So we all feel pretty bitter about being forced to deal with my shitty tweets and being driven to the brink of insanity. And when people get mad, they need someone to blame. The owners are an easy target because most of them are assholes and also because this whole fucking mess was their fault.
So now there's a lot of people out there who want some kind of apology or an explanation. To those people I say, "Grow up, you babies." What would an apology really accomplish for anyone? Anyone who feels they deserve an apology needs to check their ego.
Hockey fans need to realize that they are consumers of a product. As an individual, you have no power over any organization. If Starbucks got rid of their blonde roast coffee for 3 months because they were in a dispute with suppliers, I'd get mad, sure. But when they brought it back I wouldn't demand they say sorry to me and offer me any kind of discounts. I'd go and drink my damn coffee.
So please, boycott your team and free up some tickets for the rest of us. We'll keep your seat warm until you get back.]]>
My hate for Adrian Aucoin is no secret. Hell, its been in my Twitter bio for a long time. But only a few people know the full extent of this passionate loathing. To fully grasp this, you'll need a short history lesson in my Blackhawks fanhood.
I grew up as a Hawks fan since birth. My dad was a Hawks fan. I remember one winter my dad and uncles built a pontoon boat in my garage. I spent plenty of nights out there watching Hawks games while they worked on the boat. They named the boat The Blackhawk and it still sits in the water, covered in indian head decals. This wasn't just some casual fanhood.
I turned 16 two days before the end of the lockout. I went to the first game post-lockout with my family. I'll never forget that abysmal 5-3 loss to the Ducks. The Hawks got goals from Curtis Brown, Mark Bell, and Rene Bourque. Teemu, Joffrey Lupul, and both Niedermayers scored for the Mighty Ducks. For some reason I walked out of the UC that night with one thought in my mind, "THAT. WAS. AWESOME."
Enter Adrian Aucoin. Aucoin was signed as one of the big free agent acquisitions by Dale Tallon along with reigning Cup champ Nikolai Khabibulin and center Martin LaPointe. If you don't wince reading that sentence, I am calling your fanhood into question. I loved that awful team. I drove out to a couple more games that season to hang out with 3,000 of my closest friends for the low price of $5 and perpetual disappointment. The Hawks finished 14th in the West that year. I should've been institutionalized for having any faith in them.
The next summer I was pumped for the new season to start. I went with my friend Bob to the Blackhawks Training Camp on a Saturday morning in September. We showed up about half an hour late but got some seats about 5 rows off the ice. There were only three sections open that day. Think about that the next time you see a sold out United Center during a Training Camp Festival.
We hung out that afternoon watching the Hawks do drills. We heckled a few guys, most notably this new Bi-FOO-glee-IN guy. As the crowd thinned out throughout the day, we moved closer to the glass. Eventually the last group came out and we moved all the way up to the first row. I was giddy.
As that final group of the day ran through their drills, a Reed Simpson punch wouldn't have been able to get that smile off my face. We stayed all the way until the end of the practice as watched as the guys started to clear off the ice.
Then I saw him start to skate over. Adrian Aucoin was skating right toward me with a puck on his stick. He pulled up right in front of us. He flipped a puck up, aiming it over the glass. It was the coolest moment of my entire life. Until the puck hit the glass and tumbled back down onto the ice. Adrian Aucoin looked down, looked back up at me, shrugged, and skated away.
Now, there are two possibilities here. Scenario A: Adrian Aucoin really wanted to flip that puck to me, but is too incompetent of a hockey player to clear a puck over the glass. Instead of trying again, he gave up like the loser he is. Scenario B: Adrian Aucoin is an awful human being who wanted to toy with the emotions of a 16 year old kid who loved the Hawks more than anything in the world.
I don't see Bob very often these days. Its been a few years at least. But I can guarantee the last conversation we had started with "Hey remember how big of a dick Adrian Aucoin was?"
Captain Healthy Scratch went on to score 16 points and post a -22 in 59 games played for the Blackhawks that season. He was absolutely abysmal. He was the worst capatain in Blackhawks history. Of course he left the Hawks for Calgary where he had a couple of decent seasons before resurrecting his career in Phoenix. But he just had to make sure he made my life miserable before he went on to do that.
I can't begin to explain how badly I want the Hawks to demolish the Coyotes. It would make me feel like my 16 year old self has been avenged. If anyone would like to donate some tickets near the Coyotes bench, I'd love to express my displeasure with Adrian Aucoin in person.
In 36 hours, I was on 4 flights in 2 states, 1 province and 2 countries. On each of the flights, I traveled stand by. I’m tired and spent too much money, but it was entirely worth it.
Living in Lincoln, Nebraska it’s pretty hard for me to get my NHL fix. In September I drove 3 hours to watch a preseason game in Kansas City between the Avalanche and the Kings. I work during the afternoon and night so I miss a lot of games.
As a Hawks fan, I wanted to get a chance to see them this year. I saw them at the UC against the Ducks this year, but pretty much all I’ve seen has been on TV. It’s also hard to find a good group of people to watch games with. In fairness, I must say the Hockey community in Nebraska is much stronger than expected. The Lincoln Stars and Omaha Lancers draw well, the Tri City Storm were just subject of a behind the scenes story on the news, and Dean Blais has the Nebraska-Omaha program going in the right direction. But still, it’s not the same.
I decided for a while that I was going to see the Hawks play in Vancouver for quite a while. Why Vancouver? Cool city (when not burned), good crowd, nice arena and (for the moment anyway) a good rivalry. I had only seen the Hawks outside of Chicago once, 2009 against St. Louis, and that was only by chance. The Hawks lost 1-0.
So how did this come about and was it expensive? Well I have a buddy who is a pilot for an airline and can get his friend cheap stand by fares. So after looking at the schedule, open seats and the heavily reduced fare, I decided to go for it. I then secured tickets by digging on Craigslist and talking with a friend who lives there we found some tickets in the lower level.
Tuesday is when the adventure started. After getting home late from work, I somehow took more than 10 minutes to pack for a two night trip. However I got a text from my high school friend Bridget who was going to the game, so at least I wouldn’t be the only Hawks fan I know up there. All day I had been thinking about how I had an 8 AM flight out of Omaha, about 45 minutes from my apartment. I also knew that I had time to sleep on the plane. So after all this, I settled on a 2 and a half hour power nap on my couch.
After a shower and a Jimmy Dean’s sandwich I was off to Omaha. Shockingly, the traffic at 5 AM in Nebraska was pretty non-existent, so I got to the airport in plenty of time. I approached the US Air counter where I received my first relief of the day: both of the flights I was getting on that day were relatively empty. I purchased a neck pillow, got on the plane (where I was greeted with my own row) and preceded to fall asleep for the duration of the flight.
