcus Kruger was missed, eh?

God dammit. Nevermind. F*** this. For the second game in a row, the Blackhawks have unraveled in the third period. Wow. And if Fatrick hadn’t taken the game on Tuesday, I would’ve been responsible for both shitcaps.

LET’S HIT THE RESTART BUTTON

The Good

  • F***in’ nothin'.

The Bad

  • Me. I was supposed to be announcing a high school basketball game tonight, but I took a nap and missed my alarm. Now I’m in Quenneville’s doghouse. 

The Ugly

  • Where do I begin? Every freakin’ goal is followed up by another quick tally by the opposition. It’s a gosh darn recurring theme now and if they plan on finding any success in April, they’re going to have to get that shored up. Ridiculous and unacceptable. If you have two eyes, you’d be able to see the deficiency this team possesses at the blue line. You want to know why Crawford’s numbers are down since his appendectomy? Look right at the guys in front of him. We touched on this on Episode 74 of the shoutcast, but the Blackhawks have three decent d-men on a given night. And so help me God, if they f*** up, whoever is in net is screwed. Sure, Crow’s let by a few softies, but tonight was wash-rinse-repeat with #BlackhawksSaviorScottDarling between the pipes. Why in the world is Trevor van Riemsdyk in the NHL, let alone on the ice in the third period of a one goal game? I’m perplexed and would seriously like an explanation. Same thing with Kempny. I know that Gate’s in charge around here, but Kempny’s continual playing time has been hard to defend since scoring a couple goals early in the month. Rozsival was unable to play tonight, but Christ Almighty, I want to barf while saying this, but I would’ve rather seen Rozsival, Rundblad, Nick Boynton or Kimmo Timonen out there. The defense really took another L tonight. Two points down the drain. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith can’t babysit everybody on the ice. Hold your own, God dammit.
  • Thank you, Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero for scoring in the bottom-six. Everyone else on the offense, quit lookin’ through your fly and get your head out of your ass. I don’t understand how the Blackhawks have sixty-five points heading into the break when their offense has been shoddy at best and their defense has been a tire fire for fifty-one games. 
  • Steve Konroyd, are you serious? You think Scott Darling might want the game winner back? Did you get hit in the head recently? Hopefully it isn’t a death sentence.
  • Pat Boyle, you’re questioning the effort in the third period when they’ve been outscored 7-0 in the frame over the course of two games. And you’re QUESTIONING the effort? Dude, open your eyes and say it with some gusto. Yeah, they’ve been giving up in the third period. It’s ridiculous, dude. Don’t think you need Dr. Konroyd and the Mayor of CTE to be making sure for you.
  • Down by one, Patrick Roy… oh, that was Joel Quenneville? Anyways, Coach Wizzo pulled Darling for the empty net with 2:34 left in the third down by one. How do you think that worked out? The Hawks lost by two, instead. 
  • The same mistakes made on Tuesday were made tonight. New night, same crap. Clean it up or else this poor play with be 2017’s death sentence. 
  • Perfect, the All-Star Break. Reward the crappy play of late with a nice week long bye week. Hopefully Toews doesn’t get “sick” and have to sit out next Tuesday’s game against San Jose.

Sorry for my incoherent rambling, but this is a crappy product on the ice right now. Anybody who watched tonight’s game deserves their time back. I wouldn’t put the Blackhawks on the same pedestal as the Bulls, but if you’re a fan of both teams, this month has been far from roses and lilies. I’m going to bed hoping to fall off my bed and hit my head hard enough to forget tonight’s performance. I’m aware that tonight’s title is not metal-related, but it fits tonight’s action a bit too well.
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Blackhawks vs Canucks
4-2 Win Recap

"Confidence Vs Consequence"

by Gatekeeper


The Blackhawks were not resting on the 7th day, this time. The, now pretty terrible, Vancouver Canucks were in town to help celebrate the Jeremy Roenick "One More Shift" shenanigans. Now, looking at the Canucks record, you might think that "terrible" is extreme, but they are playing above their means in a pretty awful division. 22-19-6 was good enough 9th in the conference and the Canucks were only one point out of the wild card, but nursing a -17 goal differential. This was, and continues to be, a team with no discernible identity. They continue to ice Jack Skille, folks. That should tell you enough.

The Blackhawks simply imposed their will on the Canucks, in the first period, Sunday. They averaged almost a shot a minute and had a final tally of 18-9. It was great to see this success but, let's be honest, this was against a simply inferior team. This is why they were also up 2-0. Looks like they didn't need any help from Jeremy Roenick, right? Well, if we've learned one thing, it's that the Blackhawks are consistently inconsistent.

As is in the Blackhawks DNA, they flipped the script in the second period and managed only 4 total shots on net, while giving up 8. Again, this is an inferior opponent. While the first period was fairly clean, the second was more sloppy and there were three power plays, as a result. This is certainly part of the reason for the shot differential, but the Blackhawks definitely took their foot off the gas pedal. With 2-0 lead going into the third, the Blackhawks had themselves set for two more points.

Or so you'd think.

The Canucks came out in the first half of the third period and not only unleashed 7 shots, but scored two goals. Nothing like keeping that intensity for 22 of 60 minutes, and then squeaking out a win, right? Luckily for the home crowd, the Hawks then eventually woke their asses up, but it took until the final minutes. Two goals in the final 1:18 gave the Blackhawks a win that turned out to be much harder than it should have been. Playing down to your competition is a great describe their play, as of late.

The Good
  • As I said, The Blackhawks had a lot of pressure in the first period, and #DickFuckingPanik gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead with about 6 minutes remaining. Brian Campbell found Panik in a soft spot between the circles, and Panik was able to get off a decent one timer, even with a wobbling puck. Miller never really saw the shot and it went bar down.
  • Three minutes after the Panik goal, Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead. He picked up the puck in the corner and drove out to the slot but as he cleared the goal line, he surprised Miller with a quick snipe over the left shoulder. The route was on, right?

    Wrong.
  • Very late in the third period, just like in Boston, the Blackhawks mustered up some pressure, and this time it was by the 4th line. Quenneville followed up their shift with the first line, who had had a great night overall, and it proved to be the right move. Richard Panik took a long shot from the half boards that ended up short of the net but bounced out from behind the end boards, right to the stick of Jonathan Toews who deposited it in to the back of the net.
  • Usually, Empty net goals are pretty uneventful but tonight's empty netter was Toews' 4th point of the night and Marian Hossa's 400th point as a Blackhawks player. Both noteable.
  • Corey Crawford had a good night overall, and collected his 200th career victory. He finished with 26 saves.
  • The Roenick one more shift was pretty damn cool to see. As a hockey player, not many have been as fun to watch, here in Chicago.
    My issue with this is that with these ordeasl, they usually interview the player between periods and get some content out of them. It was like Roenick skated out there, waved, kissed the ice, listened to the anthem, and then they booted him out the door. Something was amiss.

