Friday, January 6, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Sabres
4-3 OT Win Recap

"Better Than Pearl Jam"

by Patrick Stankus

After Monday afternoon's debacle in St. Louis, the Blackhawks found their way out of the sewer drains of the city and returned home to host Buffalo on Thursday. The Hawks have hit a bit of a rough patch of late, as they've struggled to post a 1-3-1 record in their last five games. Despite the gloom of late, the Hawks did get some good news tonight as Marian Hossa returned to the lineup. Also making an appearance with the Hawks tonight was recent Rockford callup Spencer Abbott on the top line. All this has the makings of another bad loss, doesn't it?

Unlike in recent games, the Blackhawks actually decided to get started once the puck dropped. The Hawks simply clowned the Sabres, like they should, throughout the period. All the fun and games last a whole seven minutes, before Brent Seabrook had a beautiful assist on a Marcus Foligno goal to put the Hawks in an early 1-0 hole. After the hiccup, the Hawks got back to their clowning show, and before long, Ryan Hartman tied to the game at one. After throwing twenty shots at #LeddyScraps, they could only muster one goal, and headed into the intermission tied at one.

The second period saw the Hawks come back down to earth and play more like the Hawks we've seen of late. Michal Kempny put the Hawks shorthanded early on, and that was the tone of the period for the Hawks. In total, the Hawks would parade themselves to the penalty box two more times in the period, and it finally bit them in the ass. Just eighteen seconds after Kyle Okposo scored, Artem Anisimov answered back and tied the game at two. After tallying twenty shots in the first period, the Hawks only threw nine at the Sabres net in the second, but still managed to be tied after forty minutes.

The scoring continued in early on in the third period. The consolation prize to Connor McClavicle gave Buffalo an early 3-2 lead, with their second power play goal of the game. For the most part of the period, the Hawks again controlled the pace of the game, and it looked as if frustration was settling in. Fear not, in the waning minutes of the period, Artem Anisimov showed his face again, and tied the game at three. With the game tied, both teams seemed content to grab a point and head to overtime. In the overtime that no one was watching, unless you were at the game, (thanks World Juniors), Patrick Kane wasted little time and scored fifty-six seconds into overtime to give the Hawks the 4-3 win.
The Good
  • Artem Anisimov scored two goals tonight, and now is in sole possession of the team lead in goals with 18. I guess the honeymoon with the #AK72Line is still going strong.
  • Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists. Again, how about that #AK72Line eh?
  • Ryan Hartman opened the scoring for the Hawks with a highlight reel goal. I wouldn't go as far as to call it "looking like Bobby Orr" as Edzo said because Hartman was dove at the end, but it was nice. Oh and did I mention I think that Bobby Orr goal is one of the most overrated moments in sports history?
  • Marian Hossa returned to the lineup tonight after his most recent injury. For the most part Hossa didn't look too bad in his return.
  • Michal Kempny added an assist tonight to continue his points streak. (There, you happy Gate? I only put this in there for you)
  • Dennis Rasmussen continued his solid play of late with another quality game. I'll repeat, if Kruger is traded, I would not mind seeing Rasmussen slide into that role.

The Bad
  • The Hawks had twenty shots in the first period. If you think that's bad, they ended the game with forty-three. I'm sorry, but if you put up that many shots against a team like Buffalo, you should blow them out, not win in overtime.
  • In his Blackhawks debut Spencer Abbott saw the ice for 8:34. I'm sure he'll be on the Rockford Shuttle soon.
  • The special teams struggled for the Hawks tonight. The power play was 0-2 while the penalty kill allowed two goals. Shocking the Hawks managed to win tonight.
  • Brian Campbell may say he's still having "fun," but he's now found himself as the odd man out of the lineup.

The Ugly
  • Brent Seabrook was awful tonight. He had a brutal turnover that led to the Sabres opening goal, and he also took a bad penalty late in the second period.
  • Seriously try and watch a shift that features Andrew Desjardins. Its brutal.
  • I'm all for the NHL putting an "NHL Centennial" patch on the jerseys, but the placement of them on the sleeves is not a good look. Be normal. Put them on the front where they belong.
  • Evander Kane was a -3 tonight. I'm guessing it was Patrick Kane who won NBCSN's battle of the Kanes tonight?
  • Ryan O'Reilly was named the game's third star of the night tonight. I guess that's deserving since he didn't crash his car in the Dunkin' Donuts drive thru when he went for his pre-game coffee.

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