“Dude, dude... not the face dude. I’m trying to be the next selected for that poor man’s 24/7, NHL 36.”
Game Time: 7:30 PM
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720
Brucey B’s New Shitbum Friends: On The Duck Pond
Just a few weeks go by and we meet again, Ducks. Now with Bruce Boudreau at the helm. Remembering back to the most recent Blackhawks vs. Ducks game where the Captain continued his campaign of only guy to give a shit on a regular basis scored four of his five points in the game in the third period.
Making his second appearance since missing quite some time with a broken digit is Ducks d-man Lubomir Visnovsky. Hiller with his under .900 save percentage is slated in net. A whole lot more of big names not doing much on the Ducks front giving results of losing two of their past five. The ageless wonder is on a six game point streak only one of those points being a goal. The Blackhawks shouldn’t take that lightly though as they are pretty keen on giving up leads or waiting until they get into a hole to start getting their legs underneath them.
In case you missed it, Patrick Kane was the subject of the first episode of NHL 36 on Versus. The crews followed around Kane and his father in the 36 hours leading up to the game on December 5 against Phoenix.
It was pretty well done, but left the viewer wanting more. Well have no fear, here at BHDL, we have an EXCLUSIVE look as to what Patrick Kane did in the 36 hours following the game. no comments
(Yeah, another lame title. Sorry about that).
On the surface, it looked like it would be a standard Hawks/Wild game on Versus: middle of the week in Minnesota, hot Wild team, strong defensively and Nick Backstrom in goal. This had 1-0 Wild win written all over it.
Sometimes, these things don’t go to script.
The Hawks and Wild played an end-to-end game game with the Hawks coming on top 4-3 in a shootout. It was an eventful night in St. Paul.
"No, no, no... YOUR left. Here, just let me get that for you."
Time: 6:30 PM CT
TV/Radio: Versus (blerg) / WGN Radio (720 AM)
Busy Catching Snowflakes With Their Tounges:The State of Hockey News
Tonight’s game is a tale of two top teams. When in the last however many years have the Blackhawks and Wild met as both number ones of their divisions? Really, I don’t know, maybe it’s never happened. Ask one of the beat writers, but make sure your question is stupid enough for them to retweet and answer. Seriously, did you see someone ask one of them about Kyle Beach the other day? Woof. (Note: Beach has been out since early in the season with a shoulder injury so it's more than just him being a security threat to his teammates/opposition.) Ugh, explaining the joke makes it less funny than it already was.
Game Time: 6 PM
TV / Radio: WGN *siiiiigh* / WGN Radio
Sharktopus: Couch Tarts
The poor Sharks. I can't help but feel sorry for them for a couple reasons. First, we got to witness firsthand that stomping the Hawks put on them in the Western Conference Final in 2010 that permanently affixed the "headcase" tag on the team. More recently, the Sharks have lost three of their last four to such All-World goalies as Brian Elliot, Matt Hackett, and Scott Clemmensen. Tonight they'll be on the ass end of a back-to-back series. The Sharks were shut out in St. Louis last night as Ken Hitchcock dementored his way to a 1-0 victory (The only goal came from Kevin Shattenkirk during a 5-on-3). I'm going to move on before I get all rant-y about Hitchcock.
Quick note before we get into the recap. As some of you may have already heard, Kelly will no longer be blogging with BHDL (or any other hockey blog for that matter). He's got a new, big time job that takes up most of his days that he used to spend making stupid jokes about hockey with me on Twitter. I can't explain to everyone how vital he was to the BHDL operation. We all want to wish him nothing but the best. I've had an absolute blast since we brought him aboard last summer. We hope that he'll stop by every once in a while with a photoshop of Bolland or the Canucks.
For the second time in less than a week the Hawks went to overtime against the cellar dwelling Islanders. That sounds a lot worse than the result actually was, however.
The Hawks controlled play for most of the first period. It finally payed off almost 12 minutes into the first. While on the power play, Hossa did that "I'm Marian Hossa" thing and banked a shot off of Montoya from below the goal line for the 400th of his career. Sharp made it 2-0 early in the second period off a one timer. I've been working on this theory that Patrick Sharp is a pretty good hockey player and defenses shouldn't leave him open at the faceoff circle. Thanks to the Isles for testing that one out for me.
Travis Hamonic brought it within one towards the end of the second period on a big slapper. The Hawks had some trouble clearing their own zone and Hamonic came streaking into the zone uncovered. The next Islander goal wouldn't come until about 9 minutes left in the 3rd, but it would be enough to tie the game and force OT. Steve Staios ripped a shot from the left side boards. To me it looked like it was deflected in front by Okposo, but the goal is still credited to Staios on NHL.com.
