Sunday, February 19, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Sabres
5-1 Win Recap

"Aces High"

By Patrick Norton

While they lost their five game win streak with a loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, the Blackhawks could salvage the weekend with a Sunday evening matchup on the road in upstate New York. The KeyBank Center in the heart of downtown Buffalo was home to tonight’s #HockeyDayInAmerica showdown on NBCSN between two non-conference, non-rival, and unevenly matched teams. I mean, they’re the Sabres. They have Eichel and the brother of some dude on Saad’s line. Anyways, this somehow made a national broadcaster, but it didn’t receive the A-Team broadcasters. We’ll discuss that bit later.

The first period provided a rocky start - what else is new? - for the Blackhawks, but no matter the mistakes the skaters made, #LemontNativeScottDarling was there to rescue his teammates. Ryan Hartman lit the lamp early on and the Blackhawks livened up a bit. Suddenly, puck possession was a Blackhawks tradition that couldn’t be broken. Robin Lehner somehow was keeping his squad in the game, but all momentum found residence on the away team bench. Darling made the saves and all seemed well just seconds from heading into the locker room with a one goal lead after one. But we can’t have nice things, so after the refusal to clear their own end, a turnover occurred and one thing led to another. We all know how this one ends. A crappy goal to end a period to suck the life out of the Hawks. Perfect.

Evander Kane’s goal did not leave a lasting impact. The Hawks went right back to work in the second. Sure, goals seemed harder to come by, but with the blazing pace the Hawks had, it was surely only a matter of time. Ta Da! Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews tacked on late period tallies and the defense ya know...defended in the final seconds of the period and the Hawks had a commanding grasp on this one.

For good measure, Anisimov deflected in a Patrick Kane shot to increase the lead to three and Kane cut himself a slice of the cake when he undressed Lehner to finish of an offensive gem for the Blackhawks. The road win streak carries on to six. HEADLINE: Kane, Blackhawks cause mayhem in Buffalo. Too soon? Hawks 5, Sabres 1.

The Good

  • Just about everything.
  • Patrick Kane’s goal made Ben Bishop shit his pants from thousands of miles away. It really doesn’t get much better than that. 
  • Don’t forget about the setup, though. Panarin’s patience in feeding the puck to Kane grew as the game went on and boy, did it pay dividends. Panarin drew THREE Sabre defenders and shimmied a pass across the offensive zone to a wide open Kane. How many times do we have to say it? Don’t leave Patrick Kane alone in Buffalo.
  • Hossa and Toews are really deteriorating rapidly, eh? *insert middle finger emoji*
  • Highly underrated in this game was the Blackhawks PK. They killed off a 5-on-3 in the first period and made it look easy. 
  • It sucks that the outcome will likely come from another team, but damn, Scott Darling is going to get PAID! Deservedly so, too. One goal allowed on twenty-seven shots faced. Pretty good for a goalie who hasn’t played too much.
  • The defense did their job very well for 59:55 of tonight’s game. Not much to complain about. Even Michal Kempny did pretty well. 
  • Instead of watching the final five minutes of the game, I enjoyed a wonderful meal consisting of a strip steak, not one, but TWO baked potatoes, and some asparagus. A delicious meal made on the grill tonight. This weather was fantastic. I cleaned the garage, I ran errands, and grilled. I hope everybody with similar weather was able to enjoy it, too. 

The Bad

  • Ryan Hartman grabbed his knee and writhed in pain momentarily on the bench. I didn’t really follow up, so I would imagine he’s okay.
  • I wasn’t too fond of the broadcasting crew. At least the doctor wasn’t in the house tonight. 

The Ugly

  • The defense simply had a mental lapse in the final ten seconds of period one. The point is mute after the big victory, so I don’t even remember who was on the ice, but not every team is like the Sabres. A lot of other teams wouldn’t have fumbled the momentum handed to them at a period’s end. Be better.

Short and sweet tonight, just like Gate. Enjoy your President’s Day and if you can, take a step outside. No hockey worth watching tomorrow, so you’re going to have to find something to do. That is, unless you sleep all day like a wild nocturnal Fatrick. Alright, alright, alright, that’s all, I swear.

Thanks for being a fun bunch, Hostile readers. 

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