There were 14 former featherheads which took the ice last night and of the 10 skaters there was only one point which was an assist. It came from a guy some people call Big Buff who is having a career season. The three goalies in action tonight all picked up W’s including the first of the year in the return game for the goalie we beat in the Stanley Cup finals last year. Oh and David Koci is still gaining on Duncan Keith in Ice Time per game. Just a couple more seconds and he might be within 26 minutes. Enjoy
Click the jump for highlights from the 12/30/10 games
If there’s one thing this team has been able to do in recent years, it’s fight through adversity. When faced with ugly circumstances, this team has faced each challenge head-on, often coming out on top, but never going down without a fight. Remember last season, when we fell behind to Calgary 5 – 0 in the first period, but fought back to win 6 – 5 in overtime? I hope we see that kind of who-says-we-can’t attitude tonight when the Blackhawks take on the San Jose Sharks at the UC. 12 of the players from that game will be on the ice tonight.
The Sharks are coming off a loss to lowly Minnesota, which follows being shut out by Los Angeles on Monday. Offensively San Jose is an open book. Their top-six forwards, plus defenseman Dan Boyle, are scoring threats. The rest of the team are no more useful than figure skaters in hockey gear. Keep those seven guys under wraps, and the Blackhawks can win.
Let me know if I should keep doing this or not …
Well, it’s the regular season and that means Joe Thornton may actually be visible on the ice tonight. And unless you’ve been preoccupied with your plot to murder Nick Boynton, you know that Jonathan Toews won’t be suiting up for a couple weeks.
So, before the Blackhawks take on the Sharks for the third time this season after dropping the first two at The Tank, let’s breakdown the matchup with some statistics from the recent regular season history between the two teams.
The BLACKHAWKS are …
… 20-15-3 (2nd, Central)
… 12-9-0 at home
… 6-4-1 in December
… 6-3-1 in their last 10 (Lost 1)
… 6-2-1 against the Pacific Division
… 16-7-2 when scoring first
… 16-3-1 when leading after 2nd period
The SHARKS are …
… 19-13-5 (3rd, Pacific)
… 9-8-2 on the road
… 8-5-1 in December
… 5-4-1 in their last 10 (Lost 2)
… 5-4-1 against the Central Division
… 13-2-3 when scoring first
… 15-2-2 when leading after 2nd period
POWER PLAY: Blackhawks, 24.6% (1st) ; Sharks, 23.1% (6th)
PENALTY KILL: Blackhawks 79.0% (26th) ; Sharks 82.3% (13th)
» The Blackhawks are 0-for-20 on the power play in the last 7 vs. the Sharks
» The Sharks are 7-0-2 in their last 9 visits to the United Center
Click the jump for more STATS
NOTE: Sorry, but there won’t be any Boxing this morning. My usual box score I use through my big-boy job wasn’t accessible because of a system error and I didn’t want to use another one. Boxing will return Thursday.
Welcome back, Patrick Kane. Goodbye, Jonathan Toews.
There hasn’t been an official word as of 8:33 a.m. regarding the status of the Captain, but it’s hard to imagine having Tazer suit up Thursday after watching him go down clutching his shoulder. It pains me to say it, but I’ll stick by my stance when I mentioned last night on the Facebook fan page that Matt D’Agostini’s hit wasn’t dirty.
Unfortunately, the Toews injury has to be the story after that shitshow that was a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues that dropped the ‘Hawks to eighth in the conference. When the whole squad is finally healthy and then Toews goes down, it’s starting to look like Lady Luck wants to be a fucking bitch this season.
Marty Turco’s performance in net is the only goddamn reason the Blackhawks didn’t lose 10-1. I don’t know what it is about the ‘Hawks, but when No. 30 gets between the pipes they forget how to play hockey. At one point, the Blues were out-shooting the ‘Hawks 25-8 and were dominating in a fashion I haven’t seen in quite some time.
Oh, and this was on a night when the Blackhawks got what we thought was a belated Christmas gift when Ty Conklin got the nod instead of Jaroslav Halak. Unreal.
During the filming of “Meet Me In St. Louis,” Judy Garland was so pissed off at the depressing lyrics to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that she went to her director (and not long after, husband), Vincente Minelli, and told him that she wasn’t going to sing it. They changed the lyrics at her request to something less dreary, and the song endures today.
