Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blackhawks vs Predators
2-1 Loss Recap

"The Bad Thing"

by Gatekeeper

The Nashville Predators were in Chicago, Friday night, to face the slumping Blackhawks. Joel Quenneville tried to shake things up a little by doing a little line juggling. Alex Debrincat, Richard Panik, Ryan Hartman, and John Hayden all moved lines, while the defense was thrown in the wood chipper as well. This, of course, led to some adjusting for what turned out to be the entire game.

Both teams traded power plays that each failed to capitalize in the opening half of the first period. All that said, the Blackhawks dominated 3/4 of the period. The Preds came back late in the period but were subjected to a second shorthanded breakaway very late, with #DickInTheBox™️. This time Nick Schmaltz stripped the puck from PK Subban and went in all alone on Pekka Rinne. Rinne made the stop but Artem Anisimov barely jabbed the rebound into the net. The official scorer must have been counting all shots on one side of the scoresheet, because they claimed that the Blackhawks out shot the Predators 21-7. As good of a period as the Hawks were playing there is no possible way that number was correct.

With all the hard work the Blackhawks put in during the first period, they handed over the lead just 57 seconds into the middle period. This goal was egregiously bad, too, which will give the casual fan the illusion that the defense is the issue. More on that later, though.

Duncan Keith just handed the puck over on a platter in the slot, which is sure to infuriate your goaltender. Later, The Preds took the lead, midway through the second period, with a powerplay goal. With Jan Rutta in the box, Craig Smith used Connor Murphy and Colton Sissons as screens to beat Corey Crawford, which was how the second period ended. Nashville led the period in shots 13-8.

The third period was a battle of attrition between these two rival teams. The Blackhawks put forth a valiant effort to tie the game and, at least, send it to overtime but Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne continued his mastery of this team. As the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks went down with a whimper, making them 1-3-1 in their last 5, and .500 on the season. No time for the Blackhawks to feel sorry for themselves as they headed to Colorado for another game tonight.

As most of you probably read earlier this week, this is my last game recap at Puckin Hostile. Starting next week, I'll be writing exclusively for Thank you all for reading here, over the years, and I hope you follow me over to the new site. You'll get the same type of trademark Hostile content, just slightly cleaner. The old site will remain to come back and read, but there will only be a handful more article posted here in the future.

The Good
  • There hasn’t been much to be positive about, lately, but the PK has actually been really good. Brandon Saad had an early shorthanded break-a-way, while forward lines like John Hayden and Lance Bouma had great shifts, as well. The Anisimov shorthanded goal was, of course, a highlight and all of this action was just the first period. Even though they gave up one powerplay goal in this game, the Hawks creeped into the top 10 for penalty kill percentage. Interesting statistic is that these were 2 of the top 3 teams as far as being shorthanded.
  • If you're blaming a one goal loss on the goalie or defense, you're doing yourself a great disservice, as well as just being flat out wrong. One of the goals was on the powerplay (through 2 screens), which also needs to be taken into account. The lack of scoring, the middle 6 forwards and the awful powerplay are the problem. a defense that essentially gave up one goal and held their opponent to under 25 even strength shots is not the problem.

The Bad
  • The parade to the penalty box is all fine and well when you’re getting shorthanded breakaways, but eventually all that powerplay time will yield a goal. That is exactly what happened in the second period. The Blackhawks are officially tied for 3rd in the league in being shorthanded at 46 times.
  • I'm not sure I'm understanding this Alex Debrincat fascination, or the justification to put him on the top line. Let me clarify; I understand the desire for something new to be excited about, but this experiment is going tepid, at best.
    Richard Panik led the entire team in corsi and was 2nd in Fenwick coming into this game. Alex Debrincat was near the bottom in both Corsi (16th of 21) and Fenwick (19th of 21). He also hasn't scored anything of substance in SEVEN games, other than a late assist in a game that was already far out of reach against St. Louis. Can we stop the excuses and the carrying on of this stupid PR charade and do what needs to be done? Call me a hater all you want, but there is nothing to support this stunt other than, "well, we wanna do it".

The Ugly
  • The Preds goal 57 seconds into the second period was just horrible. He tried to touch pass to Nick Schmaltz, who didn’t have his stick on the ice. The pass went right to Calle Jarnkrok, who beat Crawford with a one timer.
  • Pat Foley had a rough night. Honestly with Steve Konroyd by your side, who wouldn't have a bad night? He sat and told the entire audience that a goalie interference penalty was a challengeable play, and was having problems with Preds player names the entire night.
  • I sound like a broken record but the powerplay was 0-6. If the Blackhawks could have scored just once, if would have been enough to continue this game. It's astounding that Quenneville and his staff cannot make some simple adjustments to make this talented group useful. Personnel is not the issue, it's 100% the approach and methodology.
  • Gustav Forsling is back to being "Swedish Mr. Hyde". Pairing him with Brent Seabrook benefits no one.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Richard Panik - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - John Hayden
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - Ryan Hartman

Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta
Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Brent Seabrook


Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive