Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It always feels good to beat the Penguins, but something about it feels so much better when they’re wearing the sweaters that the franchise wore while they swept the Blackhawks in 92.

Another shootout victory this year has them 6-1 in the skills competition, a far cry from a lot of losses and few wins last season. With that said, the journey to get there was both good and also frustrating.

Before Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews scored and Corey Crawford stopped both Pens shooters, the Blackhawks blew a two-goal lead as snipers Zach Sill and Steve Downie would rally to get Pittsburgh a point. What a shitty sentence to have to type. Those two guys suck.

Really this was a tale of two halves of hockey. Chicago absolutely owned the first period. There were numerous stretches of play (minutes at a time) in the Pens zone but only one goal to show for it – a bomb by David Rundblad after Marian Hossa walked Sidney Crosby at the blue line.

The first part of the second period saw the Blackhawks score on the power play! Hossa put a laser beam inside the far post while Bryan Bickell put on a good screen in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.

The wheels fell off then for awhile in the second period. A dogshit, brutal turnover by the WWF jobber tag-team of SHAWZY AND ROZY allowed former Blackhawk Andrew Ebbett to find a wide open Zack Sill for a one-timer. That was Sill’s first goal this year in 32 games. Some folks will point to Sill being Teuvo Teravainen’s man, but in reality, he was providing low support on former Blackhawk superstar Craig Adams because Michal Roszival is terrible.

A short time later another bum-ass turnover by Roszival and poor low-zone coverage from Brad Richards allowed Steve Downie to bang in a rebound and tie it at two. Blech.

We better break this thing down before I start vomiting about Roszival…

  • Pretty good game from Corey Crawford. No better save than the one on the greatest player of this era with :44 left on the clock in the second. We’re going to need more of that on the long trip next week.
  • Roszival played more than 20 minutes. On a night where I thought Joel Quenneville kind of embarrassed Penguins’ coach Mike Johnston, this is inexcusable. He was minus-2 and directly contributed to both goals against. There’s not much left to say other than “he’s bad.”
  • Bickell was awful. His first period was tentative and there were probably 3 or 4 lost board battles that were the direct result of being soft on the puck. He did have a great screen on Hossa’s goal, though.
  • Speaking of the screen on Hossa’s goal, Bickell deserves to be man in front of the net on the power play. The Andrew Shaw experiment with that first unit needs to end. Right before Hossa scored, Shaw was screening Fleury, but Fleury was able to get himself in a position to see around the diminutive wing/center thing. The very next play, Bickell was there and Fleury had to work extremely hard to try and find the puck. It seems like a fucking no-brainer to put the gigantic guy with offensive ability in front of the goal instead of a terrible-but-scrappy guy.
  • Craig Adams isn’t on the Penguins’ power play.
  • You know what, Andrew Shaw sucked last night too. Soft turnovers, 38% in the faceoff circle, blech in the D-zone. And for some reason his coach put him with Kane and Sharp in crunch time. I’ll never understand his love for such an average player.
  • Sometimes I pause the game to make popcorn when Ben Smith has the puck in the offensive zone. It’s usually more funny than a peak-Will Ferrell film.
  • How about that David Rundblad, eh? Pretty, pretty, pretttayyyyy good. Again.
  • Rob Scuderi is bad.
  • That was a super fun OT period. Neither team tried to take a knee, both squads had excellent chances. It was wonderful.
  • Teuvo played just a bit more than 8 minutes. That’s not good. But also, he’s a rookie who really didn’t do much to deserve more ice time last night. His linemates were dogshit, which I’m sure didn’t help. Not to mention Pittsburgh had the last change and the last 40 minutes they were keeping Crosby from Toews. I’m all for #TeuvoMinutes but probably not against the best player in the world. Sometimes he’s going to sit for more than we’d like, let’s not freak out about this.

The All-Star game is Saturday. Woo. Great. I can’t contain myself…

Pretty good bounce back games from Chicago after a couple of rough ones last weekend. With a pretty tough road trip ahead, it’s important the Hawks try and remain focused, they’ve still got a shot to try and pass Nashville by season’s end.