Posts tagged Star Wars
WE LOST GAME ONE! EVERYONE, TO THE CLIFFS!
Seriously folks. Anyone who’s watched any amount of sports knows that losing a game one in a seven game series is not the end of the world. Ask the 2004 Boston Red Sox. I’d tell you to ask the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, but I’m afraid Zdeno Chara may check you into a turnbuckle if you do
Does this mean I don’t wish the Hawks would have beaten the Canucks last night? Of course not. That first period was deflating to watch as a fan. I am encouraged by the way the Hawks game out in the second and third periods. If Kane has better aim on Luongo’s ass and Brouwer hits Hossa on the breakaway, it would have been a different game folks. Do you remember hearing either of the Sedins’ names except when they did the skate of shame to the penalty box? No. And that is a good sign.
That being said, I think game two is close to a must win for the Blackhawks. They can’t come out looking like they just woke up and get steamrolled like they did in that first period. Get a goal early, crowd the crease and the Nucks will get frustrated. We’ve all seen it before.
Anyway, no real recap (you expect me to have an attention span this time of year?), but I’m dusting off the awards. Because I can.
For a guy starting his first playoff game, you cannot complain about how Craw performed last night. Sure, maybe that second goal should have been stopped, but Corey kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win, as he’s done all year. Two goals against the highest scoring offense is nothing to be sniffed at. And let’s be honest - can you name another Hawk that had a notable game last night? I don’t think so.
Mr. Goal Post
I can’t remember the last time the Hawks (or any team for that matter) hit four posts in a game. Well, the Hawks did exactly that in game one, and for that, the post deserves a jeer. If only it would have gotten out of the way! Ok, yes I know the blame is squarely placed on the shooters for just missing. And in all fairness, I heard a couple PINGS for the Nucks as well. Oh goal post - why must you troll so hard?
Rich Lam / Getty Images
I’ll just stop apologizing for these late ass recaps - it’s just gonna be the norm around here, especially this time of year. Besides, I know the three of you who visit regularly come for my witty banter and Star Wars references and not for the up-to-the-minute analysis.
Lots of highlights in this one, mostly good. Let’s forget about that 15 minute span in the late 2nd/first half of the third where I was ready to kick small children. For the second game in a row, we got an excellent fight out of John “Snuggles” Scott:
I dislike Cam Janssen on principle, he being a Blue and an annoying asswipe, but I’ll give the man credit for hanging in there. I guess he was playing the waiting him out game, and it was nearly successful. What was more amusing to me, was the interview Scott gave after the game to WGN Radio. It’s a bit long at 13 minutes, but worth a listen:
After listening to this, I appreciate Scott more for his obvious sense of humor and he sounds fairly intelligent to boot. So I’ll try to limit the hatin’ on little ol’ Murdersaurus.
There’s been a lot of angst and groaning directed at TomoKop as of late, because let’s be honest, he hasn’t done jackshit since about game ten of the season. Perhaps he showed up in this game to honor his fallen comrade, Marian Hossa. Whatever got into Kopecky worked as he scored the first goal of the game, had three assists and a team leading +3 in just 11 minutes of ice time. Do I expect this out of him every game? Hell no. I guess that’s what made this performance most astounding - bravo!
Odd that I just saw this kid and his team get their ass kicked in the AHL over the weekend, and just a few days later play like he means never to go back there. On the scoresheet, it says he just potted an assist (his first NHL point), but he did so much more than that. His play along the boards and behind the net was the catalyst for the Hawks’ first two goals. He also got into a scrap in the third, impressive for a 19 year old kid whom to look at, you wouldn’t think would be one to drop the gloves. I really hope he sticks with the big kids this time around, because I think he’s for reals. Plus it might shut everyone up on how badly the Hawks supposedly fucked up by trading away Byfuglien.
I know everyone’s piling on the guy for colliding with Hossa in practice, causing Panda to miss the next couple of weeks - if you don’t believe me, check out #BlameBoynton on Twitter. But I’m not even going to go there - it was an accident. The Hawks had the Blues on their heels, with a 5-1 lead, and Boynton decides to get into a fight with Crombeen midway through the 2nd. Why, I don’t know. There was no reason to, and Nick can’t fight to save his life as it is. That seemed to give the Blues a spark, and lookee, they score three straight goals to give myself and Hawks Nation heart palpitations. Add that to the usual bag of defensive gaffes, and I see no reason for Boynton to dress for the next game or two. Sadly though, I think we’ll still see him on the ice on Friday.
I realize I never did a recap for game 24 vs. the Sharks. Sorry about that - I blame my fat ass and tryptophan. What could I say about that game anyway - I had a red mark on my forehead from all of the times I slapped it in reacting to waaaaay too many DOH moments by the Hawks. And while I’m glad Nemo did well, I just don’t want him to do it *against* us. Sadly, he got torched tonight by the Canucks, 6-1. Whoops.
Anyway, onto the game at hand.
