Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blackhawks at Montreal
3-1 Win Recap


by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks limped into Montreal tonight after barely making it out of Toronto with a point, the previous night. This time around it was the Blackhawks that came out slow, but then picked up their game. Enough with the formalities, because I'm tired and worn out. Also, give a listen to the podcast I did with the Talkin Hawks guys after the game. Think of it as a special little bonus for this recap.

The Good
  • Late in the first period, the Wonder Midget finally scored his first NHL goal. Nothing too flashy, just well placed one timer through a screen that eluded Carey Price. It’s about damn time.
  • The Blackhawks weren’t finished in the first period, though. Nineteen seconds later, Brandon Saad finished a 3-on-2 with a slam dunk into a wide open net. Just that quickly, the Hawks went from down one to up by one.
  • The Blackhawks extended their lead halfway through the second period just as the powerplay was ending. This, of course, almost didn’t happen when the Wonder Midget tried a fancy blind backhand pass to no one, which led to a shorthanded partial breakaway. Corey Crawford bailed the kid out, and Debrincat then assisted on an Artem Anisimov power play goal at the other end that Cody Franson also got an assist on.
  • After a pretty lucky first period, the Blackhawks had a much better second period, scoring the only goal, on the powerplay and out shooting the home team 12-7.
  • Corey Crawford once again displayed his absolute mastery of the Canadiens in Montreal. If not for Crawford, the Blackhawks don’t win this game. The title is all Corey Crawford.

The Bad
  • In theory, the scoreboard said that the Blackhawks had a good first period, but the eye test says otherwise. All the advance metric categories also indicate that the Blackhawks got their butts kicked.
  • As good as the second period was, the third was that bad. The Hawks were out shot 16-6 and relied solely on Crawford to keep them in the game.
  • It also didn’t take long for the Quenneville shenanigans to begin. Halfway through the first period Lance Bouma got benched in favor of a double shifting Patrick Kane. By the third period the fourth and second lines had been all mixed up for good with Hayden/Wingels/Kane playing together, and Bouma/Anisimov/Hartman playing together.
  • Debrincat’s bad turnovers didn’t stop in the second period. He turned one over in the third period as well, that led to another Habs break-a-way. It wasn’t all bad, because the kid hustled back to tie the Canadiens forward, Paul Byron, up enough that he never got the shot off.
  • The Wonder Midget wasn’t the only player that had bad turnovers. Franson had a pretty egregious one, and Gustav Forsling was spun around like a top a few times. If you’re ok giving up these mistakes early, it’ll only make these players better for the late playoff push. I still think Debrincat and Forsling could use seasoning in Rockford, at some point.

The Ugly
  • It only took the Blackhawks 1:15 to give up a terrible goal, when Ryan Hartman flubbed a pass and the puck ended up past Crawford. The Habs spent a majority of the rest of the period with the puck; until the final 2 minutes.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Tanner Kero - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Michal Kempny - Cody Franson
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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