I arrived in Phoenix to find way too many tequila bars for an airport and quite possibly the worst set up airport in the history of the world. I took several crowded moving walkways, made a few turns and ended up at the ticket counter. After squeezing my way through the tons of people I got another ticket and again another row I was (officially) on my way to Vancouver, still sound asleep.
I landed in a rainy, overcast city around 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon. I then got to do the best part of traveling internationally: clearing customs. My interaction went something like this.
“What are you here for?”
“Just the day, visiting a friend.”
“You came here just for a day?
“Yeah. Were going to the game.”
“The Canucks game.”
“How do you know your friend?”
“We went to University together.”
“Ok. Have a nice day.”
“You too, pal.”
The worst part about all this is that the guy wasn’t a Mountie either. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any Mounties on the entire trip. Some stereotype, Canada.
It was a 25 minute minute trip from the airport to the hostel where I was staying. My hostel was on Granville street, which seemed to be bar and party central for the city. It was also mere feet from the Roxy, aka the bar that made Shane O’Brien famous. I checked into my room to find it was a little cramped in a room of six, but at this point I was the only one there. I put my bags down and headed out to the arena to check things out.
(My room for the night. I didn't die, at least.)
After getting a little settled (aka buying a lock) I took a 20 minute walk down hill to the Rogers Arena, to get a vibe of the area. The arena was small in comparison to the BC Place next door. It also looked pretty cramped, as it was right up against a ramp. The arena was covered in Canucks banners (guess they recovered from the loss of the Grizzlies) and was only accessible this early in the afternoon by going down stairs. I noticed a few scalpers hanging out around the arena, which was interesting considering it was only four hours until the game. Then again, they’re scalpers so it all made sense.
Knowing full well I wouldn’t buy anything, I decided to check out the Canucks team store. Among the hilarious items were the dolls of the Sedins. Please let these haunt your dreams for years to come.
At this point, I decided to do the most typical things for an American to do in Vancouver: go to Japadog and Tim Hortons. In fairness, both of them lived up to their hype.
After another power nap, I met up with my friend, grabbed some beers and it was off to the game. This is when I first encountered expensive beer in British Colombia. I mean it was 10 dollars for a 6 pack of PBR. But really, it wouldn’t be a trip to Canada without drinking some of the cheapest Canadian beer I could find. It was awesome.
We walked up to the arena, I was getting a few looks but nothing more from fans. This could have been for me deciding to go with a Bolland jersey while there. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, by wearing that, you totally knew what you were getting yourself into!” Well believe it or not, at 4 AM I wasn’t putting much thought into my trolling, it just happened this way. At this point, I realized it would be a long night. But I expected that going into the trip.
A major plus when getting into Rogers Arena was receiving a free program about the game! Oh, but when it unfolded, we got a poster of Alex Burrows. Very funny, hockey gods.
We took our seats at the top of the lower-bowl in the corner where the Hawks shot twice and grabbed a couple of Stanley Park beers with the tops on top of them (way to think ahead, people) and settled in for the intros and anthem. The people around me didn’t seem thrilled with the U2 intro which took something along the lines of 20 minutes (felt longer). Now the anthem was by far the most disappointing part of the night. We got there early expecting that it would be the fat, opera singing Ron Jeremy, but no. It was some guy who played the greatest song ever recorded on a harmonica. Really? Seeing as how I brought my American flag to the game I was excited to hear the anthem. However, I found it hard to display the 50 stars and 13 stripes while hearing the Star Spangled Banner on harmonica.
As we waited for puck to drop a guy wearing a Hawks jersey happened to sit next to me. He was from Crystal Lake and happened to live in Vancouver now. So at least I had somebody else I could rationally support my team with.
Most of the game considered of a lot of friendly banter between myself and the thousands of Canucks fans around me. It’s easy to make fun of other teams for paranoia, but when Ballard (aka the Shame of Omaha) got called for the clip, it didn’t help that the people around me were expecting a makeup call several times but never exactly came. It became pretty obvious the refs were going to swallow their whistles.
It didn’t help when Vancouver got on the board first, but at least it was Kesler getting the goal. It just showed that the Canucks can’t get by without help from a good American. And don’t think this is something I stopped reminding people of again. Looking around, it did seem like Kesler was the main jersey Canucks fans wore during the game, so at least they’re doing that right. Even after Mayers scored, at least I got to embrace the fact that he’s an American citizen.
One slight problem I had was Vancouver fans overreacting to the Bolland quotes form a few months ago. I get a feeling that you could get away with wearing certain jerseys but Bolland wasn’t going to be one of them. He was getting booed by a small few every time he touched the puck, but it was still notable. I was also greeted with several “OH, BOLLAND, HOW CAN YOU GET THAT GUY???” Then again, I didn’t get a jersey of the GM. Or this:
The vibe around the Arena changed during the second period. I remember Puck Daddy once describing the scene in Vancouver as more of a Mardi Gras feel and during the first period it certainly felt like that. After all, the Canucks had been playing well, the Blackhawks haven’t (Note: still true) and there was plenty of love to go around for Cory Schneider. The second period the tide turned and in the last 10 minutes the atmosphere came a lot more subdued. Even with the game being 1-1 you knew the game would be tight, but everybody felt like there were more goals to come.
After meeting up with Bridget, we decided it was a good idea in our states of mind to go meet the Green Men. However, we quickly realized that a. this was a bad idea and b. that because those two re just (probably) typical spoiled kids who use dad’s seats to sit on the glass, that it wouldn’t be happening. I’m sure I will have other chances to meet people who rip off Always Sunny at given moments in my life.
After Stalberg scored to open the third, there was kinda there “here we go again” vibe going around the building. And it really felt like that. Watching the game you just felt like the Hawks had so many chances to blow it open and that, eventually, it would happen. But hockey is a funny game, and the bounce off the stick led to the Hodgson goal. As you can imagine this led to several “HODGSON, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR!” chats, with me realizing that nobody cares.
The only real negative event that happened during the game was when he Hawks hit the post late in the game. I stood up (keep in mind we were in the last row of the bowl and the sky boxes were still well above us) and I was pointing to the goal thinking the puck went in. At this point, I had a few ice cubes thrown at me by somebody I couldn’t figure out. I wasn’t really bothered though. I’ve been obnoxious at sporting events before (A minor league manager once told me to go flip burgers) so the fact that just a few cubes of ice were thrown at me, I moved on with me life. Then I realized how wrong I was, I sucked it up and shut up and sat down.