- Although the Hawks outshot the Ducks 13-6 and outplayed them in the first, all it took was one ill advised penalty by Pisani to give the Ducks the 1-0 lead going into the locker room. That left me with an icky feeling during the intermission, and no it wasn’t the leftover turkey sandwich I had for lunch.
- With as bad as the PP had looked as of late for the Hawks, it was nice to see Dunc tie the game with a shortie. Makes me wonder if we should just decline penalties - we were 0-2 with the man advantage.
- Aside from the Ducks goal in the first, the Hawks PK was much better overall, killing 4 of 5. They’ve got to stop taking the stupid penalties though - it really doesn’t help matters much.
- Who says karma doesn’t exist? After taking a run at Cullimore in the second, Dan Sexton set up Patrick Sharp with a beautiful centering pass to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead in the early minutes of the third. It ended up being the GWG /manical laughter
- Yay for TOFTBO breaking his scoring drought! And Bolland assisted on the goal? BIZARRO WORLD!
- Was that not the best shift of the year for Troy Brouwer in the third? After delivering a clean bone crushing hit on the boards, he received a beautiful pass from Jake Dowell to pot his fourth of the season and put the game on ice. I am a big TBrouw fan, but I will be the first to admit his play this season has been less than stellar. He seems to have picked it up on the circus trip - let it continue.
- Huzzah for the reuniting of the Keith/Seabrook and Campbell/Hjalmarsson D-Pairings! I have no doubt the terrible showing by Boynton on Wednesday led to it. Actually I was quite surprised Boynton even dressed for the game. Hendry must have gotten a scratch on Q’s car again when parking it.
- Excellent face-off percentages by Toews (56%), Dowell (56%) and Bolland (53%). Unfortunately Sharp was a putrid 25% (3 for 12).
- I kinda like the Ducks third jerseys. Then again I do like the color orange. Don’t believe me? I drive an orange car.
- All five games the Hawks have played on the circus trip have been decided by at least 3 goals. If that doesn’t tell you how bi-polar this team is, nothing will.
I’m only handing out one award for this game…
With the offensive explosion by the Hawks in the third period, Corey’s performance went mostly unnoticed. But let’s not forget the big save made on the Ducks breakaway in the first when the game was still scoreless - if that goes in, it’s a whole different ballgame. Crawford stopped 26 of 27, including all 12 SOG in the third. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in net tomorrow vs. the Kings. Is this the start of another Blackhawks goalie controversy? Honestly I could care less - the team’s been so inconsistent, just play the hot hand and go with the flow.
Let’s just sit back and savor this one - it’s been a long time coming. That my friends, was Vintage 2009-2010 Blackhawks. And it was GLORIOUS. God willing, this will become the norm.
Because this game was close to perfect, and I’m still battling bronchitis/a cold/the plague, we’ll save the analysis for another game. Instead, I’m proud to present:
…is awarded to our Captain, Jonathan Toews for completing a natural hat trick in the first 21 minutes of the game.
Well, this game has to be the most over-hyped of the young season. If you haven’t heard a bazillion times already, we’ll be facing these guys tonight:
Poor Sopel - he looks more terrible than usual. Aside from the family reunion, I’m intrigued by this game for two reasons:
1) The Blackhawks have called up 19-year old Jeremy Morin, and he will be making his NHL debut tonight against the team who drafted him. He impressed in camp this year, and has been doing well in Rockford. I’d have to think that he would have been brought up sooner had he not had a minor injury. For the love of Baby Jesus I hope he does well so we don’t have to see John Scott’s pylon-esque skills when Hossa and Bolland are back.
2) The Hawks went through what was a reported as a tough practice yesterday, and apparently were lackluster today as Coach Q yanked them off the ice halfway through today’s skate and was pissed. I hope the guys have gotten the message that the time for fucking around is over. We have to start playing good hockey now - we have several games in hand on many of the conference’s top teams and it would suck if we have to play catch up for most of the season. Besides, the always enjoyable Circus Trip is right around the corner - it would be nice to get a streak together before we leave town for a couple of weeks.
I’m going to be live-blogging this game tonight. Because I can.
- Judging by the amount of cheering during the National Anthem, there must be a lot of Hawks fans in Atlanta. I hate when fans do that on the road - it’s a UNITED CENTER/CHICAGO STADIUM tradition people. Sheesh.
- That was a Niemi-esque rebound by Turco. Don’t do that.
- Was that the first shot on net by Scott that made it on the goaltender? Sure seems like it.
- Nice, Skille. Why are you holding Byfuglien - it’s not like he’s a speedster.
- Oh yay, the Hawks are down already. Hello defense - DOES ANYONE WANT TO COVER THE FRONT OF THE NET???
- Mark my words - Skille’s going to see less than 5 minutes TOI this game. That was a dumb penalty. He’s already been in Q’s doghouse this season - I’m sure he’s already back in there.
- Now Stalberg’s in the box - pretty soon there will be no room in the doghouse.
- God, I am so missing Andrew Ladd right now.