The Bad
  • The Hawks were pretty awful at the faceoff dots. Brandon Sutter just put a clinic on, winning 18 of 21 by himself. The usually great Toews only won 8 of 24 (33%)
  • Kempny was having a decent night until the Canucks second goal, then it all ended. Great job just shitting all over this guy's confidence, Coach Wizzo. I cannot see him long for this team, if this is how he's going to be treated. I've heard the old, "He's much older and a professional". That's plain horseshit. He was a pro in the KHL on bigger ice, with lots of players that spoke the same language. He's learning the smaller ice surface, better players, dealing with a language barrier, and now a moody coach. He watched Forsling swallow himself several times, and just keep getting thrown out on the ice, but Coach Wizzo pulls Kempny's ice time at the first mistake. The only player getting shit on like that, even the slightest, is Campbell. Even Campbell isn't getting dumped on like that during games, though, just the healthy scratch shuffle. If Kempny was abjectly bad, I'd shut my mouth. He's not, though. He's battling some confusion and it looks like he's got some anxiety. You would too, if every single mistake you made cost you 3 games in the press box. I'm not sure what this accomplishes, other than scrambling the brain of your potential 4th defenseman. I sure hope they have a backup plan, because they are handling this situation like absolute shit. TVR gets himself walked all over in possession, night after night, but he does no wrong. Whatever.

The Ugly
  • Yup, We all got stuck with Steve Konroyd again. Who can think of a better way of spending 2 hours on a Sunday night?
  • On one easy call in the second, The puck went off the post and hit Crawford right in the yap. Konroyd kept saying, "It hit the post and hot Corey in the body". While, technically, he was correct, it was an inaccurate analysis of the play. Between the second and the third, he made the bold proclamation that "You wanna possess the puck". Brilliant, Captain Obvious.
  • The Canucks took advantage of an early third period power play to finally break the shutout. The goal was a pretty innocent long shot by Troy Stecher that Crawford anticipated being tipped. It was never touched by Sedin and fluttered past Crawford's glove.
  • Forty seconds after the Stecher powerplay goal, Bo Horvat just clowned a reaching Michal Kempny and powered his way to the front of the net. Horvat was able to not only get a shot off, but pick up his rebound to poke it past Corey Crawford, and tie the game. Kempny didn't see the ice for the rest of the game. Right back to the doghouse for #KempnyGod. I wouldn't be surprised to see him sitting next game.

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • The 3rd line of Hinostroza/Kero/Hossa had a rough night possession wise. They were all heavy in the negative, at -11, -21, -11 respectively.
  • The #AK72Line, on the other hand, were plus 18/19/19 respectively.

The Lineblender

Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Hartman - Toews - Panik
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Hinostroza - Kero -Hossa
Desjardins - Rasmussen - Schmaltz

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Kempny - Seabrook
Campbell - van Riemsdyk

\
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Blackhawks at Boston
1-0 Shutout Win Recap

"From Victim To Killer"

by Gatekeeper


The Blackhawks traveled to Bah-stuhn, Friday evening, to face off against the struggling Bruins. There have been screams from the hockey world about the head of coach Claude Julien on a stake, but that is nothing new. He's been getting fired since 2010. That said, the team is a mess. They continue to trot out the rigormortis riddled corpse of Zdeno Chara, and think they can compete against quick teams. Their forwards are getting older, outside of Brad Marchand. Tuukka Rask is a workhorse, and it makes you wonder what the record of this team would look like with, say, Winnipeg's or Dallas' goaltending. It's hard to believe that just a mere 4 years ago, we were fearing for the Blackhawks lives against them.

After a few days off both teams were pretty damn sloppy in the initial twenty minutes. There were countless missed passes, and mishandled pucks that resulted in lots of offsides, icing calls and some good Bruins chances. As is often the case, the Blackhawks goaltender bailed them out once again, and kept the game scoreless as they went into the first intermission. Some late shots by the Hawks made the shot total look ever so slightly more respectable, at 17-6 in favor of Boston. Yeah, SEVENTEEN.

The second period wasn't really any better than the first, action wise. We saw the Hawks come out with some shots very early but then regressed right back to the same team we saw in the first period. In fact, the Bruins seemed to have even more quality chances than they did in the opening frame. The shots were actually 8-8 and that was with a Blackhawks powerplay and a half. Three of those were generated in the final thirty seconds. They would have taken about 1:40 of powerplay time into the third, but the captain took a last second hooking penalty.

It was a god damned miracle the Blackhawks made it to the third period still scoreless, but they did. After spending the first two period vomiting up the puck, like a pageant girl on competition night, the Blackhawks reversed their fortunes and out shot the Bruins 8-5. The most important stat was the goal they scored with under two minutes remaining, to squeak out of Beantown with a probably undeserved, 1-0 win.

The Good
  • The Boston 3rd sweaters are pretty slick. I always loved black and gold, and those are really sharp.
  • After finally getting a good chance to watch Tanner Kero closely, I like his game. He is really responsible in his own end and does a lot of little things well. Unfortunately, this could make him trade bait at the deadline, if they go for a big fish.
  • Scott Darling was great, again, in this game. If not for his first period, the Hawks would have been down at least 2-0. Instead they miraculously came away with a 1-0 shutout win. After playing only once in the previous few weeks, he was sharp as a tack.
  • That said, Tuukka Rask deserved a better fate. He was really good when he needed to be, as well, and one goal against should still earn you a win.
  • With just over a minute and a half remaining the #SteadilyDecliningMarianHossa gave the Blackhawks the lead, and essentially the win. One of his easier NHL goals, the work was done by the Rockford boys, Tanner Kero and #VinnieVidiVici. The play started with Michal Kempny creating a turnover at the Blackhawks blue line, and ended up Hinostroza feeding Kero, who threaded a backhand pass between Adam McQuaid's legs to Marian Hossa. All Hossa had to do was hit the net.
  • Speaking of Michal Kempny, My pick-to-click had a pretty solid night with Brent Seabrook. I'm calling that pairing out right now as the #SpiritOf76pair.
  • I can't really rag on any of the defensemen specifically. Brian Campbell and Trevor van Riemsdyk we just fine.
  • Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews combined for 9 shots on net. The Captain will break through, soon. It's just a matter of time.

The Bad
  • The momentum swing in the Hawks favor wasn't so much their doing, as it was the Bruins losing their confidence as the game went on.
  • I'll go easy on the Blackhawks, tonight, despite their terrible first period.

The Ugly
  • The powerplay was just ass juice for the Blackhawks. They could barely muster up any pressure and when they did, in the second period, Jonathan Toews took a hooking penalty to negate the remainder of the power play. In the third period, they opened up their powerplay by giving up a 2-on-1, that Scott Darling had to bail them out of.

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • One place the Blackhawks could have used a little help was the faceoff dots. They only won 20 of 49. Toews won 9 of 14, so it certainly wasn't him getting mushroom stamped.
  • Final score aside, almost the entire team had negative Corsi numbers, thanks to the big Bruins first period.