The tension kept growing and Canucks fans were still waiting for the all important makeup call that never came. Well, you could argue the non-call on Stalberg in OT could have been that (Though not like the PP was any good). Eventually, the twins were the Twins and the game was over in OT. This led to me saying “Canucks winning with Sedins scoring? Man, you really know it must not be the playoffs.” Shockingly, this was greeted with some laughter. I then proudly displayed my American flag (backwards) and took a bad picture.
We took a quick walk back to the hotel, changed out of the sweater and headed to the always legendary and classy Roxy. I changed out of my sweater as we got there, but realized that there was a large majority of people still wearing those. I decided to fit in so I went back and put the Bolland jersey back on (If you’ve actually met me before, you would say that is the most typical thing I’ve ever done, aside from playing Kid Rock at crowded bars). On the short walk back to my hostel, I found a legend of Granville Street: Spoons. If you don’t know who Spoons is, he’s a guy that roams the streets and plays songs using various (you guessed it) spoons. This always makes for an entertaining time. Naturally, I had to give him a few coins which amounted to several dollars.
Even though I was shocked not to see Shane O’Brien at the Roxy, it was still a good time. There were plenty of Hawks fans to be found, Canucks fans to talk to, joke around with and have a few drinks with well into the morning. This is even more impressive considering the fact it was a Tuesday. I was impressed with most of the fans I had run into. There’s plenty of reasons to be upset with Hawks fans which means it’s hard to know what to expect. But most people will sit down with you, have a few beers and shoot the shit. That or maybe I just got lucky with the people I met. The live music, good crowd and friendly people all led to it being a fun night. With a night like this, it was easy to get over the loss.
(Bridget and I at the Roxy, just another well taken picture that)
After going to bed in an empty room and waking up in a full one, I checked out and took in the rest of Vancouver with a cup of Tim Horton’s in hand. It’s really easy to make fun of the city due to a lack of a Cup and the way the city reacted last year. But it was a great city. Clean, nice people and you cannot beat that location. I would definitely recommend to anybody to go to the city if you get a shot. The riot jokes are easy to make but there’s always something to do, good food and drink and a place that loves to watch hockey.
So is the rivalry still there? Absolutely, but it’s not something I feel I can hate due to a majority of the fans or the city (See: Detroit) but on the ice there is still no more reason to like the Canucks. But off the ice, it’s always good to find knowledgeable fans who love the game like most people you'd expect to meet from Canada. There’s a lot worse places to watch a game. After all, for the most part there are plenty of good memories of wins over that team. And I'll still be mad at the guy who wore a Burrows jersey to Wrigley the day before game 6 last year.
Also, just wanted to say thanks to Eden, John, Bridget and Nora for helping make the trip a success. Let’s do it again some time.
"I feel good symptom-wise," Miller said after practice, according to The Buffalo News. "It was more neck and something where I aggravated a disc in my neck pretty good and we had an MRI and CT scan showing that which kind of backed that up and was the source of a lot of the tension and a lot of the discomfort. It definitely was limiting my range of motion. "I don't know for certain what it was," Miller added. "It definitely felt ... I took a good impact and definitely felt that way [that it was a concussion] but I also had some symptoms in my neck and that was proven through some tests."
Yup, that just happened. Want even more reason to hate Ryan Miller?
After allowing 5 goals in two periods against the Detroit Red Wings, Miller has the audacity to start chirping about his own team.
"That's not my decision. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen in the locker room. If you guys really think there's going to be any kind of trade made anywhere that's going to affect this team any more than we can affect it in this locker room, you guys are just … I don't know what to think, because there's no such trade. "There's not ever going to be a trade in the history of the NHL that's going to affect anything like that. There's no chance anybody comes into this team and just shakes it up or we can even move multiple players and get any kind of return … If you want to just destroy a team and just go out and be reckless and do something, yeah. "But then there's going to be new guys in here, but other than that, this locker room's going to be pretty much the same, if not completely the same, and we've got to find it from in here. [Points to chest] We can't sit and wait for somebody else to f--king do it."
In his own words: "What a piece of shit".
Reason #2 To Hate The Buffalo Sabres: Patrick Kaleta
Kaleta is Buffalo's version of the "goon" player, but he does a shitty job at it. To Kaleta's credit, he's a shit disturber. He'll pick his spots to start things, but he never backs them up. He chirps when the refs are in between people. He takes cheap and dirty shots. He headbutts people. When Kaleta does try to be a tough guy, he is shown why he's a piece of shit.
Reason #3 To Hate The Buffalo Sabres: Lindy Ruff
I fucking hate Lindy Ruff. Lets start with the aforementioned Ryan Miller hit. Here's what he had to say on it.
“I turn on TSN this morning and the goalies getting bumped almost falls in that open season category,” Ruff said, referring to the phrase he used when Ryan Miller got drilled by Milan Lucic. “… We’re in dangerous territory with some of that stuff.”
What Ruff doesn't say is that he declared it "open season" on goalies in 2007. His comments after the game?
"I'm not going to comment what I had on my mind." After pausing, Ruff added: "Go out and run 'em."
That's just the tip of the iceberg with Ruff. When the Sabres played the Bruins in the 2009-2010 playoffs, Ruff complained about the referees after every game. In fact, it seems that all he does is cry and whine about something. I mean, he does it so much that we at Days of Y'Orr constantly make photoshops of him crying. Constantly. It's maddening to think that a coach who is the NHL's longest tenured coach can do so without actually winning anything. Then again, it's also Buffalo so anything is possible.
There's three good reasons why you should hate the Buffalo Sabres. In all honesty, I could go into how pathetic and entitled the fan base is. I could go into how shitty the actual city is. What's the point? These things are already known. Shawn Thornton was asked if he liked playing in the city of Buffalo and what he thought of it. He waited a moment and said "Well it's not the prettiest city out there" and he's right. It's an ugly mess. It's such a mess that their own football team that's been there for decades would rather move to Canada.
I hope I did this some justice and I've given you enough reason to hate the Sabres, or at least dislike them a lot. If not, I'm sure you can search LiveJournal for Ryan Miller's diary and see the true piece of shit he is.
I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.
For the Blackhawks Benny Smith finding himself familiar with the I-90 shuffle is back up again with Daniel Carcillo out with a “not serious” injury. Which I'm sure is a load of shit on the "not serious" front, but we live in a time where injuries are classified as mearly upper or lower body. Montador was seen taking extra time on the ice after practice so what I’m sure you’re all excited to read is that John Scott will still be in the lineup and possibly OD or Lepisto getting the chance to work with him. Emery will get another start in net, and why not? He's been playing well and until the back to back next week what hurt is there to keep the hot goalie in?
Looking to continue streaking: Toews seven points in the past five games, Sharp and Hossa both with eight points each in the last five games.