- That lettering on the arms of the Thrashers’ sweaters is FUGLY. The Wolves (their AHL affiliate) have the same thing on their jerseys.
- Good punch by TK-421 on Slater for slashing him.
- PP time!
- TAZER! Nice touch on the rebound!
- Turco’s been solid thus far. 11 of 12 just about halfway through the first.
- Another PK for the Hawks. Thanks TomoKop *sigh*
- Five minor penalties thus far. Teams not liking each other or sloppy play? I choose the latter.
- KANER! The boys are back! 1G 1A for my FHL team so far! w00t!
- Toews is making an excellent Toews-Face on the bench. Tee-hee-hee
- 2 PP goals on 2 tries for the Blackhawks. Think that burns Thrashers’ Asst. Coach John Torchetti who ran the Hawks oft-terrible PP last year?
- Sloppy period for both teams. Blackhawks cashed in on the PP to take a 2-1 lead at the end of one. Now I have to get my clothes out of the dryer and figure out what’s for dinner. :P
- I fold my laundry, AND YOU LET THE THRASHERS SCORE TWO GOALS IN THE FIRST FOUR MINUTES? WTF!
- Atlanta goal two - for the love of God, get a body on the guys in front! Two Thrashers in front of TK-421 untouched. Bad luck with the puck bouncing off the back of Marty
- Atlanta goal three - bad change by the Hawks. They’re really hanging Marty out to dry. And TK-421 isn’t helping himself by flopping around like a dead fish again.
- Time out by Coach Q. Rip them a new one!
- TAZER on the BREAKAWAY! Thank you Captain! Thank you!
- Oh look, it’s Jack Skille! I thought for sure Q would have had him warming up the team bus.
- Gotta get your stick on that Kane - good rush up the ice & pass from Stalberg.
- Good hustle by Morin - too bad the net went off the rails there.
- With Ladd, Buff, Sopel, Eager & Evander Kane on the Thrashers, I’ve been doing double takes all night during the game.
- Dinnertime! Therefore there will not be much liveblogging the rest of the period.
- This was not a game to attempt to eat dinner during - between the Hawks’ undressing on Atlanta’s fourth goal and Pavelec’s foibles behind the net leading to Kane’s tally, I nearly sprayed the living room with food from my mouth.
- Think there’s a friendly wager between Kane & Toews right now to see if one of them could pot a hattie?
- If the Hawks would stop taking stupid penalties, they’d be winning this game.
- Thrashers lead the Hawks 26-24 in SOG through two. Hawks are a putrid 17/40 on faceoffs.
- With his 2G and 2A thus far, Toews has scored four points in a regular season game for the first time in his career. ADD TO IT TAZER!!!
- Think we can trade John Scott for Brent Sopel? Make it happen StanBow!
- Byfuglien just put Stalberg on his ass - he was doing his Patrick Kane impression. Oduya will never live down that he got knocked down by Kaner.
- OH NOES MORIN! Help the BB! Puck in the midsection. OWOWOWOW
- Actually on the replay it looked like Morin took the puck in the back of the knee. Let’s hope it’s nothing but a bad bruise? Please?
- GODDAMMIT Kopecky! FINISH FOR ONCE!
- I am using a lot of caps during this game. That is not a good sign.
- Morin’s back on the bench. Go Kid! He has more heart than many of his teammates have shown of late.
- Kane just missed the hattie. Oof.
- Morin went back to the dressing room. At least he was able to skate on it a bit. Give him a big-ass ice pack and he can go get them tomorrow night.
- Someone just mentioned John Scott is moving at the speed of fart. LOL.
- Buff just flicked the back of Toews helmet after a whistle. What are you, in fifth grade Dustin? Tazer just ignored him.
- Well I guess Skille’s just gonna bowl over the goalie to try to pot his first goal of the season. Didn’t work - better luck next time.
- Kane just deked a Thrasher out of his shorts - only a Pavelec gem prevented the hats from hitting the ice.
- The Thrashers net seems to come off the moorings way too easily. Or maybe Pavelec has gas?
- Tie game with 2 minutes left - never good for the nerves.
- Nice icing with 40 seconds left Hawks.
- TURCO. Flash that glove!
- OVERTIME. At least we get a point.
- Pisani’s out on the 4-on-4? Really?
- Duncan Keith just made the Baby Jesus cry with that bad pass
- Oh Tazer - SO CLOSE
- “Kaner looking for Johnny back door” -Edzo. Heh.
- Lots of quality chances in OT but Pavelec shut the door.
- Skills competition. Barf.
- #1 Thrashers - Antropov: TURCO STOP!
- #1 Hawks - Toews: just MONEY. OMG THAT WAS SWEET!
- #2 Thrashers - Ladd: Five hole. *sigh*
- #2 Hawks - Sharp: Glove by Pavelec. Sharpie just isn’t good on the shootout
- #3 Thrashers - Peverley: Turco with the pad save
- WIN IT WIN IT WIN IT
- #3 Hawks - Kane; Wide on the backhand. DAMMIT
- #4 Thrashers - Kane, Evander: Turco with the blocker!