After some tense moments with the Hawks killing a stupid Carcillo penalty with 3 minutes remaining in regulation of a tie game (seriously, can you pick a worse time, Dan?), we were "treated" to some extra hockey on Long Island. Just 1:34 into the extra frame the Blackhawks would pick up the extra point. There should really be some rule banning Hossa and Sharp being on the same line in OT, but there isn't. Hossa skated in 2-on-1 with Sharp on his wing, put a low shot on Montoya, and Sharpy finished on the rebound. Game, set, match.
- You never want to see a player get injured. You especially never want to see a player go scrotum first into a goal post.
- Pouty Face Corey Crawford sitting off in the corner was hilarious.
- Patrick Kane's phantom elbow almost cost us the game. Thankfully, we played the Islanders and they couldn't even put a shot on net with almost two full minutes of 5-on-3.
- Sunday on the Puckcast the Hockeenight guys mentioned that Carcillo is going to start taking some dumb penalties as he gets comfortable with his roster spot. Spot on, boys.
- As we get closer to the birth of Patrick Sharp's daughter, his play keeps improving. His wife is due next week. I expect an Ovechtrick against the Wild on Wednesday.
- There's always something fun about milestone goals. I'm sure we all remember where we were when Peter Bondra scored his 500th career goal when he was playing with the Hawks in 2006. Right? Guys? Right? (Naw, but really, I remember being at that game. BONZAI).
- Still looking for a gif of Montoya taking a tumble into the boards.
- Emery looked solid. If Okposo did tip that second goal in, you can't fault him for it. Good night in net for him, but I'm ready to see CrawDaddy come back.
- Bolland took a nasty spill on the first shift of the game and it scared me stupid until he came back out. Can we get that guy a bubble to live in?
- Couple days off before we get the Sharks on Sunday. Would love to see two points against a western team in the Madhouse.
Dave Bolland Death Stare: Engaged
Game Time: 6:00pm
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720
Maybe Jay-Z will buy us too and move us to Brooklyn: Islanders Hockey Blog
Here we are again, a game against the Islanders. Hopefully on the twoish hour plane ride the Blackhawks mulled over the fact that they have to PLAY DEFENSE if they want to win games, let alone finish them in 60 minutes. Or we all could be so lucky if someone wanted to remind the Islanders they are terrible at hockey. Doubt that will happen though considering the Islanders have won four of their last five.
That’s right, save for the checkers match loss in Chicago last Friday, the Islanders have won (in pretty convincing fashion) against some decent teams. Including a four goal game by Matt Moulson against Dallas. (Thanks for the fantasy points bro.) All of this has been done without a few key players on the Islanders bench. Seriously, what the hell happened in that game against Dallas? Rick “Glass Statue” DiPietro has been out since with a groin strain/swollen lymp nodes/stab wound. Michael Grabner and Nino Niederreiter have also been out with various not so day-to-day injuries since that same game as well. Thunderdome?
In this season’s edition of don’t call it a goalie controversy: Ray Emery will get the start in net over a struggling Corey Crawford. The rest of the lineup looks to be the same it’s been the past few games with Bickell up in the press box and Benny Smith on the ice. Bolland participated in a non-game skate situation at practice yesterday for the first time in I don’t remember when. I know I’m not the only one who has been wondering if he’s got more of a serious injury than we’re all lead to believe.
Toews and Kane are still in the tops of the goals and assists categories though a few players have tied them since the last game. That final regulation goal in the Phoenix game by Kane assisted by Toews shows just how dangerous those two can be together. Kane’s goal was also his first since mid-November in Vancouver. Also worth noting: Marian Hossa is still on the hunt for goal #400.
It’s no secret to anyone that offensively speaking the Blackhawks are on a ridiculous tear, but as talented as their defense looks on paper there is much to be desired. I feel like I write about it in every wrap or preview the past few weeks: defense needs to be tighter, clean up the defense, OH MY GOD DO I NEED TO SEND BEERS COOKIES TO BRIBE YOU TO PLAY DEFENSE. So yeah, it’d be nice if the d-corps make the trip to New York.
That’s all I’ve got, let’s hope the Nassau Coliseum doesn’t crumble underneath them and the Blackhawks come out with the two points. Play 60 because for the love of god, Emery in the shootout is nothing I want to end my night with.
Let’s go Hawks!
“Shit, do I have to do EVERYTHING around here!? Alright, give me some goalie pads. Right after I score another goal.”