The past few games have been a test for the Blackhawks and Emery. Both came up in a big way, especially in the overtime against the Sharks and the shootout in Minny on Wednesday. Ideally this game won’t go to OT or the shootout, but it’s happened far more often than not for the Blackhawks as I stated above. Three point games, especially to Western Conference opponents have been more the norm around these parts. In December so far the lone game the Blackhawks haven’t gone to OT or a shootout was 12/3 against St. Louis.
Tonight begins a stretch of 14 of the next 17 games being played at home. The Madhouse should be the place the Blackhawks are comfortable and ready to go each night, but sometimes it’s not the case. Hopefully they can turn that around and continue to rack up points, while not giving as many up.
See you jokers tonight.
Let’s go Hawks!
(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.
The Hawks started the stronger out of the two in the first, generating chance after chance but not being able to get one past Backstrom. Brain Bickell marked his return with a strong period, moving around well below the net but still not hitting anybody. Doesn't seem like a lot has changed on that front.
It took the Wild almost 17 minutes to get a shot on net and they were greeted with a Bronx Cheer from the Minnesota faithful. But the shot came after the Hawks had a 2 on 1 which they failed to convert. It was a sign of things to come. Minnesota will sit back and wait before they attack.
The Hawks finally broke though on a Hossa goal about midway through the second, on the power play none the less. The Hawks got traffic in front of Backstorm and were able to score and looked to be in control. Things got even better when Frolik scored his fifth of the year, which was unfortunate because I would love to see our very own Andrew eat his shoe. At the same time, I was also relieved to get a 2 goal lead in the second period. It seemed like the Hawks were in control and would not lose a nice lead they had in Minnesota. I mean really, who can remember the last time that happened....Oh yeah, right....never mind.
Minnesota got back into the game thanks to a no call on what seemed to be an obvious icing call and the fact that John Scott and Steve Montador were the defensive pairing on the ice at the time. Broadziak took the feed after strong skating by Nick Johnson, made a nice move to get Emery to commit and buried it into a more or less open net. There was a lot of talk about this one, but the moral of the story is to play to the whistle. It was a bad call, yes, but it’s not like this is the first time ever that an icing has been waived off. It was a mental brain fart which will surely just add fuel to the hatred.
Shortly after, Matt Cullen took a pass from Cal Clutterbuck to tie the game at 2 heading into the third. Once again, it was another instance of thinking of “here we go again...”
Part of Minnesota’s game all year has been building to have a strong third period. Despite starting the period as the stronger team, Toews lost a face off, won the puck anyway and got Backstrom to commit too early and roofed home a goal to make it 3-2. Minnesota kept up the pressure and it only felt like a goal was coming. Sure enough, Cal Clutterbuck fed Mikko Koivu to tie the game at 3 with a little over five minutes left. A combination of a delayed penalty/Minnesota extra skater, Hammer going to the ice too early and Leddy screening Emery led to the goal.
Teams had their chances in OT (Specifically, Leddy botching the feed from Hossa) and we all dreaded an Emery vs. Backstrom shootout. Toews buried his shot after Matt Cullen got stoned by Emery. In round 2, Speed Racer failed to get a shot off leading to Kane making a joke of a shootout and putting Backstrom on his rear end again, giving the Hawks the victory.
Always nice to get a win, but it seems like everybody gets a point in games they play against the Hawks. It would be nice to see the Hawks close more teams out in regulation, but considering the points debacle we got in at the end of last season, I’ll take this. Also, somewhat quietly, the Hawks have gone 7-1-1 in their last 9. With other teams around the league getting bit by the injury bug and a lot of home games before a brutal travel schedule in February, it’s key to get the points when possible.
Overall, a good win and Jonathan Toews is all that is man.
Ducks up next on Friday at the UC.
Getting to number one the Blackhawks and the Wild have taken opposite paths. While the Blackhawks forget how to play defense on any given night but sure can score worth a shit the Wild are ranking at the tops of the league in letting in the fewest goals against. It’ll be an interesting game to say the least, something has to give.
With games coming to overtime or a shootout in four of the last five for the Blackhawks, defense is again the main topic of conversations. Granted all of those games didn’t come to overtime with the Blackhawks giving up a lead, but those are the glaring ones. Minny is coming off a loss to the Jets last night, but was previously riding a seven game win streak.
Lineup changes for the Blackhawks include a return to ice for Bryan Bickell and another start for Ray Emery in net. Let’s see if Bickell took his pressbox games to heart and wants to come out and play like the giant dude he is. As stated previously the Wild are known more for their defense, but it’ll still be a challenging game for Emery. The Wild will likely be without Pierre-Marc Bouchard who took a nasty hit into the boards from the Jets Zach Bogosian last night. He was seen still spitting up blood as the team made their way back to the twin cities following the game. Also missing from the Wild’s lineup is Devin Setoguchi who has been on IR with a left leg something or other that will probably turn into a concussion since everything else does.
Oooohhhh, I'm glad I didn't publish this without checking the twitter machine quick. Looks like big John Scott is in for Sami Lepisto. From the looks of my timeline, everyone is REALLY excited about it. Watching the condensed version of Sunday's game the other night I can't say I'm wildly surprised given some of Lepisto's giveaways. Then again, no one in the world wants to fight John Scott so... yeah.
Prior to tonight’s tilt (5:30 p.m. CT) Versus will be premiering the NHL’s new original show “NHL 36”. First on the list: Patrick Kane. You can read more about it on the Blackhawks site here.
Get excited, I’m sure Pierre McGuire will be geared up to talk about Sidney Crosby even though he has nothing to do with this game and of course with the Wild moving into the Central/Conference C/Midwestern Conference/Hall and Oats Conference whatever next year there will probably be a shitton of talk about that.
I know he’s not there anymore but LOL, remember when the Blackhawks traded Cam Barker to Minny for Nick Leddy? Thanks for living up to the Wild name Minnesota.
"No man, BEHIND you."
Let’s go Hawks!
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.
Of course it will be mentioned to death that Antti Niemi is starting in net for the Hawks. Look for those big rebounds to get kicked out into the slot.
Ray Emery will be getting his third start in four games as Joel Quennville goes with the "hot hand." I'm not sure what Q's thought process is behind this move. There are really three possible explanations that I can come up with. 1) He believes in the whole "hot hand" thing even though its a total farce. 2) He believes Emery is the better goalie. 3) There's something that needs fixing technically with Crawford's game. Now, I don't think any NHL coach could believe either of the first two, but I also don't know enough about goaltending to comment on the third. Whatever the reason, Crawford will be making his pouty face on the bench again. Alls I'm saying is at least Turco provided entertainment while he was in that spot.
