Just Fine: Blackhawks (4) Flames (3)
I’m gonna be honest here, that was a boring ass hockey game. Yes, it was a 4-3 victory that included a late goal by Patrick Kane, but there were long stretches of nothingness and sloppy hockey. An early 2-0 lead for the Blackhawks in the first period was vaporized by dumbass penalties and that made this game much more difficult than it should have been. Regardless of the style of game, a W is a W and this is as good a start as any to a lengthy road trip. Let’s break this one down and get some sleep…
- Adam Clendening scored in his season debut. An absolute missile from the point on the PP made me forget that the usual PP trigger man has been out for awhile. Keep shooting the puck, kid.
- Clendening only played 10 minutes. Penalties from Hjalmarsson and Oduya required that the top-4 and Michal Roszival play extra minutes, limiting the amount that we were able to see the rookie. Some folks may complain that Q ran Keith and friends a little too much in this game and that losing TVR may increase the likelihood of him doing that. However, TVR never killed penalties and this would have happened anyway. When the veteran D takes penalties, the other veteran D get run into the ground. The bottom line is, don’t take penalties, especially on the road.
- Since we’re on the ice time thing, Jeremy Morin played 6:50. Special teams had something to do with that as Joakim Nordstrom and Daniel Carcillo were also under 10 minutes. That said, Kane was double shifting in the thir. To be fair to Q on this, Morin didn’t do a damn thing in the first two periods to warrant any ice time with the game on the line. He was just a guy out there.
- Kane was as engaged as we’ve seen him all season long, and sometimes during these slogging Western Conference games you need a superstar to take over. 18 minutes of ice time, 2 points, 3 SOG is not a terrible way to kick off this annual late November slog along the left coast. If he keeps this up throughout the trip the Hawks should be in good shape.
- Bryan Bickell played 10 minutes tonight. Did you know that? I barely noticed him. The one play that stood out was when he broke up a 3 on 1 rush by shooting the puck off of a Flames defenseman’s shin pads in the third. It led to the Flames getting a rush of their own. Tell me more about his advanced stats.
- Let’s reflect on that goal by Carcillo for a second. (pause) It was a snipe and was #good.
- Marian Hossa was excellent tonight. He was electric on the backcheck all night long and caused pressure on the forecheck. Goals will come from him soon. One issue, though, is that Q insists on using him to kill penalties. Over four minutes of PK time for him is too much this early in the year. The problem with using only 5 forwards to kill penalties is that if you take too many during a game, the SH TOI starts to rack up. Q needs to get Nordstrom out there if he’s going to play a muck and grind role.
- The young talent on this Calgary team is pretty good. Monahan, Gaudreau, Brodie, Granlund, Jooris, hell even Paul Byron is alright. Unfortunately, outside of Giordano, the rest of the team blows. They’re still some steps away, but there’s some fun players to watch on this squad.
- Corey Crawford was just fine.
So we’re off to a good start on an 8-game road trip. It would have been nice to blow the doors off of the Flames, but we’ll take the two points. I expect to see Raanta on Saturday night against the Oil. Recently, it seems like the trips to Edmonton have not been pleasant. I’ll be happy with taking one of the two games this weekend.
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