Later in life, Garland proceeded to knock boots with any and every male co-star or singing legend she came across, tried to kill herself about three hundred times, and eventually died of an overdose of barbiturates. The Jordin Tootoo of her age, apparently.
What, too soon?
The Blackhawks are about to “Meet me in Saint Loo-EEEE, Loo-EEEE”, though something tells me the organist at the Scottrade Center won’t be playing any Judy Garland songs. Though if he is, it would probably be, “Strike Up The Band.” This outing will be the meeting of two winning streaks. Something’s gotta give.
Before Corey Crawford’s bandwagon breaks an axle, I’ll get it out of the way that this post isn’t me clamoring for Marty Turco to get more starts in net. However, this is me solidifying my position when I state fans shouldn’t immediately gasp when he gets the nod.
Turco’s 26-save effort in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win against the Columbus Inappropriate Acronyms won’t earn him any Vezina votes, but I also have a strange feeling it won’t get him any more beats from the fading hearts of his naysayers. It’s unfortunate, though most likely true.
While Turco sat on his ass as Crawford won over the fanbase in a city so fond of the “backup,” he maintained his stance of being a consummate professional in every sense of the label. He’s said and done all the right things while he watched a kid outplay him and take a job he specifically came here to do and succeed at.
That may not seem valuable to those who kill themselves with each loss and resurrect with the smallest glimmer of hope. What’s lost is that Turco’s professionalism, patience and team-first attitude specifically led to his performance in net Sunday night. That, and a better defensive effort in front of him.
Keep in mind, Turco has face 107 more shots than Crawford in only three extra starts. Though Crawford has indeed played better than Turco, being outplayed isn’t so bad considering the facts.
Click the jump for more recap and Boxing with ‘Hawks/Inappropriate Acronyms
Merry Christmas, Chicago. Santa brought us some healthy wingers.
Though sniper Patrick Kane is still a few days away from returning from an ankle injury, wingers Viktor Stalberg and Marian Hossa have been cleared by the doctors and will be in the lineup tonight. Stalberg has been out since December 15th, when Ryan O’Byrne lived up to his pugilistic Irish stereotype and laid a hit on Stalberg worthy of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Hossa, believe it or not, is returning from an undisclosed injury resulting from his collision with Nick Boynton during a practice session in late-November. The initial prognosis of a 2 – 3 week recovery period was obviously off by a factor of at least 50%. We’ll have to talk to the team doctors about that shit.
Lots in store for todays edition. There were 13 games last night in which 24 former Hawks take the ice. There were a total of 5 points scored, 3 of them goals the other 2 assists. I am not going to make this overview long because I have some long comments in analysis. Hope you enjoy. No games on the Schedule for tonight or tomorrow so there will be no Espo tomorrow. Also I will be on vacation in Las Vegas (Hopefully) Sunday till Wednesday so Bartl will have your Espo updates next week till Wednesday. Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy this edition of The Daily Esposito.
Click the Jump for updates from the 12/23/10 Games
Three straight wins, two against opponents above the Blackhawks in the Central and another against a team the ‘Hawks should have fits with.
Oh, and all that was done without Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane.
Wednesday’s win against Nashville wasn’t exactly exciting — is anything against Nashville ever exciting? — but it’s two more points heading into a short Christmas break earned without two of the Blackhawks’ best offensive weapons. Pretty impressive to say the least.
Remember last season when the ‘Hawks were playing well around Thanksgiving and Hossa returned with a two-goal performance? A new season, a different holiday and another return is coming up. Would be nice to have a repeat of that shit.
One quick note: Jack Skille and Dave Bolland each played a hell of a game. (Bartl limbers up, sits back, takes deep breath, inserts foot directly into mouth.)
And onto Boxing we go…
The holidays are upon us and the FanSided Sports Network is thrilled to announce a charity drive to get in the spirit of giving. We’ve teamed up with our outstanding host company Site5 in an effort to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America.
In case you’re not familiar with the Boys and Girls Club of America, they’re an outstanding organization aimed at helping young boys and girls. Is there any group more deserving of your generosity than kids in the holiday season? The mission of BGCA:
To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
A Boys & Girls Club Provides:
A safe place to learn and grow…
Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals…
Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences…
Hope and opportunity.
So what can you do to help? Visit the official charity drive page and help us reach our goal of raising $5000. Any amount will do. Even a couple of dollars will help us reach our goal!