Its worth mentioning that Patrick Sharp welcomed his baby daughter Madelyn into the world on Friday. He joins Hossa as the new father on the team. My favorite quote on the situation comes from one of the bonehead beat reporters asking Toews if he wants to have a kid someday (QUALITY JOURNALISM, JESSE):
Blackhawks legend Jim Vandermeer was out with a hand injury against the Blues and will most likely miss the game tonight as well. I'm sure this is a huge letdown for all of you Hawks fans looking to give Jim a standing ovation for all he did with the Blackhawks, most notably being traded to Philadelphia for Ben Eager. Can't wait for his Heritage Night. Do you think Vandy and Ryan Clowe ever talk about Clowe's first fight in the NHL?
With a win the Hawks would move back into first place in the division. Detroit passed them in point percentage by stomping Winnipeg. It'll be a tough but winnable match at the UC. Let's Go Hawks.
Three minutes into the first frame, Steve Montador loses an edge and the Coyotes get a two-on-one right through the middle. Raffi Torres would be the one to finish the play and make it 1-0 Coyotes early. Getting outworked on the forecheck like crazy, the Blackhawks struggled to get anything cycling through the period until a Phoenix penalty late in the period. The Hawks do jack shit with the extra man than a few minor looks on Mike Smith. The Blackhawks apparently trying to win the award for NOT hitting anyone and another key defensive breakdown leads to a dirty goal by Radim Vrbata closing out the first period 2-0 bad guys.
Shocker, the ‘Yotes come out hard and make it 3-0 within the first two minutes of the second period. Giving up three goals on 16 shots, Corey Crawford is yanked and Ray Emery takes the ice. Great play through the middle of the ice and Jonathan Toews finds the open lane and buries one past Mike Smith, still 3-1 Coyotes, but at least it looked like the Blackhawks were trying to play hockey again. About half way through the period Ben Smith is held in front of the ‘Yotes net and the Blackhawks get their second chance to display their clownshoes. Blackhawks make this one count though as a sniper shot from Duncan Keith is deflected in by none other than the Magic Man himself. Not done yet, Jonathan Toews sets up Patrick Kane for one hell of a goal, tie game bitches. Jamal Mayers and Kyle Chipchura would begin and end a fight in the blink of an eye at the end of the period.
Still flying high after a stellar second half of the second period the Blackhawks draw a penalty, thought nothing comes of it. Blackhawks would take a penalty of their own and actually had some pretty good short handed looks, but the real story here is the Hawks killed the penalty. No scoring from either team comes out of the third period so onto some free hockey.
Aside from some gasps and audible “god damns” in my apartment, nothing comes from the OT and the Hawks head to a favorite of all, the shootout. Shootout breakdown: Emery doesn’t know what to do with his life, Toews gets stoned, same from Emery in the second round and even god himself couldn’t win this one. 'Yotes grab three of four points in a week from the Blackhawks.
Things I liked:
- Ladies and Gents your current goal leader in the league: Jonathan Toews.
- Ladies and Gents your current assist leader in the league: Patrick Kane.
- Ben Smith drew not one but two penalties. The first PP resulting in a goal, second not so much. Also, he might not be on the score sheet or doing all of the right things, but he works a shitton harder than Bickell. There's a reason he's in and Bicks is eating popcorn.
- The penalty kill rising from seventh layer of hell was 100% tonight. (There was only one, but they killed it.)
Things I didn’t like:
- That first 30 minutes was brutal.
- Viktor Stalberg (stop me if you’ve heard this before) missing a point blank, perfect shot, open net. #StalbergPorn for your viewing pleasure.
- Still on the search for #400: Marian Hossa. Would have really liked to see that drive work out in OT.
- Emery in the shootout, woof city.
- Giving up three out of four points to a team like the ‘Yotes is horseshit. Maybe come out an defend like you know how, or I don’t know HIT SOMEONE.
Aside from the terrible shootout performance, the question now is does Cool Hand Q send Corey back out on the horse? Or does he sit him in favor of Emery in Thursday night’s tilt with the Islanders? How about that realignment huh? I for one am super pumped about a home and home with every team in the league and happy with the fact that Detroit didn’t get their way. Suck it cry babies.
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!
My feed kept skipping but I do remember seeing some Blues bro grabbing at Kane. Then all a sudden Backes and Toews started going at it. Not to be left out Carcillo jumps in between Penisloaf Backes and Toews pretty enthusiastically thus recieving a double roughing call. Are you still following? Because this is where it gets more confusing meathead filled. As the period continued slashing and backchecking boiled blood between none other than (shocker) Backes and new to the shitshow crowd Dave Bolland. TJ Oshie would get the additional penalty in this charming exchange making the start of the third period a four-on-three advantage for the Blackhawks.
Now onto the third period. Continuing to come out of the cave he’s been hiding in, Hossa scores his second goal of the night, 399th of his career to make it 4-2 god guys. Half way into the period Duncan Keith ready and willing to help his team get their PK out of the cellar, takes a delay of game penalty. Luckily the Blues do nothing with it other than taking a penalty of their own in the final few seconds. Dave Bolland would get another chance to kick it in the penalty box for high sticking, I like to think it was for “Death Staring” with under five left in the game. Tater’s would close out the shitkicking with an empty netter in the final minute making it 5-3 Blackhawks.
Things I liked:
- I don’t care what anyone says, this Jack Daniels Tennessee honey is good.
- Emery looked good, as the game went on he continued to make big saves and gain confidence.
- Strong play all around, especially by the defense.
- Single digit shots on goal from the Blues in each of the three periods.
- Captain Beastmode: 10 points (1G, 1A tonight) in his past five games.
- Duncan Keith with 2A tonight now has 16 on the season, six of those coming in the past five games.
Things I didn’t like:
- I don’t know if I dislike the Blues because they try and pretend to be significant or if I just bring over the hate from being a Cubs fan during the summer.
- Like I said above strong play by the defense, but OD and Montador were benched for a good chunk of the game. Lots of minutes piling up on the top four. Tired legs usually mean more mistakes.
- While he’s gotten six points in the past five games, Patrick Kane hasn’t lit the lamp since his GWG in Vancity (11/16).
- Hey, hey, HEY DAVID BACKES please keep going after Jonathan Toews, it makes you look super tough.
Last night it was great to get the two points, but it didn’t feel like a win. This felt like a win. Tonight’s Blues loss is only the second regulation loss since Ken Hitchcock took over. Additionally Brian Elliott let in more than two goals for the first time all season. Emery had a strong game and with budding confidence over his last start (in that game we dare not speak of), it’d be nice to see Cool Hand Q give Corey a bit more rest and have Emery play Monday against the ‘Yotes.
I’ll leave you with a great screenshot not from this game, but still the best Ken Hitchcock expression ever...
Suck it St. Louis.
Toews has been leading this team like Caesar.