Let me just preface this wrap with a little complaining. Games on Versus make me want to punt kittens. I actually don’t mind Doc Emrick or even Edzo, but the combination of Pierre McGuire and the fact that I don’t get Versus in HD is the worst. Red blobs just skating around my screen, barf. In no way did I believe this would be the precursor to the Blackhawks play through the first half of the game.
Alright, on to the game.
Game Time: 7:00pm
TV/Radio: Versus or TSN/WGN 720
One day they'll take our team away, and all five of us will cry: Five for Howling
So sorry for the delay in the preview, I foolishly volunteered to do them on days I didn't have work thinking that it meant I had plenty of time to write them up. Turns out that not having to get out of bed until way past noon also meant I've got plenty of time to put off writing the preview.
Anyway here we are, and puck drop is less than a few hours away. The Hawks return to the Madhouse after a resounding victory against the St Louis Blues, with everyone's confidence back up on the rise. But then again, that's to be expected with a 5-2 win against a team that's supposedly picked up a hot streak thanks to having Hitchcock behind the bench, teaching them how to play defense.
Which is all well and good, because tonight the Hawks will be facing a similar opponent in the Phoenix Coyotes, a team we played just last week to an embarrassing 4-1 loss. If the Hawks want to prove their mettle, or at least that they've gotten back on track, they'll find themselves a challenging opponent in the Yotes. Where the Isles saw an ugly win against a struggling team, and the Blues saw the boys win against a team that couldn't quite discipline themselves all that much yet (but that happens when you're a bunch of fucktards), the Coyotes are a much more composed team when defending a lead. Or anything in general. Mike Smith is something of a revelation behind the net, and Tippett continues to do what he does best and make the most of the parts he's got.
They've run into some troubled times, however, if by "times" you count the last two games they played. Funny how the last game they won happens to be the last game we lost, but the narrative of the Hawks' night is going to focus on Corey Crawford, who gets the call for the team. I'm sure it hasn't escaped everyone's attention that the team's win against the Islanders, wherein we gave up 4 goals and scored as much, plus one more in the shootout, was Crawford's game, and the Blues win had Emery behind the net. If Crawford's game doesn't tighten up it won't be long before the Windy City sees another goalie controversy for the third time in four years (or whatever it is). Truth is he has been a little shaky, his positioning's been off, and I've heard his confidence can be easily rattled, but Emery lone is hardly the solution. I'd prefer to have Crawford back on track than have to start crying for his head, as so many in this city are wont to do.
As for the rest, it would be nice to see a continuation of the penalty kill actually happen tonight. St. Louis was the last time in a long time that we've come out smelling like roses on the kill, and it'd be nice, if we can't have the best of both worlds, to have at least one of our special teams be a source of pride and joy once more.
Everyone's eyes are also, apparently, on the bottom six, for not scoring in supporting roles as much as they should. I suppose that would help, but I'm wondering if maybe that's just the ebb and flow of the season doing its thing. After all, can't expect the bottom six to score all that frequently, or they wouldn't be called bottom six anymore. A drought's a drought, but while it looks like the stars are beginning to find their groove (welcome back, Sharpie and Hossa!) let's just hope the timing coincides so our team never lacks for someone going on an offensive hot streak. That'll be enough.
Out of all the frustrations of the last few games, it's been the inconsistency with which they've curb-stomped opponents one night and bent over backwards for others the next that has been most maddening. Tonight, I just want to see the team play well. And for players to start playing like they're actually healthy. The rest will be just gravy.
Let's go Hawks!
“Watch this. I'm going to take this puck and put it behind your goalie. No watch, it'll be cool."
Naturally... in his first game back after missing almost 100, David Perron makes it 1-0 six minutes into the game. The rest of the first period would continue to showcase the Blackhawks inability to finish checks or actually run a cycle to get anything going. They had 13 shots, but nothing looked threatening. Even if hits were 12-10 after the first 20 it sure as shit looked like they were getting outworked and outhit at every angle.
Less than a minute into the second Hjalmarsson (or as the STL feed would tell me Jar-malson) jumps off the bench and shot a rocket that would be tipped by Toews past Brian Elliott evening the game at 1. The second period was a nice change of pace as the Blackhawks looked like they were back to giving a shit and playing their game. Toews had a nice shot and picked up his own rebound to shoot it again, but Elliott stood strong. Chris Stewart picks up a puck dropped by a tripped Andrew Brunette making it 2-1 Blues almost half way into the period. The worst penalty kill finally does something with their lives and Hossa gets a shorty goal to even the game up at 2. A few minutes later on the power play, the Sharp shooter snipies one to make it 3-2 Blackhawks.
Then the real fun began.