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

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Kempny - Seabrook
van Riemsdyk - Campbell

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 74


In this 74th Puckin Hostile Shoutcast (the T.J. Oshie episode) Gatekeeper and the Fatrick twins are joined by Columbus Blue Jackets fan and devil music screamer Animal Mother, from The Biscuit Podcast (Not to be confused with Biscuits Podcast).

The dumb asses discuss the following:
-We learn all about Animal Mother, his band Artillery Breath, and his hockey podcast The Biscuit Podcast.
-The upcoming Open Air Festival in Chicago, this summer
-Gate gets more ink
-The #NortonOneLiner is born as well as #PleaseSponsorUs
-Both #Fatricks try their luck at love (not with each other). hilarity ensues.
-The @POTUSHockey account makes parody accounts great again
-CBJ's winning streak comes to a halt at the hand of the red hot Caps, and we talk all about them with our guest
-The NHL announces no 3rd jerseys next season and some goalie equipment restrictions go into effect soon
-The Isles fire their coach.
-Hawks fans turn on Jonathan Toews, like Fatrick on a plate of vegetables.
-Gate the Seabrook fanboi
-Some depth moves and a trip to Rockford for a Hostile scouting mission
-At least one of the Hostile crew will be back in Rockford soon
-Trade talks heating up
-Hawks played some games vs the Sabres, Predators, Hurricanes, Red Wings, Capitals, Wild and Avalanche.
-Listener questions
-And of course, as always, an abundance of extremely inappropriate references and jokes in incredibly bad taste

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:


For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Avalanche
Win Recap 6-4

"Children of the Storm"


By Patrick Norton

After a promising four game home win streak, the past two games for the Blackhawks have been nightmares on the road. A blowout loss to the scorching Washington Capitals and nail biting one goal loss to the division leading Minnesota Wild has Hawks fans searching for radical answers. “Is it time to trade Toews? Is Crawford losing an edge? Seabrook should’ve been gone a while ago.” You know, normal bickering of the fanbase in the midst of another decent season. What better way to get on track with a nice victory against the struggling Colorado Avalanche to kick off the annual father’s trip. 

Or… maybe this will be another classic trap game for the Blackhawks where they’re outperformed a full sixty minutes by a below average opponent. Last time these teams met, Calvin Pickard and the Avalanche stole two points in overtime of a 2-1 game. This time, Semyon Varlamov would guard the pipes for the Avalanche while Corey Crawford would get his shot at redemption. 

After cycling through shifts, the fourth line finally got the game underway for the Blackhawks. Grinding in the slot from Desjardins and Rasmussen led to the first tally off of Nick Schmaltz’s stick. It wasn’t long until an iffy penalty call came back to bite the Blackhawks in the behind. Nathan MacKinnon gave Corey Crawford some serious PTSD when stepping up in the circle and sniping one past Crow, similar to the OT goal MacKinnon scored in late December against this same team (eventually credited to Matt Duchene with a redirect). Luckily for Chicago, the fourth line made their way back onto the ice shortly after and regained a one goal lead for the visitors. I’m still not exactly sure if the puck was redirected in, but it has been officially called a Brent Seabrook goal. A slapper from the blue line through traffic allowed Varlamov absolutely no chance for romance with the puck. After one, Blackhawks had a one goal lead, 2-1.

The first half of the second period was eye-gouging worthy due to its boredom. Then, in the matter of sixty-three seconds, the Avalanche took the lead. Out of nowhere, Comeau and Nieto put tallies on the board for the Avalanche, but the period still had ten minutes remaining. Nineteen seconds later, Tanner Kero picked up a loose puck in front of Varlamov and buried it to bring the score to a 3-3 tie. Then, moments later, Michal Kempny lost a step on Duchene and the speedy douche made #KempGod pay. Crawford froze and Duchene put the Avs back in front. The seesaw came to a twenty minute hiatus as second period came to an end with the Blackhawks now trailing the Avalanche, 4-3.

The third period took a few minutes to get off the ground and running. Vinnie Hinostroza ties up the game on a breakaway goal after a beautiful stretch pass from Brent Seabrook. Hinostroza’s ensuing shift included another tally from the youngster, this time off of a fantastic pass to a net crashing Hinostroza from Tanner Kero. After the defense tightened up and Crawford locked down the Avalanche in the third, Kero added an empty net goal from an unselfish pass from The Captain and that’s all she wrote in Colorado. Happy to be back in the win column, once again. Great way to start the father’s trip, but let’s hope they can use this spark to take them into the next few road games. Your final in Denver, Blackhawks 6, Avalanche 4.

The Good 

  • Another good night for the traveling fanbase. As the puck dropped, “Let’s Go Hawks” could be heard crystal clear.
  • Dennis Rasmussen led the fourth line to another solid night. Desjardins - Rasmussen - Schmaltz produced a hard fought first tally for the visitors. Their defense played a major role in shutting down the “big guns” for the Avs and executed it well.
  • Nick Schmaltz had a decent showing. Although it was limiting playing time, while on the ice, he eliminated the speed advantage the Avalanche hold over the Blackhawks. Nice change of pace on the ice letting Jordin Tootoo watch the game with his dad.  
  • Hey! Look! Desjardins goal! Just kidding, Steve Konroyd is just stupid. 
  • God love him! Vinnie Hinostroza using his lightning speed to score a tying third period goal on a breakaway. Somehow, a pass from Seabrook wasn’t intercepted and instead, it sprung the speedster in all alone, past the defense. Then a sweet dish from Tanner Kero to the Italian Stallion gave the Hawks a third period lead.
  • Speaking of Tanner Kero, he sure has made a name for himself in the lineup. He struggled at the dot, but made up for it with three points including two goals. 
  • The bottom six was responsible for all six goals (if you include the assists on the Seabrook goal). Incredible night for the guys that rarely get any credit.
  • Besides a turnover that led to a goal, Seabrook looked pretty good out there. 

The Bad

  • Hot start to the broadcast. It takes fifteen minutes for the puck to drop so we’re left listening to the incoherent takes of Jamal Mayers… but where was Steve Konroyd? See “The Ugly.”
  • Man, this team’s penalty kill has my brain hurting. MacKinnon has a wicked wrister, but come on, be better. They’re still the God forsaken Avalanche. It should be an automatic kill. Inability to clear the puck hurts, but that’s just one of the issues I have with their special teams unit. 
  • After a two goal performance the other night, Patrick Kane forgot to show up to tonight’s game. Not sure if he fell victim to Richard Panik’s alarm clock, but the MVP made little noise on the ice tonight. 
  • Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. They always lead to goals. Seabrook with another classic Seabrook turnover led to Colorado’s third goal of the game. 
  • Sure, turnovers and defense are to blame for the opportunities given up, but Corey Crawford had a weak showing in net. The Avalanche bullied their way into the crease and Crawford couldn’t fend them off leading to chaos in the crease. You can’t complain too much with the workload this guy has had, but this was far from a good showing for #50.
  • You can’t expect one source of scoring, so it was a pleasant surprise the bottom six had a fantastic night, but the top six disappeared like Derrick Rose. 
  • Sloppy clears, careless passes, and turnovers plagued the possession numbers for the Blackhawks. Neither team could stop the bleeding, so it became a game of “who can hold onto the vulcanized rubber the longest.” I’m too lazy to look up the actual numbers, but even if the Blackhawks led in time of possession, it sure as hell did not seem like it.
  • Quenneville benched the fourth line for the final six minutes of the second period. Why? They’ve produced the most offense in this game? What gives? He kind of made up for it giving them a lot of ice time in the third, but come on, that second period was a tire fire. 