- #4 Hawks - TBrouw: Tried to go five hole - Pavelec with the stop
- #5 Buff (sheesh) - POKE-CHECK! LOL!
- #5 Hawks - Stalberg - SPEEDY SCORE! GO VIKTOR! GO VIKTOR!
Gee, the last time I live-blogged, the Blackhawks also won in the shootout - the only other time they’ve gone to the skills competition this season. I’d do it every game but it gets too exhausting. Ok, I’ll wrap this up in a few - gotta finish folding laundry…
That game was pretty wild through the first two wasn’t it? Both teams buckled in down in the third: No penalties on either team and better D by far. Penalties killed both teams - the Hawks were 2 for 2 with the man advantage while the Thrashers were 3 of 5. Both goalies, Turco & Pavelec bailed their teams out at times - Pavelec especially in the third and OT. I liked the intensity the Blackhawks came out with - although they seemed to have a bit of head up their ass until Q called the time out. Not a perfect game by any means, but considering they were on the road in a game with some emotional attachment I’ll take it. Two points is two points.
The Han Solo Award (Best Overall Performance)
It looks like Captain Serious has had enough of the piss poor play. He put this team on his back and carried it. His four points (2G & 2A) was the most he’s had in a regular season game. His breakaway goal was sick, and his shootout tally was even sicker. He was winning board battles all night - just watch Kane’s second goal to see how that hard work pays off. Kane gets a honorable mention with two goals of his own and an assist. He played with a chip on his shoulder all night, perhaps for the first time all season. If these two guys start getting hot watch out - this could get fun again.
The Wedge Antilles Award (Unsung Hero)
Stalberg finally got his chance to play on the top line and played very well. He’ll get his accolades for the shootout winner (his speed on that rush to the net is incredible), but he showed a lot more physicality tonight. He potted an assist on Toews breakaway, helping spring him on the rush. He also had a nice break and pass to Kane, but the puck jumped over Kane’s skate. Viktor might get bumped off the top line with Hossa’s return tomorrow (woo-hoo!) but deserves top-six minutes. And more time on the power play, please and thank you.
The Jar-Jar Binks Award (Most Annoying/Asinine Person Or Object)
(tie) John Scott & Tomas Kopecky
This is not even going to be a rant about how Scott should have been sent to Rockford a couple of weeks ago. I’m done wasting my breath - it’s obvious he’s got pictures of Stan Bowman at Heavenly Bodies or something. Rather, I’m dogging both of these guys for missed wide open nets. If one of these goofs buries the puck, we probably don’t waste energy in OT and the shootout. Scott I almost expect it from. TomoKop just frustrates me.
I don’t think there were any photographers at this game because I can find nary a Toews-Face anywhere on the internets. But enjoy this gem of Bryan Bickell instead…
I will be at tomorrow night’s Blackhawks/Oilers tilt which will the include the deity of one Marian Hossa on the ice for the first time in a couple of weeks. Expect photos as usual - but probably not until Monday. I really wish I was rich so I could just sit around and blog and tweet all day :P
I had a bad feeling about this game. On paper, there was no way the defending Stanley Cup Champions was going to lose to the worst team in the league. But a voice in the back of my head kept telling me this had the potential to be a shitshow. I hate it when that voice is right.
I’m not even going to sit here and analyze this game. It was painful to watch - the Hawks came out to play for 20 of 60 minutes. Are they tired? Do they give a shit? Have the injuries taken their toll? I don’t care, and I don’t want excuses. Go out there and play like you’re being paid to do. Here is one of the biggest laughingstocks in the league in the Devils coming into *your* house with one of their best players on the shelf (Parise) and their future HOF goaltender going out mid-game with a boo-boo and this is the best you can do? Please. I said before the season started that we’d probably be around .500 until the holidays. That’s where we’re at now, but I am frustrated with the WAY we’re losing. Sloppy play in your own zone. Stupid penalties. Trying to cherry pick when you don’t even have possession yet. Late goals given up at the end of periods and the game. Getting tossed around. Waiting too long to shoot, inviting a shot block. I could go on but I won’t. We’re beating ourselves. That is unacceptable.
For fucks sake, I have tickets for Sunday’s game. Get it together.
I haven’t done “awards” in the last few games. Maybe that’s the jinx…
Viktor was the lone shining star with 3 points (1G, 2A) on the evening. The kid’s fast and has a nose for the puck. The big issue I have with him is he is a wuss when taking the body and tends to avoid contact at all costs. This he must improve upon. Stalberg has 7 points thus far which is pretty good considering you’re only being played 15 minutes a night if you’re lucky.