We all know what went on last night in the Hawks/Islanders game. Neither team gave a fuck’s worth about trying to play any NHL-caliber defense and therefore the teams had a shootout, both figuratively and literally. O’ Captain, My Captain was able to score the lone shootout goal to get the Hawks the victory, but if they play that way tonight against a motivated and red-hot Blues team, expect them to get pecker slapped.
The Blues meanwhile are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and 8-1-3 since the hiring of Ken Hitchcock. Well, you can’t argue with results. Since ditching David Payne for Jabba the Hutt stunt double Ken Hitchcock, the Blues have played responsible, physical and smart hockey. Something they haven’t exactly been known for (except the physical part) for many years. If it lasts, the Blues will be a tough cookie to swallow the remainder of this season.
However, most of that hinges on the continued mind-blowing play of Brian Elliott. Elliott is a simply stupid 10-1, 1.31 GAA, .951 SV% and three shutouts. Those are video-game-on-rookie-difficulty numbers.
The Hawks’ Corey Crawford, on the other hand, has been shaky the last few weeks at best. He’s still been able to come up with the timely and ridiculous saves, but has let in far too many, what I’ll call, Huet-esque goals. The lack of team defense hasn’t been helping out as much, and Second City Hockey did a good job of pointing out that we’re sorely missing Brian Campbell. There’s been times this year where the defense has been Swiss cheese, but Crawford has stood tall and vice versa, but lately, both have been as desirable as the slump buster from the bar the next morning.
Thankfully, the NHL’s Second Star of November, Jonathan Toews, has been playing like the android we all know and love. He’ll need at least a touch of assistance from others besides Sharp in order to get a win tonight. Most importantly, we’ll need to keep our absolute anemic penalty kill off the ice. I’m fairly certain we’d allow goals to the Brother Rice JV team...
LET’S GO HAWKS]]>
With five minutes left in the first, the Isles would strike again. P.A. Parenteau would win a board battle behind the Hawks net and find Matt Moulson in front of the net. Moulson would let a quick shot fly that beat Crawford. 2-1 Isles.
The first would end with the 2-1 Islanders lead. Each time had their moments of domination in the opponent’s zone, however, it was due more to the other team’s ineptitude rather than the skill of the dominating team. Messy hockey.
Above seven minutes into the second, Ben Smith would get a grindariffic goal (is this where I yell OPTIMUS GRIND?) to tie it up. Patrick Kane would battle while skating to the back of the net and make a slick pass to Smith who was waiting on the side of the net. His first backhand attempt would get stuffed by Al Montoya, but the second opportunity on the forehand would not be denied. 2-2.
With just over a minute remaining in the second, Jonathan Toews would make his presence felt. Toews, while shorthanded, would chase down Milan Jurcina in his own zone, stick check the puck away, throw a limp-dicked shot at the net that caught Montoya off guard putting the Hawks up 3-2.
The second saw the Blackhawks carry play nearly the entire period, dominating a notably craptastic team as they should. They would score two goals and with Toews’ late shorty, would have the momentum going into the third.
Fourty six seconds into the third, the Islanders would tie it up on the power play. Basically, a shot from Brain Rolston at the point gets stopped by Crawford, the puck goes to Tavares who tries to put in on net. It deflects straight up into the air and lands in the slot at P.A. Parenteau’s feet, and he’d bury the chance. 3-3.
About five minutes into the third on a powerplay, Patrick Kane would come down the left wing and slowly walk in. He’d find Patrick Sharp chilling in the high slot, and his shot would come quickly and Montoya would be caught off guard. 4-3, Blackhawks.
Halfway through the third, Nino Whatshisnuts would get a breakaway due to a neutral zone turnover and a poorly timed line change. Nino would beat Crawford stick-side to put tie up the game again. 4-4.
The score would remain unchanged throughout the end of the third and OT (despite each team’s best tries to piss away the game) and would need a cow tipping contest to determine a winner. The Hawks would pull out the victory on Toews’ lone shootout conversion.
Up Next: Off to St. Louis to take on the Douchenozzles....er, I mean Blues tomorrow.
Game in Photos:
Oh, that’s puntastic.
MY EYEBROWS! AREN’T THEY MAJESTIC?
Pictured: Jonathan Toews using completely legal telekinetics to obtain the puck.
Ohhhhh, that’s an AWESOME manhug.
I’m going to assume he’s yelling BLOODSPORT or something similar.
We have liftoff.
Play stops because Frans Nielsen got one of those REALLY SOUR Sour Patch Kids.
Tell me how it tastes, losers.
Game Time: 7:30pm
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720
One Day We'll Get an NHL Arena: Islanders Hockey Blog
So that first game back was a bit of a dud, huh? Well, apparently the Hawks are determined to continue on this rollercoaster stretch, so hopefully we get treated to a win tonight. (Although if we're to choose between tonight and tomorrow, I'd rather the win be against St. Louis. I'd hate to go all the way down there for a loss...)
Anyway, tonight's game is against the Islanders, who are still the losingest team in the East but are riding a mini-streak of two wins themselves. That doesn't tell us anything about what to expect tonight, naturally. The Hawks have been relying primarily on the incredible play of one Jonathan Toews, but even in the last game he couldn't do enough, so we'll be faced with a couple of changes when we see the Isles tonight.
Kane's move back to wing took a couple of headlines. The Great Kane at Center Experiment was nice while it lasted, but it has stopped doing much of anything recently. He'll be back on a line with Toews and maybe that jumpstarts the first two lines. Or maybe The Great Kane Back at Right Wing Non-Experiment meets an early end. Or maybe Quenneville decides to do the line-a-palooza mid-period. Any of those is just as likely as the other. Kruger will center the second line in his place and I'd be interested to see what that looks like, since Kruger's done fairly well in the last few games.
Bolland, Seabrook, and Montador missed yesterday's practice but only Bolland wasn't on the ice for the morning skate. I've long since stopped relying on Quenneville whenever he talks to the beat writers about injuries, and nothing about the Hawks' history with handling player injuries inspires confidence in how I think they're handling the injuries this time. Whether it's Bolland's foot that never quite healed or his back acting up again or who knows what, he's still apparently playing tonight. Some may say the team goes as Bolland does, but the thing is, if he's only at fifty percent, is that really all that much better?
Tonight also sees Ben Smith back in action after a few games of being scratched. Whose place is he taking? Take your pick of any of the Hawks' underperforming forwards (or defensemen-masquerading-as-forwards), but my guess is either Bickell or Carcillo in the press box tonight.