The Ugly

  • Semyon Varlamov is not good and his confidence was shaky. Had the defense played better, the Blackhawks would’ve blown out their Central Division pals. 
  • God F****** Dammit. Why, God? Why? Of course, the game I’m tasked with recapping, Steve Konroyd is in the booth. I actually listened to John Wiedeman and Troy Murray for the second period (I actually enjoy Wiedeman. His words per minute and excitement in his voice keep the game moving and makes it enjoyable).
  • Oh my God. In another instance, Dr. Konroyd diagnosed Artem Anisimov with a non-existent bloody lip. Hey, at least it’s not a death sentence.
  • This game kind of sucked. I don’t care about the scoring or the outcome. It was a lot of back and forth with far too many stoppages after a long day for me. I didn’t connect with this one and it made it difficult to enjoy. This is my attempt at an apology for this lame ass recap.
  • We need bigger nets for #MOARGOALZ.... Not.
  • Pat Boyle literally had to finish Mayer’s sentence in the postgame because he can’t comprehend the english language. Somebody’s sustained too many hits to the head. Hey NHL, CTE is real… Your proof? Jamal Mayer’s speaking ability. 

*I initially titled this a loss recap because I'm so used to it*
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Special Assignment
Puckin Hostile Invades Rockford

IceHogs vs. Monsters_TR January 14, 2017_5.jpg

This past Saturday, I took the family out for our first Rock Vegas experience, to see the Icehogs face the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffs are the AHL squad of the Detroit Red Wings, so there was some recent familiarity. Before I get into the game itself, I'd like to touch on a few peripheral points. If you're used to the Blackhawks or the Wolves experience, bring down your expectations a bit. This is, by no means, a slam on Rockford or the Icehogs, but the experience and arena are what you would expect in semi-rural Illinois. That said, the atmosphere and BMO Harris Bank Arena are charming. The fans seem friendly and highly invested in this team, even though the on ice product has been pretty awful at times, including this particular game. The arena kind of feels like you are inside a big metal shipping container, the scoreboard is pretty small and dated, and they have a car parked in the corner which makes you feel like you're in a European hockey arena. This is kind off what you should expect, though.

I will say that the Icehogs store was absolutely phenomenal. Especially for an AHL team, their selection of QUALITY merchandise was more than I would have ever expected. Not only this, but they were running a special that made it affordable to outfit the entire family of four in nice Hogs gear for $150. I'm heading out there again on 1/28, against the Iowa Wild, and I have no problem dropping some more money on their sharp swag. Seriously, whoever designs their gear needs to be commended. There is so much gear that the store had to be expanded out into the concourse, because there is double the amount of product that could fit into the store. Joking aside, Rockford is a pretty large city. It's no different than Joliet or Aurora. If you have the time, head out to check out a game. Tickets are super affordable and you don't have to deal with the, sometimes intolerable, snooty hipster Wolves fans. Hawks and Hogs fans are on the same side.

I was able to meet up with our "Rockford Correspondent", Beth, and her family, as well as local sports anchor from WREX, Dan Cohen. Both completely awesome people. I can't speak highly enough about them. Both had birthdays over the weekend, and I hope they had great ones.


Now to the actual reason I made the trip; the game. This might have also been the least exciting part of the evening. The Icehog were on the ass end of a back to back so they started backup Mac "The Truth" Carruth. He was just terrible. I want to like this guy, but he was simply awful. The Griffins went up 3-0 in the first period, and were up 4-0 a minute into the second, which got Carruth the ol hook-a-roo. Granted, his defense did him no favors, whatsoever. Erik Gustafsson had one of the worst defensive turnovers I've ever seen, 10 feet directly in front of his own goalie, just as an Icehog powerplay ended. Red light; goal number 2. Carruth didn't take too kindly to getting the hook, throwing a tantrum at the bench door, slamming his mask to the floor, slamming the door shut and jawing like a lunatic. Not going to get you in the favor of your coach with behavior like that, kid. I personally thought Ted Dent should have given Carruth the hook between periods. He gave up a powerplay goal with under a minute left in the first period, and then proceeded to give up one less than a minute into the second. His fault or not, the team needed the boot in the keister. If you give up three first period goals, including one inside the last minute, you need an intermission shakeup. That one is on Dent.

In came Lars Johans-SON, to finish the game. I have nothing bad to say about Johansson. He looked poised and confident. Unfortunately, I missed it live, but he made an old school Dominik Hasek style partial breakaway two pad stack that gave the Icehog some momentum. They ended up getting two goals in the second period following this play. It's nice to see a small flash of goaltending days gone by. The goal that Johansson gave up wasn't his fault. He made a nice save and the rebound popped out to his right. The defenseman lost track of his man and it left Ben Street with the puck on his stick and a wide open net. Johansson almost got across in enough time to make a big glove save.

Other observations were as follows:
  • The Evan Mosley goal was really bad. It was a long wrist shot from the blue line that Cal Heeter just muffed.
  • Kyle Baun-Baun had a nice 1-on-2 move that Heeter got a piece of, but hit the post, Hetter's back and then dribbled into the net. The move by Baun to cut to the middle and rip off a solid shot was the highlight of that play.
  • The Hogs had some chances in the second and third, but Heeter was generally solid.
  • Tyler Motte's speed was very apparent. He was able to close on defenders, and sometimes around them, before they knew how to daeal with him. It didn't show on the score sheet, but he could have easily had 2 goals.
  • I saw a few flashes of offensive skill from Robin Norell that could blossom into something.
  • Gustav Forsling is clearly the best defenseman on the team. He was out there for all the important ice situations. Dent paired him up with his Finnish older brother Ville Pokka. Pokka didn't really show any brilliance, but he's definitely the second best defenseman after Forsling.
  • I was on the Erik Gustafsson bus last season, but OOOF. Dude was pretty brutal. He's regressing. He was a minus 2 and the second goal rests solely on his shoulders.
  • A player that wasn't really on my radar caught my eye is Jeremy Langlois. He has some really good speed, and provided some forechecking pressure. I have no idea if he has any hands, at all, but he pretty "pesty".
  • Mark McNeill is definitely one of the best forwards on the ice, but had a generally quiet night. The look on his face is constantly that of a puppy smacked with a newspaper for shitting on the carpet that feels shamed. He doesn't look aggressive. I'll be shocked if he's not finishing the season with another organization after the trade deadline.