The Jar-Jar Binks Award (Most Annoying/Asinine Person Or Object)
I hoped in my last post the reason we sent Potulny & Smith back to Rockford wasn’t so we could put a middling defenseman (Hendry) and a human pylon (Scott) at forward. That’s exactly what Q did. The reason? Who the fuck knows. It may be for cap reasons - The Fifth Feather has a spot on post regarding that angle. I don’t see what the point is in saving what amounts to chump change now, when we could be on the cusp of not even making the playoffs at the trade deadline. What BURNS me, is Q dressed these asshats at forward and didn’t even play them 4 minutes apiece. Really? Why bother even dressing a fourth line then? If they’re so bad to get such limited ice team WHY DIDN’T YOU KEEP THE ROCKFORD GUYS? The effect of a non-existent fourth line is increased minutes and pressure to score on your other three lines. We saw how terrible the top two lines were last night. Fuck you, Q. Oh and an honorable mention goes to Patrick Sharp and his lovely -5 last night. Yuck.
At least Captain Serious blessed us with what I feel is the best Toews-Face thus far in the young season. I wonder if the quality of the Toews-Face is inversely proportional to the quality of the game played.
In writing this, I’ve made myself pissy and annoyed again. Great. I’m sure that’ll make for a wonderful night’s sleep…
There are games where it’s a win on the scoreboard, but in reality, it’s really more of a loss. Last night versus LA was one of those games. For two reasons in particular:
- The Hawks were vastly outplayed for most of the game - to the point I was rather disgusted watching them. The opening period was fairly even - the Hawks seemed to have the upper hand the first half while the Kings got stronger as the period went on. The best hockey the Hawks played all night was in the first half of the second period while on two power plays. The puck movement was a sight for sore eyes - they did everything on those man advantages *but* score. I don’t know if the Hawks got tired/discouraged on those power plays, or if they lit a fire under LA’s ass, but the Blackhawks played like dog doo-doo for the rest of the game. Poor passing, inability to clear the zone. It really was painful to watch and they’re lucky Turco had a great performance for them. Sure, Sharpie had a beautiful goal to put the game away at the end of the third, but don’t let that fool you. I wasn’t happy with the way the guys responded and I’m sure the players and coaches aren’t either. At least they better be.
- The bigger and more pressing reason this game was a loss was because Jesus Marian Hossa was injured at some point early in the second. It’s a “lower body injury” and “not serious” but he will be out for at least a couple of weeks. Word is it’s not a concussion, so that leads me to believe it’s perhaps a shoulder or arm issue. I just hope he didn’t re-injure the shoulder he had surgery on last year. Luckily it’s still early in the season and the next stretch of games are against supposedly “lesser” opponents. Hossa has carried this team in the early going, and if other players don’t pick up their games quick, we could be in for a couple of awful weeks.
- See, I called out Fernando Pisani in my last post and he actually got an assist on Jake Dowell’s goal. That’s his first point on the season - let’s hope he starts racking up points quicker than the 10 points/season pace he’s currently on.
- Due to the team’s abysmal performances of late, Q rightfully changed up the lines. Jack Skille got his chance on the top line with Sharpie and Toews. Skille’s just not *quite* there yet. I’m patient though and would be willing to try this combination for another game or two, but I’m not sure Q is.
- Tomas Kopecky centered the second line - something he apparently did in juniors and for a bit with the Red Wings. I was surprised at how well TomoKop did at the dot - 63%, better even than Cap’n. He was paired with Hossa and Brouwer, so now this line is scrap for the time being. Wouldn’t mind seeing Tomas more at center - I thought he was one of our better players last night.
- In what I call a “teaching moment,” Patrick Kane was demoted to the third line with Stalberg and Bolland. When Stalberg was the best player on that line by far, this is a problem. Kane is still loosy-goosy with the puck and Bolland has just been terrible. And explain to me why Stalberg, who scored the winning goal & is getting better with each game had less time than Hossa. Who played less than half a game. WHY?
- Fourth line is still the fourth line. Sure Dowell scored, but that was more luck than anything. I do like Jake and Bickell, but they’re not setting the world on fire by any means.
- John Scott was a healthy scratch. Finally. Jordan Hendry was serviceable and even had an impressive end-to-end rush with the puck. Scott couldn’t have gone that fast with rockets on his skates. Dunc had two assists but still looked like a shell of his former self. Seabrook was all right. Boynton took another dumb penalty in the third with the Hawks clinging to a one-goal lead. Toftbo took a nasty shot off his flipper. Cullimore was invisible which is a good thing. Your 2010-11 Blackhawks defense. Come back soon Soupy.
- Speaking of Brian Campbell, I wonder if his return will be pushed up a bit with Hossa being out. The Hawks sure could use his speed and his puck handling skills on the PP - not to mention some consistency on the defensive side. I really hope they don’t have him out there before he’s ready - it’s still October, and I’d rather take a couple of losses now than lose him when it counts most. Still, I won’t be shocked if I see him in Minnesota on Saturday.
