Sunday, October 8, 2017

Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets
5-1 Win Recap

"Invisible Enemy"

by Ray

Tonight marked the return of Artemi Panarin to the United Center for the first time since this summer's blockbuster trade for Brandon Saad. Both players had outstanding debuts for their teams as Panarin had 3 assists against the Islanders last night. Saad scored a hat trick in the Hawks blowout win against Pittsburgh.
Let's get right into it before the Hawks score any more first period goals.

Oh wow, ok. Guess that happened already. 1 minute 33 seconds in, in fact. Patrick Kane scores his second of the season on a great 3 on 2 rush. Good players find the open ice, great players finish off the play. He did both. Ryan Hartman initially wanted the pass to go to Nick Schmaltz but he was tied up by two Jackets defensemen and the puck found the wide open Kane's stick. He fired it above goalie Jonas Korpisalo's glove to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. That goal came at a cost though, as Schmaltz was pinned awkwardly between the defensemen and left the game. He attempted another shift during the period but it was unsuccessful. Plug in Q's lineblender, it starts early this year. Reports have it that Schmaltz has an upper body injury and will not travel during the road trip this week.

Lance Bouma kicked the crap out of Zac Dalpe in a scrap a few minutes later. Dalpe never stood a chance.

Hey look! A powerplay goal! After going 0-6 Thursday night, great puck movement and crashing the net led to Brandon Saad's 4th goal of the season as he banged home a rebound chance against his former team.

The Hawks seemed to have had most of the posession time in the first, however the shots would have indicated differently. 11 for Chicago, 9 for Columbus.

After an early Hawks penalty kill in the second period, the physical activity ramped up with some pretty solid hits. This of course prompted Foley and Konroyd to go on their first "MOAR HITZ" charade of the year. The leading hitter from Thursday? 5' 7" Alex DeBrincat... That might be the only thing that is remembered about him before he gets sent to Rockford next week. I will say though, I felt he was owed an assist on Sharp's goal Thursday. He wasn't initially, but apparently that was changed sometime Thursday or yesterday and he was given one. Right move.

Of course, as I was writing about "MOAR HITZ" sure enough, #DickFuckingPanik delivers a beautiful hit on Seth Jones deep in the Jackets zone to get the puck loose to Saad who sent a perfect pass to the Captain who nailed a rocket one timer off the post and in to make it 3-0 halfway through the Second.

Sure enough, 3 goal leads are the worst ever lead in hockey and 30 seconds after the Toews goal, Columbus strikes back with a little bit of luck. An attempted pass hits a sprawling Hartman and Sonny Milano taps in the puck while it is lying along the goal line to make it 3-1.

Two minutes later the three goal lead is restored thanks to Jan #RotoRutta 's first NHL goal. Nice recognition by both Kane and Rutta to find the open area with nearly all 10 players below the faceoff dots led to a pinball like, but still very easy goal to make it 4-1 Hawks.
Columbus woke up during the period and took over the shot lead 25-22.

The start of the third period wasn't exactly the smoothest for the Hawks as they gave up an early power play chance and allowed the first four shots on goal. Made for a little bit of a tense moment, but they fought through it and that was the end of the night for the Jackets.

The third was fairly uneventful after that with the exception of the glorious return of #DickFuckingPanik again to score his second of the year. He caught everyone sleeping after the faceoff in the offensive zone and fired it past Korpisalo for the final goal of the night. 5-1 Hawks Win.

Columbus wins the shot battle 33-29.

The Good
  • The special teams. As I mentioned before, the poweplay finally got on the board after a rough start last time out. The penalty kill however looks so much better. They gave up the one goal vs the Pens Thursday, but it was a 4v3 situation and with that insane Penguins lineup it's almost a certain score. However before the Pen's scored, it looked like a start of a solid kill. Even without a decent penalty killer in Tanner Kero in the lineup tonight they killed both penalties. They're being much more aggressive on the puck, and that is something they need to do more of to have this success.
  • Fast starts. This has been great to see. Kinda reminds me of 2013 a little bit where they just ran over the competition before they knew what happened. Keep this up.
  • Kane and Saad. Look the fuck out, other NHL teams.
  • Jan Rutta. I've been pretty impressed with how he has played. His decisions with the puck have been solid and he isn't afraid to make moves out there. Whether its pinching offensively or making a move in the defensive zone to avoid the forecheck, he's been effective out there. It was nice to see him in motion and involved in the play where he scored.
  • Corey Crawford. He had another solid night in net. Wasn't challenged too much at times, but made the big saves when he needed to. Hey, Crawford haters. "WHERE'S YOUR DARLING NOW?"
  • Edzo and the Blue Jackets Organization. During the first intermission, Pat Foley had Eddie Olczyk in the booth to talk about his health condition. If you haven't heard, Olczyk has been dealing with cancer treatments, and it was really encouraging to see him looking that well. It was also nice to hear how many times the Blue Jackets have contacted him during this time. Stick taps to you Jackets. Hang in there Edzo. We're thinking of you.

The Bad

  • Jonas Korpisalo. Yikes, there were some bad rebounds by him tonight, but at least he wasn't Niemi bad. I know the Jackets were playing their second of back to back games and it's way early in the season, but after the way he played against the Hawks during the preseason, I would have maybe considered playing Bobrovski back to back, especially after a shutout. But hey, I'm not Jack Adams award winning coach Torts. What do I know?
  • Zac Dalpe's punch riddled face. Ouch.
  • Artemi Panarin. *crickets*. Ok he wasn't bad, but he was pretty invisible tonight at times. It's obvious that the Jackets powerplay will run through him. Which is a bit of a shame because there is a lot of talent on that team other than him.

The Ugly

  • Michael Kempny's Puck Handling. Need I say more? There are sometimes where I cringe watching him in pressure situations in the D Zone. I was kinda hoping it would only be a year long nerves thing last year, but it still looks scary at times to me. Hopefully Ulf Samuelsson can help him get more comfortable handling the puck in those situations. We really don't need another Campoli moment.

See you guys in a few weeks when I recap Hawks-Preds. Thanks for reading and following along.
@Rayzer_14 on the Twitterz.


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