Check out the highlights of the game Saturday right here:
http://ahl.neulion.com/ahl/video/rockford-icehogs-vs-grand-rapids-griffins/16433
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Capitals
6-0 Loss Recap

"Bad Groove"


By Patrick Norton

Coming off of a four game homestand sweep, the Blackhawks headed to Washington DC to the surging Capitals. Both teams coming off of victories, this would be the first true test of the New Year for Chicago since playing St. Louis in the Winter Classic. Corey Crawford would start in goal in the Chicago crease, while Braden Holtby would stand two hundred feet away guarding the net for the Capitals. With Rozsival breaking the lineup and Michal Kempny in a press box somewhere, the Blackhawks were disadvantaged from the start. But one defenseman doesn’t make that big of a difference, right? Right?!

No, one defenseman won’t make a detrimental impact on a game, but when each defensive pairing is God awful, that’s where you have your detrimental impact. First period got off to a bang when Corey Crawford was forced to make a sequence of tough saves one minute in the frame. Crawford was standing on his head until #NotedHawksKillerJayBeagle put the Caps up one. Among the five skaters on the ice for Chicago were Michal Rozsival, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Andrew Desjardins… coincidence? Not at all. After that, it was an avalanche of goals and the defense imploded. Off of the ensuing faceoff, the Capitals quickly entered the zone and with a beautiful succession of passes from Ovechkin to Oshie and over to the goal scorer, Niklas Backstrom, the Capitals had tallied their second goal in just thirteen seconds. Later in the period, a Crawford mishandle and the pure incompetence of Brent Seabrook on defense gave an open opportunity to Brett Connolly and he buried in past Crow to end the first period with the Capitals ahead, 3-0.

The second period brought a few chances for the Blackhawks early and it seemed like Vinnie Hinostroza had finally broken through for the Blackhawks. But after a lengthy review, Marian Hossa was ruled to have interfered with Holtby and the score remained with the Blackhawks scoreless. A few minutes after the review, Tom Wilson put one past Crawford while van Riemsdyk and Campbell were the pairing on the ice. Heading into the third, the Hawks were still slumbering and now trailed, 4-0.

The final straw for Crawford’s night came in the third period when #AmericanHeroTJOshie put the fifth puck behind the Stanley Cup champion netminder. Scott Darling was inserted into the game, but by then, this game was over. Darling let in one, a rebound picked up by Jay Beagle, and finally, the game was over. Capitals stay hot and take this one, 6-0.

The Good

  • The Capitals

The Bad

  • My night. Had to babysit, so I watched this game after I knew the final score. That obviously made me excited to watch this game, right? Instead of watching the game, I was stuck playing “Clue,” watching Shark Tank and eating Domino’s. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but still… Made a nice payday and had the kids clean up after themselves. It went swimmingly.

The Ugly

  • I don’t think I’ve seen this poor of a defensive effort from the Blackhawks this season. Quickly being outplayed, they just gave up after the first goal of the first period. Disgusting and frustrating. Sure, Kempny probably wouldn’t have added much, but Rozsival was caught flat-footed far too often.
  • The powerplay was absolute garbage. In fact, actual garbage could’ve had more possession time on the powerplay than the Blackhawks. Ridiculous. I noticed Jay Beagle getting a ridiculous amount of chances on a powerplay, but it took me a few seconds for it to register in my brain that the Capitals were the ones shorthanded. Beagle got off a decent shot when outnumbered four to one. How can you let that happen? Pathetic.
  • In one week, I’ve been told that the Blackhawks will be made great again and the Capitals are draining the swamp. Not sure if I’m getting conversations confused, but I’m sticking with my gut. 
  • I fast forwarded through the intermission reports, so I wasn’t graced with the vocal talent, or lack thereof, of Steve Konroyd, but if somebody would like to back me up, I’d be willing to bet my soul on the fact that his analysis was unbearable, per usual.
  • Corey Crawford faced thirty shots without completing the game, had a horrendous defense in front of him, and stood on his head until the first goal was scored, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that he let up five tallies. Nobody wearing a Chicago sweater had a good night, but with Crawford having a good stretch as of late, this one jumps of the page. 
  • Unless you’ve randomly skipped to this exact sentence, you’ve read my beratement of the defense tonight. But the offense’s alarm clock still hasn’t gone off. Time to... Panik? No, but this was a true embarrassment to the true capabilities of this team. 
  • As I just mentioned, nobody wearing a Chicago sweater had a good night. That was a recurring theme on all three phases of the game. No excuse for this performance.
  • This recap. It might be the shortest game recap the Puckin’ Hostile site has ever seen. Why? Because this game was a heap of nothingness. I had to watch all sixty minutes, but if I wasn’t writing this tonight, I’d be asleep before 2 AM. Wasn’t the case tonight. Sad.
  • I haven’t done a #Fatrick’s Fatsy Stat segment in a while, but here’s a good one: Blackhawks won 12/43 faceoffs. That’s a whopping 27.9%! Still better than my grade in AP Environmental Science.
  • The Hawks didn’t commit a single penalty all night. I’d put this in the good, but it stays down here for two reasons: Comic relief; It means that they gave up SIX EVEN STRENGTH GOALS. That. Is. Not. Good.
  • This whole game was the definition of “The Ugly” section of this blog. This game being a part of this season is the equivalent of Fatrick being a part of this blog...UGLY.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blackhawks vs Redwings
4-3 OT Win Recap

"Man In The Box"

by Gatekeeper


After dispatching of the cowardly Predators on Sunday night, the Blackhawks enjoyed their Monday off and welcomed the Detoilet Redwings into the United Center for a, now rare, tilt with our whiny neighbors to the northeast. This fresh off the announcement that Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford and Duncan Keith were selected to play in the All-Star game.


Anyhow, back to subjects that matter, like the game versus the Wings. The Wings came in as a pretty broken team. They had eight players on the injured list, which wasn't going to lend them any help. Eight players nursing injuries or missing from any lineup is going to be an issue. They Mike Green and Justin Abdelkader in the lineup but Dylan Larkin was hurt mid-game and never returned. That said the Wings boasted some good young talent, but with young comes inexperience and, usually, mistakes. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, were still without Marcus Kruger, but the rest of the lineup was intact. Hawks vets Hossa and Campbell had a couple of career milestones on the horizon. Campbell needed 2 points for 500 career and Hossa needed 2 points for 600 career.

The first period was pretty tame for the entire first 10 minutes, including a lukewarm powerplay, but as soon as they hit that halfway point the flood gates opened. The Blackhawks scored two goals in the matter of twenty six seconds, before the Wings knew what hit them. When the horn sounded the Blackhawks had out shot the Redwings 16-7, and held a 2-0 lead. Not too shabby, right? Looks like the rout was on, right?


The second period ALMOST a complete and utter failure, with the Blackhawks blowing their 2-0 lead and then blowing their 3-2 lead. The only redeeming part of the period was the Kero goal. Everything else was a huge collapse. As I stated on the intarwebz machine, the Blackhawks are consistent at one thing, being inconsistent. Did I mention that the Blackhawks were out shot 20-11; in one period? So, yeah, that.

