NIEMI SAYS NO: Sharks 1, Blackhawks 0

Goddamnit.

We had this awesome picture for tonight, because I figured the Hawks would come out firing. They did, but Antti Niemi was an absolute beast, turning back all 34 shots, and outdueling Corey Crawford as the San Jose Sharks sent the Chicago Blackhawks to their third straight defeat, 1-0 at HP Pavilion.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:

The top 4 defensemen, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson Steve Montador and Nick Leddy. They all played with heart and urgency tonight, with Keith leading the way with 29:18 of ice time. If Brent Seabrook is back Friday, this suddenly is back to being a formidable corps.

Marian Hossa. He was playing as if he was told he was one stinker away from being traded to Columbus. He was balls-out on every shift, and tried putting the team on his back. He did everything but push vulcanized rubber through the brick wall that was Niemi.

THE BAD:

If there was ever a game where the Hawks needed Jonathan Toews to be Jonathan Toews, this was it. He seemed a half step off all night, and was 50% in the faceoff circle - down from his usual 61%. Just never got into gear. And the one goal of the game, a power play tally by Jason Demers, went off his stick and bounced past Crawford.

Dave Bolland. I just don't think he's 100% yet. His penalty gave the Sharks the power play Demers scored on. He'll get there, he's just not there yet.

THE UGLY:

The commercials during the game...what kind of asshole is really going to use credit card points for a weather balloon? Did the T-Mobile people sing "orgy wonderland"? Why couldn't the Hawks get the Lemonhead guy for the Power Play? Guh.

Next up for the Hawks is the annual Black Friday Matinee in Anaheim against the Ducks. LFork is writing the recap, so you'll actually get decent sentence structure and thought-out analysis.

Finally, on behalf of CT, Slak, and Morph (I'm giving him full status, due to his great GIMP work lately), a very happy Thanksgiving to most of our readers. You Canadians, get your ass back to work.

 

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