- So, with Hossa out, who replaces him? It was mentioned that Q might just move either Hendry or Scott to forward, but if I have to watch that for two weeks plus, I may just gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork. Jeremy Morin would be the natural fit considering how well he did in camp, but he’s just coming off a minor injury so he’s out. The other prime candidates would be Kyle Beach, Igor Makarov, Brandon Pirri or Ryan Potulny. I don’t know if Beach would fit under the cap, and I don’t think he’s ready for the big show yet. Igor Makarov has shown flashes, but probably would be better served with more time in the A to get used to the North American game. Pirri performed admirably for his one game call up this season and has 2G & 3A for the Hogs. But my pick is Potulny - he’s a center so TomoKop could move back to wing. More importantly he’s a veteran (26 is a vet? I feel *so* old), and has done really well in Rockford with 2G and 4A. Whomever is brought up, I’m sure he’ll be on a short leash and have a fully charged iPass.
While the Hawks were collectively shitting the bed, TK-421 stood tall. Or maybe should I say flopped tall? No difference - Turkey (as my gf likes to call him) bailed the Hawks out repeatedly and won this game for them when they probably shouldn’t have. Turco stopped 33 of 34, including all 15 shots in the 3rd (!!) and would have probably had a shutout if not for a crazy bounce off the boards and Duncs skating like it was a Sunday stroll in the park.
I am withholding a Darth Vader award until I find out if it was a bad hit or cheap shot by a King that injured Hossa. Watch out - I’ll sic the Dark Lord of the Sith on ya if you hurt Panda.
I’d make that face too if my face was that close to Michal Handzus’ ass. That man is scary looking.
On the Road…
So I’ll be heading out tomorrow for what is hopefully not my sole road trip of the season. I will be attending the Hawks-Wild game in the Twin Cities - it’ll be my first time at that arena and I’m psyched. We got some sweet seats in the 100 level with a group of fellow fans, and we’ll be loud and proud. And probably drunk. I may be able to watch tomorrow’s Hawks-Oilers game at a bar depending on when we get into town. If not, don’t expect much from me. Sunday we’ll be spending time w/my gf’s family in southern Minnesota, and Monday we’ll be coming home. I’ve been looking forward to this, so I’m hoping a good game is in store. And that the Wild wear their Xmas jerseys - they crack me up!
As you can see from my previous post, I was in Rockford for the Blackhawks-Blue Jackets tilt at the UC Saturday night. I wasn’t completely in the dark as I was checking scores on my phone and had the in-person perspective from my brother via text. His texts began joyous and upbeat but quickly turned angry and upset. Oh well, at least *I* saw a good hockey game. And got a magnetic schedule to boot.
Here’s a lame attempt at a Game Ten Recap: Blue Jackets 3, Blackhawks 2
- From the reports, it looks like it was a tale of two halves - the Blackhawks dominated the first half and the BJ’s the second. Last one up wins I guess.
- Tomas Kopecky was out with the flu - Evan Brophey was brought up from the Hogs in his stead. Because of this, Q had to understandably juggle the lines.
- Sharp-Toews-Kane was the top line and really seemed to click at the beginning, with Sharp and Tazer scoring the Hawks only two goals in the first. I’m not sure what happened after that, but apparently Kane was benched for parts of the third period. Not Good.
- It all went to shit when Nick Boynton gave the puck right to Derick Brassard in front of Crawford. Giving up a goal with 36 seconds left in the period is never good, but Boynton had good form when he broke his stick over the crossbar.
- Even less good - taking a 5 minute boarding major with less than a minute left in the period. Troy Brouwer, you probably have a permanent front row seat in Q’s doghouse now. Stupid penalty and probably affected the outcome of the game as the BJs tied the game on the ensuing PP.
- Other than the Brouwer major, there weren’t a lot of power plays - just three minors for the BJs, two for the Hawks
- When your D gives up 40 SOG to the BJs, you know they played like shit. I don’t even have to have seen the game to know that. They had 20 SOG in the third alone - *20*!!1! Poor Corey Crawford.
That’s all I got for ya - except for this of course:
Yeah, that’s kinda how I looked when I watched the highlights.
Taking a look at the Blackhawks ten games in - if you had said we’d be 5-4-1 without Soupy, Toftbo suspended for two games, a D that looks god-awful at least half a game, and with Toews and Kane both in slumps, I’d be pretty happy. Still, I can’t help but have a bad taste in my mouth, especially after the last two losses. In all of the losses thus far, the Hawks either blew a lead or could have very easily taken the game. I have to think with Soupy healthy and some of our core playing better, we’d have won at least two of those games. You also have to consider the Hawks played an insane 10 games in 16 days to start the season. This will pay dividends in the latter half of the year, but it sucks for now. Hopefully the guys will have gotten a day or two of rest and have a few good practices to work out some of the kinks.
Let’s take a look at some of the notable players at this early stage of the season:
Marian Hossa: 7G-4A-11P, +4
Patrick Sharp: 8G-3A-11P, 3 PP Goals, 3 GWG
With Toews, Kane and pretty much everybody else not performing as they are capable of offensively, Hoss and Sharpie have carried the team on their back. I’m not sure if either can keep up the over point-per-game pace (if any of the two can, it’s Hossa), but it’s good to know we have enough depth up front that can take over when our two stars are struggling
Tomas Kopecky: 1G-7A-8P, +3
I’m hard on TomoKop, but here’s a man who has taken his opportunity on the top line and run with it. Sure, most players would bank points on a line with Toews & Hossa, but Tomas would probably have a few more points on top of his total if he’d hit the net a little more accurately.