We got some kind of bastard child of the first and second periods in the final twenty minutes of regulation. We saw a team that resembled the first period Blackhawks with a 15-9 shot advantage. On the other hand, neither team scored and the Wings ended up squeezing the extra point out of the Blackhawks. The good part was that the Hawks were going into overtime with an almost entire powerplay carrying over, which played a big part in the game winner just under a minute into the overtime period.

The Good
  • Brian Campbell scored the first Blackhawks goal, on the powerplay, halfway through the the opening period. Hossa controlled the puck long enough in traffic for Campbell to join the play, and then fed Campbell. It looked like Campbell's shot was going slightly wide, but hit Alexey Marchenko ever so slightly and redirected just enough to get past Mrazek. This goal got Soupy within one point of 500 for his career.
  • Twenty six seconds after the Brian Campbell goal, Ryan Hartman got himself a partial break-a-way almost identical to Artem Anisimov's just a few moments earlier. Hartman wasn't able to beat Petr Mrazek, but Mrazek left a big fat rebound in the crease. "All you young hockey players out there just watch what Panik did, there". He went hard to the net and was able to jam the puck past Mrazek like a marshmallow through a keyhole.
  • The Blackhawks were able to regain their lead with under two minutes remaining in the second. Ryan Hartman was able to control the puck real nicely and avoid an Abdel-Bickell hit long enough to send a long shot towards Mrazek, that was saved. The rebound fell between the feet of Tanner Kero, who was doing the dirty deed in front of the net, and Kero was eventually able to whack the rebound past the Wings goalie.
  • Thirty eight seconds into overtime the Blackhawks led with their hot hands in Keith, Panarin, Kane and Anisimov. Duncan Keith blew a long clapper by Mrazek and it was game over.
  • The Blackhawks powerplay was 2 for 6, which is just fine. Thirty percent is a good clip.
  • #DickFuckingPanik had his 17th and 18th points of the season. Still on pace to get that 35 I predicted.

The Bad
  • The Artem Anisimov partial break-a-way in the first period was a joke. They need to just rename the city E-troit, because there D is nowhere to be found. Then you had the 2 quick goals just a few moments later. WOOF
  • Just after the nine minute mark of the second period, the Wings tied up the game. This was following a negated powerplay just seconds in after Patrick Kane took a lazy high sticking penalty. Just as both penalties were up the Hawks were caught chasing the puck around and Tomas Tatar snapped a nice feed at the bottom of the circle past Crawford.
  • Was Mike Green good at one point or was that just an optical illusion looking through Ovi color glasses?

The Ugly
  • Not even two minutes into the second period, and the Blackhawks were picking the puck out of the back of their net. Andreas Athanasiou found a soft spot in the Hawks defense named Brian Campbell and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Athanasiou snapped a nice top shelf shot over Crawford's glove from the right circle, and things got a little more serious once again.
  • In a late second period 4 on 4 situation that Brian Campbell coughed up, Trevor van Riemsdyk tried to emulate the Seabrook snow angel...at the fucking blue line. This left Crawford to defend a 2-on-0, which he did nicely.
  • With nineteen seconds left in the second period the Blackhawks got a great front row seat of Drew Miller and Luke Glendening swatting at the puck half a dozen times, which eventually led to the tying goal, again. Brian Campbell and Trevor van Riemsdyk together are a total
  • Corey Crawford's early third period turnover almost turned into an enormous disaster, but he was able to bail himself out, luckily. #Fatrick will be loving the highlights of that one.
  • Justin Abdelkader taking a stupid offensive zone penalty with sixteen seconds remaining in regulation of a tie game was just classic. a classic fucking joke. Welcome back to the lineup, stupid ass, and thanks for the extra point.
  • I like Mark Lazarus, I really do. He's a quirky and sometimes funny dude, but that stupid Pearl Jam Counter that he does is god damned annoying as the #HarmsHole, if not worse. That's saying a lot. Pearl Jam is highly over rated and the brakes need to be pumped on this band. I'm seriously starting to hate them because of the irrational love for them. Alice In Chains every day of the week. It's not even close. Layne Staley was just a junkie and died young. This is for Laz and the rest of the Squirrel Spam fanboys:

    I'm going to start a #VanHalenCounter because David Lee Roth would knock Eddie Vedder out with his flaccid dong. They're my favorite alltime band, but I'm not dry humping the pressbox desk every time Ray Kramer plays a Van Halen song over the United Center speakers. Give it a fucking rest. Literally no one cares.
  • Speaking of "beat" writers, Laz proclaimed in the morning skate that Michal Rozsival was playing tonight. It magically disappeared, but other accounts picked it up though. Own your mistakes, Mark.

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • For the second game in a row, the Kempny and Seabrook pairing was the best possession pair.
  • The Blackhawks just stomped all over the Marchanko and Sheahan pairing.
  • Drew Miller didn't fare thee well either, with a robust -14 corsi.

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

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Kempny - Seabrook
van Riemsdyk - Campbell


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Friday, January 6, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes 2-1 Win Recap

"The Last In Line"


By Patrick Norton
@pdnorton3

After picking up their first victory of the new year, the Blackhawks had to immediately prepare for this season's series finale with the Carolina Hurricanes. Only one week removed from an abysmal performance at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, the Blackhawks are still trying to regain their stride from the beginning of the season. Whether or not that is an attainable goal remains to be seen, but the recent 2-3-1 post-Christmas stretch has left much to be desired on the ice. With the Minnesota Wild breathing down Chicago’s necks trailing just one point with four games in hand, a quick turnaround is necessary if the Hawks plan on retaining their status as number one in the Central division.

What better way to get back on track; a match filled with sweet victorious revenge after the curb stomping the Hawks endured on December 30th. Scott Darling was in net on the back end of a back to back when these teams last met, so it was only fitting that the backup goaltender would find himself protecting the 4 x 6 this time around. Darling has provided excellent services to the Blackhawks in his three year tenure as Corey Crawford’s support, but as another successful year for the netminder dwindles down, the conversation has shifted to where Darling’s next home in the NHL will be. He’s shown flashes of starting capabilities and plenty of teams will be searching for their next netminder come this offseason, so it’s not a matter of whether Darling will leave, but a matter of where he will leave for. At 10-4-2 with admirable statistics to accompany his record, he’s become more than just a serviceable backup.

The opportunity for Chicago to string their second win in as many games together is there for the taking, but it all hinges on what team shows up tonight. No, I don’t mean Blackhawks or Hurricanes; I’m talking about the whether we’ll see the offensive driven Blackhawks or the tired and slacking Blackhawks. Last week, we saw the latter in Carolina, but if a win last night can rejuvenate the team, this game has the potential to flip the script written in Raleigh. Chicago is not alone in coming off of a win the day before. The Canes handled the Blues in Carolina, too, but can you catch on to the recurring theme? Carolina thrives at their home stadium, but struggles on the road, just sporting a 6-10-6 record away from PNC Arena.