Finally, Crawford needs to have a strong game tonight. Where the Hawks managed two wins in between their ugly games, only one of them has been with Crawford fully with the team. He starts tonight, which makes me wonder if perhaps this means Emery gets the go-ahead tomorrow (normally the case, but the last time we had a back-to-back Crawford started both) against the much-tougher opponent. We'll take it one game at a time, I guess. The Hawks have to, too.
-It seemed like after the Langkow goal the Hawks just gave up. The team was playing well up until that point but had been afraid to shoot the puck. If there was any wind the Hawks’ sails, then it was all gone after that.
-Crawford was really bad tonight (4 goals against on 17 saves), maybe even his worst game as a Hawk. He hasn’t been himself lately, that’s for sure. That being said I’m not too worried. Crawford has shown that he can be the guy.
-However, why not give Emery a run on Friday and Saturday? I know playing him on back-to-back nights isn’t most ideal situation (and add to the fact that we get Phoenix again next week), but Q has not had a problem showing certain guys the press box for a couple games (Yes, I know Craw won’t be up there, but you get the idea).
-Yes, Phoenix always plays a defensive system, but it took the Hawks more than nine minutes to get a shot on goal in the second period. Then shortly after that, Doan scored (the first of a hand-full at the UC, some may hope) and you could sense the Hawks frustration grow. It seemed like nobody wanted to shoot the puck.
-Hammer was a -3.
-Bickell had 6:41 of ice time which was far and away the lowest for all Blackhawks. If that doesn’t send a message to him then I don’t know what will. Hopefully Ben Smith will get yet another chance to change the landscape of the National Hockey League.
-I’m actually a Carcillo fan, but tonight was not his best return to the team. I know he has a role to play, but who are some of these guys that he was going after tonight? Not exactly the goons that Phoenix has.
-Mike Smith owns the United Center.
-Hey, the PK did NOT allow a goal! Progress!
-Islanders on Friday, Blues on Saturday. Plenty of time to see some annoying lines in practice that will surely drive us all crazy.
-In the grand scheme of things, I’m still not worried about the Hawks. We have seen the type of hockey they are capable of playing and it’s all about rediscovering that niche. But the team is in a stretch to really create some separation from the rest of the conference. This is a big few weeks for the team.
-Finally, please stop talking about the Hawks getting Bobby Ryan. Thanks.
Game Time: 7:30pm
TV/Radio: CSN on the tube - WGN 720 on the waves
Helping Walter White expand his business across state lines: Five for Howling
Bring out the banners and welcome home signs because after a great strong even road trip out West the Blackhawks bring it home for one final game in November. Tonight’s tilt is against a Phoenix Coyotes team that is coming off a shutout win against a wounded Dallas Stars team.
To the surprise of almost anyone the Coyotes have been pretty decent in the non-Bryz era. Mike Smith has eleven wins on the season And Kyle Turris who stopped acting like a child who wouldn’t take a nap until he had his blankee finally signed and probably won’t play. Aside from goaltending the Coyotes have been winning games with a pretty mediocre front.
For the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will be manning the net tonight. With maintenance days yesterday Dave Bolland and Brent Seabrook are also expected to be in the line up. With the beat writers in a tizzy on twitter, Carcillo will be back in and likely a John Scott scratch. Surprisingly Benny Smith (a healthy scratch in the past few) hasn’t been reassigned and there hasn't been any real talk of him suiting up.
As most of you all know, Keith has been playing on Earth and not Jupiter as previously thought and the Captain might have a future in this league after all. The defense has tightened it up since the debacle in Edmonton, it'll be nice if that continues. Kane and Hossa haven't been on the scoresheet so a apparence of either or both of them is more than welcomed.
Scrounging for additional information that isn’t all “it’ll be a nice change of pace for the Coyotes to play in front of fans and not empty seats!” and “maybe the Coyotes will just fly to Quebec after this game to be with their stuff that has already been moved.” I saw that the Blackhawks have actually done pretty decent in their first game back after the long trip. Inevitably writing that has jinxed me and they will probably be terrible.
Not game, but Blackhawks related congratulations go out to first rounders Mark McNeil and Philip Danault being invited to Canada’s WJC selection camp.
From the NHL: Jonathan Toews might have to start playing from the sitting position so it doesn’t look as bad when we overlook his five point (four point period) night for our golden boy Sidney Cosby in our three stars of the week.
Chelsea Dagger, how I have missed you.
Let’s go Hawks!
Twelve minutes into the second, Matt Greene threw a shot towards the net that Keith got a piece of but went right to Jared Stoll. Stoll took a quick wrister that Corey Crawford just whiffed on. 1-1.
With just over three minutes remaining in the second, Jonathan Toews would win a faceoff in the Kings zone back to Duncan Keith. Keith would let a shot from the point fly which went wide, ricocheted of the boards and right to Toews waiting on the doorstep. 2-1 Hawks.
The second period would end 2-1, but was pretty much the opposite of the first with the Kings carrying most of the play during the period. However, the Hawks were able to match the only tally the Kings picked up, retaining their one goal lead heading into the third period.
The third period would see no scoring, but an intense finish as the Kings decided to show up for the last five minutes or so of the game. Crawford had a couple of big saves and the D had a couple of smart and solid plays to preserve the lead and clinch the win for the Hawks with a final of 2-1.
Up Next: Coyotes at home on Tuesday.
Game in Photos:
The WGN feed in the third period.
Kings warmup skate
KopitarFace of the game?
My goal scoring prowess is significantly greater than your goalie’s ability to stop pucks.
I’ll just assume he’s looking for Batman.
I was about halfway through putting off packing for my trip back home today when I realized I'd foolishly volunteered to do today's preview. I looked at the time--it's at 9:30pm Central--and looked up the team--Kings, to complete the Circus Trip from Hell--and that's really about all I could come up with for today.
Nah just kidding, here are some facts you should know about tonight's match-up:
The first period as I said earlier was terrible. I was in my cupboards looking for the whiskey I thought I had left over from a previous night, but none was to be found. It took over six minutes for the Blackhawks to get their first shot on goal, and it went in handsomely by none other than Patrick Sharp. Pentalies ahoy for both teams with the Ducks and Hawks trading power play goals ending the first in a 3-2 lead by the Ducks.
Second period was a bit tighter, until about midway through when Bobby Ryan made it 4-2 Ducks with a tip-in. Trending in the right direction, but nothing to show for it the Hawks ended up with 17 shots on the period and the Ducks with only five.
Then came the glory of the third period. Jonathan Toews’ toe redirects a Duncan Keith shot making it 4-3 and just 28 seconds later, Patrick Sharp ties the game with his second goal on the night. Cut to two minutes later, Patrick Sharp scores again. Cue the flying hats! Toews gets a power play goal, giving him a four point period. The Ducks would score with seconds left but too little to late as the Blackhawks would pull out the come from behind win.
