Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
4-1 Loss & 4-0 Series Sweep Recap

"Cowboys From Hell"

By Patrick Norton

I’ve started and scrapped eight recaps from tonight’s game. I just can’t seem to put the disappointment into words. Obviously, we’re all a little pissed off and it’s deserved. The inevitable blame game has begun through friendly discussions, social media and group texts. When the Predators scored their fourth goal, my brother texted me wondering if I had set up the “juju” that comes out every playoff season ever since the Blackhawks trailed the Red Wings three games to one in 2013. Not even the shrine of pucks, rally towels, bobbleheads, and red paper over the light bulbs could save the demise of the Blackhawks this time around. 

And that’s when it struck me; I won’t have the chance to watch any playoff hockey with my brother this year. He’s off at school and wasn’t coming home for another two weeks, so typically the deep runs provide the best chances to watch playoff hockey together. Through the series's versus the Ducks and Lightning in ‘15, even the heart wrenching loss to the Kings in ‘14 (in which my brother and I were at Game Seven of the WCF), and to the incredible comeback against Detroit and the eventual 17 seconds Cup win against the Bruins in ‘13, my brother and I have experienced the best of the best in playoff hockey together. That’s what really kills me. It stung against the Blues, but at least the Hawks put up a fight. This time around, you could just tell that it wasn’t happening and from different regions of the US, we both watched as the Blackhawks were swept away.

And just like that, it’s over. The reunion with Brian Campbell and Johnny Oduya: over. The hope of completing the improbable with a roster full of rookies: over. Recaps for Puckin’ Hostile: over. A lot came to an end when the final whistle blew, but I think the hardest to cope with is what begins and what arises from this pathetic playoff performance. Until October, we’ll hear of the greatest collapse the hockey world has seen in recent memory and we’ll hear fans, analysts and writers questioning the personnel on and off the ice. Sure, there’s blame to go around, but does that mean clear house? Absolutely not, but a few changes might be in order. Luckily for our readers and listeners, Gate, Fatrick, Bryan, myself and Double J himself, John Jaeckel will attempt to sort through the muck and the sour taste left in our mouths by this series with a playoff recap and an offseason preview shoutcast next week. Until then, that’s enough hockey for a while. Don’t ask me who I’m rooting for now because at this point in time, I couldn’t care any less. (Probably New York or Washington, though) I need a hockey detox for a few days. And hey Blackhawks, next year, if we’re going to lose in the playoffs again, can it not be to a team that will never shut up about it again? Like the Flames or Oilers? Thanks.

Anyways, I really enjoyed bringing my thoughts to a page this season and I cannot thank our listeners and readers enough for the support they’ve thrown our way. How many seventeen year old bloggers can be welcomed by a community with open arms and not be frightened away? Probably not many, but somehow this all worked out. And while the recaps are finished until October, us meatballs aren’t going anywhere (except for me going to Kansas). We’ll all be here, God willing, next season to bring you the same subpar content we always have. And while I think it’s important to thank all of you, none of this happens without the hilarious content my three partners in crime have provided. 

Bryan, everybody's favorite Canadian, has always been able to provide me with a laugh, whether it be on the shoutcast or in our group messages. Patrick “Fatrick” Stankus and I clicked on day one. Not only do we both live with our parents, but we both have great senses of humor and a similar body shape.

At last, The Gatekeeper. We connected through Twitter and I happened to come up with the best idea for an offseason fun draft and was able to join a shoutcast. In all honesty, I just followed these guys on Twitter, but had never listened to a shoutcast. I was extremely confused because I couldn’t place a voice with a name. I actually thought Derek was Bryan and Bryan was Derek. I thought it was odd that Fatrick continually made fun of “Derek” because I couldn’t stop laughing at “Derek’s” jokes. It was only in post-recording when Gate told me I had it backwards. That should’ve been the end of my story with Puckin’ Hostile, but early in the season, someone couldn’t recap a game, so I Semborski’d and stepped up to the plate. I thought I swung and missed, but Gate and the rest of the crew credited me with a solid RBI bloop single. A couple of weeks later, I joined on as a full time recapper. Soon after that, I made my second appearance on a shoutcast and soon after that, Derek made his last. Gate helped me through every step of the way and that’s the honest truth.

I can’t thank these three men enough for what they’ve done this year. It’s been a pleasure being able to write for Puckin’ Hostile and I cannot wait to crack out the classic “Good, Bad, and Ugly” format next year. 

And while I hope next years results don’t make for another somber series recap, nothing is guaranteed. That is except for one thing… we’ll be right back here next season rested and ready to go. Now have a good night, hold your head up high because we’ve still won three cups in eight years and as always, don’t be a meathead.

Oh wait… I was supposed to recap the game? Blackhawks lost the Predators, 4-1 and lost the series, 4-0. We were slow, sloppy and out of touch. Can’t put all the blame on the rookies when Keith, Seabrook and Oduya played like they had a 9 am tee time tomorrow morning. And don't deny that just because Keith put a nice jolt into somebody in the third period. After that, they went flat again. Yet, Kempny was decent and deserves more playing time next season and TVR played like he wanted a Game Five. Our forwards continually dumped and chased, which is fine if it works, but it never opened up the middle of the ice because the Hawks couldn’t win any puck battle. Crawford was okay, but when we needed him to stick with it, even when all hope seemed lost, he looked lost in the crease. We scored two powerplay goals and one even strength goal this series. Pekka Rinne would’ve tied for most points had he played for the Blackhawks. Marian Hossa played a more youthful game than almost everybody, including silly mistakes like the overtime turnover in Game Three, but he still played his ass off. Ryan Hartman turned into Andrew Shaw for some reason. Predators fans suck. Artem Anisimov played through his ankle injury and it was quite apparent he wasn’t 100%. Literally the only players you can’t shovel any blame towards would be Scott Darling and Michal Rozsival because they never played. I don’t know, that was tough to watch. I’m interested to see what happens in the coming weeks.

How about that for a recap?

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