To answer the question of which team we’d see tonight, I can honestly say I could not tell. First period leads have been difficult to come by for the Hawks this season, but tonight, they struck first. A meticulously beautiful set-up led to a wide open net for Jonathan Toews and the captain cashed. Paired with two quality penalty kills in period number one, the Blackhawks escaped a back-and-forth first period with a one goal lead. Scott Darling was overworked (at least from a millennial’s viewpoint), facing nineteen shots in the first frame, but he stayed strong and kept his team in front.

The Blackhawks made some near-fatal errors in the first period, but Darling bailed them out every time. Not much changed in the second. The Blackhawks were eventually outshot in the period 12-7, but they still escaped with a 2-1 lead over Carolina. It took another penalty kill and a quick powerplay to get the second goal; a Panarin beauty from the left wing circle. But the Blackhawks took their foot off the acceleration and with under five seconds remaining in the frame, Victor Rask picked up a rebound that was the shot off of a previous rebound and put it underneath the frame of Darling and into the back of the net. Just four seconds from entering the intermission with a satisfactory two goal lead, the defensive letdown slashed the lead in half heading into the third period.

It wasn’t until fourteen minutes into the period that anyone invested in this game really had any reason to pay attention. The beginning was a heap of trash for both clubs, but finally, the Blackhawks gained their legs. They sustained dramatic pressure for a few consecutive shifts, but it didn’t result in anything to show for on the scoresheet. Carolina’s bench pulled a Quenneville move and tried to yank Cam Ward with two-plus minutes on the clock down just one, but even with the empty net, the Canes couldn’t figure out Darling, which was assisted with the Canes inability of entering the offensive zone effectively and efficiently. The Blackhawks were thankful to eventually pick up two points against the inferior traveling Hurricanes. Scott Darling can add this one to his highlight reel, as he stopped thirty-nine shots, a season high for the netminder.  Hawks survive, 2-1.

The Good


  • The penalty kill had a much better night than the effort they put on display against the Sabres just twenty-four hours before. Scott Darling deserves the majority of the credit for his work on the kill, but it was a solid team endeavour nonetheless.  
  • After playing a dozen games in December, Scott Darling picked up right where he left off in 2016. With Corey Crawford back from his emergency appendectomy for a few weeks now, we’ve seen much less from Darling in recent times. 
  • Now that Michal Kempny has a longer consecutive games streak than Brian Campbell, he’s making the best of his chance. Sure, KempGod has made news for his recent offensive production from the blue line, but he had a sound night on the defensive end of things, too.
  • If you couldn’t watch tonight’s game, make sure to look up the highlights. The set-up to the opening tally scored by Toews was blissful execution. From Campbell successfully pinching along the boards, to Hinostroza muscling the puck over to Hossa, as well as Hossa’s feed to Toews, finished off by Toews lasering the puck from a tough angle into a gaping net, the whole entire play was beautiful.
  • Before I bash the intermission reporting of Steve Konroyd, I thought I might express my satisfaction of the Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk pairing in the booth. I’m not old enough to recall Dale Tallon as the color man, but Olczyk continues to put a smile on my face with his quips about hockey, keeping sticks on the ice, and most importantly...soft-serve ice cream. We make fun of that on the Shoutcast, but I chuckle every time. 
  • Holy moly, Vinnie Hinostroza can fly. Oh my god. With nine minutes gone in the second period, Hinostroza went lightning speed to save icing and provide an A+ opportunity for a trailing Toews. No score came of it, but the Hawks were able to change up their men afterwards. 
  • Following the kill of the third Canes powerplay, Dennis Rasmussen drew a penalty and it only took #17SECONDS for the powerplay to cash. Panarin received a cross ice pass from Kane and with open ice in front of him, Panarin took a few steps and buried it past Cam Ward for the easy PPG. And the best part? It all stemmed from a failed Viktor Stalberg clearing attempt. 
  • Ryan Hartman couldn’t find his way onto the score sheet and was caught with his head down a couple of times, but the rookie had another solid performance, even stuck down on the third line.
  • Tanner Kero isn’t here to play offense, so you can’t complain when he lacks a scoring touch, but his defense once again proved why he stayed in the big leagues once Hossa was activated from IR.
  • Even though they were severely outshot, I never once felt that the Hurricanes were the better team on the ice. The defense had trouble suppressing shots, but I wasn’t severely disappointed with the teams play.


The Bad


  • Brent Seabrook found himself turning the puck over more often than not. Another lousy effort from the highest paid defenseman on the roster. With the recent struggles of the team, I understand lacking motivation, but when the team is beginning to figure it out, they can’t be picking up the slack of their #2 D-Man.
  • Steve Konroyd critiqued the way Kempny broke up a 2-on-1 in the first period, calling it “nontraditional.” Give me a break… Kempny blocked two A+ chances from the stick of Jordan Staal. He got the job done and potentially saved a goal, so quit your whining, you cut-rate, dreadful, abominable, disgrace of a broadcaster and analyst. 
  • Anisimov struggled to keep himself out of the box tonight. A bit surprising coming from him, but sure enough, he found himself seated for two minutes on two separate occasions through the first two periods. Deuces wild!
  • After jumping out to a two goal lead in the second period, the Blackhawks seemingly took their foot of the pedal. It bit them in the ass, as Victor Rask netted the third attempt in as many seconds on Darling. That type of defensive letdown is unfortunate at any point in the game, but with just a few ticks on the clock in a period, it’s beyond frustrating to have a two goal lead cut in two.
  • In a last ditch effort to suppress the amount of shots the Canes had acquired,  Quenneville put his defensive pairings through the lineblender to begin period number three. It caused a bit of chaos to start, but it quickly calmed down as the period progressed. Even though they were leading to begin the period, I can’t imagine Coach Wizzo was too pleased with his team yielding thirty-one shots through forty minutes. 
  • After allowing the Carolina offense to pound Darling with shots, the defense finally bucked up in the third, but the first forty were so dismal in the shots department, the pairings tonight have found themselves in this portion of tonight's recap.
  • In the Loop is still a thing? Power to ‘em. 

The Ugly


  • It’s a shame that the Spencer Abbott experiment just lasted one game. Down to twelve healthy forwards, Jordin Tootoo found himself making an appearance in the lineup. Sometimes I wonder whether or not I’d rather see Michal Rozsival playing on the fourth line instead of Tootoo. Pretty similar skill level between the two and Rozsival didn’t try and dangle through his legs with zero points this season.
  • Something tells me that the Centennial year patch on the sleeves is the league feeling out possible advertisement placements in the future. It’s inevitable, no matter what anybody tells you, but please, if you’re going to do it, keep it simple and put the patches on the front of the jersey.
  • Chris Boden looked orange and I don’t think it was my TV’s contrast. Someone’s been spending a little TOO much time in the tanning booth, eh?
  • We can praise individual efforts as much as we’d like, but the defense as a whole really hung #LemontNativeScottDarling out to dry. He faced nineteen shots through one and another dozen in the second frame. TVR and Hjalmarsson were on the ice for the Canes late tally in the second period, yet those two have been the least of Chicago’s problems defensively as of recent.
  • It wasn’t pretty for either team, but the third period dragged and lacked oomf. One goal deficits always create excitement in hockey, but I could’ve napped throughout the entirety of the period and my recap would still be sufficient. 
  • Just when I thought I was finished in the ugly section, Comcast SportsNet blessed us with the incoherent Jamal Mayers. Yikes! You could tell he’d experienced more hits to the head than just the memorable errant elbow from Desjardins a few years back. He sounded like a darn robot conducting the post-game interview with tonight’s number one star, Scott Darling.