Marty Turco: 4-2-1, 2.65 GAA, .921 SV%
TK-421’s guaranteed to give you one minor heart attack per game with either his crazy puck movement or flopping in the crease, but think about how inconsistent our D’s been thus far. That makes his play even more impressive - he has flat out bailed this team out on several occasions. Corey Crawford has also proven thus far to be a very capable backup.
I figured this game would give us trouble. You knew the Blues were going to come out intense after we held them over our knee and spanked them in the third period and OT last Monday. Add to that being on the road and in the midst of an insane 8 games in 13 days schedule, and you saw the results. Stinky.
- The first five minutes of this game was heart attack inducing. End to end non-stop action. My BBQ pork fried rice hadn’t even been delivered yet and I had heartburn.
- David Perron has four goals on the season, all of which he’s scored against the Hawks. I see we now have another player who kills us, but is mediocre the other 76 games of the season.
- Both Sharpie’s & Seabs goals came when there was traffic was in front of Halak. Why they didn’t try this more I have no idea.
- There was also a distinct lack of presence in the front of the net, which is a shame since Halak had a bunch of juicy rebounds. A few bodies in the slot and this would have been a much more interesting game.
- Turco gets beat five-hole more often than I’d like. He really couldn’t do much on the first two goals as his D shit the bed in front of him, but he has to have that third trickler of a goal. I know it hit something in front, but if his stick was covering the five hole, the worst that happens is it gets in on the rebound. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Turco fan - I guess this is the type of play that comes with the territory.
- I would expect Corey Crawford to get the start against the hapless BJ’s tonight. Really, giving up a hat trick to Rene Bourque last night Jackets? Pathetic.
- I could fill up an entire post about how bad the D played last night, so let me just say this. Duncan Keith, he of the Norris Trophy and +21 last season, is a -2 thus far. Get well quicker Soupy!
- So we waited nine games to see “Murdersaurus” John Scott fight. And that is what we got - one uppercut on a guy he of course greatly outsized. Really? I think this disproves the notion that Scott is necessary as an enforcer on the ice. His play is terrible, he eats up hardly any minutes (9:38 last night), and I witnessed him unsuccessfully attempt to clear the Blues zone three times in one shift. Of course he’ll be in the lineup until Campbell is back as Q has already purchased tickets for Jordan Hendry to sit in the press box all season.
- I know you get off to a slow start historically Toews, but this is getting ridiculous. You can tell Tazer is getting frustrated - I think he puts so much pressure on himself that it makes things worse.
- Fernando Pisani - yeah, I think a couple of healthy scratches need to be in your future. He had a SOG in the first period and I swear that was the first time I’ve heard him hit the net. He has 0 points, is a -3 and has a total of 9 SOG in 9 games. The only forward with worse numbers than Pisani is Brandon Pirri and he was only brought up from Rock-Vegas when Sharpie was hurt for the home opener.
- Every time I see the Scottrade center, it brings back bad memories. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, read this post about my visit there last February. I have a permanent reminder of that place on my right shin.
No one on the Hawks really deserves an award for their “meh” play last night, but I do have an honor to bestow on someone…
Not only does he have an unfortunate name that would probably get his ass kicked in several neighborhoods in Chicago, he’s a big old pile of chickenshit. Real manly of you to punch TomoKop several times in the back of the head as he’s being held by the refs and can’t even get his gloves off. If you’re going to act like a tough guy, at least do it right and let the other player drop the gloves so you can go toe-to-toe. That’s what annoys me about the Blues - at least Jackman & Janssen fight and get under your skin the right way. A bunch of these other assbags take cheap shots and then become wiener tuckers when it’s time to put up or shut up. Polak would have gotten his ass handed a game misconduct if I were a ref.
Ah, nothing like a good rivalry to get the blood pumping!
Just lounging on the ice, looking like Halak just cut a big one.
I will not be viewing the Hawks/BJs game tonight as I will be heading up to Rockford to watch the first IceHogs game I will be attending this season. I’m very excited to see what the little Hawks have to offer. And dammit, I will get there early enough to buy some pucks to chuck between the second & third periods!
Well this was one of those games where you look at the stat sheets, and then look at the final score and start singing “one of these things is not like the others.” I’ll take it - good teams find ways to win, and this was definitely a game we stole.
- It took three tries, but this was our first win on home ice. Thank god, I was beginning to think it was the championship banner.
- Looks like Hossa and Sharp are having a friendly goal scoring competition, as both lead the team with five goals.
- Digging a bit into our offensive stats: Hossa is tied for the league lead in points (9), and is tied with Sharpie and two others with the lead in goals scored. Tomas Kopecky is second in the league with 6 assists - Food For Thought: Neither Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have hit their offensive stride yet. Kaner has 2G 3A, while Toews is off to his usual slow start to the season with only 1G, 2A. When these guys start clicking, opponents’ netminders are going to start to shake a little in their skates.