Things I liked:
- Jonathan Toews: making up for his zero points in the previous two games gets FIVE tonight, four in the third period alone.
- Patrick Sharp finally clicking.
- Marcus Kruger: 8-for-8 at the dot, including winning four in the offensive zone. Five against Ryan Getzlaf.
- The majority of the third period.
- Hey! Good to see Seabrook back out there after missing four games.
Things I didn’t like:
- I am a big Corey Crawford fan and not blaming the goalie for all goals against, but he hasn’t looked as solid in his past few games.
- Three goals in the first period against. Tighten the D, better tending, better everything needed.
- Not saying all penalties are bad, but with a semi-clownshoes penalty kill (seriously, last in the league) not taking penalties or cleaning up that PK would be nice.
It was great to see the Blackhawks not bend over and take it after getting down by a few goals like they had don previously in the trip *cough* edmonton *cough*. They can resuscitate the circus trip with a win in LA against a struggling Kings team.
Let’s go hawks, end this roadie on a good note.
The lucky puck I should carry with me everywhere from now on... #JohnScottASG
The Ducks have had a terrible November, even with the ageless wonder that is Teemu Selanne and the ever punchable Corey Perry. Goaltending hasn’t helped the lacking offense and the Ducks defense is anything bus impressive. Thus the terrible November trifecta. Ducks will be without their big enforcer George Parros, but I’m sure Mr. ASG himself John Scott will be in on the Blackhawks side.
Alas, scoring from the Blackhawks top lines has been here and there, severely inconsistent. I’m getting really close to creating an invisible man/wanted/lost boy photoshop for a few of them. This matinee first game of a back-to-back will feature Corey Crawford in net and possibly a return to the blue line from Brent Seabrook.
The quarter mark of the season has come and gone and the first long trip of the season is almost over. Today is a great time to bounce back from whatever the past three have been and grab some points.
Let’s go Hawks!
After a terrible first period in Edmonton it was vital for the Blackhawks to come out and play their game. Lots of hits, lots of battles and even a few killed penalties. Marian Hossa seemed like a man on a mission all night created chances and looked (maybe) as dangerous as he's been all year. But, as Pat Foley would say, Niemi said no, again and again. But what annoyed me most about the first was Bryan Bickell not converting his chance on Niemi. Bick hasn't scored since late October and has seen his time on ice go down (Although tonight he played more than 11 minutes, his most since the 6-3 win over Edmonton.). But how much longer is the team going to put up with him? If he doesn't have his wrist shot then when does the team look at somebody else?
While the Hawks generated more chicness, San Jose adapted more in the second period. Crawford managed not to get too bored with the puck at the other end and made several big saves to keep the game scoreless. But after Joe Thornton got the best of Dave Bolland (kinda) for the first time ever, the Sharks benefited on a Jason Demers blast that was deflected by Jonathan Toews and into the net.
Despite the Hawks killing off a penalty to start the third, the Sharks were the ones who improved and looked to be the ones who were more likely to score. Early on the Hawks struggled to get the puck out of the zone. Nothing came of it, but at that point it did seem like the Hawks were really going to be up against it. The team looked tired as San Jose adopted to the game and the Hawks struggled at times to keep up. The Hawks best chance came when Toews went low in Niemi while on the man-advantage and the puck slid through the crease. You felt like Hossa was going to fly in and break through but alas, it didn’t happen. Hawks lose 1-0. Sometimes it’s not meant to be.
Couple of other things:
-I really hope this doesn’t start a bunch of “THE HAWKS SHOULD NEVER HAVE LET NIEMI GO AND HE PROVED THAT,” articles that could pop up over the next couple days. Luckily, the Hawks play 3 in 4 and the Cutler saga is still going on.
-Havlat intercepting the Hossa pass to more or less seal the game. Good for Marty, but still the Hawks made the right call letting him go.
-APB for Patrick Sharp.
-Keith was much better tonight compared to the last couple games, but really that was to be expected.
-First three game losing streak of the year. Not to worried, but would be nice to see the team respond.
-Back in Orange County on Friday. Really need two wins to salvage this Circus Trip.
-Happy Thanksgiving everybody. As Jim Gaffigan put it, “How about we eat a lot with people who annoy the crap out of us?” Seriously though, have a good one everybody. Since there’s no hockey on, might as well hang out with family.
Let's stop pretending like you were coming here for serious hockey analysis.
Jonathan Toews as Sam the Eagle
This picture is worth at least a thousand words. Jonathan Toews is the Canadian equivalent of Sam the Eagle. Ultra-serious and spending most of his enegry keeping others in check. From the Muppet Wiki: "He would, in fact, like to concern himself with the morals of the entire world, but 'regrets that it takes all his time and energy just to keep up with The Muppet Show.'" Sounds like when Toews has to stay on top of Kane to keep him off TMZ.
Patrick Kane as Gonzo the Great
Gonzo is the funny looking daredevil alien. "He takes pride in his uniqueness and enjoys everything that he does -- no matter how painful or ill-advised it may be." I wonder if Gonzo ever had an adventure in the back of a limo or cab.
Dave Bolland as Rizzo the Rat
Rizzo the Rat loves making fun of other characters. He is the Muppet's resident troll. This one was a slam dunk.
Brent Seabrook as Fozzie Bear
The big, goofy guy of the bunch. Fozzie tells bad jokes, but you love him anyways. Both he and Seabrook are capable of rallying the troops when the chips are down.
Niklas Hjalmarsson as The Swedish Chef
I've been using this comparison since Hammer started playing for the Hawks. They're both Swedish and difficult to understand. Meatball.
John Scott as Sweetums
"Sweetums is a large, hairy ogre who towers above his human and Muppet co-stars. His bulldog-like lower jaw, thick eyebrows, shabby brown shirt, and threatening expression belie his more or less genial nature." John Scott and Sweetums. Big, ugly, terrifying to children. But they're both gentle giants. Also, neither one shows up with any kind of regularity and when they do, they don't play a very integral part.
Jesse Rogers and Chris Kuc as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker
First off, Jesse Rogers looks exactly like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. These two are side characters to the larger story, but you always see them hanging around. They're both fumbling professors, thanks to Honeydew's inability to see and Beaker's inability to speak. But no I would never ever suggest that those traits were significant flaws of their human counterparts. Never.
Second City Hockey and The Fifth Feather as Statler and Waldorf
Statler and Waldorf are my favorite characters in the Muppets. They're old crumudgeons who live to complain about the crap they're forced to watch. These two are always the most critical and funny. Nobody can beat the wit and one liners.
Now my question to you is who did I miss? I couldn't really equate anyone to Kermit. And I felt mean making Byfuglien Miss Piggy. So let's hear it.