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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 73


In this 73rd Puckin Hostile Shoutcast (the Brandon Pirri episode) Gatekeeper and the Fatrick twins welcome in 2017 hostful style.

The dumb asses discuss the following:
-We celebrate a stumpy Birthday.
-What kind of pathetic New Years Eve plans did everyone have?
-Possible Roadwatch, or Homewatch, plans.
-ProJersey acting like they don't hear us.
-Not one, but TWO outdoor games.
-Fatrick gloats in the glory of his second favorite meatball coach (Not Gate) and the Blue Jacket's 16 game win streak.
-World Junior Championships and the US shootout win over mother Russia.
-EPIX Road to the Outdoor Classics
-Blackhawks surprise everyone with a Panarin extension.
-Some injuries and some players are shuffled around.
-Speaking of shuffling (and by that I mean shuffling in a walker) how about the Iggy Shuffle?
-Blackhawks vs Blues Alumni game.
-We make podcast history with a live report from the Rodgers arena
-Hawks played some games vs the Avalanche, Jets, Predators, Hurricanes, and Blues.
-And of course, as always, an abundance of extremely inappropriate references and jokes in incredibly bad taste

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Winter Classic
Blackhawks at St. Louis
4-1 Loss Recap

“Wasting My Hate”

by Gatekeeper


As with everything in St. Louis, the Winter Classic turned into a complete shitshow, because of the weather. They could deal with almost anything; but rain. So that's exactly what the hockey gods brought us. This just goes to show that even the mythical beings look at St. Louis as a dark, gloomy, ugly, miserable city. Just like their fans and teams. The start time of the game was up in the air, until 7am Monday morning, when they decided that the game would be played at the original time. Also, two entire periods needed to be played to qualify as a "game". If the game was tied after 2 period, there would be a shootout prior to the February 26th game to decide the winner. What a joke. When you over-saturate the market and tempt fake, this was bound to happen. So, in other words, the Blackhawks were going to spend 2 1/2 hour slogging through sewer slush. Just another day in St. Louis, for most. They would have been better off, and safer, skating the Chicago River. Coming in, the Hawks were missing Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger were out with injuries, and the ice conditions were about as healthy. So be it.

It only took the Blackhawks a minute and eight seconds into the game to take a lead, which was good, because the game slowed down after that. There were a few rushes but the first period was a total slopfest. There were only six shots a side for the entire period which tells you the amount of action we were treated to. Just a complete tire fire from top to bottom.

The NHL kept the silly charade moving in the second period so, of course, the Blackhawks blew their lead. Both teams got their bearings a little more and were able to throw many more shots at the net, which made for slightly more sloppy action, like an awkward Fatrick kiss goodnight in front of the Darling residence. The Blues were able to take advantage of their shots and tie the game up, almost halfway through the second period. I can't say I really saw 26 shots but that is precisely that the NHL claims that happened. The claim is that the Blues out shot the Hawks 15-11 overall.

The Blackhawks had a banner period in the third. Actually, it was a banner two minutes for the Hawks. The Blues only had twelve shots in the entire period and scored on 3 of them. Does this game even matter anyway?

It certainly shouldn't, based on the conditions.

People can get all high and mighty but this is a regular season game that won't mean and more or less than any other regular season game. The only benefit would have been making fun of Blues fans just a little extra for the next 2 weeks.

Remember what the Wild did after clowning the Blackhawks less than 12 months ago? NOTHING!

How about the mighty Capitals beating the Blackhawks in the waning minutes in 2015? Oh, THAT'S RIGHT, the Blackhawks won the cup that year.

Maybe we could go all the way back to the 2009 Detroit Red Wings, in Wrigley Field. No cup there either.

This game meant nothing special.

The Good
  • Just a minute and eight seconds into the game, and the first shot on net, the Blackhawks had a 1-0 lead from my boy Michal Kempny. Artem Anisimov swung out from behind the net and hit Kempny for a one timer that was deflected by a Blues defender and beat Jake Allen high glove side. I'm so glad to see Kempny producing, after the shaft job he had gotten lately.
  • The Blackhawks were out shoe 35-23 and one of the goals was an empty netter. You can't really fault your goalie for that. He was solid enough to win, and Jake Allen only needed to make 22 saves.
  • Michal Kempny got his third start in and Gustav Forsling sat. I wouldn't mind seeing more Trevor van Riemsdyk healthy scratches, to be honest, but this is baby steps.
  • Both Hawks goalies get 10s for their equipment were throwback sets and top notch. CCM and Brian's did a great job.
  • I have be a huge grumpy gus about the Hawks uniforms, because are the ones they should have used last year in Minnesota, and they just slapped a better log on it this time around. That said, the black helmets looks slick as hell.

The Bad
  • They trotted out noted shitbag Bobby Hull and his fat kid for the opening faceoff and someone forgot the whole "faceoff needs a puck" part. Way to start this shit off.
  • About 8 minutes into the second period when Patrik Berglund slammed home a 3 foot putt from Jay Bouwmeester through Corey Crawford, to tie the game at 1.
  • It's kind of hard to win a game when you only manage 6 shots in the third period. Boy, those score effects...
  • Neither team had a clue on the powerplay, as they were a combined 0-7.

The Ugly
  • The NBC camera angles were fuc-king TER-I-BLE. They kept ramming that stupid camera-on-a-steek down our throats, and not only did it look bad, but the lens was rain covered. Talk about useless. Why in the fuck would anyone watch this game on HD when you can't even see clearly through the lens? The NBC and NHL people are a bunch of idiots.

    on-a-steek

  • With just under eight minute remaining in regulation, a stupid blind backhand pass in the Blues zone turned around and ended up with Hjalmarsson kicking the puck in his own net. Just a minute and fifty three seconds later Vlad Tarasenko made it a 2 goal lead. Not the best two minutes for this team.
  • Joel Quenneville threw up his hands with over three minutes remaining in the game and pulled Corey Crawford. We're talking about a team that generated low single digit shots in the period, so what might you expect from this? An empty net goal, of course. There was really no other outcome. The Hawks had basically given up before that, and I honestly can't fault them. He get hurt over this bullshit game?

The #Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats
  • Not sure analytics mean anything in a game like this, but the #AK72Line were really the only line to drive any possession.
  • Michal Kempny was the only Blackhawks defender that had a positive corsi
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