- For as much as Marty Turco flops around in the crease, there’s little doubt that when he’s sharp, he’s on. He stopped 38 of 41 shots - you can’t argue with a performance like that.
- I will say it seems that the communication between Turco and the D seems to fall apart at times. The third Buffalo goal was the direct result of the D not telling Turco that a Sabre was heading for the puck he left behind the net. I’ve never played hockey, but isn’t that something they should be teaching you in mites? Perhaps the D isn’t used to Marty’s puck handling style, or Turco forgets he’s not in Dallas, where he knew his players much better. Whatever the case, with the defense as shaky as it is right now, they need to over communicate to a fault right now.
- Well hello Dave Bolland, how are you? That was vintage Rat on his breakaway goal. Hopefully that cleared the cobwebs for him, and we’ll see the Bolland we all know and love from last spring.
- Down by a goal, and with the team being outshot and outplayed, Coach Q did what he is known for - he changed the lines going into the third period. I will say I approved of this switch as he went back to two successful lines from last season: Kane-Toews-Brouwer (my personal favorite), and Hossa-Sharp-Kopecky (aka “Sharpie & the Slovaks”). Needless to say, it worked. Please keep these lines for at least another game or two please.
- I did not agree with healthy-scratching Jack Skille in place of John Scott at forward. The logic being since there was a chance for retaliatory measures for the Hjalmarsson hit, Scott was put in to strike the fear of god in the Sabres. This logic is flawed because a) Scott really hasn’t mixed it up as much as advertised b) Scott would have to be *on* the ice to do anything - with the limited minutes he’s getting, chances are he’d still be on the bench if something happened and lastly c) Scott is horrible, and while Skille has his moments, he is a much, much better option at forward. I guess Mr. Brouwer made room for Mr. Skille in Coach Q’s doghouse.
- Word came down today that Nick Leddy was shipped down to Rockford. This caught everyone off guard, myself included. With all of the problems we have on D, Leddy was proving himself as a much more capable puck moving defenseman than our current traffic cones on the roster - Cullimore, Boynton & Scott. It’s believed Nick was moved down due to cap issues and also to keep him under the 9 game maximum before his NHL contract is vested. Ok, I guess, but with Keith/Seabrook having been run through the wringer thus far and Toftbo being shaky as shit, a bottom three of either Boynton, Scott, Cullimore & Hendry makes me want to bite someone. Can we get Campbell a Harry Potter potion to heal faster? UGH.
- So Mr. Ryan Miller, please tell us what you thought of that lovely late hit Patrick Kaleta put on Jonathan Toews. Or how about those parting cheap shots your teammates gave to the Hawks after the final horn sounded? I’m waiting Ryan for your answer.
- Both Dustin Byfuglien & Andrew Ladd scored on Antti Niemi in the Sharks/ThrasHawks game last night. Sorry Nemo, I had to LOL.
Sharpie gets the nod for the second game in a row. Is it a coincidence that the handsomest man on the Hawks wins the award named for the most ruggedly handsome man in a galaxy far, far away? Sharpie had the first and last goals of the night - four goals in two games is not to be sniffed at. Honorable Mention to Marian Hossa for just being a beast.
The Wedge Antilles Award (Unsung Hero)
He has six assists on the season - he’s doing something right. I really do want TomoKop to do well - and at this point he’s done all he’s been asked of and more. I guess part of his play will always frustrate me, but as long as he’s setting up his linemates to score, I can’t complain too much. I do wish he would stop taking so many stupid penalties - he already has three delay of game calls against him for the year. And please don’t check Sharpie so hard the next time he scores - save that for the opponent. Stick taps also to Dave Bolland & Brent Seabrook for arguably having their best games of the season.
The Darth Vader Award (Evil Beyond All Words)
The Officiating Crew
So let me get this straight. Kopecky is pushed into the goaltender by Buffalo D-man Montador, TomoKop has time to get up, circle completely around the net and come out to the faceoff dot to deflect in the net a point shot by Duncs. Meanwhile, Lalime & Montador are still playing footsie in the crease and it’s goaltender incidental contact on the *Hawks*? WTF?!? I thought Q’s head was going to launch off his neck and land in the 300 level. They also missed the questionable hit on Toews by asshat Kaleta (at least he didn’t go for the headbutt), and at least two calls on Bolland that I saw. Thankfully the Hawks still won despite these atrocities, but pardon me if I sound like a Red Wings fan if I say, REFS, YOU SUCK!
What amuses me in this shot, is the stare on Lalime’s face. He appears to be saying “What the hell is this guy grimacing at?”
Well, it appears I will be at tomorrow night’s game vs. the Blues as my brother needs a seatmate, and I happily obligied. Should be a good way to wind down from what promises to be a difficult day at work. Here’s hoping the Hawks can keep the winning streak going - or at least kick a Blues player in the rear-end.